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Touring Palm Springs's Under-Construction Sparrows Hotel, From the People Who Brought You the Korakia

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It's Palm Springs Modernism Week and we're touring a few of the beautiful buildings open to the public as part of the festivities. We've seen Frank Sinatra's old Twin Palms estate, Temple Isaiah, the super minimalist Jennings House, and the Dry Falls Alexander house.

[Photos by Elizabeth Daniels]

Driving driving down Palm Canyon Drive, between the The Ace and Saguaro, two of the hippest hotels in town, you will see a mysterious sign with two little birds drawn on it and think, what is that? Although still under construction with plans to open by summer, the Sparrows Hotel already looks like something only insiders know about. The proprietors are Doug and Josie Smith, the founders of the famed Korakia Hotel--they built a cult following there and sold it to the Makar Group in 2007. The couple now splits their time between Palm Springs and their antebellum plantation in New Orleans, after moving back from Portugal in 2009. Because of their peripatetic lifestyle and friends, they hope Sparrows will draw a creative, international crowd (like the Korakia did).

With very limited publicity and word-of-mouth advertising, the goal is to make a modern, rustic, communal atmosphere with informal group activities that include tennis, horseshoes, and swimming. Each room with have its own campfire outside. It will have 20 rooms and prices will start at $100 and go up to $175, including breakfast. Children are discouraged but dogs are welcomed.

The structure of the hotel was built in the '50s but it's been taken down to its bones and completely rebuilt. There will be rusted tin roofs on all the buildings and many of the rooms will have built-in redwood furniture--the style throughout will end up being something like a Japanese summer camp in the Hamptons.

The barn, kept in its original red hue, will house the restaurant and bar and be the main hangout space. There will be a stone pizza oven adjacent to the kitchen, and a garden is being planted to provide fresh produce.

This is truly a first look and the website is not operating yet, but soon reservations will be available. If the Korakia is any indication, book ahead. --Elizabeth Daniels
· Modernism Week Archives [Curbed LA]