Hotel Lautner, Desert Hot Springs

One of the biggest draws to the Palm Springs area was to see my friend and designer Tracy Beckmann who along with her business partner Ryan Trowbridge created a Mid-Century Modern masterpiece, Hotel Lautner.

Tracy and I met about six years ago and became fast friends, and while we don’t get to see each other often I continue to be inspired by her and her creations. We met for a drink to reconnect and the night ended with me running to my hotel throwing all of my things in my car and racing to Hotel Lautner to stay the night.

Hotel Lautner came to life when Tracy and Ryan found the old Desert Hot Springs Hotel, designed by the famous modernist architect John Lautner. You can see before and after pictures of the amazing transformation here.

I have watched from afar (aka Facebook) while the Hotel Lautner has been recognized for its design by magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest, Dwell and so many more.

I was ecstatic to spend the night in The Redwood Lounge, sleeping on the luxurious Frette linens, listening to Frank Sinatra records and soaking up the ambiance which in my opinion has been done perfectly. Tracy thought of everything when creating her luxurious suites, from flattering shower lighting to dark washcloths for makeup removal to eye masks to keep out the light shining through the wall of windows. There was only one bad part of my experience and that was when I had to lock the door behind me and say goodbye.

Not only is Tracy a wonderful friend and great designer, she also keeps great company. I had the opportunity to meet her talented artist boyfriend Danny Heller whose photorealism paintings capture Mid-Century Modern architecture, he has captured many LA and Palm Springs scenes and has recently been asked to show in and about New York. If you find yourself in New York you should stop by the George Billis Gallery for his opening reception on September 4th, 2014.

I can’t wait for the opportunity to experience Hotel Lautner again and I highly recommend taking the road less traveled out of Palm Springs and heading to Desert Hot Springs for a weekend retreat in this desert oasis.

All images below were taken from

Hotel Lautner 1

Hotel Lautner 2

Hotel Lautner 5


Hotel Lautner Courtyard

Hotel Lautner Pool



Hotel Lautner Patio

Hotel Lautner Redwood

Art by Danny Heller

Art by Danny Heller





Healthy, Happy Whitefish

The only time I have spent in Whitefish was for work and I was eager to return to experience the town in a different way.  I had heard that two sisters had opened a new hostel within a few blocks of town and wanting to support women entrepreneurs I booked my room.  I hadn’t stayed in a hostel since my stay in Edinburgh Scotland two years ago.  What I remember of that hostel experience was the affordable price, uncomfortable beds and dirty showers.  The experience at the Whitefish Hostel was much different.  The sisters, Kirtlye and Lynon had stayed in many hostels around the world and made a list of what it was they enjoyed in each of the different locations.  They were able to create a very comfortable and memorable experience at a great price point; one evening on a memory foam bed in a shared room cost me $33.00.

I was able to easily walk the two blocks to the main street of Whitefish to meet up with a contact I made through, a wonderful resource when you are new to town and looking to chat with locals or find a place to stay for the evening.  Sue graciously gave me several hours of her time to tell me about the great places to visit in Whitefish, the secret lake access that not many tourists knew about, the restaurants serving up healthy meals as well as some helpful information for my future road tripping through the North East. I really cherished this time and will definitely utilize this site again.

On my way out of town I passed by a juice bar that served organic juices and smoothies.  I hadn’t had lunch yet and I was excited for a fresh and healthy smoothie.  This place was really unique, not only did it offer fresh juices and smoothies but it also rented mopeds and had a food cart at the entrance called “The Greek Guy”.  If you are driving from Kalispell to Whitefish you should pass right by this place, I highly encourage you to stop and take a sip!

GoGo Juice Bar, Whitefish, MT

GoGo Juice Bar, Whitefish, MT

Whitefish Juice Bar

Silver Creek Lodge, Canmore Alberta


A friend of mine manages a handful of properties in the Canmore area and had been encouraging me to visit for years.  This road trip seemed like the perfect opportunity to see several people and places I had been trying to see in Canada.

My friend Barb set me up in Mountain Zen at the Silver Creek Lodge (  I have to tell you that after being on the road for a bit it was nice to check into a luxurious suite for several nights.  I was so excited about it I even lengthened by trip by two additional nights!

The Lodge is located in walking distance to the Main street of Canmore which is filled with great restaurants and adorable shops.  I can’t imagine many places in Canmore are missing the view of the mountains, they are so prevalent but the views from my suite seemed extra special, as if placed there just for me.

I was able to work out in the gym they had onsite as well as enjoy a relaxing soak after my Lake Louise hiking excursion in one of their three hot pools.

I wish I had listened to my friend Barb sooner, I might have had the opportunity to have several trips to Canmore under my belt already.

If you are looking for a place to stay while in Canmore consider Mountain Zen at the Silver Creek Lodge!

My sweet suite!

My sweet suite!

The view from the hot pools

The view from the hot pools

The magnificent GM Barbara Scott!

The magnificent GM Barbara Scott!

Loading up to repack my car

Loading up to repack my car

Frankenstein is a fan of Canmore too!

Frankenstein is a fan of Canmore too!

Last night in the city: Goodbye Seattle

Marriott Pion 1

I was all packed up, personal items in storage or shoved into every nook and cranny of my car, and as I locked the door to my home one last time I realized I was now without a home base.  I was staying with friends in Issaquah when I received an email from the General Manager at the Courtyard by Marriott Pioneer Square inviting me to stay with them prior to my departure.  I was ecstatic, one last night in the city? They wouldn’t have to ask me twice!  I had cultivated a great relationship with the hotel and its management during my last job.  They were always wonderful to work with and I knew that my stay with them would be enjoyable.

The Marriott Pioneer Square lives in the old Alaska Building built in 1904.  You will find many original elements of the building still in tact including a gorgeous marble lobby and staircase carefully mixed with modern new amenities.

I arrived at the hotel and was given a warm welcome including a cold beverage while I checked in to my room.  They had hooked me up and put me in a King Suite which was a corner room overlooking Elliott Bay! I could gaze into the eyes of my beloved city one last time before I skipped town.

I left my car with the valet and headed out for a nice dinner with friends for the evening. I had all intentions of waking early for a workout in the onsite gym but old habits die hard and I burned the midnight oil a tad bit and missed my opportunity.  Change takes time people.

I will miss my interactions with the group at the Marriott Pioneer Square.  If you ever have a need for a hotel in the city you should definitely consider this hotel.  The modern decor coupled with the historical bones makes this a very interesting place to stay.

Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square . 612 2nd Avenue . Seattle, Washington 98104

Marriott Pion 2Marriott Pion 3Marriott Pion 4 Marriott Pion 5marriott staircase