Iconic Desert Hot Springs Motel to Reopen

Renovated Desert Hot Springs landmark is now the boutique Hotel Lautner By: Kenneth Shapiro
The new Hotel Lautner is a stylish boutique property near Palm Springs. // © 2011 Hotel Lautner
The new Hotel Lautner is a stylish boutique property near Palm Springs. // © 2011 Hotel Lautner

The Details

The iconic California desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel is scheduled to reopen this month as Hotel Lautner, a four-suite boutique resort located two hours east of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles-based interior designer Tracy Beckmann, of Tracy Beckmann Design, and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge, of Brown + Trowbridge, purchased the famed modernist architect John Lautner’s Mid-Century gem (built in 1947) and spent 3½ years on its renovation. With top-shelf features, vintage modern furniture, luxurious baths, contemporary kitchens, private gardens, a relaxing spa pool and outdoor lounge areas, the amenities and appointments at Hotel Lautner seem sophisticated for what was originally a 1940s-era prototype for a master planned community in the desert.

Located at the northern end of the Coachella Valley, Hotel Lautner aims to draw on an urban sensibility — relocated to a spectacular desert setting. Featuring a who’s-who of quintessential Mid-Century furniture designers, including Milo Baughman, Harry Bertoia, Adrian Pearsall, Warren Platner and Sigurd Russel, Hotel Lautner guests will also find the latest amenities, such as Frette linens, L’Occitane bath products, induction cooktops, televisions and DVD players, free Wi-Fi and iPhone docks. A hybrid boutique hotel and upscale vacation rental, Hotel Lautner invites guests to indulge their Mid-Century fantasies in their own private Lautner flat.

Paying homage to the four primary elements used in the original construction of the property — concrete, steel, redwood and glass — the designers restored and replaced damaged redwood and glass throughout. Concrete walls were stripped down to their original bare surfaces, revealing as many as 20 different former colors, leaving the revamped color scheme up to the designers’ interpretation.

“Our goal for the renovation was to remain as true to Lautner’s vision for the property as possible,” said Beckmann. “The hotel needed to showcase the brilliance of Lautner’s architecture while embracing the needs of today’s discerning hotel traveler.”

Public areas at Hotel Lautner include a rare succulent garden, an outdoor lounge with a fire pit that is ideal for evening stargazing and a spa pool and outdoor shower.

Hotel Lautner officially opened its doors to the public Sept. 15, with an introductory rate of $200 on weekdays and $250 weekends, tax not included.

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