Hermann Bungalows at L’Horizons Resort is southern California’s desert hideaway
Every once and a while you’ll stumble upon something so intimate, so quaint, and so chic that you won’t have the words to describe what you’re feeling. Hermann Bungalows in Palm Springs, California is one such experience that will leave you wordless and breathless. It really is a one-of-a-kind place in the desert that’s for total rest and relaxation, the perfect place to honeymoon, to get a way and write, to take a parent, or to unwind with a best friend.
Try traveling to the ultra-luxe resort from Las Vegas, taking the scenic route through the Mojave Desert. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make of natural design. Exiting off of I-15 south at exit 286, you’ll find yourself on a two-lane back country California road. For four hours this will be your view, and for the first hour you’ll feel as if you made a mistake and should have taken a more populous route.
It’s rural, cell phone access can be spotty at times, you would have needed to fill up with gas, and you definitely don’t want your car to put you down as it could be a long while before a car passes, with no telling if they’d stop to help. But the terrain is absolutely stunning with pure desert and desert fauna to be seen. Rocks, a sparse clumping of tall grass, prickly things like cacti, and Joshua Trees as far as the eye can see. And then, views of mountains start to peek in through your windshield and you feel like you’re in your own Yellowstone moment. If you’re an East Coaster, you then begin to realize how vast, eclectic, and grand the United States is, and you’ll appreciate the uniqueness of the country.
Thirty to forty minutes before getting close to Palm Springs, you’ll pass through more mountains and a sea of windmills. As you enter Palm Springs city limits and turn onto East Palm Canyon Drive you’ll see the entrance for L’Horizon Resort and Spa, which is ensconced behind the San Jacinto Mountains. If you’re not precise in spotting the entrance you’ll miss it. As you enter the gravel parking lot someone will be there to greet you and unload your bags as you enter reception and check in.
Steve Hermann is a self-taught architectural designer and developer, and lover and collector of Mid-Century furniture and automobiles. He’s the man behind the Hermann Bungalows. The LA based designer is known throughout Beverly Hills for his work with those in the top echelons of Hollywood.
The lobby is designed in the Mid-Century modern style. After checking in at reception and getting your room key, you walk through a seated area with a slanted ceiling. The Mid-Century modern movement was conceived in the US and Europe (particularly Scandinavia) from 1945 to 1969. As a response to post WWII, it’s a style of simple lines and no embellishments. The Palm Springs area really took to this and it’s seen throughout the city’s architecture, especially in houses, churches, and commercial buildings. Mid-Century modern is also seen in the furniture during this era with Charles and Ray Eames’ Eames Lounge Chair, George Nelson’s storage unit, Arne Jacobsen’s Grand Prix chair, as well as his Egg Chair.
Spending two years to re-create L’Horizon, a historic property created by architect William F. Cody, Hermann has created one of Palm Spring’s most rivaled luxury boutique hotels. The main house where the reception lies and the twenty-five surrounding bungalows were built in 1952, and the walk from the reception to one of the 25 bungalows is a scenic one. In the 1950s and 60s, it was a getaway haven from Hollywood. Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and various US Presidents vacationed on the property. The outdoor space is intimate full of desert fauna of prickly things, rock sculptures that spurt water, a fire pit, the bar, and a large swimming pool and restaurant seat for breakfast. The grounds are well manicured with every inch being maintained, trimmed, and looked after by landscape architects. The bungalows in this part of the resort are older. With white brick exteriors every bungalow in this part has its own private enclave.
There are different bungalow types in the L’Horizon Bungalows from standard, deluxe, deluxe pool, the fireplace junior suite, and the residence. A standard 290 square foot bungalow is designed with exposed wood, beam ceilings, Chevron curtains, and a marble bathroom and comes with a queen bed, a private outdoor patio, Le Labo bath products, a 40” HD Smart TV with Apple TV, wifi, a Nespresso machine, minibar, and Nest thermostat. While the residence bungalow was once the home to Hollywood Mogul Jack Wrather, it’s essentially a one-bedroom home with private pool, mountain views, and a wood burning fireplace. The motorized patterned black and white drapes add a unique touch to the space of white walls, and wood beamed ceiling and matching kitchen cabinetry. The picturesque windows with white brick walls for the outdoor patio area with gravel and cactus lets you know you’re in the desert.
The Hermann Bungalows
The modern bungalows, called The Hermann Bungalows are accessed by a gate, and behind that gate is another world, an oasis really. Immediately you understand why you have to be twenty-one or older to stay at the hotel. The whole area is large and rectangular with a large 1-inch wading pool in the center, it’s not for swimming rather for relaxing in one of the lounge chairs in the pool. Bungalows surround the pool in a semi-circular manner, with the outdoor bar set at one end of the pool. Small rocks and cacti make up the landscape in front of each bungalow.
The One Bedroom Fireplace Suite Bungalow screams Mid-Century modern as soon as you walk in the 2,000 square foot space. The entryway includes an outdoor white lawn three-seater sofa. As you step onto the Italian Venetian terrazzo floors, you notice the walnut paneled walls and marble fireplace. The taupe Camaleonda sofa also catches the attention, along with the DCW and Bert Frank lighting, the featured pieces like the life-sized sheep and Asian-inspired minibar sculpture. It’s spacious and the three large picture windows with operated drapes gives way to the large private outdoor patio and hot tub. What you notice about the Herman Bungalows is that every nook and cranny has been purposed and planned. Nothing is by surprise and has caught the attention of Steve Hermann. The large king Custom Comfort hand-crafted natural fiber mattress with six-hundred thread count linen makes for a good night’s sleep.
The spacious Calcutta marble bathroom with pattern on the walls is to die for. With a separate WC (water closet) with Toto smart toilet with heated seat, to the his and her Kallista sinks, soaking tub, rainforest shower, and Camaleonda-inspired cushion makes it easy to never leave. There’s a light and dark element to the bathroom with light colored walls with dark hints of color, to the dark wooded sink with a light marble top, and gold accents giving way to a luxurious feel.
The Patio Bungalow is still as luxurious but is smaller at 700 square feet. Like the One Bedroom Fireplace Suite, it includes indoor and outdoor showers. Its large picture windows create a flow on the outdoor space, white the walnut paneled and hand chipped stone walls offer a coziness. The Mid-Century modern feel with matching furniture brings the architectural history of Palm Springs into the bungalow. There are other bungalow types offered within the Hermann Bungalows to fit every visitor’s travel needs.
The adults only and no pets allowed SO-PA restaurant is outdoor year-round dining. Offering an alfresco dining experience, the chef can create vegetarian and meat dishes. The risotto is the best way to start, while the lamb or the trout are succulent main dish options, and sorbet is a great way to wind down dining.
The restaurant is surrounded by trees, topiary bushes for walls, and an array of lighting positioned around the restaurant. Even the fire pits are a source of lighting. It’s a magical place, like a secret garden that’s serene and rare.
The bar offers crafted cocktails, wines, and a menu of its own. It’s the best place to dine in the mornings with separate seating by the pool. Fresh fruit, fresh juices, eggs with toast, avocado toast, and the pancake are the best ways to start your day.
The stay at L’Horizons Resort or the Hermann Bungalows is a step back in time. It’s a historic place where Classic Hollywood and Presidents found a way to refuel from the busyness of life. It’s style and designs are unrivaled to anything you’ll find in the southern California desert.