The Korakia is like a delicious secret that you want to keep all for yourself. Yet this secret is far too luxuriously unique and splendidly decadent to keep silent about. Its own charms are just so sincerely disarming—a beautiful goddess whose lack of pretension and genuine embrace will shame me out of any selfish stealth. Thus, for the sake of magnanimous good will, I share with you, dear readers, the delights of the Korakia Pensione.
To be honest, our arrival to LAX was wretched. Even our spontaneous splurge at the Enterprise counter–upgrading our compact utility to a saucy, red Mustang convertible—was a short lived thrill, as the clock struck midnight on a day of missed flights and frantic, luggage-laden triathlons. We still had a 2-hour drive into the desert, and Palm Springs seemed like an invisible mirage that we’d only dreamed up.
Yet, the hours dissolved under the desert moon’s majesty. Pulling up to the whitewashed Moroccan walls, framed with bougainvillea, we felt our dreams beckoning from behind the shadows of the gate, hidden deep inside the courtyard. In the silence of the Palm Springs night, the romance of The Korakia folded around us, enveloping us into its world like a mysterious, enticing plot line.
True to its story-telling ambiance, each room at The Korakia has its own theme. Ours was the artist’s studio, where small touches individualized the setting: antique art books, an easel and a leather-bound sketchbook where guests had left the charcoal musings of their own inspiration. Stepping into our room, we immediately feasted on the juicy navel oranges waiting in a bowl for us, before falling joyfully into the inviting arms of our canopy bed.
That is the beguiling nature of The Korakia—its mix of other world serenity and timeless history (the original foundations were built in 1924 and remain some of the oldest original buildings in Palm Springs). A hundred years ago, writers and artists and the societal crème de la crème came to Palm Springs for “taking the air”—to rejuvenate and conjure inspiration. It was an oasis of palms that seduced them—the desert-purified air; the majestic, arid mountains—a welcome refuge from the chaotic, non-stop urban life (sound familiar?).
As the bright morning sun flooded our spacious loft, the dreamy story that had begun the night before didn’t dissolve in the daylight but instead dazzled us with its reality. We came into the lobby lured by the smell of French toast and rich coffee, and the smiling staff welcomed us to sit anywhere we liked. Pool side, garden patio, fountain courtyard and any other of the numerous nooks and crannies that The Korakia’s grounds offer the curious guest, enticing you to lounge languidly, feeling obliged to experience each delightful nestling opportunity.
Everywhere you go on the premises, you feel secluded and pampered, like some magical, Moroccan entity precedes you, anticipating your every whim. You didn’t know that you would suddenly be compelled to plunge yourself into the cool depths of the inner courtyard’s pool, but there’s a dry, fluffy towel waiting for you when you reemerge, accompanied by a chilled glass of fresh pressed lemonade. If only this magical entity could anticipate the desire to lengthen my stay at The Korakia indefinitely.
– Ava Fedorov
Photographs by Jeffery Owens and Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative