Here's Where The Obamas Spent Their First Real Holiday In 8+ Years

Photo: Roger Davies/Architectural Digest.
After eight years in the spotlight as the first couple, a mountaintop in Southern California seems like just the place to go. That's why President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama stole off to this Palm Springs mansion right after the inauguration on Friday, as reported by Coastal Living.

Perched high above the Coachella Valley, the 11,000-square-foot home is so private, the Obamas can't even see other houses from there — but they can enjoy sweeping views of the San Jacinto mountains. Built in the early 1970s by architect Howard Lapham, it exemplifies Mayan Revival design, an architectural movement of the '20s and '30s in which Frank Lloyd Wright was also known to work.

Currently it's owned by interior designer Michael S. Smith — who redecorated the White House while the first family lived there — and James Costos, the ambassador to Spain and Andorra under President Obama. Smith restored the home several years ago.

The Obamas visited the desert getaway quite a few times during their White House years — the area tends to attract presidents, present and former. “When they were here, it occurred to me that more than 50 years ago JFK had stayed just down the road at Bing Crosby’s home,” Smith told Architectural Digest. “The President and Mrs. Obama basically woke up in the morning to the same view of the valley. There was something lovely about that thought. It made me contemplate all the change that has taken place in those decades, contrasting with the timelessness of this beautiful desert landscape.”

See more photos, from Smith's Instagram:

Desert light

A photo posted by Michael S Smith (@michaelsmithinc) on

Shadows

A photo posted by Michael S Smith (@michaelsmithinc) on

Sun and rain...

A photo posted by Michael S Smith (@michaelsmithinc) on

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