THE MOROCCAN VILLA
Built in 1924, The Moroccan villa, originally named Dar Marroc, was the former hideaway of Scottish painter Gordon Coutts. The villa served as the venue for Coutts to re-create his earlier life in Tangier by employing a wide variety of architectural features that promoted a Moroccan decor.
A visionary with a dream to re-live his art-filled Moroccan days, the flamboyant Coutts did not stop with the recapturing of his physical existence in Tangier with Dar Marroc, but his social existence as well. Coutts hung his paintings in the library, where he regaled his guests with tales of adventure. Dar Marroc quickly became a gathering place for musicians, visiting artists such as John Lavery, Agnes Pelton, Nicolai Fenshin and Grant Wood and celebrities such as Rudolph Valentino and Errol Flynn. It is rumored that even Winston Churchill has painted in the villa's Artist Studio.
THE MEDITERRANEAN VILLA
J. Carol Naish, an early silent-screen star and neighbor to Coutts, owned the 1930's Mediterranean villa. The Naish property blends the charm of Southern Europe with North African accents throughout its structure. The main house boasts an impossibly romantic master suite, high wood beam ceilings, an indoor/outdoor bathroom and a massive fireplace.
Using a variety of textures and colors, the outdoor area of the Naish property lends an exotic feel to its poolside experience. Within the sun-drenched pool area itself, the villa and bungalows' exterior walls greet visitors with a vivid blend of earth-tone hues, that range from deep ocher, rusts to tawny yellows and stone.
The Orchard House is a rare 1918 California adobe. Two 1940s steel windows have been welded together to create a dramatic pivoting window wall. The whitewashed stone wall encloses a grove of citrus trees.
Rescued from disrepair in 1989, Dar Marroc was renamed Korakia (Greek for "crow") and crafted into a Mediterranean-style pensione. The resort, now housed in two lovingly restored historic villas, rests on 1.5 lush acres, consisting of bungalows, guesthouses, gardens and pools. From Korakia's distinct keyhole-shaped grand entrance housing a set of ornately carved Moorish wooden double doors to the antiques and handmade furniture found in every room, everything blends harmoniously to create an oasis in the California desert. With citrus blossoms, olive trees, oleander bushes, date palms, bougainvillea vines, gorgeous Moroccan fountains and a stone waterfall spread across the main courtyard area, every aspect of the villas have been restored to the artistic ambiance of their halcyon days.
Today the legacy of the original historic Dar Marroc lives on. What the art community once favored during the 'old Palm Springs era' continues. Korakia remains a popular rendezvous for an eclectic crowd, including renowned actors, writers, producers and photographers. The unique environment has become a favorite photo shoot location for top photographers. Dramatic photo spreads of Korakia have graced the pages of such leading publications as Architectural Digest, HIP Hotels and Condé Nast Traveler as well as Vogue, Elle, Marie-Claire and their European counterparts. The New York Times has called the Korakia "One of the sexiest hotels in America."