John Lautner’s Desert Oasis

Architecture & Interiors


From Brussels to Dubai, hoteliers have capitalized on the Mid Century Modern craze by creating luxurious accommodations for design-savvy travelers eager to temporarily lose themselves in a blur of Eames and Nelson, Bertoia and Girard. But for serious students of design history, a rather more holistic experience awaits, thanks to Los Angeles-based interior designer Tracy Beckman and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge.

Beckmann and Trowbridge jointly purchased the Desert Hot Springs Motel in 2008, one of the many Southern California properties designed by the great John Lautner, a Frank Lloyd Wright protege, who managed to carve out a style very much his own. Beckman and Trowbridge spent 3 1/2 years renovating the aging 1947 property, opening it in 2011 as Hotel Lautner. “Our goal for the renovation was to remain as true to Lautner’s vision for the property as possible. The hotel needed to showcase the brilliance of Lautner’s architecture while embracing the needs of today’s discerning hotel traveler.”

And what awaits that discerning traveler at Hotel Lautner is a 4-room masterwork in the desert of Palm Springs, clad in glass and redwood, remade in steel and concrete, decorated with vintage furnishings, updated with modern kitchens and bathrooms—but very few of the hotel amenities now considered standard. The point of Hotel Lautner, of course, is not to replicate a hotel stay so much as to gift its guests with the experience of living in one of John Lautner’s dramatic, light-drenched homes—an experience, we suspect, that his admirers would never dare trade in for 24-hour room service.


Images: Hotel Lautner

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