92262 Travel Guide
Admit, it. You've probably thought about what it's like to actually live in a hotel. The thought is totally normal, especially when you think about the daily housekeeping, trendy design and staff often responding to most every want. Well, this idea can be a reality with a trip to the desert of Palm Springs and your own little slice of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Hard Rock is looking for people, regular people like yourself, to invest in the luxury 163-room resort in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. With a little professional help from RealtyMogul.com, interested (and cashed-up) parties will register their desire to be part of the America's first fully online crowd-funded hotels.
Benefits for signing a check with a few more decimals than a night's stay extend way beyond bragging rights. Individual investors in the hotel will receive VIP benefits ranging from free use of the hotel owner poolside cabana, 25% discounts off the best available room rates and free room upgrades. Even if you're not a regular to Coachella Valley Music Festival, this might be a good reason to get away to the desert more often.
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]
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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."
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.
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.
We had a short but sweet stay at the Colony Palm Springs over Labor Day weekend, which officially marks the beginning of the desert town's peak season. Though bargains are still to be found (on a weeknight, a Standard room here can go for as low as $199), rates are expected to climb higher and higher through the winter months—by Coachella season (mid-April), the hotel will demand a three-night minimum at $799 per night. Ouch!
But a classy joint like the Colony can be enjoyed at any time of the year. And on Saturday afternoon, when we checked in, we had one thing and one thing only on our minds: hotel pool lounging. Nevermind the nearby town's attractions, nevermind the casino around the corner (we managed to squeeze that one in later). This was strictly business, and the clock was ticking.
At this point, we're kind of collecting instances of plug panels showing up in hotel rooms. The latest is an unexpected find, at a hotel that's probably one of the last where someone would choose to do business: The Riviera Palm Springs. Basically if you're staying at The Riviera, you're more than likely just using your room as a place to sleep, dry your swimsuits, and occasionally nap to cool off in the air conditioning.
Regardless, the hotel is surprisingly up on its techas we saw with this outlet and A/V panel built into the mirrored TV table, just above the minibar.
Thumbs up...except for one huge problems we're beginning to notice when hotels get proactive and install plug panels: this won't fit Macbook Magsafe plugs! You know what we're talking aboutthose big white blocks on the end of Macbook cords, with the plug sticking out of it. Sure, you can attach the included Macbook extension cord to get around the big white block part, but then the outlet must be for grounded plugs (which this one luckily is). Ughh, tiny aggravation after tiny aggravation. Welcome to the modern world.
Think for a second. Why do people go to Palm Springs, CA? There's the colorful culture, gambling here and there, the sun so hot it takes like ten minutes to tan and mmm...mid-century modern style. Also: affordable hotels in the middle of all this with great pools.
Recently, taking advantage of a cheapie deal on JetSetter.com, we hightailed it to the Riviera Palm Springs to soak in the sun, yes, but also their free-form pool. By free-form, we mean that it's not rectangle-shaped, or a perfect circle or even kidney. It's kind of like a goopy blob shape if viewed from above, but this irregular form has its serious advantages.
You’ve heard of peekaboo bathrooms, of course, but this is taking it to a whole new level. This, people, is the view from our shower at the Orbit In in Palm Springs.
We knew we were getting an outdoor shower when we booked the room – it’s on the website for this room (the Albert Frey Lounge) and was explained to us over the phone. But the guy on the phone also said it’s completely hidden from view. Which it is – from this angle.
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Yes, we're back in PS. Is there ever any reason not to be? Not when its hotels keep knocking out such awesome deals. The latest we scored: $195 ($226 inc tax) for three nights at the Renaissance Palm Springs, thanks to Voyage Prive. Seeing as rooms are running at $199 a night at the moment – and it’s one of the few hotels in Palms Springs not to have a resort fee, it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
We had a hellish journey getting in – nine hours for what should have been a four-hour drive from Vegas, thanks to a car that broke down three times en route. The final breakdown, as we were waiting for the tow truck, we called the hotel to warn them that we’d be arriving late. The woman on the phone was sympathetic, told us about a nearby carpark where we could leave our dead car for free rather than paying the $10 hotel charge, and wished us well on our journey. That got us in a good mood for the hotel.
In the end, thanks to the tow truck getting lost and it being past midnight, we dumped the car in the hotel carpark instead, and came in to be told by the lady at check in that she was waiving the parking charge since our car was unusable. Then, when we asked for a nice view, she told us that since we’d had a crappy day, she would upgrade us to a room overlooking the pool. Yes, you could call it an upgrade – we went upstairs to room 4339 and realised that she'd given us a “resort suite” – basically a junior suite with a pool view (standard junior suites look over the mountains).