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This is a Modern Bear favorite! An iconic desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel has been re-imagined today as Hotel Lautner, an award winning, stunning modern day oasis in the desert.
The owners purchased the famed modernist architect John Lautner’s mid-century property in 2008 and spent 3 ½ years on its meticulous renovation. To bring this resort successfully into the 21st century, the owners/designers were careful to remain tastefully true to the gestalt of the original design. It has been accurately described as a “hybrid” between luxury vacation rental property and micro-boutique hotel.
Guests are encouraged to live the Mid-Century Modern “Lautner Lifestyle” in their own private flat equipped with all the creature comforts of a “home away from home”. One can also rent out the entire compound for the ultimate retreat with family and friends. We recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony and reception there, a magical setting featuring candle lit tables at twilight surrounded by the desert mountains.
The hotel is comprised of four ingenious interlocking structures. The dramatic play of light throughout the day and night is achieved with the thoughtful use of skylights and glass walls. An impressive succulent garden wraps each unit on three sides giving the guest the magical feeling of living in a terrarium.
The outdoor patios and garden areas are four steps up giving the room a feeling of being nestled in the desert earth. Each of the four units is remarkably spacious and is uniquely appointed with luxurious vintage modern furnishings and boutique hotel amenities.
We loved the Saline Plunge Pool with built in seating, large enough to accommodate 8 people, and the adjacent lounge area and outdoor shower. There is also a dramatic Communal Fire Pit Lounge with cushions and pillows, with an Infrared BBQ and dining area located next to the fire pit lounge. Classic butterfly chairs are located throughout the compound.
Hotel Lautner is located just 10 minutes north of downtown Palm Springs where guests can enjoy fantastic restaurants, vintage modern shopping and mid-century modern architecture. If you’re looking for a unique get-away from crowds but still want to be close enough to drive to clubs, dining, and shopping, we highly recommend this fabulous modern gem in the sunny California desert!
Logo designed by RustySpotDesign
Set Decorator Amy Wells and Production Designer Dan Bishop have nailed the period perfectly from the show’s time span of early 60’s to 1969. Everything from furniture to distinctive props and wallpaper all come together to create “Mid Century Modern Porn” for us design addicts!
In our continuing series of pop culture “bearodies” we bring you our homage to Farrah’s best-selling 70’s pin-up poster of all time – “Bearrah Pawcett!” No photoshop here, the Farrah wig, serape, and red wrestling singlet were all purchased on ebay. Modern Bear Travis Smith posed for photographer Leland Gebhardt and did his best to recreate the iconic pose but as he put it, “my belly and other parts kept getting in the way.”
The “Bearrah” poster is available from the Modern Bear Store: http://modernbear.net/?page_id=184
One of our fave vintage collectibles is futuristic toys from the 1950′s and 60′s. These were mostly produced in tin and imported from Japan. This was during the “Atomic Age” when design and pop culture were obsessed with all things “Space” related and looking into the future. And while these toys may fall into the kitsch category, that is why we love them – their naivety combined with that super cool 50′s Atomic design is irresistible!
The Ford Gyron was a tin battery-operated car made in Japan in the early 60’s. It was based on the futuristic two-wheeled gyrocar first shown to the world in 1961 at the Detroit Motor Show as a concept car designed by futurist Syd Mead. The car could run forward and reverse while a red light in the rear blinked on and off. A switch underneath the car raised and lowered the roof.
The “XP-1960 Dream Car” was produced by Mattel in 1953. According to the Mattel catalog of 1953, the car was available in four futuristic colors of Red Blaze, Chartreuse Dreamliner, Black Diamond, and Blue Bullet. It was described as “The only car of its kind in the world of toys. Low slung, impact resistant plastic body. Permanent, high gloss chrome trim. BOMBER BUBBLE transparent convertible top. SPEED STREAK friction motor. 4 futuristic colors. Individually packed in eye catching 3 color box.”
You can see the beginnings of a 1961 Thunberbird underneath all the “futurism” going on! This 1959 Meiko “Future Car” certainly had the fins for space travel!
This rare tin friction car was based on the popular concept car designed by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. It was originally designed by Ford Motor Company lead stylists Bill Schmidt and John Najjar Ferzely and built by Ghia entirely by hand in Turin, Italy, at a cost of $250,000 (2014 equivalent: $2,200,000) and displayed on the auto show circuit in 1955. In 1966 the car was modified by George Barris into the Batmobile, for the 1966 TV series Batman.
Enjoy this recent video of a toy Futura offered at auction:
Look for a future article here on Modern Bear on vintage Robots and other Space Age toys…