Palm Springs Travel Guide
Palm Springs has quietly been undergoing a bit of a hotel renaissance. Not only will the brashy Hard Rock Hotel brand open on October 4th and the Kimpton will open in 2015, but the desert resort city now has two new (quieter) hotels to try. That's in addition to the four new hotels that have opened since November of last year.
Just opened this past weekend is the Monroe Palm Springs on North Palm Canyon Drive, which was formerly America's Best Value Inn. The property has been fully renovated and in a green way too, repurposing as many materials as possible. For example, the pool towel bins are made from the old window sills. But even though the hotel is "green", it's hue of choice is actually orange, which is found everywhere from the bedspreads to the walls to the pool chairs. Interestingly, there's no mention of Marilyn Monroe at the hotel but we can't help but wonder if that giant statue of her, that was recently on display in town, was an inspiration.
Rates for the rooms start at $100 a night for a regular room (suites are $150) and come with coffee-makers, free WIFi and complimentary hot breakfast at the neighboring Rick’s Restaurant and Bakery. Oh and pets are welcome too.
We won't lead you on any longer. The answer is a big fat NO. Here's what happened:
Five years ago, long before the economic collapse, Mondrian Hotels announced their plans to develop a hotel across from the Palm Springs Convention Center at Calle Alvarado and Amado. The hotel was shelved for obvious reasons after the markets tanked but yet was revived back in 2011. A Mondrian was still expected to rise with 200 hotels room and residences.
But somewhere along the road, that deal fell apart. (Perhaps because of Mondrian's parent company's internal woes.) And it was only just this past March, that developer CDI Ventures actuallyl got the official go ahead from the city of Palm Springs to purchase the land and develop a five-star luxury hotel. And guess who will be running it?
Last week, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming Hard Rock Palm Springs which we initially thought would open in September. Turns out the opening will actually happen on October 4 but the good news is, you can book a room today.
We found rates on opening night, a Friday night, for just $262 a night. Rates dip to $193 on Monday but are pretty much around the $250 mark for the rest of the month. (Weekends are higher of course.)
The Hard Rock Palm Springs will have a total of 163 rooms, including a VIP rock star suite as well as a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants, a happening pool scene and tons of rock n' roll memorabilia.
The only bummer here is that the Hard Rock will be charging a resort fee of $30 a night. That includes internet, valet parking and a shuttle from the airport so you do get something for it. Oh well, add them to the list!
The Hard Rock Palm Springs is getting ready to rock the desert. When we daytripped to PS the other week, we noticed a few billboards teasing the impending arrival of the rocking hotel brand. Sure enough, the website is up and running and all systems are a go for a September opening. And now we've got some hotel renderings to share too.
The Hard Rock Palm Springs, which was formerly the Hotel Zoso, will have 160 rooms, a VIP rock star suite, a Rock Spa, a Body Rock fitness centers, a Rock Shop gift store, a few restaurants and of course, a happening pool scene. It will also have some crazy sexy "stair gallery" where we gather there will be tons of rock n' roll memorabilia to ogle. We're also digging the sexy lobby bar lounge.
We expect rates to be around $250 a night but when Coachella rolls into town in April, that will go way, way, way up.
[Photo: HotelChatter; Renderings: Hard Rock Hotels]
Snapshot / Hotel Bicycles / Palm Springs Hotels / Restaurant Week Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
The other week we popped into the Viceroy Palm Springs and saw Audrey and Frank waiting for us at the koi pond by the entrance. And by Audrey and Frank we mean white and black bicycles with Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra's photos on them.
The bikes are courtesy of Palm Springs' Celebrity Bike Rentals and are available to Viceroy Hotel guests as part of the $30 resort fee (that fee also includes WiFi, overnight valet parking and coffee and tea from 6am to 11am.) While the Viceroy is pretty walkable to the fun shops and restaurants of Indian Canyon Drive, riding a bike will get you around from one air-conditioned spot to the next a little faster.
The Kimpton Palm Springs will be an entirely new build hotel on North Palm Canyon Drive with 190 hotel rooms and a rooftop bar and pool, a first for the area. There will also be a "chef-driven restaurant", over 24,000 square feet total of event and meeting space and great views of Mount San Jacinto State Park from all angles. Oh and don't forget about the nightly wine hour and the free WiFi for Kimpton InTouch members!
We've got a ways to wait as the hotel won't open until 2015 but knowing Kimpton, it will be worth it. In the meantime, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is still set to open in the Fall. Admittedly, we're more of Kimpton's target clientele than Hard Rock but a new hotel is a new hotel!
We think the ketchup art, while potty-mouth language, does sum up this week in a nutshell, and yet, it makes us smile at the same time because we love the sassy!
This patron's burger from the hotel's King's Highway restaurant (an old Denny's), is accompanied by a tall can of Red Stripe beer, which we don't think we've ever seen before--upping the cool factor even more. The $12 Amigo burger comes with bacon onion marmalade, aged cheddar and butter lettuce. Foul-mouthed ketchup is free.
Gay-Friendly Hotels / Palm Springs Hotels / Party Hotels / Ace Hotels / California Hotels / → All Tags
If you're familiar with Camp Palm Springs—the clothing-optional resort where guests get super naked for some random meet and greets—then a) shame on you! and b) you should know it's no longer in operation. It's now Skylark Hotel, featuring 28 contemporary rooms, a large pool, shamrock-shaped hot tub and an al fresco bar. Oh, and the cruising is still 24-7 but only clothed (nothing but a jockstrap counts, we think).
You'll notice the gay themes haven't changed much (gay owners, gay clientele, gay staff, gay magazines in rooms) but heteros are welcome. All rooms look out into the central pool area, so whether you're voyeuristic or egotistic, everyone wins. Except uncomfortable heteros.
Hotel News / Palm Springs Hotels / Hard Rock Hotels / California Hotels / Hotel Construction / → All Tags
If you think you've been hearing a lot about Palm Springs lately, the trend is far from over. It was just announced that the 160-room Hotel Zoso in downtown PS will soon be renovated and re-branded as the Hard Rock Palm Springs.
According to TravelPulse, the Hard Rock Palm Springs is due to offer "a VIP rock star suite; Rock Spa; Body Rock workout facility; the Rock Shop featuring Hard Rock merchandise; myriad dining options, a lobby bar, and outdoor spaces for cocktails and lounging."
Hotel Reviews / Palm Springs Hotels / Photo Gallery / JDV Hotels / Retro Hotels / California Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Welcome to Palm Springs. We hope you like bright colors and sunshine, because that's the specialty of the The Saguaro Palm Springs. This is only the second Saguaro, after the The Saguaro Scottsdale, but it comes from a company with a very large collection of hotels: Joie de Vivre.
The Saguaro Palm Springs opened in February 2012 and used to be a Holiday Inn, a fact immediately evident from the classic, motel-style architecture. Still, one can't help but imagine how Holiday Inn execs would think of the place nowthey'd probably regret having lost it! The Saguaro is a cheerful hotel that fills a gap in the Palm Springs hotel scene, for new family- and pet-friendly accommodations of modern design and amenities at a reasonable price.
One very excellent reason to sit and scan the amenity notes in those thick leather "Hotel Information" binders: the unexpected freebies. For example, the JW Marriott Lima binder notes that they offer complimentary shoe polish service and we've read many other hotel binders to find out properties have deals with nearby swanky gyms for guest access.
BUT! The most important time to examine a hotel binder comes when you're charged a dreaded resort fee. Milk that. The $30 per night fee at the Parker Palm Springs includes Internet access, valet parking, fitness center and spa access, a newspaper andthe surprisemorning coffee service.
Without reading the fine print, you'd be calling Norma's (one of the hotel's restaurants) for their French press coffee service at $6 per person before service fee and tip. You seebinders can be good, though we only like 'em full of hotel facts (not women!).
Korakia’s quiet courtyard and trickling fountain will fool you into thinking you're in a Mediterranean hideaway
Recently in Palm Springs, we wandered off Palm Canyon Drive in the blazing desert sun and found ourselves on the stone path leading into Korakia Pensione. Not the glitzy Riveria, the rugged cool Ace Hotel, or the fanciful Viceroy, Korakia is quietly gorgeous, romantic with a capital “R” and thick with Mediterranean beauty. Scan the Palm Springs hotel scene and it’s unlike anything you’d expect to find in this fabulous, mid-century modern town.
Inside, we spied old photos and a history dating back to Korakia's 1918 Orchard House, though it was 1924 that marks the hotel's real start; that's when Scottish painter Gordon Coutts took up residence and a Tangier-inspired decor in the original Moroccan villa. Celebs and artists followed and often gathered here, including Winston Churchill who is rumored to have painted in the villa’s Artist’s Studio. Later in the 1930s, silent-screen star J. Carol Naish lived in the Mediterranean villa.
Restored and named Korakia in 1989, the hotel is as ornate and authentic as it we imagine it must’ve been nearly a century ago. Moorish-meets-Mediterranean décor, Moroccan fountains, antiques and handmade furniture, dark wood beams and cool stone floors – amazing features throughout paint this pensione a dreamy, historic retreat.