Travel

Palm Springs Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
Holiday House
200 W. Arenas Rd., Historic Tennis Club
Holiday House isn't particularly posh (honor bar in place of room service). And it isn't over-the-top luxurious (no spa here). What it is, however, is one of the most comfortable, and, like its name suggests, happy places to spend a weekend in Palm Springs. It looks like a revamped motel—an achingly chic, fun, cool revamped motel—set up a block behind the main drag of the city. The twenty-eight rooms and the surrounding property (pool, café-slash-bar, lounge area) are purposefully intimate. The pretty, blue-themed rooms—most with retro kitchenettes—look like they belong in Mykonos or Santorini; a breath of fresh air in the arid desert heat. Best of all, you can catch sweeping views of mountains and towering palms from pretty much every corner of the perfctly manicured property. Note: this is an adults-only place, so leave the kiddos with grandma.
Sands Hotel & Spa
44-985 Province Way, Indian Wells
Including this gem of a hotel in the Palm Springs guide is technically cheating. You have to go to Indian Wells, about 30 minutes outside PS, to soak up the Moroccan splendor that is this compound of 46 rooms, cabana-surrounded pool, unapologetically pretty restaurant, and small-but-mighty spa. There isn't much to explore in the town itself, which is just fine: this is a self-contained luxury retreat for those looking to stay put and disconnect. The light salmon tone that pervades the grounds gives you the impression that you're always looking through rose colored glasses. The rooms are done in gentle tones of blue, with massive bathrooms, complete with the kind of soaking tubs that keep you from getting to whatever you have planned. Don't be afraid to take all your meals at The Pink Cabana (find an abridged version of the Mediterranean dishes on the room service menu), everything from the amlou tartine for breakfast to the meze plate for lunch to the harissa chicken for dinner, is just that good. The spa has three treatment rooms, each one prettier than the next. Any of the masages are a…
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., South Palm Springs
Palm Springs is the perfect embodiment of Ace’s casual, retro-cool brand. So it’s no surprise that this outpost of the hotel chain seems particularly at home. A former motor lodge from the ‘60’s, Ace took over and renovated the place in 2009. Rooms mirror the surrounding desert, outfitted in shades of khaki and ochre, with canvas-covered walls (try and snag one with an outdoor firepit and views of the San Jacinto Mountains). Two saltwater swimming pools are popular daytime hangouts, but when night falls, dinner at Kings Highway (a former Denny’s-turned hipster canteen) and a mezcal cocktail at the Amigo Room make for fun-filled night.
L’Horizon Hotel and Spa
1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Deepwell Estates
Originally built in 1952 by William F. Cody, L’Horizon began as the home of Hollywood producer Jack Wrather (of Lassie and The Lone Ranger fame), who used to host Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, among others. L’Horizon is considered one of Cody’s finest works, and a lasting example of Palm Springs’ 1950s heyday. In 2015, the property opened as the region’s swankiest hotel, reimagined by its new owner, LA-based designer Steve Hermann. Hermann spent two years renovating the interiors, modernizing everything along the way—and the result is an open-air spa and restaurant and twenty-five bungalows that recall the original glamour but don’t feel stuck in a mid-century time warp. Each bungalow is outfitted with exposed post-and-beam wood ceilings, stone walls, custom Italian furnishings, wide plank floors, and a marble bathroom with a rain shower—in other words, the best of the past and present.
The Rowan
100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Midtown
The Rowan is right in the thick of downtown’s bustle. It’s convenient when you want to step out and have a big range of dinner options—though one of the best meals in town is right here at its restaurant, 4 Saints. Small plates with a Mediterranean bent are the work of chef Stephen Wambach and include gorgeously plated dishes like Fish in the Forest (kampachi, wild juniper, matsutake mushrooms, and baby leeks). And the rooms are nothing to sneeze at either: they all offer sweeping views of the San Jacinto Mountains thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows.
La Serena Villas
339 S. Belardo Rd., Historic Tennis Club
Between the big beds covered in the softest Frette linens, the fireplaces, and the private outdoor patios with firepits and clawfoot tubs, it’s easy to never leave your bungalow. But then you’d miss out on the freshest watermelon salad and ahi bruschetta at Azucar, the hotel’s poolside restaurant. Or a reflexology massage at the spa. And it’s all a short walk from Palm Canyon Drive, where you’ll want to spend at least a couple hours exploring the shops, cafés, and galleries.
We Care
18000 Long Canyon Rd., Desert Hot Springs
Less is more when it comes to this detox program in Desert Hot Springs, California. Check in for three, six, or eight days and prepare for many, many beverages (green drinks, hot broths, water), along with colonics and massages every day. Read a book or relax by the pool while your body cleanses and recalibrates. Add a bit of therapeutic pampering to your stay with a mud wrap or lymphatic stimulation, though there's also nothing wrong with just taking a lot of naps and hanging out in the infrared sauna.
Hotel Lautner
67710 San Antonio St., Desert Hot Springs
This part of the desert is a treasure trove of mid century architecture—Hotel Lautner gives guests a chance to call one of these gems home, even if its just for the span of a weekend. As the name suggests it’s the handiwork of renowned architect John Lautner and structurally, it’s more of a four-unit compound with a shared outdoor common area than a freestanding house or hotel (there’s no concierge on duty but maid service can be requested for extended stays). Taking in the surroundings, complete with succulent gardens, dipping pool, and fire pits, and bumming around the spectacular rooms (all are outfitted with vintage-modern furniture, kitchens, and a selection of architecture-themed books) is the extent of on-property activities, which is pretty great in its own way. There’s also an event space attached that can easily fit 200 or so people making it the ideal spot for a wedding.
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