Photography by Jeff Mindell
Palm Springs boutique hotel ARRIVE has made quite an entrance. The 32-room boutique property, situated on a two-acre lot on the north end of the Uptown Design District, marks the first ground-up hotel construction completed in the city in over a decade, with a number of unique elements integrated. ARRIVE designer and partner Chris Pardo and partner Ezra Callahan share some insight into the design and guest experience.
What were your design goals, considerations and influences when creating this property? How would you describe the hotel’s aesthetic?
Chris Pardo: Part of the ARRIVE concept is to reflect and honor local architectural styles while providing a design built for today with currently available technology and sensibilities.
I was strongly influenced by the wealth of architectural history in Palm Springs – Neutra, Wexler, Kriesel, Frey and Williams, to name a few. The goal was to speak to the established architectural language while adding a fresh perspective on modernism focused on material and the interplay of shade and texture. I would describe the architecture of ARRIVE as “Desert Modern.”
How long was the overall planning, design and building process?
Ezra Callahan: The planning process with Palm Springs was remarkably efficient and transparent. It’s really a testament to the city’s leadership and professional staff and their recognition of how beneficial it is for the city’s residents and developers to streamline the planning and permitting process. Our property only took about 16 months to build from the ground up, which fit well within our targets.
Do you have any favorite architectural details or décor elements on the property? A favorite room or space?
Chris Pardo: Every material at ARRIVE plays a part in the story we are telling, but the leading character is the Corten steel siding. It was one of the first choices I made on the design. Corten steel is a phenomenal desert material that rusts superficially and requires very little maintenance. The Corten’s natural colors highlight the shades of the mountain range and provide a stunning contrast with the crystal blue sky. As it rusts, the Corten’s color, like the landscape, is forever evolving.
Some other details around the property that I love:
- The tile floors at our restaurant, Reservoir, which create a warm feeling and blur the line between indoors and outdoors.
- The CNC cut signage, which provides a little lightheartedness (for example, the mechanical room gate that reads “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”).
- The wild grasses that line the Corten shells, which soften the form and connect it to the earth.
My favorite room on the property is our coffee shop, Customs Coffee. It’s a small space filled with interesting textures and materials. I especially love the 8-foot tall custom banquette that features 517 vintage brass military buttons sewn into the diamond tufts.
How does the guest experience differ at ARRIVE from other hotel properties?
Ezra Callahan: ARRIVE is built for the neighborhood, meaning we design our properties to be open and welcoming to the local community and to reflect local culture, tastes and style. We aim to build social landmarks that provide a crossroads between visitors and locals, both to give guests a truly authentic local experience and to create a place that celebrates, and is celebrated by, our neighbors. We think this creates a unique experience for visitors who can both enjoy our beautiful property while also really getting to experience the place they’re visiting. Guests will also notice how we try to make their stays with us more welcoming and efficient. We interact with guests before and during their stay over text message, and we ditch the traditional front desk and lobby and instead have our guests check in or get assistance at the bar so we can welcome them with a drink on arrival. We also try to focus on getting the little things right in the rooms – easy-to-use technology, cheap minibars, bedside outlets for phone chargers, filtered water in the rooms – and all without resort fees or other annoying charges.
We hear that more ARRIVE hotels are on the way; can you tell us anything about that?
Ezra Callahan: We have two additional projects in the works, and we’ll be sharing details on those in the coming months. But we’re also still working on additional projects around ARRIVE in Palm Springs, so there’s much more exciting stuff coming locally as well.
Photography by Jeff Mindell for Palm Springs Style; all rights reserved.