Meet Jordan Fife
Director Of Development And Operations For Steve Hermann Hotels/L’Horizon
One of the most talked about hotels in town is L'Horizon Resort & Spa. And it's no wonder considering the dozens of accolades and awards it's received including Condé Nast Traveler #1 Resort in California 2016, Travel + Leisure Best New Hotels on the Planet 2016, and Hospitality Design Awards - Top 5 Luxury Hotel Design In The World 2016.
The resort is about to break ground on an expansion that will double the size of the property and their room capacity. "The expansion will focus on 24 larger category rooms—all full suites," says Jordan Fife, the Director of Development and Operations for Steve Hermann Hotels/L’Horizon. "The original property was built in the 1950s [by renowned midcentury architect William Cody] and the newer units will be larger and more modern, while still retaining the feeling of an homage to the past. The expansion will also have its own pool and the rooms will be contained around it, creating yet another cultivated experience [and] giving guests the choice of booking the newer modern expansion, or the authentic original property."
Fife notes that the goal is also to incorporate many of the beloved Cody features such as indoor/outdoor slump stone retaining walls, tongue and groove Douglas fir ceilings, and copper-plated fireplaces, but with open floor plans and larger layout bathrooms with in-room soaking tubs.
"We thought it wouldn’t be a service to just copy Cody’s design. As designers ourselves, we were inspired by it and used it as a stepping stone into the future," adds Fife. "The layouts and room preferences in the 1950s leaned towards the smaller side. Today’s traveler and client is looking for something a bit different to reflect how they live now. We think we have accomplished it and believe it will be well received."
And if anyone should know what visitors are looking for, it's Fife, a Palm Springs native who was exposed to the town's tourism industry and celebrity culture from an early age. "My father was the President of the Convention & Visitors Bureau for 30 years, so I grew up in the middle of it all—chamber mixers, tourism events, dinner with Sonny Bono, spring break in the 1980s, running into Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. We were a family very involved in the city and I think that growing up I had the quintessential, ideal Palm Springs experience—even if it was a bit grown up at times."
"My first jobs were very 'Palm Springs' too. I worked as pool boy for the Wyndham hotel downtown and at the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce in high school." After college, Fife decided to try big city living and went into the entertainment industry and worked in talent management for Management 360 with A-list clients like Channing Tatum. Soon after, he became interested in movie production and was an executive for Riche Productions/Mandalay Pictures where he worked on the movie Bride Wars. From there, a stint at William Morris Endeavor followed.
But the desert beckoned and Fife returned to Palm Springs and transitioned into hospitality sales after meeting Marie Helen, the former General Manager of Viceroy Palm Springs (now the Avalon Hotel). "After I grew reacquainted with the market and industry that I had been immersed in since birth, Steve Hermann approached me with the idea of turning what was essentially a $150/night motel into one of the top 100 hotels in the world." As Director of Development and Operations, I am involved in design collaboration, yet also oversee project layouts and plans, project management, operational procedures and standard operating procedures for the businesses, rate strategy and management, marketing, hiring, and business planning.
And the success Hermann and Fife have had with L'Horizon is undeniable. "I think we have tried very hard to cultivate an authentic experience," says Fife. "We personalize the experience for each guest and I think we understand what they are looking for. From brass-engraved nameplates on their doors to monogramed stationery in each room, monogrammed stitched pillows on the beds, gluten-free turndown treats, free foot and shoulder massages around the pool, a BMW 7-series to chauffeur you around town, and more. It’s a very unique experience!"
L'Horizon Resort & Spa, 1050 East Palm Canyon Drive, 760-323-1858
Photograph by Chris Chandler