Style & Shopping Features & Interviews

Palm Springs’ Newest Hotel Is a Bohemian Gem

The decor offers up a fresh and modern spin on Spanish style.

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Originally built in 1933, La Serena Villas in downtown Palm Springs was recently turned into a luxury hotel property by architect, May Sung. Its 18 private villas boast patios complete with a romantic claw foot tub and fire-pit for a luxurious indoor/outdoor experience. “One of the most exciting parts of the project for us was the history of the property and it’s iconic California Spanish roots,” says Ashley Manhan principal at Avenue Interior Design.

“We wanted to modernize the Spanish look with fresh colors, interesting textures, and an eclectic mix of furniture and art.” The first step was to choose paint colors. “We decided to do it white everywhere and keep the Spanish plaster look,” says Manhan. “We paired the more traditional large wood doors and bronzed hardware with the blue window trim to make sure the architecture didn’t get too serious and stuffy.”

Ceramic wood tiles cover the floors and the furniture is a mix from vendors and custom pieces “that modernized something more traditional.” Layering textures, fabrics, art, and patterns brought the rooms and public spaces together. “Our main goal was to make sure everything looked collected and we strategically used pops of color in the fabrics and art.”

Architect May Sung, who worked with the couple who own the property on their personal residence, was a natural choice to come on board. Sung wanted to create an eclectic Spanish aesthetic for the project despite restrictions placed by the landmarks association because of its historic buildings.

“We wanted to create a unique experience that is truly Palm Springs to capture its vibrancy and eternal playfulness,” says Sung. The architect sites the secret garden like setting as her favorite outdoor element. “When you are in the spaces of the courtyard, you are lost within the space itself.” All in all, it’s the perfect place to get lost.


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