The Lightning Bar Collective has become a household name here in Portland, having successfully launched more than half a dozen of Portland's latest hot spots in the last decade (Bye and Bye, Sweet Hereafter, Jackknife, Century, and more). Their newest foray takes them beyond Bridge City to the sunny, midcentury oasis that is Palm Springs.
Tucked back in Palm Springs’ Deepwell neighborhood, under the shade of decades-old trees, lies the former estate of late Norwegian figure skater and film star Sonja Henie: the Villa Royale. Built in 1947, it was once the sanctuary of ‘50s celebrity, and decorated as such—an eclectic mashup of Tuscan meets Old Hollywood. Despite a handful of updates over the years, it hadn’t aged well. In the ‘90s, it was still charming. By the 2010s, it was gauche, and in desperate need of renovation.
And renovation is the Lightning Bar Collective’s specialty. They have a track record of breathing new life into old spaces, while maintaining the essence of what made them special in the first place. One of the Collective’s partners, John Janulis, saw the Villa as a diamond in the rough, and the collective acquired the property in Summer 2017. Completed in September 2018, the renovation maintains the estate’s charisma, complemented now with the modern affections of exposed beams, painted brick, unique fixtures, and trendy tile work.
The renovations are more than skin deep, however. The Collective considers and designs every expression of hospitality with intention, which is why Ratio is proud to partner with Villa Royale to create an exceptional in-room coffee experience.
In a cafe, the variables of temperature, grind, bloom, and extraction time are managed by trained baristas. In a hotel room, quality control must be automated by design. “The typical hotel guest wants to make memories, not coffee,” says Ratio founder, Mark Hellweg. “We’re thrilled to partner with Villa Royale and Good Coffee to deliver an in-room coffee experience that is as exceptional as it is easy.”
Mr. Janulis says of the partnership: “We wanted to create an elevated guest experience, and a huge part of guest experience are the amenities and in-room features. We wanted to offer a coffee maker that fits the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into designing and building each room. The Ratio Eight is a perfect fit for our hotel.”
The Ratio Eight works because, not only does it fit the aesthetic of the Villa Royale, it removes the variables guests shouldn’t have to worry about. But what about the raw materials (the water and coffee beans themselves)?
Portland’s own Good Coffee supplies both the coffee and staff training to ensure the proper dosage of freshly ground coffee and filtered water are delivered to every room, every morning. Whether you request two cups or five, the right amount of coffee and water are prepared just for you, resulting in an effortless morning ritual.
“We often say, we don't own and operate coffee bars, we own and operate hospitality concepts,” explains Sam, co-founder of Good Coffee. “Creating delight for people is the bedrock of our business. Hospitality is the method.”
As the market can attest, being in the hospitality business isn’t easy. But it’s made that much better when you have partners like these.
The Villa Royale is now accepting reservations!. Learn more at villaroyale.com.