Introducing Paella Nights in the Desert
In the heart of Palm Springs, a historic gem has undergone a breathtaking transformation, emerging as a beacon of elegance and charm. Del Rey, nestled within the adults-only enclave of Villa Royale, has recently unveiled its million-dollar makeover, inviting guests to indulge in an exquisite blend of ambiance, cuisine, and artistic allure. This revitalized oasis, located at the foot of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains in the secluded Deepwell neighborhood, is more than just a hotel – it’s a testament to the fusion of history and modern luxury.
The journey of Del Rey’s revival began in May, and the results are nothing short of spectacular. A labor of love led by co-owner and lead designer, John Janulis, in collaboration with the Sparrow House team of Richard Crisman and Jeff Brock, this renovation aimed not only to restore the hotel to its former glory but to elevate it to new heights of sophistication and allure. Now, guests can revel in the charms of a meticulously redesigned space, adorned with subtle touches that evoke feelings of comfort and serenity.
One of the most enchanting features of Del Rey’s facelift is the addition of a romantic covered terrace, providing an intimate outdoor dining experience. Imagine savoring delectable cuisine under the vast desert sky, surrounded by the soothing ambiance of Villa Royale’s winding geometric tiled courtyards and vibrant desert flora. It’s a sensory journey that transports you to a world where history meets contemporary elegance.
But Del Rey’s transformation is not merely skin deep. The interior boasts a curated selection of artistic marvels, including works by renowned photographers David Bailey and artists Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst. The walls, upholstered in tan velvet, exude a timeless charm, complemented by the bold statement of Gucci tiger leaf print wallpaper. Handmade Moroccan light fixtures cast a soft, inviting glow, adding to the hotel’s allure as a sanctuary of tranquility.
Of course, the pièce de résistance is the menu curated by Chef Gabriel Woo, whose culinary prowess shines through in every dish. Del Rey’s expanded menu pays homage to local ingredients, with a focus on flavors that are both innovative and comforting. Delight in the exquisite offerings of tinned fish served with grilled sourdough, charred broccolini with walnut romesco, and the signature empanada Del Rey featuring succulent short rib. For a refreshing twist, relish in a selection of san and tantalizing tapas creations crafted by the skilled hands of Chef Alex Lopez.
As if this culinary journey weren’t enticing enough, Del Rey introduces a tantalizing experience for food enthusiasts – Noche de Paella, a candlelit affair held on rotating Thursdays during the season. This prix fixe extravaganza includes a delightful array of bites, salads, tapas, and the pièce de résistance, paella. Indulge in the vegan paella adorned with oyster mushrooms, snap peas, artichokes, and piquillo peppers, or opt for the rich flavors of de mariscos featuring chorizo, tender shrimp, mussels, clams, and haricots verts.
Del Rey’s Noche de Paella is not just a dinner; it’s an enchanting culinary experience that is held every other Thursday at 6:30 p.m., priced at $70 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For those eager to embark on this gastronomic adventure, reservations for parties of two or four can be conveniently made through OpenTable on Del Rey’s website. Larger groups of six or more are encouraged to call directly at 760-327-2714, ensuring an unforgettable evening under the desert stars.
Del Rey at Villa Royale stands as a testament to the transformative power of vision and dedication. The secluded hideaway, which first opened its doors in 1947, has been lovingly restored to its original splendor by Janulis and his team. Villa Royale comprises two distinct spaces – the main complex housing 30 of the 37 rooms and Villa Rosa, seven California ranch-style villas, each embracing the hotel’s Spanish influence and Mission Revival Style.
Realtor Carol Corcoran of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Leaskou and Partners, who facilitated the deal, reflects on the remarkable journey of Villa Royale. “Villa Royale always had great bones and an interesting history, but it was failing and was off-market,” she recalls. “Quite frankly, it was a disaster. 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.”
Indeed, Del Rey at Villa Royale is more than just a hotel; it’s a testament to the art of transformation, where the past and the present harmonize in a symphony of elegance. As guests step into this enchanting sanctuary, they are welcomed not just to a place to stay, but to an experience that lingers in the heart and soul – a celebration of Palm Springs’ rich history and its vibrant, ever-evolving future.