ISSUE 24  |  Channeling Marrakech

Haute Bohemia: Korakia Pensione in the California Desert

June 15, 2012 10:30 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

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In the 1920s, the bungalow's name alone—"Dar Marroc"—evoked enough Moroccan glamor to lure artists and Hollywood heartthrobs to the Palm Springs estate that Scottish painter Gordon Coutts built to remind himself of his years in Tangiers.

But by the late 1980s, the crenellated desert hideaway where Rudolph Valentino wooed his second wife had fallen into disrepair. Enter Korakia Pensione. Cobbled together from the original villa, plus an adjacent 1918 adobe and a 1930s Mediterranean villa once owned by a silent movie star, the hotel's 28 rooms and suites blur the lines between indoors and out.

Photographs via Korakia Pensione.

Above: Citrus groves, olive trees, oleander and dates fill the gardens.

Above: The stone floor has glass doors that open to the pool in a one-bedroom suite.

Above: Palms frame a mountain view.

Above: Moroccan mint tea and exhortations to relax greet guests.

Above: The indoor-outdoor spa.

Above: Simple furnishings in a desert setting.

Above: Many of the accomodations have separate living and bedrooms.