Midcentury Oasis Weekend – A Stay at the Hotel Lautner

1289DFCD-582D-4B06-85D0-88CDFF3CAF30139EB04A-78C4-495D-A919-31E6ECF12C30by Carol Moses

Growing up in Highland Park, Illinois, in a midcentury modern house my father designed in 1958,  I was so influenced by my father’s enthusiasm for architecture and the beautiful home he designed that I too became an Architect. Now that I’ve embarked upon my career as a Realtor, I’m excited to be working in the Palm Springs area where there is an abundance of beautifully designed homes and historical Midcentury Modern architecture.

This other weekend I had an opportunity to visit the Hotel Lautner when my brother, who is also an Architect in Los Angeles, came out for a weekend stay.


The Hotel Lautner is located in a very remote and residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Desert Hot Springs.  It 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 actor director Lucian Hubbard, the winner of the very first Best Picture Oscar for the silent movie Wings.  After building the first four unit prototype and pool, which sat cater-cornered from the property, the 35387F18-DD60-429D-A51F-7036804E4CC0project came to a halt and was subsequently used for Hubbard’s stars and starlets as a get-away from Los Angeles. 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 in the 1980s. This owner kept the property for almost 20 years until 2000, when she sold it to Steve Lowe, a former associate of William S. Burroughs. Lowe repaired, repainted and furnished the units with post – war furniture, and return the units to motel use. The motel again became popular destination. Lowe 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.

7D017D4E-310B-49D7-912E-CFDFA1CD4B1CFinally in 2008 interior designer, Tracy Beckmann, and furniture designer, Ryan Trowbridge, purchased the motel and began a renovation that lasted nearly 4 years. Their efforts won the approval of the Lautner Foundation, who sanctioned its renaming as the Hotel Lautner, in honor of its architect. The hotel reopened for business in September 2011. The owners were awarded the 2011 award for Best Commercial Renovation by the Palm Springs Modernism Committee. D76271A2-C440-4B54-A8AE-83E15E0996CA

Since then the Hotel Lautner has been featured in world renowned publications and has received many accolades, including the 12th Best Designed Hotel in California by the California Home Design Committee; One of the Best New Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler; and One of the Best Road Trips in the Nation by Travel & Leisure. This year, the Hotel Lautner will host its first signature event for Modernism Week, Amore Modernista, a celebration of all things Italian and Midcentury Modern. Tickets for Modernism Week events went on sale this week.



Coachella Valley Real Estate Market Report

Real Estate Market Palm Springs Rancho Mirage Homes for Sale

At the November 17th Market Watch meeting hosted at the Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells by Palm Springs Life & Market Watch LLC, real estate professionals from around the Coachella Valley met to discuss the current market environment. I want to share some of the information and insights from that meeting with you as it is important for both Buyers & Sellers to understand what is affecting our real estate market now.

palm springs real estate market news palm desert rancho mirage homes for sale
Overall, the Coachella Valley real estate market is a Neutral Market. However, each desert city is unique. Call me at (760) 574-9382 to discuss which of our cities are in each of the three markets outlined in the graph and to discuss your real estate needs.

Overall, the Coachella Valley is in a neutral to slow growth housing market though separately some cities are recovering at a slightly faster rate than others. Home prices continue to recover  at a steady rate but not the overall market. Full recovery will take more time. Due to new, more  stringent lender regulations (i.e. TRID) set in place to protect the overall market from such contributing factors to the last Housing Bubble like unregulated ARM mortgages, we are not seeing another Housing Bubble in our future. The market and affected industries are adjusting to the new time table that transactions take in the case of traditional lending as impacted by the TRID regulations. Still, homes sales in the Coachella Valley are 30% below average.  Buyers are not seeing any urgency to move as interest rates remain low and we have zero inflation.

What does this mean to Sellers?

  • Listings that need staging or updating are remaining inactive on the market. The current Buyer wants to see the home closer to move-in ready even if they will be bringing in their own furnishings upon purchase. Buyers’ desire to create their own home or take on major renovation projects in order to update a home prior to move-in seems to be on the decline.
  • Homes need to be priced right! Buyers want the best for the most competitive price. Your home needs to be priced so that it will appraise based on recent sales not historical sales. Although the monies you have put into your home matter in maintaining an updated home, the listing price cannot be based on the this figure but needs to reflect the current market value. A lack of showing activity indicates the list price needs to be addressed. A Buyer’s first offer seems to be close to what their final offer will be. If there’s a huge difference in counter offers, we are seeing Buyers walk away from a home of interest after only a round or two of price negotiations to consider other properties that are more negotiable.

What does this mean for Buyers?

Overall, the market has changed. Prices have increased. Stop kicking tires, and make a decision while these factors are still in your favor.

  • Inventory is strong. Again, while some cities in the Coachella Valley are seeing slightly faster recovery than others,  our inventory of available homes has strengthened and Sellers are coming back into the market.
  • Interest rates are still low.
  • On the heels of that, we anticipate an increase in interest rates soon, possibly in early 2016.

For more detailed analysis or to find out more information on a particular city’s market in the Coachella Valley, give us a call at Carol Trentacosta & Associates, and let our knowledge and experience help you through your next real estate transaction.

Carol Trentacosta & Associates Welcomes Carol Moses

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome Carol Moses to my team at Carol Trentacosta & Associates. A long-time friend and tennis partner on the courts of the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Carol brings not only an exceptional level of professionalism and sales experience, but a wealth of knowledge regarding architecture and design. You can look forward to some engaging articles coming soon from her.

Carol Moses real estate Rancho Mirage architecture sales professional

Raised in a mid-century home in Highland Park, Illinois, Carol Moses brings a unique set of skills and knowledge to bear on behalf of her real estate clients. Holding a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Masters of Architecture from Virginia Tech, Carol worked with her father and brother, both architects, in the family architecture firm in Chicago, IL for 15 years. Concurrently, Carol also served as Professor at the International Academy of Merchandising and Design for 9 years. Within the last 15 years, Carol has demonstrated her knack for sales, collaboration and management as a Territory, Regional and National Sales Manager with a variety of companies including the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Trumark, a real estate development firm.

Her understanding of interior design and residential architecture gives her a fantastic eye for previewing and selecting homes for her Buyers and assisting her Sellers in preparing their homes for resale. Carol and her husband, Bruce Landgarten, reside in Rancho Mirage’s Victoria Falls community where they have been homeowners for a number of years. In addition to her love for the variety of architecture found throughout the Coachella Valley, Carol is an avid tennis player and enjoys playing the courts of the Tamarisk Country Club and the Mission Hills Country Club of which she is a member.

August Real Estate Market Update for Greater Palm Springs Area

Current Market Conditions in the Coachella Valley

Palm Desert Home For Sale Brava Real Estate
Smartly priced at $398,000 in Palm Desert’s Brava community!

Statistically speaking, we are in a neutral market in the Coachella Valley since our inventory has dropped to about a 5-month supply overall. However, statistics fail to consider the seasonal market we live in and the reduced inventory of the summer (approximately 3,800 units compared to 5,200 units just three months ago). As a local real estate expert, I have observed that home values are still being strongly influenced by Buyers in combination with these seasonal and inventory fluctuations. Should inventory remain low as the season begins, then Sellers may be in a better position as demand and supply more closely match. The Average Days on Market for Coachella Valley homes continue to be three digits – 114 on average with home priced above the million-dollar mark averaging higher.


Second Quarter Analysis

Palm Springs Real Estate Market Report Palm Desert Rancho Mirage 2015

As noted in the most recent market numbers from the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors (PSRAR), our prices continue to be off the market highs but reflect positive growth.  Coachella Valley real estate continues to be an attractive value to Buyers and opportunity for Investors. Sellers serious about moving their properties should note the continued importance of bringing listings onto market priced well so that the home takes advantage of the 30-day honeymoon period all properties enjoy when entering the market. Non-competitively priced homes suffer from lack of interest the longer they stay on market.

Poolside Dining Potential at Rancho Mirage’s bluEmber Restaurant

Rancho Mirage bluEmber Rancho Las Palmas

Across the street from the shops and restaurants of Rancho Mirage lies the 240-acre luxury resort of the the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. The Resort offers an array of dining choices, a luxurious spa, 25 tennis courts (named as one of Tennis Magazine’s Top 50 US Tennis Resorts) and 27 holes of championship golf surrounded by tree-lined fairways and magnificent views of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. Guests and locals also delight in the recently redesigned Splashtopia water park that features a lazy, winding 425-foot river and two 100-foot waterslides, cliffside Jacuzzi and sandy beach.

bluEmber signal fresco fire pit

While poolside dining is available at the resort, our team of hungry real estate professional chose to take it inside this week and dined at the bluEmber Restaurant, a local favorite spot for delicious cuisine. The bluEmber restaurant offers both a luxuriously sophisticated dining room and stunning patio dining where you can enjoy the views of the resort and mountains with fire pits to warm to in the Winter and Spring seasons. Rancho Las Palmas’ signature restaurant, bluEmber features California New American cuisine and their summer lunch menu offers the perfect balance of fresh salads, sandwiches and shareable foods with a number of vegetarian and gluten free options.

Food selections

Though tempted to indulge in their enticing drink menu of custom cocktails and signature margaritas, we hydrate with water and iced tea and began our meal by sharing an order of Fried Brussel Sprouts served with a charred lemon, caper and raisin aioli. The portion of Brussel sprouts was generous and they were perfectly cooked with crisp outside leaves and tender hearts. The aioli offered a delicious contrast with warm ground mustard and lemon flavor, sweet raisins and crumbled cotija cheese. We also shared bites of the Tuna Wrap with side of chilled fresh fruit and an order of the Red Wheat Linguine with butternut squash, baby mushrooms, crumbled feta cheese and kale in a pomodoro sauce. Both the wrap and pasta selection were delicious and offered generous portions. The service was attentive and friendly without being intrusive as we worked over and past lunch.

From the gorgeous Mission style setting to the delightful food, our experience at bluEmber was definitely worth repeating – maybe next time in we’ll enjoy it al fresco!


Dining on El Paseo – Il Corso

Il Corso Palm Desert Restaurant Places to Eat El Paseo

I don’t eat out often. So when I do, I hope for a memorable experience. Days after visiting Il Corso on El Paseo in Palm Desert, I am still thinking about my next visit! The words “Corso” and “Paseo” both mean promenade. As I savored tasty Tuscan fare with congenial colleagues, I was pleased that my path had led me to this fine Italian establishment.

il corso el paseo palm desert menu selections
(Top) Pappardelle Bolognese (Bottom) Watermelon Gazpacho, Panzanella & Ravioi Spinaci


el paseo il corso palm desert restaurant spumoni
The quickly consumed Spumoni

Almost as enjoyable as eating the Panzanella, Pappardelle Bolognese, Ravioli Spinaci, and Spumoni was listening to the waiter repeat our order in fluent Italian. It brought back vivid memories of my travels throughout Italy and made me wish that I had added Italian to my foreign language studies. The combination of cucumber, tuna, onions, tomatoes, and toasted bread in an oil lemon dressing was mouth-watering. Large flat pasta with a veal ragu was a tantalizing variation of spaghetti and meat sauce. Popeye would have gained much strength from the spinach-filled pasta pockets. And, I always delight in the offering of Spumoni – a colorful, flavorful ice cream treat! With authentic Italian dishes, including homemade pastas, gourmet wood oven pizza, seafood, and roasted leg of veal, Il Corso’s menu is a crowd-pleaser!

il corso el paseo palm desert restaurantAs I filled my stomach with an assortment of viands, my senses were being satisfied by a sophisticated ambience. Large windows frame The Gardens on El Paseo across the street, enhancing Il Corso’s airy space. A menagerie of bright bottles lines the bar’s expansive shelves. Providing a glimpse into Chef Mario Marfia’s creative world is an open kitchen. Through his partnership with Developer John Wessman, Il Corso is a recipe for success!

~ Contributed by Hilary Christiansen

Cuistot Sizzles

Cuistot Palm Desert Menu Happy HourCuistot Palm Desert Fruit Cheese“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Luckily for me, this idiom does not apply! Married for nearly 18 years, I have cooked less than 10 meals. While such a bold admission might garner outrage by some and pity from others, it is my lack of culinary skills that has increased my admiration for cooks!

While I will always be partial to my husband’s home cooking, Cuistot (French for cook) Chef-Owner Bernard Dervieux’s California–French cuisine is praise-worthy and sure to attract many admirers.

After a recent visit to the Certified Farmers Market in Palm Desert, my associates and I wanted to refresh with some drinks and appetizers. Located nearby, Cuistot’s imposing structure commands attention. Upon entering, one is transported to an elegant country–modern setting, including spacious dining areas, a massive fireplace, and an open kitchen.

Cuistot Palm Desert Papparedelle Truffle

Electing to sit in the bar area, Carol, Jonathan, and I were greeted by an amiable waiter who presented us with a High Top Table Menu. Drink options included an assortment of wines, a House Martini, a House Cosmo, an Appeltini, and a Lemon Drop. The colorful Cheese and Fruit Platter looked like a piece of art; succulent Lamb Sliders nearly succeeded in making a meat-lover out of me. A new and interesting flavor for my taste buds was Black Truffle Pappardelle Pasta. The Mussels were scrumptious and brought back memories of eating them for the first time in the European country of Luxembourg. Of course, we had to try the Crème Brulee; it was divine!

Cuistot Palm Desert MusselsNext time I dine at Cuistot, I’d like to sit on the beautiful terrace beneath the stars with my husband who most definitely deserves a night off from cooking!

– By Hilary Christiansen

Revive Yourself at Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort

two bunch palms resort spa palm springs

Having just returned from a visit to Two Bunch Palms, I am relaxed and refreshed – it truly was a time to “find my better self”.

two bunch palms resort spa palm springs grotto

Located about 20 minutes from Palm Springs, this spa and resort is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort is home to the famed artesian water mineral springs that descend from Miracle Hill. These waters that have been flowing for 600 years bubble up to the surface and do not see the light of day until they flow into the Spa’s legendary grotto. The grotto features two mineral water pools that are carefully kept at a consistent temperature. The Spa’s mineral water is world-famous for its therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties, low in sulfur and rich in lithium.

As early as 1857, journal entries show that a settler recorded the discovery of this site as a place to rest and find water marked by two palm groves.  In 1909, the U.S. Army Camel Corps of Engineers surveyed the area and identified the location as “two bunch of palms.”

two bunch palms resort spa palm springs al capone
Al Capone’s bungalow – Suite #14

History indicates that Al Capone, looking for a hideaway far from his rival mobsters, leased the property in 1919 from the Southern Pacific Railroad and started to build his compound. Bungalows were built with river rock to insulate against the harsh summer heat. Suite #14 can be rented from the resort if you want to sleep in Al Capone’s desert lair. In addition to living and guest quarters, a barbecue area and a casino/speakeasy were also on the site during the Al Capone days and the Roaring 20s.

The Resort itself has been in operation since the 1940s and was known as a discreet hideaway for Hollywood celebrities, notorious historic gangsters and those seeking the healing effects of the hot springs.

two bunch palms resort spa palm springs

New owners acquired the property in 2012 and have been working to update and improve the facility. An array of classes are offered every day including Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation, and Juicing 101. There are nature walks, bicycles available to guests, fitness and meditation rooms and a complete Spa Facility providing a wide variety of massages, facials, mud baths and wraps. Many of the guest rooms have been updated with a very contemporary and stylish décor. The restaurant Essence features organic drinks and meals with a five-star flair.

two bunch palms resort spa palm springs
Juicing Class Ingredients
two bunch palms resort spa palm springs
Hearty & Nutritious Oatmeal Breakfast







Two Bunch Palms is a true oasis in the desert – perfect for your next “staycation”!

By Carol Trentacosta

June 2015 – Calendar of Events for Palm Springs & the Desert Resort Cities

June 16 – June 22, 2015
Location: Camelot Theatres
Event Type: Film Festival

Palm Springs International ShortFest is renowned worldwide for the extraordinary community of filmmakers it attracts, and for the quality and scope of its programming. ShortFest 2015 will present more than 300 short films from over 50 countries.

May 29 – June 7, 2015
Location: Palm Desert/Surrounding cities
Event Type: Foodie

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to experience some of the bestrestaurants the Valley has to offer. The 2015 Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week will showcase over 100 restaurants, hotels & attractions over the entire Coachella Valley including Palm Desert. Restaurant Week is the perfect time to visit your favorite restaurant or try something new. Chefs prepare delicious three-courses meals for your dining pleasure, which include several choices for each course, priced at either $26 or $38 per person (not including beverages, or tax and gratuity).

Now through November 8th

Section 14 – The Other Palm Springs

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum

219 South Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262



Explore the life experiences of people who lived on this one-square-mile tract of the Agua Caliente Reservation in downtown Palm Springs.   This exhibition explores the life experiences of people who lived on this historic tract in the 1940s through the 1960s. Section 14 was the home of diverse cultures, races, and ethnicities. It became a battle ground over Tribal Sovereignty and conflicting political and economic interests that forever changed the fabric of community life as it was known.

June 6, 2015

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: The Show at Agua Caliente Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Iconic DJ Art Laboe brings his Summer Love Jam to The Show at Agua Caliente Casino, featuring performances by Amanda Perez, El Chicano, Lighter Shade of Brown, Malo, MC Magic and Tierra.

June 7, 2015
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sunday Cabaret Series presents Tish OneyLocation: Arthur Newman Theatre

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Tish Oney in “Divas and Masters of Jazz.” This master pianist and acclaimed singer will accompany herself on popular tunes of many of the jazz world’s greatest singers.

June 12, 2015
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: The Show at Agua Caliente Casino
Event Type: Concert
Event Web Site: 

June 13 and 14, 2015

Friday: 6pm – 8pm
Saturday: 12pm – 9pm 
Sunday: 12pm – 9pm
Event Type: Pool Concerts
Event Web Site:

WHAT IS SPLASH HOUSE? Splash House is a city spanning music festival, hosting one lineup across three resorts in Palm Springs combining the best aspects of a pool party and music festival in one weekend. A General Admission (GA) wristband gets you unlimited in-and-out access to all three pools, shuttle transportation, after parties, yoga, games, and more.

June 13, 2015
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: Fantasy Springs Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Grammy Award-winning artist Peter Frampton is joining forces for a summer tour with 1970’s rock power-pop band Cheap Trick and they’re making a stop at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

June 19 – June 27, 2015
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: Arthur Newman Theatre

Event Type: Theater

Event Web Site:

Desert Theatreworks presents this deliriously funny new Jones Hope Wooten comedy that’s all about that four letter word: L-O-V-E. Under a full moon on this unpredictable night of romance, these four rollicking tales take you on an around-the-globe journey of unexpected and hilarious twists and turns.

Presented June 19-20 and 26-27 at 7pm, with matinees at 2pm on June 20 & 27.

June 19, 2015
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: Spotlight 29 Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Gregg Allman is one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, which had tremendous success in the early 1970s and introduced “Southern Rock” to the nation. In 2012, the group was honored at the Grammy Awards with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Allman’s distinctive voice places him in the Rolling Stone list of the top “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”

June 20, 2015
8:00 pm

Location: The Show at Agua Caliente Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

June 27, 2015

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Stayin’ Alive: Celebration of the Bee GeesLocation: Spotlight 29 Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Recognized as the quintessential Bee Gees tribute band, the Stayin’ Alive production offers concertgoers a multi-media experience with big screen video clips and unbelievable imagery. The band features a vocal trio, backed by studio musicians who completely capture the magical sound of the original Bee Gees.

June 27, 2015
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: The Show at Agua Caliente Casino

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Grammy Award-nominated R&B artist Charlie Wilson in concert at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino.

June 28, 2015

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sunday Cabaret Series presents Jeanne PageLocation: Arthur Newman Theatre

Event Type: Concert

Event Web Site:

Jeanne Page in “Reboot Live,” a show featuring Great American Songbook classics freshly reworked and tied to real life with humor and wit that will let you leave your troubles at the door. With Charlie Harrison and his trio. Broadway and classics from the Great American Songbook and selections for her new CD “This Is My Life.”


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