Historic Tennis Club
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.
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.
The Pantry at the Holiday House
200 W. Arenas Rd., Historic Tennis Club
The Pantry kitchen is the work of chef Gabriel Woo, who also runs another excellent Palm Springs hotel restaurant, the Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge. And the menu is similarly made up of homey, comforting options. Popular themed nights include Fried Chicken Fridays (the flaky biscuit sides are heavenly), while lunch centers around lobster rolls, chicken salads, and burgers.
255 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, HIstoric Tennis Club
We’ve long been admirers of Janssen Artspace, which closed its doors in 2010 after years of great exhibitions and events. Now, nearly a decade after its first opening party, artist and owner Steven Janssen brought the space back to downtown Palm Springs permanently. Twice a month, the gallery hosts a drawing workshop where participants have the opportunity to draw a nude model while getting feedback from Janssen as they work. During the day, you’ll find Janssen’s own work on display in the light-filled, open environment (as well as many other artists to come).
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Dr., Historic Tennis Club
It shouldn't come as a surprise that this well-cultured city of 50,000 has an art museum that rivals something you'd find in New York or LA. The building is architecturally significant (of course), there's an ongoing calendar of great events (it has a 400+ person theater), and the gift shop is excellent, too.
611 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Historic Tennis Club
While the strip mall location doesn't exactly channel the glamor of Paris, this is our go-to for fresh breakfast pastries (the almond croissants and pain au chocolate are insane) and dinner party desserts. It’s owned by a French couple who whip up the delectable baked goods daily and put a ton of effort into quality—the bread selection, for example, is on par with the stuff you’ll find in authentic Parisian boulangeries…definitely try the olive loaf.
200 W. Ramon Rd., Historic Tennis Club
Located within the historic Ingleside Inn, Melvyn’s was the go-to spot for Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and other Hollywood royalty back in the 50’s—luckily, the space has held up over the years. This is the sort of throwback establishment that insists waiters wear linen jackets and hosts live music and dancing nightly at the adjoining piano lounge. The menu is heavy on the classics (Oysters Rockefeller, pork loin medallions, filet mignon) and is not for everyone, but having a drink—the wine list is plentiful and the cocktails are potent—is worth it just for the ambiance.
257 S. Patencio Rd., Historic Tennis Club
It feels more like Tangier than Palm Springs at this family-run pensione that channels the rustic romance of Morocco and the Mediterranean. Villas are filled with hand-carved wooden furniture, with lemon and olive trees right outside your window. Fountains, fire pits, and colored glass lanterns decorate the outdoor courtyard where group yoga and evening screenings of old movies happen (there are no TVs or phones otherwise). Ask for the Moroccan villa.