Desert Dreamscape

Cherised by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Leonardo DiCaprio - especially for its isolated position in the middle of the desert - and home to the famous Coachella music festival, Palm Springs welcomes its tallest building ever: a hotel run by Kimpton, an American hotel brand that has named design its jewel in the crown

The 153-room desert retreat pays homage to the iconic Mid-Century Modern aesthetic that has defined Palm Springs for decades, but infuses its own, decidedly 21st century modern design ethos. “Palm Springs is so noted for its place in America’s Mid-Century Modern movement, and there’s so much in that era I am personally connected to and inspired by – and yet we are working in a beautiful, new-build structure with so much inspiration of its own, so I thought it would be disingenuous to create something that might be striving to be museum-like filled only with original pieces from that era,” says Kimpton’s Global SVP Design & Creative Director Ave Bradley. Upon entry, guests are greeted by a 5-meter tall macramé owl-backed reception designed by Los Angeles-based Powerstrip Studio.

Reception
Lobby

Although it offers a rather conspicuous nod to Palm Springs and Mid-Century Modern, it is immediately offset with clean, modern lines and materials. Further on in the lobby sits a sculptural bar which Bradley explains is, “a fun play with scale and is a very contemporary vignette and experience.” Behind this bar, a soaring picture window reveals views to the nearby San Jacinto Mountains.

Lobby Bar

In the cozy lobby lounge, ceilings rise to nearly 7 meters and are complemented by wood shelves with a montage of locally sourced ceramics and books which had to be installed on a scaffold. At ground level everything from the glass and brass coffee tables and blue linen sofas to the Calacatta marble communal table was custom designed for the hotel.

Library
Lobby

In the rooms and suites – all of which feature mountain views or private terraces – Bradley and her design team sought to create custom designed furniture pieces that echoed simplicity and comfort. Intricately layered textures and geometric patterns, such as those in headboards and carpets, sit alongside a fresh color palette of blues and greens all set against the backdrop of natural wood, creamy neutrals and whites that offer the ultimate respite from the desert sun.

Guest Room

The ‘piece de resistance’ is truly the 230 square meter presidential suite, The Arlo. Frank Sinatra and his glamourous pals would have been right at home among its museum-quality furnishings. “I found several chairs, tables and accessories at local shops that specialize in noted furniture designers and vintage pieces from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I supplemented those with some tables, lighting and ceramics found at retailers around Los Angeles who work with new and current designers & manufacturers who are doing great work,” Bradley says of the eclectic mix that defines the look of this suite. Added plusses like a pool table, deep-soaking tub, and two private wraparound balconies would have truly been a hit with the Rat Pack.

The Arlo suite, living room
The Arlo suite, bedroom
The Arlo suite, bathroom

There are two distinct food and beverage venues at the hotel. Juniper Table is a laid-back Mediterranean eatery featuring a palette of slate greys and cream set against geometric tiled walls and floors. A more sultry evening venue, 4 Saints, offers rich leather seating, chocolate brown woods and a sea of individually procured lanterns glimmering overhead. The venue is named for the four tallest peaks in Southern California which can be seen as the sun sets over the desert horizon giving way to buzzy Palm Springs evenings—there is bound to be a celebrity sighting or two!

Rooftop
4 Saints

 

credits

Location
Palm Springs

Developer
GRIT Development

Design Architect
DesignARC

Production Architect
ACRM Architects + Interiors

Interior Design (Hotel)
Powerstrip Studio, assisted by the Kimpton Design Team led by Global SVP Design & Creative Director Ave Bradley

Interior Design (Rooftop and F&B)
Chris Pardo, Elemental Architecture - Including Juniper Table, pool area, 4 Saints, High Bar and Jacinto (private rooftop event space)

Furnishings
Customed design and vintage pieces

Photo credits
Laure Joliet