After an approximate million-dollar reboot that started in May, Del Rey at the adults-only Villa Royale has a new menu and seating that includes a romantic covered terrace for intimate outdoor dinner dining at the best restored historic boutique hotel in Palm Springs.

While other updates include Gucci tiger leaf print wallpaper, tan velvet upholstered walls, photography by David Bailey, artwork by Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst as well and handmade Moroccan light fixtures, the effects are muted and subtle, eliciting a feeling of comfort and peace in a maze of small hidden nooks and corners.

Co-owner and lead designer of the Villa Royale and Bar Cecil, John Janulis, and the Sparrow House team of Richard Crisman and Jeff Brock planned the added space in part to relieve the Bar Cecil overflow of reservations. Cecil chef Gabriel Woo’s signature taste weaves through the new expanded menu with his homage to local ingredients like dates and Canyon Creek mushrooms. New items include tinned fish served with grilled sourdough, brócoli – charred broccolini, walnut romesco, 6-month aged manchego, empanada Del Rey with short rib,  chicken croquettes with leeks and herbs, as well as a refreshing and fruity selection of sangrias.

Del Rey

Del Rey terrace at Villa Royale (Michele Stueven)

The tapas talents of Chef Alex Lopez have been brought into the fold with the addition of a candlelight Noche de Paella on rotating Thursdays during the season. The prix fixe menu includes a welcome bite and drink, pintxo starter, salad, tapa, paella and dessert bite. The paellas are vegan with oyster mushrooms, snap peas, artichoke and piquillo peppers or de mariscos with chorizo, tender shrimp, mussels, clams and haricots verts.

Seatings are at 6:30 p.m. at $70 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations for parties of two or four can be made through OpenTable on Del Rey’s website, and for parties of six or more, call directly at 760-327-2714.

Del Rey

Gucci tiger leaf print wallpaper (Michele Stueven)

Set off the beaten path at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains in the Deepwell neighborhood of Palm Springs, the secluded Villa Royale is a hideaway that opened in 1947 and was returned to its original beauty in 2018 by Janulis. The reimagined oasis with Spanish influence and Mission Revival Style villas has winding geometric tiled courtyards with flowering desert flora. The hotel is made up of two spaces — the main complex houses 30 of Villa Royale’s 37 rooms and across South Indian Trail Road is  Villa Rosa, seven California ranch-style villas around a pool that mirror the design features of Villa Royale.

“Villa Royale always had great bones and an interesting history, but it was failing and was off-market,” realtor Carol Corcoran of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Leaskou and Partners, who brokered the deal tells L.A Weekly. “Quite frankly, it was a disaster,” she says of the aging hacienda. “It needed updating, exterminators, infrastructure work, and so much more. But John Janulis and his team had the vision and know-how to turn the hotel into a unique and magical place. Every year they bring it up another notch.”

Del Rey

Del Rey bar (Michele Stueven)

Del Rey

Sangria nights (Courtesy Villa Royale)