text by ROSIE HATCH
photos courtesy of THE KORAKIA PENSIONE
Nestled deep in the desert of Palm Springs, California, this hidden oasis has been a secret gold mine since the early 1940’s for musicians, artists and celebrities alike. The relaxed, Mediterranean-styleKorakia (Greek for “crow”) is located on 1.5 lush acres, which consist of bungalows, guest houses, Moroccan fountains and exquisite pools. The resort is a combination of two parts, a Moroccan side and a Mediterranean side, both equally as stunning. The design elements in each villa are uniquely styled giving it that worldly, effortless appeal. Paulette Monarrez, General Manager, takes us on a tour and explains why even after 13 years of employment, she’s still crazy in love with the sweet peaceful spirit of Korakia.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE VILLA TO STAY IN AND WHY?
Of course I love the Orchard House, Naish House and many of the beautiful suites. I find that I love different ones for different reasons, at different times of the year and based on my mood. I love the suites on the Mediterranean side and the Orchard House in the Spring/ Summer because the stone element that runs throughout feels really exotic. In the winter, I love the Moroccan Villa suites and the Naish House because of their large wood-burning fireplaces. With each villa being unique, you can stay here many times and each time with a different experience.
WHAT INSPIRED THE MEDITERRANEAN AND MOROCCAN DECOR AT THE RESORT?
This Palm Springs resort has a rich history. The Moroccan side was built in 1924 and was designed by Scottish Painter Gordon Coutts to remind him of his earlier life in Tangier. The architecture promoted a recognizable Moroccan flair, which still shines even today. The Mediterranean Villa was built in the 1930’s and housed a romantic master suite, high wood beam ceilings and massive fireplace. In 1989 the two distinct villas were combined to contain 28 rooms to make modern-day Korakia. Both the Mediterranean and Moroccan areas’ style has been layered over the years using authentic, earthy textiles. The ambiance of creativity and eclectic vibe truly sets it apart from the rest.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT AMENITY IS THE BEST TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF?
I love our heated pools, which are surrounded by flickering lanterns and fire pits. Our outdoor vintage movie screenings are great for an evening date when the sun goes down but the air is still warm and cozy. In the morning, we have a delicious homemade breakfast waiting for you, which is served with love by one of our sweet and helpful Korakia girls. There’s plenty to do when you visit here, whether you’re looking to relax or grab one of our bike rentals and hit the town.
WHO SHOULD STAY AT KORAKIA PENSIONE?
Everyone with a bohemian spirit.
HOW CAN READERS INCORPORATE SOME OF THE WORLDLY DECOR ELEMENTS FOUND AT KORAKIA IN THEIR OWN HOMES?
Don’t be afraid of pieces that are eclectic and just feel earthy and good. Natural, raw materials are very Korakia. There’s something about Mediterranean and Moroccan décor that is timeless and free-spirited. When you stay at Korakia, you will have plenty of inspiration.