La Serena VillasLEFAIR
Photography Tracy Kahn @tracykahn
Writer Madeline Rosene @madelinerosene
The easiest way to judge how nice your stay was at any hotel is to take note of how you feel when it is time to depart. For LEFAIR Magazine, 11am check out time at La Serena Villas was a truly sad affair. A child forced to leave the playground, a wild animal snatched from its habitat, an artist uprooted from the studio. We are not being dramatic. It is simple; to the LEFAIR Magazine team, La Serena Villas is paradise. Imagine waking up in the morning and beginning the day with a soak in your outdoor tub, luxuriously filled with lemon-scented LOccitane soaps and bubbles. You can ring for your personal breakfast basket at 7:30am and it will be brought straight to your door, which sits behind a gate. The surprise selection of goodies is different every morning, with warm croissants, jam and toast, juice, fruit, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt: no, this is not a storybook fairytale. This is a real hotel destination that you can visit. Thanks to La Serena Villas, we are over traditional hotel rooms and much prefer this villa-style accommodation approach. On the porch of many of the villas hangs a cushioned, comfortable basket-style swing that is perfect for devouring your light selection of breakfast items in the morning sun while scrolling through your news feed.
Most entrepreneurial success stories you hear are the product of the owners attention to detail, tender love and care of the project, and finding the right people to make the vision come to fruition. Owner Lars Viklund knows a thing or two about success stories. As the owner of three Palm Springs hotels, Del Marcos, Three-Fifty Hotel, and La Serena Villas, real-estate builder, and former fashion brand owner, Lars is a true supporter and enthusiast of the arts and the creator of beautiful places. Dressed in sneakers, white shorts, and a denim-colored short-sleeved button-down, Lars gave us the grand tour as if showing friends through his house. Built and designed by Lars and his wife, he clearly feels at home here. He humbly explained his plans to build a fourth hotel next door. After showing us the parking spaces behind the hotel, we swiped a key to get back through the gate. As an experienced hotel owner, Lars has seen his fair share of absurdities.
Make sure you do not forget your key to get back inside. I have a camera in the back and I once witnessed a woman run to her car to change from her robe into a red gown so that she would not have to jump over the fence in her robe. She was actually a great guest. We had a wonderful time. It is evident that Lars relises in these silly happenings, treats his guests as good friends, and cares for his mindfully hired staff. I look for nice people. You can teach people how to use a computer, but it’s much harder to teach people how to be nice.
Check in is at 3pm, which means it is 6pm on the east coast and it is totally time to indulge in the bienvenue bubbly!
The alcohol usually works in our favor. Almost everyone is more relaxed, except for the woman who slapped the unicorn floaty the other day. Lars explained and laughed.
When you first set foot in your villa, you are welcomed by a bottle of Corralejo Tequila, as well as pink Himalayan salt, limes, and peanut chasers. The note beside the tall shot glasses reads, We hope you have a wonderful stay at our home away from home, La Serena Villas. May this Tequila be the start of many more memories to come. Welcome to our family. We hope your stay is magical. – Lars and Kelly Viklund.
If tequila is not your thing, stop reading now. Just kidding. Azucar restaurant has an extensive list of specialty cocktails such as the Swan with cucumber vodka, pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, agave, soda, and blueberries. Also there is a Bevmo accross the street so you can stock your villa’s mini fridge. After you have explored your room and the layout of the land, jump on a floaty, read by the pool, or book a spa treatment.
Whispers is the name of the hotels spa and also the sounds you make at night at La Serena Villas. The hotel prides itself on being both private and serene; there was nary a loud voice or disturbance over the course of our stay. Because of the hotels seclusion and privacy, over the Coachella Music and Arts Festival weekends, celebrities often stay at La Serena Villas. During this special weekend, the crowd guests are mellow and the hotel is always booked (better book your stay now)!
When it gets chilly in the evening, enjoy happy hour and hors d’oeuvres with your group of friends at Azucar Restaurant located right behind the pool. Order too many roses and then head over to Whisper’s and dip your feet in the heated whirlpool. The spa is celebrated for its massages and skin care. It’s small but mighty and I have great therapists, the best in Palm Springs, Lars says.
If you are staying in, invite your friends or lover back to your room and get snug and toasty around your personal fire pit on your back porch and look up at the stars. At the risk of sounding corny, this is a special place where memories are made. La Serena Villas is an experience that is meant to be shared with people who will appreciate a relaxed and intimate atmosphere and can turn up without turning up the volume too high.
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