We feature Sarah Bancroft's cool, modernist Palm Springs house in our August 2014 issue. The B.C.-based founder of Vitamin Daily — an online lifestyle magazine — recently renovated this winter escape with her husband. Sarah reflects on how the local hotels she stayed in during the reno ended up influencing her design decisions.
We've been going to Palm Springs for 9 years — first as tourists, then as house hunters, and most recently as home renovators, all of which required hotel stays. Even now we drop by these glam spots for drinks, spa visits, or just to walk the gardens.
The Parker Hotel
The very first time we walked in we ran into Will Ferrell at the front desk and French Marie Claire shooting in the pool. These days it's Leonardo DiCaprio (who just bought a house in Palm Springs) who you'll see on the patio during Coachella. The gardens are designed by Givenchy, the spa (Palm Springs Yacht Club) is amazing and the decor is designed by Jonathan Adler. Pretty much a Palm Springs masterpiece.
Takeaway: We would have done it anyway, but we have a pétanque court at our house too.
Definitely our favourite. Small and intimate with amazing modernist architecture, it was recently purchased by Tom Ford's interior designer who is going to revert to its original name, L'Horizon. We fully approve.
Takeaway: Our home's architect, William Krisel, stays here when he attends Palm Springs Modernism Week so it makes sense we would love it too. It also convinced us to keep our vintage pool ladder, just as they had.
The owners are an entrepreneur and former Calvin Klein model who have done several hotel and home projects in Palm Springs. We clicked with both their attitude and early modernist aesthetic, and drop by their bar for a glass of Lillet when we're in town.
Takeaway: It's hard to stop at just one (home reno that is.)
We go by their restaurant Citron for a chopped salad and glass of Rosé near the end of our trip and eavesdrop on the poolside conversations.
Takeaway: We were inspired by designer Kelly Wearstler's decorative mirrors when we designed our shield-shaped bathroom ones.
The Ace Hotel and Swim Club
We've never actually stayed here (too much of a party scene for us) but we go for the steak salad (to take on the plane) and the first time we went we sat beside the late Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood. Their Monday Sissy Bingo night is a must-do Palm Springs experience: trust us.
Takeaway: Our home's army green sunshade umbrella was an extra one from the Ace's renovation.
The Movie Colony Hotel
Our very first trip to Palm Springs we stayed here (I was 5 months pregnant, so an adults-only, cheap and cheerful environment was a babymoon must).
Takeaway: This trip was when we started photographing houses we loved and fantasizing about someday owning one.