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Design

We visited the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, Casa Cody

CASA CODY
Written By
PARACHUTE TEAM
Photographs By
Kim + Nash Finley, Josh Cho Photography
@parachutehome

One of our favorite spaces to visit in all the desert is Casa Cody -- and not just because each of their luxurious rooms dons Parachute sheets. This Spanish-style oasis lies at the bottom of the San Jacinto mountains and offers respite for travelers near and far. We love it for its dedication to preserving its rich history, for its timeless and comfortable style and its inviting tranquility that makes it impossible to leave. 

Tell us about Casa Cody’s rich and artistic history dating back to the early 1900s.

Casa Cody was founded by Harriet Cody, cousin to Buffalo Bill, who settled in the Palm Springs desert with her architect husband in the early 1900s. She established a horse stable onsite and entertained a creative group of friends, such as Lawrence Tibbett, an opera singer who built the original Adobe House on property, along with Charlie Chaplin, French-born novelist Anaïs Nin and society figure Lois Kellogg. There were several buildings that were brought to the property over time, including a 1936 ranch-style home called Winter’s House and the Olympic Cottage, which housed athletes during the 1932 Los Angeles games. Actress Polly Bergen and her family set up shop on property in the 1950s, offering studios and suites for rent.

We paid homage to this history by placing a horseshoe (a good luck symbol) above all entry doors as a nod to Harriet’s stables. We were also lucky enough to connect with Harriet’s great granddaughter who provided family photos from the early days at the Hotel. We’ve framed these images and have created a postcard set for guests to take with them.

How did you approach the design style of the property and each casa?

We worked closely with the Historic Site Preservation Board of Palm Springs to maintain the integrity and story behind all of the buildings. It was important to us to keep a very residential feel, in line with the standalone cottages and homes, along with a mindset of quality craftsmanship, elevated living and timeless style. We leaned into the Spanish Revival elements that already existed at the property and created synchronicity that was missing in terms of landscaping, lighting and pathways. While keeping this aesthetic cohesiveness and balancing form with function, we added modern amenities and upgrades to make the property feel like an inviting home, re-doing all bathrooms, kitchens and furnishings.

The refreshed interiors are sophisticated with a sense of playfulness, classic yet contemporary. Each accommodation is unique in layout but connected through design. Dark wood tones combine with vibrant pops of color inspired by coastal Spain, reflecting Mediterranean influence in a modern style with layered materiality.

How does sustainability play a role in the day-to-day of the property?

Casetta strives to be as sustainable as possible as a company and across all our properties – which can be a challenge in hospitality! Guest rooms are outfitted with Parachute bedding and bath linens. We have also partnered with PlantPaper for our toxin-free, bamboo toilet paper and MoonCloth Designs for our custom organic bath amenities in glass vessels. In addition, we have a water bottle partnership with Ocean Bottle and donate annually to Plastic Bank to offset our team members’ plastic footprint.  We are putting in solar roofing and EV chargers at every property this year, as well as working on our B Corp certification. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and do our part to be sustainable.

What is your favorite Parachute item to cozy up in at Casa Cody?

We love our crisp, white Percale sheets! Perfect for that hot desert climate.

We see you have an on-site edible garden…tell us more!

We just planted our garden at Casa Cody and are thrilled to see it thriving! In early 2022 we will open our Marketplace, which will feature a natural wine bottle shop, a place to grab poolside bites and meal kits to cook in the Suites that have kitchens. Our menu will feature the delicious herbs and veggies that we are growing. We are planting an edible garden at all Casetta properties in partnership with local growers and farmers.

Tea, Yoga, Citrus Picking! How else can we decompress when we visit?

Casa Cody is inherently a peaceful, tranquil retreat. It is set just beneath the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains and shaded by our mature fruit trees. We have two lovely pools, as well as a hot tub. We are working on finishing up our treatment room so we can offer spa treatments and massages soon as well.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the Palm Springs area?

We love popping over to the Palm Springs Art Museum, which is a quick walk from Casa Cody. The Moorten Botanical Gardens are always a nice retreat, and on a Sunday, the Palm Springs Vintage Market is a must. Lots of great food and drinks, too! We always try to visit Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, Dead or Alive Bar + Shop, and Rooster and the Pig while we’re in town.

We heard you have another property, The Pearl. Tell us a little about it.

The Pearl Hotel is our mid-century gem in San Diego’s seaside community of Point Loma. It is a 23-room, classic motel-style property with an oyster-shaped pool in the center. We host movies on Wednesday nights and have a great restaurant, Charles + Dinorah, named after the original owners of the hotel. The Pearl’s guest rooms are bright and airy, with neutral tones, organic textures and honest materials for an eco-minimalist palette. Parachute is proudly featured in all guest rooms!

What’s next for the Casetta Group?

We are getting ready to open guest rooms at our property in Big Bear Lake, called Marina Riviera. Next up, Hotel Willa in the Downtown Historic District of Taos, New Mexico and a 1930s church in Silver Lake, Los Angeles that we are turning into a boutique hotel and restaurant.

How’s the WIFI? We’re moving in!

Wifi is great, and our Cottages are ideal to WFH with a change of scenery. We can’t wait to see you.