One of the spoils we Angelenos have is how easily we can escape the city smog for a weekend retreat in the desert. But next time you’re in need of some creative clarity or a restorative staycation, steer away from the noisy pool parties at the Ace or the fashionable pretension at the Parker, and treat yourself instead to the getaway you really deserve. Cue in Korakia Pensione: a meditation villa that lies in a sleepy neighborhood just a few stray blocks from Palm Canyon Drive. Korakia Pensione is a desert portal that transports you to Morocco and the Mediterranean, depending on which side of the villa you prefer. Upon setting foot into the bougainvillea lined keyhole entrance you can’t help but feel completely at ease. The staff is accommodating but unobtrusive. They’re presence in the hotel is absent until only necessary or needed, thus producing an elevated experience. Guests are allowed to wander the property more freely, and often you find yourself feeling more like a spoiled visitor at an inheritor’s seaside escape than a set of strangers in a Palm Spring’s best bed and breakfast.
The “less is more” approach cannot be more evident than the suites inside Korakia. With less than 30 rooms within the property, each suite has its own distinctive theme offering guests a unique experience in the hotel. Rooms are given idyllic titles such as ‘Casablanca,’ ‘Mykonos’ and ‘Marrakech’, and fortunately the titles aren’t lofty promises of an escape; each descriptor is just a preface on how picturesque the bedroom awaiting you is. Despite having an off-site restaurant, a morning at Korakia includes a complimentary breakfast that deserves praise and acknowledgement, while afternoon guests are served light refreshments along with Moroccan tea and cookies. But the most charming element to the hotel is its offering to guests—day beds strewn across the property, a bocce ball court, and a library lounge filled with well-loved books are just a few charming elements that the average hotel experience just can’t live up to. Given that the hotel was built in a 1918, Korakia was built for durability. It doesn’t suffer from the ageism that most hotels in Palm Springs experiences. Its charm is timeless, and improves like wine.
But out of all of the endearing qualities of Korakia, my favorite is the stillness. It’s a calm that is restorative. People come to the hotel to decompress, fall in love or gather inspiration. There is no clinking of cocktails or loud sound systems here, but its lack of liquor and LCD sound system is traded for the experience of the hotel being visually and audibly activating. The rich textiles and colors are arresting, as are the sounds of waterfalls and chirping sparrows that have chosen to take refuge here. Korakia is a place of self-preservation, and a sweet escape from daily life.