Palm Springs is one of the best destinations for interior design and architecture lovers to visit. The city has true character and a rich history with beautifully designed homes and hotels. It almost feels like stepping into a time machine. Many of the properties have a retro-inspired yet authentic vibe, especially the Fleur Noire Hotel.
Created by Corey St. John and designer Chris Pardo, this hotel is truly unique. A combination of modernism, French inspiration, and bold floral prints, it doesn’t take design too seriously.
Pardo is an incredible talent known both locally and outside the Palm Springs area for his work at various Arrive hotels as well as the Kimpton Palm Springs among other hospitality projects.
The History Of The Fleur Noire Hotel
Like many hotels in Palm Springs, the property was originally built as something different—transforming and evolving over the years. First, it was the Burkets Trade Winds Hotel, which operated as a seasonal resort destination. It featured both casitas and hotel rooms. Over the years it developed into apartments and mixed-use retail.
Finally, the Fleur Noire Hotel opened in November 2021. This intimate boutique hotel has 21 rooms including studios (which are typical hotel rooms), standards (hotel rooms with a dining nook), and one-bedroom suites as well as double queen casitas.
All the rooms feature vintage and new furniture curated by Pardo. “The goal was to provide a fun space that isn’t trying to take itself too seriously or be too preciously. The furniture is meant to be additive to the artworks without competing,” he tells me.
Every room is decorated with floral mural wallpaper designed to compliment the exterior murals. All the details feel intentional from the pink coffee makers in the kitchenettes to the print dining chairs. Cheerful wainscotting provides a pop of color. It’s a blast from the past while still feeling modern and fresh.
St. John and Pardo came up with the concept for Fleur Noire while engaged in the local arts scene.
The designer tells me, “Thinking of how to transform a somewhat utilitarian collection of structures into a cohesive backdrop they developed the idea of applying art, in a big way. The concept of having every inch of the hotels exterior be the canvas for large format art was born.”
While Palm Springs is mostly known for its mid-century architecture and bright colors—the existing structure on the property also had a Spanish influence. “Approaching color and contrast in a different way was the goal, large colorful floral murals with a black backdrop juxtapose architecturally planted desert landscaping. Like an art gallery, the property would provide unique views and experiences of the murals as the guests make their way through the grounds.”
The most notable aspects of the Fleur Noire Hotel are the bold floral murals on the exterior of the buildings painted by artist Louise Jones. Also known as Ouizi, the Detroit-based artist was born and raised in Santa Monica California just a few hours west of Palm Springs. She has made a name for herself creating large mural installations in a variety of spaces including museums and public parks.
Jones took residence on the property for three months to create these beautiful works of art. “As the floral murals started to develop I began interior and landscape design, taking cues from the colors, textures, and shapes of Louise’s art,” explains Pardo.
“Like the exterior, the interior was also to be defined by large format florals, in this case, Ellie Cashman was approached, while stylistically distinct to Louise’s mural work, the dark saturated floral wallpaper prints designed by Cashman embodied the same qualities of defining space.”
The hotel has an intimate, almost bed-and-breakfast feel with a main building that has a lobby, gift shop, and snacks. A pool, lounge chairs, hot tub, and garden area with firepits and cornhole sit in the middle of the buildings.
While there isn’t a restaurant on-site (although it is surrounded by several fantastic ones), there is a rosé wine bar. “La Boisson blossomed out of a desire to fully embrace the French influenced hotels theme, offering a brass bell (or text message) to ‘Ring for Rose.’ Guests can order at the gloss pink bar when the doors are open or simply text poolside and your drink of choice is brought to you complete in pink acrylic glassware,” says Pardo.