Palm Springs Travel Guide
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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a tech job. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
Sally and I arrived in Palm Springs to check-in to our last hotel of the trip, The Ace Hotel. Sally had stayed at the Ace Portland before and I’ve hung out in the Ace in New York but the Palm Springs property seemed like no other. An old converted motel, touting an old Denny’s dining space, Ace Palm Springs has exceptional character.
Are these people so happy they have a hotel room to return to once the concert ends?
While the festival passes for the 2012 Coachella Music Festival don't go on sale until Friday, there is no doubt that if you want to attend, then you better start making your travel plans now.
Jaunted reports that flights to Palm Springs are still open and still, for the most part, doable averaging about high $300s for cross-country flights (the Virgin America flight from JFK to PSP at $709.20 excluded.) But after you've got your flight down, you need to start looking for a place to sleep. Unless you're cool with camping it or AirBnB-ing it. Which we are not.
This year, Coachella has decided to split the festival up into two weekends--April 13-15 and April 20-22 which means your chances of actually getting a ticket and a hotel room are a lot better. Jaunted has already noted that the first weekend of the festival is the more expensive one when it comes to airline prices. Does the same hold true for hotel rooms? Let's see.
It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in comments below.
We've seen a lot of nasty stuff in our years of covering hotel stays but the sewage explosion that happened in a guest bathroom of the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs was by far one of the worst accounts we've heard, this year at least.
What was supposed to be a relaxing getaway turned into a shitty weekend, literally. Our afflicted hotel maven writes:
Saturday morn we ventured to downtown, which was the next street over. After a mere two hours of window shopping, we headed back to our room to get ready for the pool. However, as we entered our room, it smelled like a fart - you know the kind like rotten eggs that lingers? I though maybe my boyfriend forgot to flush and he was blaming me!
I took a peek in our bathroom and HOLY SHIT - LITERALLY. Our sink had diarrhea--a sewage explosion. It went off in our sink and showered our bathroom with, well, shit and other foulness.
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It's called the "Waz-Za?" and we're assuming that's because of the jealousy of other diners when this $20 Belgian waffle is deliver to you. Like a "what's that?" The menu description says only "fruit inside, fruit outsidecrackly brulee top," but the magic isn't in listing off ingredients; it's in seeing the blueberries and bananas right there, glistening under the hot desert sun.
The Waz-Za is something we recently tried at the emphatic suggestion of a good friend and Palm Springs veteran. Our waitress nodded approvingly at our choice, so we knew we'd done well.
Normally we wouldn't shell out $20 for a glorified fruit waffle, but this is Norma's at The Parker Palm Springs, where regular buttermilk pancakes are $18 and a Lobster Frittata can be ordered with 1oz of Sevruga Caviar for $100, or 10oz for $1,000. In other words, this hotel restaurant isn't your average diner breakfast. But alas, there is a way to get that Waz-Za without worrying at all about the cost...
The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale hasn't even been open for more than a month but it's already doing well enough to expand to Palm Springs. The LA Times reports that the Saguaro will take over the old Holiday Inn at Sunrise Way and East Palm Canyon Drive.
We've got word that the Saguaro Palm Springs will be very similar to the Scottsdale property featuring a complete redesign done by Stamberg Aferiat using vibrant colors inspired by the indigenous flowers of the region. And we presume there will also be a great F&B scene and a mucho affordable price point.
All this fun stuff means that the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, the reigning fun boutique spot in town, will have some fierce competition. (Not that it really matters though because the Sydell Group which owns the Ace is also opening the Saguaro PS.)