PSST! - Above it All

A five-star property will rise in Palm Desert

The proposed Rosewood hotel features a rooftop pool (on the overhang shown in the top left of the rendering), in addition to other five-star amenities. The closest Rosewood property to the desert is San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, which consistently lands on the world’s best resort lists of Conde Nast’s Travel + Leisure.

While inundated, so to speak, with pools, the Coachella Valley is bereft of rooftop swimming holes. The five-star Rosewood hotel planned for a site along Highway 74 just south of El Paseo in Palm Desert would correct that omission with one of its luxury amenities.

Atop the 90 hotel rooms and 59 residences, 35 feet in the air, the pool deck will offer 360-degree views, offering “a real sense of perspective, with the closeness of shopping and distant views of the mountains,” says Richard Riveire, principal at L.A.-based Rosset Studio, the design firm hired to collaborate on the project with Nadel Architects (also of Los Angeles).

Although infinity edges are not allowed in commercial property pools (one must be able to walk all the way around the water), Riveire says, “We have pushed the pool to the edge of the roof,” and a glass rail will give it an infinity flavor. Ten cabanas will enclose daybeds, large-screen televisions, and fully stocked mini bars (think Grey Goose vodka, et al. liquors).

Other prime pool-deck real estate includes six daybeds lying in 6 inches of water. At sunset, hotel guests and residents may gather around a fire pit with a glass of wine, followed by dinner in the rooftop restaurant.

That’s far from the only “over-the-top” feature in the plans. A two-level, townhouse-style presidential suite (2,200 square feet indoors and 1,500 square feet outdoors) will cater to the wealthiest of the wealthy. Two balconies (connected by a staircase) will include a fireplace, plunge pool, cabana, kitchen, and shower.

Below (in fact, below the hotel entry level) lie more five-star amenities: a prestigious signature restaurant, 30,000-square-foot spa featuring a 30-foot waterfall, and a wine cellar in which guests can enjoy a private dinner surrounded by bottles of wine. Also on the private side — the very private side — will be a doorman-guarded “ultra lounge” exuding the classy Rat Pack vibe.

As for architecture and design, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts tailors each of its properties to fit the identity of its specific location. For Palm Desert, the $125 million project will hark to the desert’s distinctive midcentury aesthetic, but with a 21st century twist.

“People think of mid-century modern materials as too cold,” Riveire says. “We have the opportunity to combine things in a way that has a richness, expanding the palette to include very luxurious woods, but treated in a lighter fashion, with less molding, celebrating the grain of the wood and combining it with interesting textures.”

A lava-rock exterior will be paired with terrazzo floors, and floor-to-ceiling glass that can be shielded with screens is made from a composite that resembles wood. According to Riveire, it’s all about the “beauty of proportion and materials and textures.”

“We do a lot of work at the high-end level,” he says, “and this is definitely a property that is being thought of in all the right ways.”

“There’s a tremendous need in the desert [for a five-star property],” says Matt Joblon, project manager for the developer, noting that the area is one of the country’s top resort destinations and the concentration of wealth within a two-hour drive.

“El Paseo is a huge amenity for this hotel,” he adds. “To have that shopping within 500 feet walking distance creates a synergy [between the hotel and El Paseo].”

Shooting for a late 2014 or early 2015 opening, Joblon expects the introductory year’s average per-night room rate will be $400, with the presidential suite running in the thousands and residential units priced from $1.8 million.

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