Coachella weekend 1 party round-up: A luxe, exotic twist on traditional festival feels

What once began as a music and arts festival in Indio, California has transformed into the modern equivalent of the world’s biggest style and fashion showcase amongst social influencers, celebrities and people from all around the world — naturally, we’re talking about Coachella.

The two-weekend long festival as become as style-centric as it is music-oriented, as opulent as it’s historically been gritty and minimalistic.

The party scene, which has arguably become a bigger focal point for some than the actual festival itself, is no exception to this new-age festival ideology of traditional aspects with a luxe twist.

Festival attendees want the authentic Coachella experience (jam-packed parties, mingling with strangers in daring attire, celeb sightings and desert landscapes) but with all of the added opulent bonuses (hand-crafted cocktails, air-conditioning, runway-worthy outfits and a feel of exclusivity without having to shell out the cash).

We broke down our favorite Coachella activations for each day of Weekend 1, each (in their own way) embodying that notion of upgrading the traditional experience.

FRIDAY, April 13
Rachel Zoe and The Zoe Report, ZOEasis

We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with Rachel Zoe, which brought Marrakech to Palm Springs with the fourth annual ZOEasis, located at The Parker in Palm Springs.

Wine was served by Smoke Tree Wines and cocktails were provided by Belvedere Vodka (three of which were made with the brand’s newest Ginger Zest flavor.) Each hand-crafted sip was subtly accompanied by strong spices, creating truly unfamiliar flavor combinations (our personal favorite was the bold yet refreshing watermelon cooler).

Guests were seated Moroccan-Style on low tables and floor pillows and served exotic small plates that offered everything from hummus to grape leaves.

Inside, ZOEasis offered guests the chance to wander through an elegantly curated marketplace (called ‘The Souk’), which featured wellness services like an OPI nail bar and hair bar by Pravana (we kept our side braids in for the duration of the festival — they looked that good!)

Celebrity guests and influencers like Paris Hilton and Olivia Culpo were dressed in Rachel Zoe Collection, a brand that epitomizes the modern-day Coachella aesthetic: Effortlessly cool without compromising chicness or glamour.

The opulent affair was a visual masterpiece and truly transported all attendees to Marrakech and beyond:

SATURDAY, April 14
Dream Hotels and Republic Records present ‘The Estate’

When a party is bold enough to simply bear the name ’The Estate’, you know that the vibes will be anything but ordinary.

Dream Hotels (a hospitality company known for properties oozing with posh, sexy atmospheres that house some of the hottest nightlife spots across New York and Los Angeles) teamed up with Republic Records to throw an unmissable event at the Zenyara Estate on what ended up being the hottest day of the festival.

But guests had no shortage of places to cool off — the 40,000 square foot property boasts over 6,000 square feet of decking, a manmade beach and giant infinity pool that almost appears to be the most opulent of mirages amongst the desert landscape and California mountains glimmering in the distance.

Guests were treated to bottle service on lavish daybed and table combinations while jamming out to performances by Martin Solveig and Phantoms, amongst others.

Deck-side hair styling stations were set up by Batiste Dry Shampoo and fruit carts provided fresh fruit for those needing a quick pick-me-up.

The party was a see-and-be-seen event, with attendees bringing their A-game with their best festival style looks, if only to compete with breathtaking Zenyara Estate itself:

SUNDAY, April 15
The W Village experience

Camping at Coachella seems to be a rite of passage for loyal festival-goers, and W, (a Marriott International brand) found a way to do just that for their SPG and Marriott Rewards members this year.

The company set up four upscale yurts on the campgrounds meant to resemble four W Hotel properties from around the world — Bali, Hollywood, Barcelona and Dubai, The Palm.

Amenities included king size beds, pre-stocked refrigerators, private bathroom and shower access as well as personal concierges.

Marriott Rewards and SPG members who were able to use the yurts were also invited to the ‘Loyalty Lounge’, giving them a luxe place to relax, refresh and recharge amidst the chaos of the day-to-day festivities.

The yurts truly encompassed the feel of a room at The W — sleek, ritzy, modern and downright cool: