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“Architectural & Design Paradise in Desert Hot Springs” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Lautner

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Hotel Lautner
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Architectural & Design Paradise in Desert Hot Springs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

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.

Room Tip: All the units are unique and individual: unit 1 is most private; 3 has a secret tv; and 2 is just aw...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bahstar1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
239 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

I'm not going to repeat any of the items mentioned by the prior reviewer in "A few things to know." Read that -- it's all true! I will add my .02. My sig other and I jumped at the chance to stay at a Lautner designed hotel -- the architecture is the real draw here, all wood, glass and midcentury modern. The downside is the ample windows left us exposed to a very tall and bright security light on the premises that stays lit all night long.I don't know the crime statistics in Desert Hot Springs but something must be up for them to resort to such a drastic measure. We never had darkness in our unit and had to wear sleep masks (yes, the room comes with two). Fortunately the bed, although small, is very comfy with soft Italian linens. I slept well in spite of the klieg light. It's quiet at night and you won't hear a peep from the hipsters in the adjacent units. They've added a few amenities that didn't exist at the time of the original construction in 1947 e.g. a Keurig coffeemaker and a flat screen TV (hidden behind an oil painting). You'll get two Keurig cups gratis and asked to pay $3 for any beyond that. The bathroom comes with L'Occitane toiletries and Frette linens, no complaints there. The kitchen comes equipped with a "beverage center" that keeps its contents at 46-degrees -- so not a real refrigerator and don't expect ice cubes. Luckily it's a quick trip to the nearby supermarket or you'll be drinking your cocktail straight up. It's an excellent place for relaxing which you can do by the communal fire pit, on the chaise lounges in your private outdoor patio or in the small warm saline spa pool (not large enough for actual swimming and no jacuzzi). Very slow wireless internet. We really enjoyed staying at such a unique property with all the care taken to the restoration and interior design but would have liked to know about the various shortcomings in advance...kind of pricey for what we got.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask which unit has the least exposure to the light at night.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank HuntressCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012

If you're interested in the Hotel Lautner for the experience of staying in a really cool, restored architectural wonderbox, you won't be disappointed. But there are a few things anyone should know heading in.
1. It's not a "hotel." It's more a vacation rental. There's no reception desk or typical amenities or services, just 4 (beautiful) individual rooms, a common fire pit and plunge pool area. The check-in details are handled by Rick, a caretaker-slash-dude who lives nearby.
2. The location is ... well, there's a definite juxtaposition between the "hotel" and surrounds. The compound is a block away from an elementary school, at the end of a row of tract homes decorated with chain link fences and propane tanks. Dogs do their twilight bark. Roadrunners dart in front of your car. A wind farm is the dominant visual feature. Depending on which way you come, you might pass a super creepy pet cemetery.
3. Looking at the pictures, and no disrespect to John Lautner, this place is probably in its heyday right now. The owners have nailed the details, down to having Frank Sinatra playing when we arrived. It is damned neat to be in, a Star Wars-pod-meets-Vegas-condo that's been buried a few feet into an arty terrarium.
4. Expect to get up early. All that glass means plenty of morning light.

So, overall, this place is way worth seeing and staying in, but know that you're here mostly for the architecture.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Pat60713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
167 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

What an awesome place. The architecture is amazing, the decor is super fabulous, and the overall feel of the place is entirely unique, as there is no place like it. We stayed in room 1 on the end, but also saw room 3 which was also great, and where the only other guests were staying and who we ended up hanging out with for dinner and drinks (anybody who stays here has to seek it out, so I imagine the guests are consistently interesting, as well, also a plus). I should also mention that the bed is very comfy with frette sheets, the setting is very quiet, and the caretaker is friendly. We grilled out and then hung out at the fire pit under the stars which was a nice way to spend the evening. I would also recommend watching the Lautner documentary they provide in the rooms, if you haven't seen it already.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gvaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
103 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Amazing three day experience at Hotel Lautner in the "Honeymoon Suite" (Room 1) with my wife on our first trip down to California. It was a perfect combination of beautiful architecture, great design, and a tranquil setting far enough removed to feel like you're sleeping alone in the middle of the desert. The serene and well-designed environment allowed for a much needed time of relaxation. The highlight had to be watching the sunrises, sunsets, and stars in the middle of the desert through the many windows of the space (including those directly above the bed); it's an experience that is near spiritual. Highly recommended for those wanting to unplug and recharge, those lovers of great design and architecture, and those wanting to be challenged by the beauty of isolation in nature. Tracy and Rick were both great and incredibly attentive during our stay, and I feel very lucky that we had the opportunity to spend the main bulk of our trip here. The location was the best of both worlds in that the environment naturally forces you to appreciate the beauty of the desert, yet is still within 20 minutes or less (driving) of nightlife options in Palm Springs. We will definitely be return guests and highly recommend Hotel Lautner!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RYYS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2012

Just returned from a two night stay at the Hotel Lautner and had a great time. What a cool property with great history and a cool back story. Yes, Desert Hot Springs is not a mecca of fun things to do or restaurants to eat at, but that is not why you should come and enjoy the Hotel Lautner. It is a great place to relax and take in the beauty and design of the property.

Comfy Beds
Awesome Rain Shower
Private Patio to gaze up at the stars on a clear desert evening.

If you have the opportunity don't pass up the chance to check out the Hotel Lautner.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sherlock23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
73 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2012

We stayed one night at the Hotel Lautner and loved it! It is truly an architectural gem! The owners did a fantastic job on the renovation both inside and out. We stayed in room 3. The attention to detail and the furniture is amazing. It really feels as if we went back in time but with today's modern conveniences.

Everything is top notch and very clean. Sleeping in the room was like being in a terrarium as the windows are so large and you have a large private lit view of plants and cacti. I just loved relaxing and looking outside at the plants or sunning on the private deck. The sun coming in the morning was amazing.

Tracy, the owner, is very professional and was very responsive when making reservations.

This is a very private place in a residential neighborhood so if you are looking for a quiet getaway with a fantastic history or are fan of Lautner and FLW, you will love this place. We can't wait to come back with some friends and book all 4 rooms as it would be such a great place for a friends getaway. Also, when you are in town definitely book a spa appointment at Two Bunch Palms and visit Cabot's Pueblo. Desert Hot Springs tends to be overlooked compared to the other desert towns so don't miss out when you stay at the Hotel

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank swiftlysaid38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Lautner

Property: Hotel Lautner
Address: 67710 San Antonio St, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240-6811
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Desert Hot Springs
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Desert Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Lautner 3.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Lautner is the chance of a lifetime to actually get to live the "Lautner Lifestyle" in your very own private John Lautner flat! John Lautner was one of America's most legendary architects and this property is an example of one of his earliest works and his only hotel. The private 4-unit compound boasts amazing cactus and succulent gardens throughout, a fire pit lounge complete with infrared BBQ and vintage modern outdoor dining area with umbrella, retro butterfly chairs scattered throughout the grounds for gazing at the incredible architecture and a heavenly outdoor saline plunge pool with lounge area to soak up the sun complete with outdoor shower.The four units are like renting your own mid-century modern studio apartment and are the perfect escape for a night or two or three. Each unit sleeps two adults on a queen size bed, priceless vintage modern decor, stainless steel kitchenettes complete with bar sinks, induction cook tops, microwaves, Kuerig coffee systems and all of cooking and dining ware one could need, well appointed bathrooms with rain showers, upscale plumbing fixtures and towel warmers, Frette linens, towels and robes, L'Occitane amenities, TV/DVD players, MP3 Radios/Disc Players, private terraces with loungers (so private you can sunbathe naked) and three sided glass walls surrounded by beautiful cactus gardens with rock lights will envelope you.The hotel is a hybrid between upscale vacation rental property and micro-boutique hotel. A staff member is there to greet you at the locked compound with keys, a brief tour to familiarize guests with the accommodations and then you are on your own to enjoy your getaway. There is a 24/7 concierge if you should need anything during your stay just a phone call away.The hotel is only a 15 minute drive from the heart of Palm Springs or just 30 minutes away from spectacular Joshua Tree National Park. Guests can also visit neighboring mineral springs resorts and the hotel is more than happy to set up reservations for you. Guests can also schedule in room massages thru the hotel staff. Quite honestly, most guests just visit the neighborhood Vons to stock up and enjoy being on the grounds as long as they can and seldom leave the architectural sanctuary that is "Hotel Lautner". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Lautner Desert Hot Springs, CA - California Desert

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