I wonder what John Lautner would say these days, if he could see the neighbourhood around his amazing building. Hotel Lautner is a unique oasis in the desert. Forget about the rest of Desert Hot Springs and if you ever come here, just do as Tracy Beckmann and Ryan Trowbridge, the two designers who run the hotel, suggest:
Buy your dinner in one of the supermarkets in town and enjoy your stay in this impressive building with its matching, refurbished interior. Excellent.
What a treat to be able to stay in a John Lautner designed project! If you are a fan of Lautner or mid-century modern design, then this place should not be missed! The restoration is more that can be asked for as the owners took loving care to bring this place back up to the highest standard. It feels like stepping back into time with the wonderfully designed furnishings and artwork. We stayed in unit 1 and had absolutely privacy to enjoy the patio and cactus garden. We had no issues with the wifi and enjoyed the in room amenities such as the the Frette linens, Keuring coffee maker, L'Occitane toiletteries and the many books on Lautner and mid century modern in Palm Springs. What a special place.
It is so beautiful here, the grounds and rooms are so modern. The room is surrounded by huge windows, and has nicely lit landscaping, which is amazing to see at night. Coffee in the morning and lounging around on the sofa by evening It was very clean and comfortable. I look forward to future visits very soon!
Learned about this hotel / vacation rental hybrid a year ago, near it's opening.
I was lured in by the designer's visions, and finding myself often in the Desert Cities region, I dreamed of checking out this painstakingly restored, Lautner, circa '47, historic gem.
We arrived to Hotel Lautner, originally built as a film producer's desert escape, on a cold windy Friday, and were greeted by its engaging and personable designer Tracey, who energetically gave us a tour of this retro, super cool property.
While I was initially disappointed by how non-hotel Hotel Lautner is, no daily housekeeping / replenishment of amenities, towels and soap, I was immediately swept away by this mid-century modern Hotel and the meticulous and authentic restoration of its mod 50's desert-living vibe.
The entire structure of the 4 unit compound is impeccable in its design: jetting steel L frame beams reinforced by concrete and wood. High walls privatize and seclude each unit into it's own self sufficient and self-contained dwelling, each replete with its own enclosed sun deck and desert garden.
Upon walking into our unit, Frank Sinatra crooned from the stereo, as we took in the immense near floor to ceiling windows that enclosed a private, appeasing cactus and succulent garden, that lined the entire unit's eastern edge. Concrete abounds, on the walls, floor and ceiling, as do the powerful steel beams, and the perfectly placed wired-glass skylights, that provide optimal sky to star gazing vantage points, as the day turns to night. There are no blinds in the place really, it's very different to be completely open to the sky, but the design to each unit is so intricate that it's nearly impossible for anyone outside its interior to look and peer in.
Each piece of furniture has been delicately chosen to best suit Lautner's original vision, as tasteful retro knick-nacks complete the unique 50's style.
The fully modernized kitchen was impeccable, the bathroom's deep forest green heath tiles beautiful, I can't think of a more memorable decor.
As we like returning to civilization too, we ventured twice daily into Palm Springs, about a 15 minute drive across the desert.
We didn't see too much of the city of Desert Hot Springs itself, but if Hotel Lautner's immediate surroundings are any testament to it, it appears as a sleepy, somewhat empty town.
We definitely will be returning soon to this somewhat pricey, spectacle of 50's futuristic design, because above all it provides an unforgettable experience.
Thankfully such a place exists to drink and dream like it was 50 years before.
If you'd like to know what it is like to live in a mid-century modern building that is of historical importance, this is the place for you. We've stayed in an Ando museum/hotel on Naoshima Island, as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower, and this experience was actually the best! The building has been fully remodeled with approval from the Lautner Foundation. It has a wonderful view, which allows you private areas for gazing at stars or you can look through the wall of windows from your bed at the exotic cactus garden. It has a secluded cookout area if you need it, a fire pit, and an intimate dipping pool. The Hotel Lautner is located on a nice quiet road, and allows you to feel close to the desert with wonderful mountains as a back drop. Contrary to what one reviewer said, it is in a perfectly decent part of town. No, it isn't in Palm Springs next to Sinatra's house, but who wants that sort of traffic? From Desert Hot Springs, it makes the perfect landing pad for going to explore Joshua Tree National Park, and all the other wonderful sights in the area. Palm Springs is just a short drive as well, if you do wish to check out the other historical architecture in the area. We stayed for 4 nights, and loved every minute. We woke up each morning and enjoyed the room so much as the sun came up as we sipped on our coffee and enjoyed the hummingbirds that would swoop by. The hosts are great and will give you complete privacy, so you feel like you own the place. There are only 4 units, and the travelers who stay here know how cool it is, thus you are hanging with those who have good taste and know how special this hotel is. Each room has a nice kitchen too, so you can have access to a refrigerator, microwave, stovetop, etc., as you need it. It was totally worth the price, and when you factor in the ability to make your own breakfast or pack a lunch for a picnic at Joshua Tree National Park, etc., it was really a great deal. We did get to tour the Honeymoon House (House of Tomorrow) that Elvis Presley leased and carried Priscilla over the threshold in Palm Springs, as well as many of their other important architectural sights. But staying in the Hotel Lautner is what I will always remember as the best from our Palm Springs adventure. It is also a great place to stay if you wish to visit Noah Purifoy's environment, Salvation Mountain, Indio (don't miss the date milk shakes), the fun dinosaur roadside attraction in Cabezon, the Salton Sea, Pioneer Town, the Integretron for a Sound Bath, and Bird Watching in EVERY DIRECTION. I knew this spot was bound to be a blast when we had to brake for some road runners and quail!! Be sure to catch a sunset in Joshua Tree National Park. The cactus blooms in early spring were just amazing as well.