C California Style

Coachella 2017: New Desert Restaurants, Hotels and Art to Check Out Now

by C California Style

How to do the fest like an adult

DOUG AITKEN’s ”Mirage” installation outside Palm Springs was built in partnership with DESERT X. Photography by Lance Gerber.

DOUG AITKEN’s ”Mirage” installation outside Palm Springs was built in partnership with DESERT X. Photography by Lance Gerber.

While Lady Gaga and Radiohead dazzle at Coachella (coachella.com), Doug Aitken creates a more meditative spectacle with “Mirage” (on display through October), conceived and built in partnership with Desert X (desertx.org, dougaitkenmirage.com). For another unique experience that’s part of Desert X’s site-specific programming, head to the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, where Santa Monica-based interdisciplinary artist Lita Albuquerque’s “hEARTH” brings uncharted sculptural and aural dimensions to the historic site, through April 30.

The Spanish-style LA SERENA VILLAS’ pool and bungalows. Photograph by Kelly Peak/Peak Photography.

The Spanish-style LA SERENA VILLAS’ pool and bungalows. Photograph by Kelly Peak/Peak Photography.

To immerse yourself in desert ambience with a dose of heady California romance, you can’t do better than La Serena Villas (from $399/night; 339 S. Belardo Rd.; laserenavillas.com). Lars and Kelly Viklund, owners of the adjacent Del Marcos Hotel, enlisted May Sung of SUBU Design Architecture and Avenue Interior Design to refashion the 1930s-built Spanish-style bungalows into 18 deluxe guest rooms with private patios and fire pits, as well as the property’s Whispers Spa and Azucar restaurant. Next on the design-forward boutique hotel scene: the Kimpton brand comes to town this summer.

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TRUSS & TWINE serves drinks and small bites up to last call. Photography by Audrey Ma.

Griping about limited food and drink options in the desert is a thing of the past. At the always-buzzing Ace Hotel & Swim Club (701 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; acehotel.com/palmsprings), Carlos Salgado has overhauled the menu at the resort’s King’s Highway restaurant, as well as other culinary options throughout the property. “The food will be delicious, accessible, irreverent, but also responsible, carrying all the same sensibilities as what we do at Taco María,” the James Beard Award-nominated, Orange County-based chef explains. The architecturally themed Draughtsman restaurant (1501 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; draughtsmanpalmsprings.com), with roomy seating and an impressive craft beer list to go with its elevated comfort food, is open next to the Arrive hotel compound in the Uptown Design District. Nearby, focusing on locally sourced ingredients, Workshop Kitchen + Bar chef and co-owner Michael Beckman brings more of his small bites and exacting cocktails to the area at Truss & Twine (800 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; trussandtwine.com). In between beverages and meals, peruse exhibitions from local creative talent at architect and designer Chris Pardo’s Art Pop gallery space (1566 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; @artpopmodern). 


Reykjavík Rising

Chill out at the LA Phil

Mellow out under the stars with movie man Hans Zimmer or dance to the electric beats of DJ Snake during the hot, dusty days of the music festival and cultural phenomenon Coachella.
April 14-16 and April 21-23;
coachella.com.

Written by JESSICA RITZ.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of C Magazine.