this unique property was designed and built by John Lautner in 1947 as a master planned community of over 100 buildings, storefronts and pools on 600 acres in Desert Hot Springs. Lautner’s client was the famous movie director Lucien Hubbard, the winner of the very first “Best Picture” Oscar for the silent movie “Wings.” Hubbard wanted to create the perfect getaway for the Hollywood elite, starlets such as Mary Pickford, to escape Los Angeles. After building the first four-unit prototype and pool the project came to a halt. It gradually fell into disuse and sat vacant for almost 20 years. After Hubbard’s death in 1972, the 600 acres were subdivided and sold off; the pool structure burnt down and the land was purchased by the neighboring golf course to be rebuilt in a different design as their clubhouse. The prototype units were purchased by a buyer from San Diego but they sat empty for another nine years until an interior designer converted them into small apartments. This owner kept the property for almost twenty years until the year 2000, when she sold it to Steve Lowe, a former associate of William S. Burroughs. Lowe repaired and repainted and furnished the units with post-war furniture, and returned the units to motel use. The motel again became a popular destination. He was still working on correcting drainage and other issues when he died suddenly in 2007. The family did not want to retain the hotel, and put it on the market.
Finally in 2008, Interior Designer, Tracy Beckmann, and furniture designer, Ryan Trowbridge, purchased the motel and began a renovation that lasted nearly 4 years to complete. Their efforts won the approval of the Lautner Foundation, who sanctioned its renaming as the
The Lautner, in honor of its designer. The hotel re-opened for business in September 2011. The owners were awarded the 2011 Award for Best Commercial Renovation by the Palm Springs Modern Committee.
Since then, The Lautner has been featured in world renowned publications and has received many accolades including “12th Best Designed Hotel in California” by California Home + Design Magazine, “One of the best new hotels “ by Conde Nast Traveler and “1 of the 5 best road trips in the nation” by Travel + Leisure.