You’ve Arrived at The Arrive in Palm SpringsAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Nearly a decade ago, while working for the Four Seasons, Chris Pardo and his friend, Peter Kaminski, began to consider what they would do differently if they owned a hotel. Inspired by their ideas, the pair soon began to actively seek out potential sites in Seattle, where Pardo was based. “But, then I came down here on vacation and fell in love with Palm Springs,” recalls Pardo, now the Chief Design Officer of ARRIVE. “So, I went back to Peter and said, ‘I really think we should do it here. The community is very architecturally focused and it’s a place I think our concept would really be embraced.’”
And so, they, along with some colleagues, founded and built the ARRIVE Palm Springs, a 32-room boutique hotel nestled on a 1.2-acre lot in the Uptown Design District. The concept was two-fold: one, to honor the city’s architectural history and, two, to represent its lifestyle.
“Notice that everything is indoor/outdoor. Ninety-percent of my seating is outdoors. The bar opens up completely to be outdoors,” says Pardo. Although a new build, the ARRIVE takes quite a few of its cues from the abundance of great mid-century design nearby, albeit interpreted in fresh, new ways. Clerestory windows allow light to stream into guest rooms without sacrificing privacy, and the butterfly roofs, evocative of Donald Wexler, have been placed purposely off-center to echo the mountain slopes behind it. The warm, rust-brown patina of the standing seam Cor-Ten steel used for the buildings’ exteriors further reflects the colors of the Palm Springs landscape.
As for the guest experience, the ARRIVE has managed to radically redesign that too. Gone is the check-in desk and, in fact, the entire hotel lobby with it. Instead guests obtain their room keys-along with a favorite cocktail-from the bartender. There are also no resort fees and services like housekeeping and valet are reached via text on the guests’ own smartphones. Even the mini-bar has become egalitarian, its items priced no more than they would be at the convenience store down the street. “Most of the people here right now are locals,” explains Pardo, glancing back at the dozen or so guests lounging in nearby poolside cabanas and sipping cocktails. “That was really important for us, for the hotel to be inclusive of the community.”
Local craftsman were called on to create many of the hotel’s furnishings and fixtures, like the metal planters, the tile work and the wooden courtyard chairs. Both the onsite retail store/ice cream parlor and the house coffee shop (that serves roasts from the local Joshua Tree Coffee Company), have entrances opening directly onto Palm Canyon Drive, inviting locals and non-hotel guests to come in. To take that inclusivity one step further, even the pool, Ping-Pong tables, cabanas and other facilities are also open to the public, free of charge. “We wanted everything to feel easy, like you’re staying at a friend’s house,” adds the designer. “We wanted it to feel like a vacation.”