Diego´s Hotel Crush

Image post: Diego´s Hotel Crush


California Edition

By Laura Martínez

We travelled along California’s West Coast on a 15-day roadtrip with our CEO Diego Calvo, a passionate hotel enthusiast who enjoys making and staying in hotels.

Looking at Concept Hotel Group’s hotels, no one would think that Diego Calvo had never set foot on American soil until February of this year. The first grand journey of this Ibizan cowboy begins in Los Angeles, in an urban hotel that is already one of his favourites worldwide: Petit Ermitage. Diego said: “Petit is an extension of the personality of its owner, Stefan Ashkenazy. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to meet him and ask many questions about the hotel and the city. He showed up in his Gucci fur slippers and hat, and we talked for hours around the fireplace. He is an extraordinary host, and this characteristic extends to his hotel and its staff. When you arrive at Petit, a stunning painting by Joan Miró greets you. And it’s not the only one. The hotel is full of works of art: De Kooning, Picasso and Irma Stern are just some of the artists whose incredible pieces are scattered throughout the building.

Diego tells me that it’s not only a hotel in the heart of L.A. where you can feel at home but also has surprises in every corner. “The rooftop has a pool that is a bit reminiscent of a Moroccan Riad; the water is warm, so you can swim at any time of the day. They do Tarot readings, and on Thursdays, they have a phenomenal show in the Piano Bar area: The Toledo Show, a must-see if you visit L.A. You can also see it at Harvelle’s Pub in Santa Monica if you are not a hotel guest.

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Pioneertown Motel

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Ace Hotel

The City of the Stars has so much to offer that it takes work to do everything planned in the six days the adventure’s first leg lasted. Staying in the heart of West Hollywood, Diego took the opportunity to dine at one of his favourite hotels: Chateau Marmont. “A must-do! I’m a big fan of American culture, and the Chateau is an undisputed icon. So many films and series were filmed there…

Music is another of this hotel enthusiast’s passions. “The Sunset Strip is about a five-minute walk from the hotel, so it didn’t take me long to go see my friend Mark Mahoney - tattooist to Johnny Depp & Lana Del Rey - at his Shamrock Tattoo studio. Mark and his wife, Nicole, took us to the legendary Rainbow pub, where one of my idols, Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of Mötorhead, used to hang out.” After La La Land, Diego heads to Palm Springs, where Dave Dean and Aaron Mellor welcome him at Orbit Inn. This authentic 1950s mid-century hotel retains much of the original furnishings and the essence of the favourite holiday spot for Hollywood stars in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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Madonna Inn

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Orbit In

Diego continued: “I’ve always been obsessed with the Palm Springs aesthetic; my girlfriend named our house ‘Villa Carmelita’ after the house Cher and Sonny had there. I love the classic elegance of it and that golden Hollywood glamour. It was one of the places I was most looking forward to seeing, and it exceeded my expectations. Another of Diego’s must-visits in Palm Springs was the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. He explained: “I love what they do at Ace Hotels; they have a very urban, hipster vibe that’s totally distinct, and they don’t look like anyone else. The one in Palm Springs is the only Swim Club, and it has a beautiful diner, another of my weaknesses.

Leaving the glamour of Hollywood and Palm Springs glamour behind, Diego stops off in Las Vegas for the Black Crowes concert and a tour of Sin City. Diego said: “We stayed at the Palms Hotel & Casino - where the show took place - and ordered an XXXL pizza from room service. And from Las Vegas to Yucca Valley to visit Pioneertown Motel. “Pure Wild Wild West. Pioneertown is famous for being the film set of many Western movies, and this motel makes you feel like you’re in one of them.”Brothers Mike & Matt French add a cool touch without losing the essence of this western town that is a tourist magnet. Red Dog and The Copper Room are the two other places that complete the list of this duo’s creations.
Diego couldn’t leave Palm Springs without visiting the iconic Parker Hotel - first acquired by Gene Autry and then by Merv Griffin - owned by hotelier Jack Parker and remodelled by British interior designer Jonathan Adler. “The Parker is in a different league, a truly unique hotel that retains that hedonistic Palm Springs essence and Adler’s unmistakable fun and colourful touch. We ate at Norma’s restaurant, with its nod to Mexican cuisine. Highly recommended.”.

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Petit Ermitage

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Parker Hotel


“Pappy & Harriet’s is a must in Pioneertown, but book ahead for dinner if you don’t want to stand for hours while you watch all the bands play and be hungry like the wolf, adds Diego.

On the way to San Luis Obispo, Diego arrives at his next stop: Madonna Inn, created in the 1950s by Alex Madonna.This hotel is an absolute Instagram star, a pink house with rooms totally different from each other, a non-stop bakery and the kitschiest ballroom you’ve ever seen. He said: “The best thing I saw was the American gentlemen were dancing with their wives in the ballroom, and the souvenir shops - they have three of them! The most elaborate merchandising I’ve ever seen in a hotel.

To finish things off, Diego travelled to Topanga to visit an extraordinary place on the last night of his Californian adventure. Elsewhere is the latest creation of Stephan Ashkenazy, owner of the Petit Ermitage and the first hotel visited by Diego on this trip. “Elsewhere existed in Stefan’s imagination, and he brought it to life in the Topanga Mountains. Animals, Peaky Blinders-style carriages in which you sleep like a king and houses that he calls “modules” but are spectacular country houses decorated with exquisite taste.” The perfect end to a love story that has only just begun.

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