5.0
Excellent 190 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

What We Love

  • Morning delivery of a breakfast basket filled with croissants, Greek yogurt, and orange juice
  • Gazing at the mountains from atop one of the plentiful pool floats
  • The thoughtful details, like the pet treats added to the breakfast basket for guests traveling with dogs

What To Know

  • The circa-1993 historic hotel was redeveloped in 2016 by architect May Sung
  • All 18 villas have private patios, clawfoot tubs, and fire pits; two have private pools
  • WiFi can be spotty occasionally
  • Guests can borrow bikes for free to pedal around Palm Springs
tree building house home outdoor structure

Overview

All-villa hotel in downtown Palm Springs, with private patios, fire pits, San Jacinto Mountain views, and charm to spare

The Lowdown

La Serena achieves that most difficult of tasks: occupying a central spot in town while maintaining the feel of a retreat. Part of this has to do with the hotel’s layout—individual bungalows, no under-21s allowed—as well as with its quirky, stimulating design, which contributes to the feeling of being somewhere altogether new. A riot of patterns and prints, with different textures everywhere, the interiors of the hotel boast striped pillows, African baskets and Moroccan-inspired tiles—photographers and interior design lovers will be thrilled. Villas have well-stocked kitchenettes (with Smeg fridges), private patios with clawfoot tubs for starlight bathing, and fire pits for starlight cuddling; some have front porches with views of the San Jacinto mountains. The restaurant, Azúcar, does Cali-style fresh and healthy food that’s unpretentious but consistently good, like fish tacos, spiced tempeh bowls, and cocktails livened up with fresh juices and herbs.

In the Area

Two blocks east of Palm Canyon Drive, the strip populated by the city’s buzziest shops, restaurants, and art galleries, La Serena is handy for shopping and dining excursions. Book in advance in the high season for lunch or dinner at EIGHT4NINE, a New American restaurant where chef Chuck Courtney turns out a well-executed menu of super-fresh ahi tuna poke with house-made kimchi, lobster mac and cheese, and mesquite-smoked carne asada. The Palm Springs Art Museum, home to exciting contemporary work by Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell as well as exhibitions often inspired by the desert, is an easy half-mile walk from the hotel. For brunch, hit up Workshop Kitchen+Bar, which pairs a James Beard Award-winning restaurant design with blue crab eggs Benedict and house-cured gravlax.

How to Get There

La Serena Villas
339 S. Belardo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262-7307 United States

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 190 Reviews
La Serena Villas is Paradise!
Reviewed 6 days ago

The easiest way to judge how nice your stay was at any hotel is to take note of how you feel when it’s time to depart. For LEFAIR Magazine, 11am check out time at La Serena Villas was a truly sad affair. A child forced to leave the playground, a wild animal snatched from its habitat, an artist uprooted from the studio... We’re not being dramatic. It’s simple; to the LEFAIR Magazineteam, La Serena Villas is paradise. Imagine waking up in the morning and beginning the day with a soak in your outdoor tub, luxuriously filled with lemon-scented L’Occitane soaps and bubbles. You can ring for your personal “breakfast basket” at 7:30am and it will be brought straight to your door, which sits behind a gate. The surprise selection of goodies is different every morning, with warm croissants, jam and toast, juice, fruit, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt — no, this is not a storybook fairytale. This is a real hotel destination that you can visit. Thanks to La Serena Villas, we’re over traditional hotel rooms and much prefer this villa-style accommodation approach. On the porch of many of the villas hangs a cushioned, comfortable basket-style swing that is perfect for devouring your light selection of breakfast items in the morning sun while scrolling through your news feed.

Most entrepreneurial success stories you hear are the product of the owner’s attention to detail, tender love and care of the project, and finding the right people to make the vision come to fruition. Owner Lars Viklund knows a thing or two about success stories. As the owner of three Palm Springs hotels — Del Marcos, Three-Fifty Hotel, and La Serena Villas — real-estate builder, and former fashion brand owner, Lars is a true supporter and enthusiast of the arts and the creator of beautiful places. Dressed in sneakers, white shorts, and a denim-colored short-sleeved button-down, Lars gave us the grand tour as if showing friends through his house. Built and designed by Lars and his wife, he clearly feels at home here. He humbly explained his plans to build a fourth hotel next door. After showing us the parking spaces behind the hotel, we swiped a key to get back through the gate. As an experienced hotel owner, Lars has seen his fair share of absurdities. “Make sure you don’t forget your key to get back inside. I have a camera in the back and I once witnessed a woman run to her car to change from her robe into a red gown so that she wouldn’t have to jump over the fence in her robe. She was actually a great guest. We had a wonderful time.” It is evident that Lars relishes in these silly happenings, treats his guests as good friends, and cares for his mindfully hired staff. “I look for nice people. You can teach people how to use a computer, but it’s much harder to teach people how to be nice.”

Check in is at 3pm, which means it’s 6pm on the east coast and it’s totally time to indulge in the bienvenue bubbly! “The alcohol usually works in our favor. Almost everyone is more relaxed, except for the woman who slapped the unicorn floaty the other day...” Lars explained and laughed.When you first set foot in your villa, you’re welcomed by a bottle of Corralejo Tequila, as well as pink Himalayan salt, limes, and peanut chasers. The note beside the tall shot glasses reads, “We hope you have a wonderful stay at our home away from home, La Serena Villas. May this Tequila be the start of many more memories to come. Welcome to our family. We hope your stay is magical.” - Lars and Kelly ViklundIf tequila isn’t your thing, stop reading now. Just kidding. Azúcar restaurant has an extensive list of specialty cocktails such as the Swan with cucumber vodka, pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, agave, soda, and blueberries. Also there’s a Bevmo accross the street so you can stock your villa’s mini fridge. After you’ve explored your room and the layout of the land, jump on a floaty, read by the pool, or book a spa treatment.

CHECKING INCheck in is at 3pm, which means it’s 6pm on the east coast and it’s totally time to indulge in the bienvenue bubbly! “The alcohol usually works in our favor. Almost everyone is more relaxed, except for the woman who slapped the unicorn floaty the other day...” Lars explained and laughed.When you first set foot in your villa, you’re welcomed by a bottle of Corralejo Tequila, as well as pink Himalayan salt, limes, and peanut chasers. The note beside the tall shot glasses reads, “We hope you have a wonderful stay at our home away from home, La Serena Villas. May this Tequila be the start of many more memories to come. Welcome to our family. We hope your stay is magical.” - Lars and Kelly ViklundIf tequila isn’t your thing, stop reading now. Just kidding. Azúcar restaurant has an extensive list of specialty cocktails such as the Swan with cucumber vodka, pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, agave, soda, and blueberries. Also there’s a Bevmo accross the street so you can stock your villa’s mini fridge. After you’ve explored your room and the layout of the land, jump on a floaty, read by the pool, or book a spa treatment. AT NIGHTWhisper’s is the name of the hotel’s spa and also the sounds you make at night at La Serena Villas. The hotel prides itself on being both private and serene; there was nary a loud voice or disturbance over the course of our stay. Because of the hotel’s seclusion and privacy, over the Coachella Music and Arts Festival weekends, celebrities often stay at La Serena Villas. During this special weekend, the crowd guests are mellow and the hotel is always booked (better book your stay now)! When it gets chilly in the evening, enjoy happy hour and hors d'oeuvres with your group of friends at Azúcar Restaurant located right behind the pool. Order too many rosés and then head over to Whisper’s and dip your feet in the heated whirlpool. The spa is celebrated for its massages and skin care. “It’s small but mighty and I have great therapists, the best in Palm Springs,” Lars says. If you’re staying in, invite your friends or lover back to your room and get snug and toasty around your personal fire pit on your back porch and look up at the stars. At the risk of sounding corny, this is a special place where memories are made. La Serena Villas is an experience that is meant to be shared with people who will appreciate a relaxed and intimate atmosphere and can turn up without turning up the volume too high.
-Madeline Rosene

Heavenly stay
Reviewed 1 week ago

Our stay in La Serena Villas far exceeded our expectations. It is a very charming and welcoming hotel. We were greeted with 2 glasses of champagne while we completed our check in. It was not until we arrived at our room that I realized that they had upgraded us to the suite with its own private outdoor jacuzzi. Needless to stay, we were in heaven for the rest of our stay. Our dinner at the rooftop restaurant was delicious and the complimentary breakfast basket that was brought to our room in the morning was lovely. Overall, it was a fantastic stay and I would go back again in a heart beat! Thank you to all the staff that made it such a memorable visit!

Hard to Leave: La Serena Villas
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The easiest way to judge how nice your stay was at any hotel is to take note of how you feel when it’s time to depart. 11AM checkout time at La Serena Villas was truly a sad affair. A child forced to leave the playground, a wild animal snatched from its habitat, an artist uprooted from the studio… I’m not being dramatic. It’s simple; La Serena Villas is paradise. I woke up in the morning and began my day with a soak in the outdoor tub, luxuriously filled with lemon-scented L’Occitane soaps and bubbles. I rang for my personal “breakfast basket” at 7:30AM. The basket was brought straight to my door, which sat behind a gate. The surprise selection of goodies is different every morning, with warm croissants, jam and toast, juice, fruit, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt. No, this is not a storybook fairytale. This is a real hotel destination that you can visit. I’m in love with the villa-style accommodations/ On the porch of many of the villas hangs a cushioned, comfortable basket-style swing that is perfect for devouring a light selection of breakfast items in the morning sun while scrolling though your news feed.

Check in is at 3PM, which means it’s 6PM on the west coast and it’s totally time to indulge in the bienvenue bubbly.

“The alcohol usually works in our favor. Almost everyone is more relaxed, except for the woman who slapped the unicorn floaty the other day…” owner Lars Viklund explained and laughed.

When you first set for in your villa, you’re welcomed by a bottle of Corralejo Tequila, as well as pink Himalayan salt, limes, and peanut chasers. The note beside the tall shot glass reads:

“We hope you have a wonderful stay at our home away from home, La Serena Villas. May this Tequila be the start of many more memories to come. Welcome to our family. We hope your stay is magical.” - Lars and Kelly Viklund

If tequila isn’t your thing, stop reading now. Just kidding. Azucar restaurant has an extensive list of specialty cocktails such as the Swan with cucumber vodka, pamplemousse liqueur, grapefruit juice, agave, soda, and blueberries. Also, there’s a Bevmo across the street so you can stock your villa’s mini fridge. After you’ve explore your room and the layout of the land, jump on a floaty, read by the pool, or book a spa treatment.

Whisper’s is the name of the hotel’s spa and also the sounds you make at night at La Serena Villas. The hotel prides itself on being both private and serene; there was nary a loud voice or disturbance over the course of my stay. Because of the hotel’s seclusion and privacy, over the Coachella Music and Arts Festival weekends, celebrities often choose La Serena Villas as their getaway. During this special weekend, the guests are mellow and the hotels is always booked (book in advance!)

When it gets chilly in the evening, enjoy happy hour and hors d’oeuvres with your group of friends at Azucar Restaurant located right behind the pool. Order too many rosés and then head over to Whisper’s and dip your feet in the heated whirlpool. The spa is celebrated for its massages and skin care. “It’s small but might and I have great therapists, the best in Palm Springs,” Lars says.

If you’re staying in, invite your friends or lover back to your room and get snug and toasty around your personal fire pit on your back porch and look up at the stars. At the risk of sounding corny, this is a special place where memories are made. La Serena Villas is an experience that is meant to be shared with people who will appreciate and relaxed and intimate atmosphere and can turn up without turning up the volume too high.

Lovely dog-friendly hotel
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our check-in started with glasses of bubbly and that's always a great way to start in my book. Then when we arrived at our villa we found a tequila tasting had already been set up for us, with beautiful Mexican blown glass shot glasses.

Our villa (#12) was super clean and well appointed, as was its patio. Our only complaint about the whole long weekend is the chairs on the patio. They aren't comfortable or relaxing. We did love the daily breakfast basket (and they accommodated my wheat allergy) and we ate out on the patio for that but we wished the chairs were more comfy so that we would have been encouraged to curl up with a book and enjoy the space more.

The hotel has awesome access to most places you'd want to walk to in downtown Palm Springs and yet the neighborhood feels residential. Overall, I highly recommend this place. The staff is super friendly and welcoming and we were even given a going away gift of a keychain when we checked out. We'd definitely stay here again.

Best Boutique Hotel in PS
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

By far the best hotel in Palm Springs. I have stayed at many and La Serena is in a league of its own. The property is immaculate and the attention to detail is something I’m not used to in Palm Springs. Tequila delivered to your room upon arrival and a daily breakfast basket. It’s the little things that make this property truly special. A fire pit on my patio, a beautiful light filled room with room to move. The staff could not be more friendly and accommodating. Laura holds the whole property together and made my visit one to remember. I would return for Laura alone, but the rooftop bar and Mountain View’s also help!