A New Desert Getaway: The Amado


There’s a new energy in Palm Springs. Our desert town is fast becoming a hot spot for creatives, and the residents of the city are just as quickly adapting to meet their needs. A perfect example is The Amado—a brand new boutique accommodation concept designed as a chic, desert getaway for artists, musicians, and creatives of all types. I sat down with Jaime Kowal—proprietor, photographer and jet-setting entrepreneur—to learn more about the unique space she has curated.

“The Amado, which translates to ‘beloved’ in Spanish, truly is a labor of love and a really exciting project,” says Kowal. “I found the property last year and immediately saw the potential in its architectural lines, private courtyard, and central location to create a conclave of sorts for artists and creatives visiting Palm Springs. Designing this space was a perfect way to combine my love of interiors, design, and travel.” Kowal just started accepting reservations last month, and over the course of a ten day period booked the entire property every weekend through to June. Her mid-week availability is fast filling as well.

Originally built as an apartment complex in 1955, this classic mid-century modern five-unit building really is in a class of its own. Located right off of the eponymous street at 1821 E Amado Road, steps away from downtown Palm Springs, The Amado boasts four self-contained one bedroom suites each with a private kitchen, dining, living, bedroom, and bathroom. There is also a two bedroom suite that overlooks the heated pool offering a total of six bedrooms. She designed and renovated the entire space herself, paying special attention to preserve its mid-century details. Her challenge was to create a space that retained the relaxed, authentic voice and character of the original design but re-imagine it with a modern twist; the amalgamation of old and new is a beautiful success.


Kowal, owner of The Amado. Photo by Bridget Fleming

Originally from Canada, Kowal visited Palm Springs on a family holiday last year and immediately fell in love. Within a week she decided to stay for good. As an editorial photographer with over fourteen years of international experience working for clients around the world including Condé Nast Traveler, Wallpaper Magazine and The LA Times, she is among the creative class now flocking to Palm Springs and calling it home.

“I was excited about the opportunity to restore this iconic building. My goal was to honor the beautiful lines and original intent of the structure while upgrading the electric, plumbing, kitchens, bathrooms and living areas to reflect the functional and aesthetic needs of my guests today. I’ve selected furniture and art that reflect and compliment the clean lines but that also have a warmth to them,” explains Kowal.

Astute and detail oriented, she has carefully curated each element of every suite. “Most of the furniture was made using reclaimed wood from a shipwreck in Indonesia by my friends at Walk the Plank Collective. The light fixtures in the bedroom were made by a freelance designer named Andrew Neyer, and the pillows were all custom made by Barrington Blue in LA. It was really important to me to support my friends and artists doing really great work.” The large canvas prints in each suite were photographed by Kowal herself and highlight unique desert landscapes shot in and around Palm Springs. From big-picture design decisions such as restoring the original and colorful ’50s tile in each bathroom, to the small details such as selecting vintage-inspired black rimmed enamel dishes in the kitchens, she has thoughtfully designed every inch of the complex for comfort, function, and style.


Living area for each unit

“I’m really interested in the psychology of space, that is to say, how a space can inspire certain conversations and emotions. I wanted The Amado to provide a background for creativity of all kinds – formal, informal, artistic, and introspective,” explains Kowal.

Not only is The Amado a great respite for some R&R but it is proving to be a popular location for events, film, and photography as well. Most recently, Tourism Palm Springs photographed part of their 2014 global campaign at the property, a production team from LA used the location for a series of editorial photo shoots, and this weekend this zen outdoor space is hosting an event entitled Pleasure Pools, a series of pool installations produced by On the Road Project LA as part of Modernism Week.

Through The Amado, Kowal has created a space for creatives and the contemporary traveler who appreciate a beautifully curated space with all the special touches of luxury accommodations. The Amado, available for bookings year round, is a must-stay!

Reservations can be made via www.TheAmado.com

Follow on Instagram at @1821amado


Spacious bedroom with desert chic aesthetic