PALM SPRINGS - If you didn't know any better, you could miss it.
From the outside, Korakia Pensione - with its slab-stoned entryway and towering accent of palm trees - looks like a private, albeit luxurious, home.
The hotel, comprising two fully restored historic villas, sits at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in an unassuming residential neighborhood a few blocks from downtown.
Once you're inside, it's clear why Korakia (Greek for "crow") was recognized by the Times of London as one of the top small hotels in the world.
With its stand-alone Moroccan-style bungalows and cozy guest houses furnished with handmade furniture and individual touches, Korakia has a stylish coziness that makes you feel at home and luxuriously pampered at the same time.
It's a stylish mix. In fact, the hotel has also been featured in Architectural Digest, HIP Hotels and Conde Nast Traveler, and has been a popular location for photo layouts in Vogue, Elle, Marie-Claire and their European counterparts.
But with all its accolades, Korakia is surprisingly unpretentious. The desk staff, composed mostly of pretty girls wearing black sarongs and matching tank tops, seem to be Jills-of-all-trades - they do everything from serve breakfast and get drinks to check in guests and show rooms.
In L.A., this sort of service might seem inefficient; here, it's a charming display of small-town hospitality that'll make you feel as if you're staying at someone's
Inside the rooms, little touches such as old board games on the shelves or oil paintings on the walls lend a homey feel that you just won't find in a chain hotel.
Korakia suites offer full kitchens and wood-burning fireplaces.
There are no TVs or telephones in any of the rooms - a detail that may be a turn-off for some but a bonus for others (we all need to unplug sometimes, right?).
For those who just can't disconnect, there is WiFi access.
At night, classic movies are shown by the pool, around which torches and fire pits flicker, giving the place a sexy, exotic ambience that'll make cuddling under the stars (if you have someone to cuddle with) nearly inevitable.
In the morning, a complimentary hot breakfast is served in the courtyard. Afternoon Moroccan tea service is offered in the lobby.
WANT TO GO?
Korakia Pensione is located at 257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs. Rates start at $159. No children under the age of 13, no pets allowed, all guest rooms are nonsmoking. www.korakia.com; (760) 864-6411.