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Dive Palm Springs

Treat your other half to a weekend getaway at Dive Palm Springs this Valentine’s Day. The newly launched hotel will be offering a special package to help set the mood for an intimate and romantic evening in one of Dive’s most luxurious suites – Paris or Orchid.

The Paris suite offers secure private access from the street and spectacular touches such as a vintage ornate 1910 belle époque Parisian elevator transformed into a full canopy bed and lounge and a large outdoor patio with a lounging area. The Orchid Suite is a decadent experience with a large outdoor patio and private hot tub, indoor movie theater, and very own private three hole putting green.

For $2,500 / night the package includes:

  • Stay in either the Paris or Orchid suite which will be personally decorated with rose petals and candles
  • Intimate and private prix-fixe dinner set up in the room’s private patio
  • Bespoke cocktails and oysters served at the hotel’s fire pit, nestled under an orchid tree
  • 1 bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut Rose Champagne
  • 1 bottle of premium French wine
  • Sexy Couples Gift Package (Contents will be a surprise)

Reservations can be made online or by emailing bonjour@divepalmsprings.com.

 

Known only as one of Lulu’s sisters, she is forever this close to diving into what one can assume is a refreshing blue pool. She’s the eye catcher on the outside of the white stucco wall that, once inside, keeps the noise from Indian Canyon at bay, and is the only indication that you have arrived at your destination: Dive.

Welcome to Dive. Photo courtesy of Dive Palm Springs

This 11-room boutique hotel “just has a cool, chill vibe to it,” says April Smith, vice president of Mariners Companies, the private equity investment firm that recently purchased Dive.

Smith is what you might call an accidental hotelier. In fact, just about everything about her career has been accidental. At 22, she had no idea what she wanted to do — she’s one of those people who live to learn, but learn best while living. Since you need a paycheck to live, Smith took a job as a receptionist at a mortgage loan company, and once she saw the bottom line, got interested.

Her dad’s advice always stuck with her: “You just need to know a little about a lot.” So, Smith set out to do just that.

“I asked a lot of questions, and I paid a lot of attention,” she says. “I wanted to be part of a lot of things to understand things.”

Upper management took notice, and Smith quickly climbed the ladder to become a top earner. There were twists and turns from there, always upward, and by the time she met Steve Olson, her current business partner, she had learned a little about a lot.

“We all have our own strengths,” Smith explains. “I’m operations, Ron [Millar, their CFO] is numbers, and Steve brings in the capital. All three of us together triangulate a perfect situation.”

Mariners is the parent fund of many smaller businesses under its umbrella. Operating out of Newport Beach, their office is next to a hotel broker who brought them a deal they just couldn’t refuse.

The Fountain Room at Talavera Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Talavera Palm Springs

That was Talavera, a laidback resort on a quiet street situated between the Palm Springs Tennis Club (home to the upscale dining of Spencer’s) and the bustle of downtown Palm Springs. While Dive’s vibes are Saint Tropez fun in the sun, Talavera is about tranquility. 

An escape from the crowd offering your own secluded private residence, Talavera has an old world Moroccan charm, and feels more like an exotic VRBO than a hotel (although there is a fully-stocked, attended bar in the works just for guests). Many suites have a kitchen or kitchenette, as well as an outdoor spa, so your space is entirely contained. At night, the courtyard is lit by stars and basket lanterns hanging from sturdy tree branches, with just the whisper of rustling leaves and the crackle of the embers from the firepit.

One of Talavera’s pools. Photo courtesy of Talavera Palm Springs

While Talavera has two pools, Dive has only one, and it is magnificent. It’s a Libott pool, originally built in 1954. The property is très ooh la la, with muralist Gabriella Fash’s playful art adorning the walls of Dive’s entryway and fabulous neon divers outside. (Fun fact — in 2019, the original neon was found hidden on the roof. She was lovingly restored, and they named her Lulu. She lives out by that glorious pool, and so she wouldn’t be lonely, they gave her a few sisters, like the one on the exterior wall.)

The property is as intimate as a French kiss. It’s a large rectangle, with the courtyard artfully divided into small gathering spots — a bench wrapped around a large tree, a set piece with a koi pond. There is always space for quiet conversation away from the pool area.

Inside each of the rooms, designer Vanessa Schreiber has created a whimsical world of immersive art, where swirls and murals accent the Christian Lacroix wallpapers. Every item has been hand-picked to melt into its unique design, creating a fun and playful atmosphere that can only be described as joyful.

A colorful room at Dive Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Dive Palm Springs

Breakfast and lunch are available onsite and can be delivered to you by the pool so you can enjoy the day without having to leave. Dive is located in the residential neighborhood known as Deepwell Estates, one of Palm Springs’ historic neighborhoods filled with $1 million homes. There is a noise ordinance after 10 p.m., however Dive solves that problem with a soundproof room where you and your friends can party until the wee hours and disturb nary a soul.

While both Dive and Talavera are 21+ with 11 suites, Smith says they are adding a third and much larger property to their portfolio that will be perfect for families — and will also be Smith’s first complete remodel. Because the deal hasn’t quite closed, I can only tell you that the hotel started out in 1958 as a weekend hangout for celebrities like Nancy Sinatra, Elvis, and the Rat Pack, and had a very iconic name. In later years, it was purchased and operated by a national brand, and while it’s a very nice hotel, it’s still a chain. Smith intends to inject personality back into the 130-room resort.

 Considering that she now knows a lot more than a little about the hotel industry, we’re giddy about the possibilities. 

Step foot on the Dive Palm Springs property, and you’ll immediately be transported to the French Riviera of the 1960s.

Dive Palm Springs opened in August 2019 after a two-month renovation. The hotel was built in 1954 as the Sunrise Villa, a western-style hotel. Over the years, it changed names and themes, ultimately becoming the Alpine Gardens before transforming into Colt’s Lodge in 2015. Since being purchased earlier this year, the 11-room property has been “extensively redesigned, both inside and out,” new owner Abdi Manavi says. “We have developed a sense of luxury in all the rooms, and a feeling of serenity throughout the different areas of the grounds.”

The hotel features furnishings by Serena & Lily and Anthropologie, premium linens, and original murals. Most of the King rooms come with an outdoor patio, complete with an oversized daybed, and one has a private hot tub. The most magical room is the La Reve, French for “The Dream.” This room has a custom ceiling mural and wallpaper by Christian Lacroix, a solid brass queen bed with an ultra-comfortable Tuft and Needle mattress, and a red-tiled bathroom with a rainfall shower and smoked glass two-way mirror between the bedroom and shower.

“Dive is more than a hotel,” Abdi says. “It’s a private luxury time machine. Evoking the casual elegance of Saint Tropez in the 1960s, we created Dive to transport our guests to a romantic forgotten world where it’s still safe to relax, play, explore, and release all the trappings of modern life.”

Dive is an adults-only property, and can host events for up to 150 people, including weddings, retreats, and reunions. Guests have been raving about the lush grounds, cozy daybeds, the restored original Libott pool, the koi pond, and The Orchard — Dive calls this its “vacation spot within a vacation spot,” as it has a two-person swing chair, waterfall, comfortable couches and loungers, and a vintage neon sign of a diving girl, affectionally nicknamed Lulu.

“My business partner Dale Fox and I have created an intimate atmosphere for our guests, as you would have staying at a friend’s house,” Abdi says. “We are here to provide magic and ensure our guests are relaxed and happy during their stay. Though I take on the role of an owner and general manager, my business card says ‘Liaison to Happiness.'”