Courtesy of: Sherry Barkas/The Desert Sun
A vintage Airstream trailer turned into a luxury suite, a restaurant run by local chefs, a spa, an entertainment stage and a gallery exhibiting the works of local artists are among the amenities to be featured in Palm Desert’s first hotel on El Paseo.
Hotel Paseo, the three-story, 150-room luxury boutique hotel – the city’s first new luxury hotel built in more than 30 years – is on schedule to open late October or early November, general manager Gil Reyes said.
Construction started on the $36 million hotel in November 2015.
Part of the Evolution Hospitality and Autograph Collection Hotels family which operates under the Marriott umbrella, Hotel Paseo will offer many unique features, Reyes said.
One thing about Autograph Collection Hotels is that they don't replicate each other in design.
“Each has its own story to tell,” Reyes said.
For Hotel Paseo, the story is, “Find Your Path,” which lends itself to the immediate and surrounding area with a variety of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, hiking and other “adventure” options, all within a short distance of the hotel.
Built on a vacant lot at 45-400 Larkspur Lane, which for many years was home to Fashion Week El Paseo, the hotel is well situated across from the annual event’s current location – the top level of The Gardens on El Paseo parking garage.
“This is a great location,” Reyes said.
Leading a hard-hat tour of the construction site, he pointed to a large wooden crate against the north wall of the pool area.
“That’s the Airstream trailer,” Reyes said, which will serve as the hotel’s 150th room.
As plans for the hotel were being laid out, Marriott wanted to expand the size of the gym on the first floor, which meant loss of a room, he said.
Hotel owner and co-developer Robert Leach proposed putting a fully renovated and furnished Airstream on the property, turning it into a specialty suite that can have a variety of uses, Reyes said.
Construction on the three-story Hotel Paseo on Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert's first hotel on El Paseo, continues on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2017. (Photo: Richard Lui/The Desert Sun)
The main entrance is off of Larkspur Lane and takes guests right into the lobby area with check-in to their left and a spacious seating area to their right where the works of local artists will be exhibited on the north wall. The work will be rotated quarterly, Reyes said.
Three of the desert’s popular restaurateurs are teamed up to open AC3 restaurant and Bar, on the north end of the hotel which will be open to the public. With full bar, indoor and patio seating the restaurant will be able to seat about 200, Reyes said.
Also open to the public will be the hotel’s expansive spa with seven treatment rooms. The spa operator will be announced soon, he said.
The 2,000-square-foot outdoor area will have artificial lawn, a pool with three private cabanas, an in-ground whirlpool spa, café with bar, fire pit, stage for live performances plus bocce ball court, cornhole toss and shuffle board games. Outdoor movie screenings are also planned, Reyes said.
Reyes has worked in the hospitality industry for about 20 years, the past 11 in senior management positions. He was hired to run Hotel Paseo about three months ago, and he and his wife wasted no time relocating from Anaheim, buying a house in Palm Desert for them and their four children.
Hotel Paseo's boardroom under construction on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2017 in Palm Desert. The 150-room, three-story luxury boutique hotel is on track to open this fall. (Photo: Richard Lui/The Desert Sun)
“I really want to be a part of the community,” Reyes said, adding he is already on the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.
Minus the restaurant, the hotel will employ up to 60 full- and part-time positions. Applications are being taken now for management positions and will be accepted for front line jobs starting at the end of August. Applications are available online at www.evolutionhospitality.com.
Room rates will range from the mid-$200s to $600 per night, Reyes said, depending on time of year and room size. In addition to the Airstream, eight other specialty suites include a “Billiards Suite” with billiards table, record player with a collection of old and new vinyl, wet bar and lounge area.
Rooms can now be booked online at www.hotelpaseo.com for dates starting in January. As construction continues and an opening date is solidified, fall dates can start to be booked, Reyes said.