Dive Palm Springs
Ooh La La! Midcentury Modern with a French Twist
By Barbara Beckley
Just when you thought Palm Springs was as mod as it gets -- surprise! There’s a new French twist!
Remember those photos of the French Riviera in the swinging ‘60s? Bikinis. Yachts. Bridgette Bardot. Now you can revel in that same chic, sexy style – right here in Palm Springs.
Opened in November 2019, the new 11-room, adults-only Dive Palm Springs petite hotel invites you to plunge into the glamour of St. Tropez and the 1960s French beach culture. “Our aim is to transport you to the French Riviera of the ’60s,” says Abdi Manavi, whose business card reads “Liaison to Happiness” rather than “cofounder/general manager.”
And so he does. Step behind the walls of this Francophile hideaway and voila – you’re in France -- surrounded by vintage French décor, Euro-centric amenities and Abdi’s unbridled creativity – inspired by his years in the LA hospitality and club scene and current business partner Dale Fox and LA-based design team.
For instance, he took the smallest room and made it “the best room,” he told me. Named La Reve (French for “the dream”), it’s a vision in opulence with a ceiling mural by Christian Lacroix, a solid brass bed, ornate vintage French furnishings and a red tile bath.
If you prefer large – book the two-room, two-bed Paris Suite and sleep in a 1919 belle époque Parisian brass and copper elevator cage! Abdi restored and converted it into a queen bed and lounge. The Paris Suite also features vintage Parisian chandeliers, Christian Lacroix butterfly wallpaper and a full bar with Dom Perignon.
Or up your golf game in The Orchard Suite. It boasts the only private three-hole golf green in Palm Springs, along with a daybed with a private movie theatre, and private patio with a hot tub.
Unique touches – like the full-length smoked-glass two-way mirror between the bedroom and shower, “so you see the silhouette of whoever is in the shower,” smiles Abdi -- add fun to several rooms. Along with original murals above the beds, and Abdi’s stunning attention to detail including grout tinted to match the tile in the bold-colored bathrooms.
Outside in the lush gardens, black-striped loungers invite sunning around the vintage pool, built by Libott when the property first opened in 1954. Cabanas, a hot tub and benches circling the trees and at the bar inspire relaxation. Lime, lemon and orange trees abound. “We grab them and squeeze them for fresh juice and cocktail ingredients,” Abdi says.
Why the name – Dive? “It’s named after our patron saint, Lulu,” Abdi smiles, pointing to the 1954 neon image of a bathing-capped diving beauty. The inn originally catered to women, he explains, and the eight-foot diver graced the entrance. Now “Lulu,” as Abdi named her, is poolside and two new diving darlings mark the entrance. But don’t worry. Dive has always been equal opportunity pad. A handsome 1954 neon male diver – Abdi’s named him “Guy” – continues to light up the garden.
What do guests say about their stay? “Fantastic. Amazing. Relaxing. These are the most common words I hear,” Abdi beams.
Dive Palm Springs
1586 E. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-323-2231