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Two Bunch Palms celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, but it’s in the last couple of years that it's got really interesting. The resort got new owners in 2012, having been in receivership. Kevin Kelly of Canyon Ranch fame became CEO in July 2013. In September they stripped out the heavy, steakhouse-style restaurant and made a fresher, more Californian area (see it after the jump).
Oh nothing, it’s just a solar farm – a solar farm which, when it was switched on last week, made Two Bunch Palms, the hotel on whose property it sits, the first carbon neutral resort in North America.
Two Bunch Palms is one of Desert Hot Springs’ historical spa resorts, using the natural hot springs for which the town is named. And Two Bunch has some history, too – it’s one of the two oldest mineral spa resorts in the country (75 this year) and has history with Hollywood and even Al Capone, who, legend has it, had it as a hide-out before it became a hotel.
But who needs celebs when you have one of the greenest resorts in America? The stats speak for themselves: 3.5 acres, 1,824 300-watt photovoltaic panels, generating enough energy to power the entire resort. The power it generates will save 375 million gallons of water and 13.5 million pounds of carbon emissions over the next 21 years, compared to normal power sources.
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As the temperature drops from “inferno” to “tannable” in the Coachella Valley, there’s lots going on in the Palm Springs hotel scene. A new restaurant? A hotel opening? A sad demolition? Here’s what’s happening:
· Here’s the first picture from the forthcoming Palm Springs Hotel. Originally slated for an August opening, it “hit a construction snag” but is now on course, with the website taking reservations from 23 November, with rooms from $139 on opening night ($119 the following week).
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Last time we heard about Hotel Lautner, it was surrendering to the Coachella Valley heat and closing down for the summer. Now, it’s open again (actually, it opened a little early for Labor Day), and with a special September deal: $199 (plus tax) per night, with no midweek minimum stay (though there’s the standard two night minimum on weekends).
You might think this looks relatively expensive for a Palm Springs hotel, since we told you before how low prices can go there. Is a two night minimum and a $200+ room really worth it?
Yes. 100 percent worth it. A million times over. And not just because it has a kitchen so you can save on eating out. Pictures speak louder than words, so here are some photos from our stay back in 2012, when it was newly open.
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The hot spring pool at The Spring
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It’s one of the Coachella Valley’s most unique retreats, and now you can get the midcentury classic Hotel Lautner all to yourself – for Fourth of July no less.
The John Lautner-designed hotel (though actually it’s more of a self-catering option with four self-contained rooms, each with a kitchenette and private terrace) will be closing for the hot months of July and August, but before it shuts its doors, it’s offering a special Fourth of July weekend package: buy out the entire compound, which gets you all four rooms, the saline plunge pool, fire pit and BBQ.
The package costs $1900 for the Friday to Sunday, or $2850 for Friday to Monday, including tax. Considering each room usually costs $225 plus tax – midweek, low season – that’s not too shabby.