PALM SPRINGS, California; May 9, 2022 – Azure Sky is the newest luxury boutique hotel to open in Palm Springs. This 21 and over, 14-room hotel is located at 1661 South Calle Palo Fierro, in Palm Springs, California. Managing Operator Acme Hospitality, which has boutique food, beverage and hotel concepts in Santa Barbara and Nevada Counties has partnered with Real Estate Developer, Henry Courtemanche to bring this project to life.
“We fell in love with this property the minute we saw it,” says Courtemanche. “The moment you step through the gates, the sense of tranquility is palpable. Though the property feels uniquely calm and secluded, you are just a stone’s throw away from the action of downtown Palm Springs.”
Azure Sky, originally built in 1959, evokes a simple and understated style with unmistakable MCM (Mid-century Modern) elements, offers unobstructed views of the San Jacinto Mountains, an oversized lounge pool with two shallow ends that are perfect for relaxing and imbibing. The property is enveloped by desert landscaping—it is a sanctuary with a peaceful residential feel. Guests are within walking distance of Villa Royale, Ace Hotel, Bar Cecil, and other neighboring boutique hotels and restaurants.
The creative team driving the project was Lightning Bar Palm Springs, made up of John Janulis (partner in Villa Royale Palm Springs & Lightning Bar Collective) and Anne L’Esperance (An Ellipsis Design). With the help of Cioffi Architect, the team worked together for the past two years to breathe new life into the property. They managed an extensive renovation while keeping the essence of this mid-century jewel, enhancing both the indoor and outdoor spaces to make this one of the most exciting hotel openings in the area in years.
“Overall, our goal was to interpret the MCM style into a form that is livable today. We worked with our team of finish carpenters to create all of the wood details in the property including the floating beds with nightstands, the accent walls, and the incredible wood and mirror details you see in the lobby that include the floating credenza and the front desk and bar,” says L’Esperance, who is also one of the talents behind the detailed design and renovation of the historic Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley and The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City, also operated by Acme Hospitality, and highly acclaimed for their artistry, painstaking restoration and meticulous craftsmanship.
Guests at Azure Sky enter the 800-square foot lobby and are greeted by a premium cocktail bar and comfortable living room with a cozy fireplace, accented by vintage lighting and custom woodworking from the Lightning Bar Collective team of master carpenters. The front screen entry, adjacent to the lobby was created by Cioffi Architects and built by Hoffman Steel, both of Palm Springs. The intent was a nod to the quintessential breeze block walls seen throughout the city. This new entry was integrated into the overall design direction, harkening back to the original design of the property.
From the lobby, guests step out to take in “the meadow,” a 1500 square foot courtyard lawn area with a long fire pit at the far end; a perfect place to gather to watch the light change on the palm trees and mountain views beyond. Leaving this first courtyard of rooms, guests wind their way through the grounds to the brand-new pool area, the second focal point of the property. The pool area spans 4500 square feet with surrounding decking, ample seating areas, a bar, firepit and Jacuzzi. In addition, an abundance of chaise lounges and two shallow ends with side-to-side deep stairs in the pool, give guests ample room to spread out and relax from morning till night.
The hotel’s fourteen rooms range from 225 – 620 square feet and include five spacious one-bedroom suites. Eleven rooms are equipped with private patios with hammocks and hangout spaces. The color of the suite doors were inspired by the color of the mountains when the sun first hits them at dawn. Upgrades also include walk-in showers with white, green, and dark mosaic tile; stone countertops; custom millwork; built-in beds; and stone tile flooring.
The property is surrounded by a hedge of Ficus that creates an inclusive boundary. Original palm trees were infilled and surrounded by desert plants to create lush grounds that will withstand the seasons. Local plants include palms, olive trees, banana trees (transplanted from neighboring Villa Royale), agaves, birds of paradise, jasmine, trailing rosemary and more. The “meadow” where the original pool stood is also home to 4 mature olive trees, and the space now provides a “softer” courtyard, perfect for weddings and gatherings.
Azure Sky offers morning coffee and continental breakfast in the lobby daily. Twelve of the rooms include small and fully equipped kitchenettes for ensuite cooking. For those that prefer dining off-property, the hotel will arrange reservations with nearby restaurants within walking or driving distance. A full bar is open to guests in the lobby as well as a second poolside bar.
“This project has introduced us to Palm Springs and all the region has to offer, especially in terms of wellness, art, architecture, and landscapes. The more we have become involved in this dynamic community, the more fortunate we feel to be a part of it,” comments Sherry Villanueva, Managing Partner for Acme Hospitality, an innovative collection of boutique food, beverage and hotel concepts in Santa Barbara and Nevada Counties. Acme Hospitality has won numerous awards and accolades for its many concepts. Recognition includes The New York Times; Wine Enthusiast; USA Today; The Guardian; The Telegraph; Travel + Leisure; Eater LA; Thrillist; Forbes; AFAR; InStyle; Hemispheres; Los Angeles Magazine; Westways; Coastal Living; Marie Claire and Tatler. Azure Sky promises to deliver outstanding service and imaginative design for which the Acme Hospitality family is known.