Despite another post about hotel design, is not a travel blog! But it’s undeniable that hotels hold a unique place in the design world. They’re public spaces but, because you can stay in them, they’re experienced in a very personal way – a concept I find kind of interesting. Plus, they usually try to razzle-dazzle visitors through design, so, with that in mind, I decided to check out the new Ace Hotel & Swim Club on my recent trip to Palm Springs.

Located on the grounds of a former hotel built in 1965, the hotel aimed for an “indulging camping experience” which now explains all the canvas used on the walls in the rooms and around the property.

A large slope-roofed building (a former Denny’s restaurant) sits at the corner of the property and serves as the main restaurant and lobby. My favorite detail of this space was the twine ruche cleverly woven around the stems of the pendants in a sort of summer-camp-lanyard style.

But as you can tell from the ceiling material in the second photo above, for every clever detail there were probably two materials the designers wanted to remove but probably couldn’t because of budget restraints. Case in point:

That would be the busted up floor in the restaurant and the bathroom off the lobby. Ouch!

The supercool Los Angeles-based firm Commune, in association with the hotel chain’s in-house studio Atelier Ace, oversaw the project and enlisted a local landscape consultant who had worked on Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House.

But where are the plants?

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