Aaaa… it’s been a long f’ing year, am I right? 2020 can kiss my ass buh-bye! Who’s dying for a get-away? Me, me, me, me. I haven’t gone this long without a trip in years. My main destination for 20+ years has been Palm Springs. I love that sweet little town, at one point I decided I wanted to move there, still might. It’s warm, and by warm I mean hot, beautiful, glorious in fact, a bit bougie, but still friendly, close to my baby-girl in L.A. and it’s hot, did I mention it’s hot? I love hot weather, gimme, gimme that hot air and AC!
My Oklahoma cowgirl, Pinto Pony proprietor, Queen of Kitsch friend, Ruby Montana, bought the Coral Sands in 2000. I immediately flew down there with my squad to see what all the fuss was about. Ruby hadn’t even taken ownership yet, but we stayed a couple of days and reported back to her on our experience, and after Ruby took ownership, we went back year after year… and so my love affair with Palm Springs began.
Coral Sands Palm Springs, Circa 1945
Coral Sands, Palm Springs Circa 2001-2020 – Rich Fishman Photography
There are many things I love about this darling desert town, but what I love most are The Coral Sands and Ruby Montana. This has always been our “happy place”. Both my husband Joe and I, our children, our friends, and our family have had the best times of our lives at The Coral Sands. I wish I could teleport there right now!
I have stayed at a few other hotels in Palm Springs when Ruby couldn’t accommodate me on short notice… nothing compares to The Coral Sands of course, but here are a few recommendations.
The Ace Hotel Palm Springs is a Howard Johnson’s turned into a modern hipster pad. I liked it! Our room was a minimalistic concrete box located on the ground floor just outside the fenced pool area, with a white fluffy duvet topped floor bed, (hope you can pop-up from the floor without help, haha) sounds chilly, I know, but in PS that’s not a bad thing. I’ve stayed at the Ace Hotel in L.A. and what the Ace Hotel always does right, is hospitality, food, and a cool vibe. The Ace PS has a sweet outdoor spot next to the pool for breakfast and the avocado toast was exceptional! The Ace L.A., same same. We did have a little prob, a leaky pipe under the sink that smelled like a waste plant, we burned candles, and they credited us one night’s stay, that was cool. The pool was packed! If you like a hipster crowd of young 30 somethings and earthy, urban, hipster families with cute, but loud children, this is your hang. Lord & Taylor, I’m old!
Ace Hotel & swim club palm springs
Another hotel I have stayed at, The Avalon (previously The Viceroy) home of my fave PS spa, Estrella. I stumbled upon this gorgeous property after booking my girls and me a spa day the first time we visited PS in 2000, and now, I try to return to the spa every-time I’m in PS. One year we booked a night to stay in a cabana to see how the stay was… very nice, very pricey, but I loved the experience. Comfy bed, posh style, beautiful pool right outside our door, and the food and cocktails were scrumptious. The spa is a must-do! Pro technicians, sweet staff (only one mishap in 20 yrs), and their products are top-shelf. I WILL stay there again.
Avalon Palm springs
One hotel I am considering, recommended by a friend because of its size and privacy, is The Old Ranch Inn (virtual tour). Located in downtown Palm Springs, just a quick walk to all the great restaurants and shops, and very affordable.
The Old Ranch Inn
And then there are the places I covet… the gorgeously groomed, always a bit over-priced, but usually worth it, with occasional celebrity sightings, that I would really like to be able to afford every time I’m in PS but probably shouldn’t drop that kind-of-cheddah on. (remember I’m a-bit-bougie)
The Parker Palm Springs is a retro-glam-style hotel nestled in beautiful lush grounds with winding pathways, fire pits, hammocks, and crickets courts, truly gorgeous! The rooms are styled colorful and funky, courtesy of one of my fave designers, Jonathan Adler. It’s not a cheap stay… but the grounds, amenities, style, and location, could make for a memorable experience. Mixed reviews… they may be a little full of themselves, but this pandemic and downturn may have burst their amber bubble and given them a more humble appreciation for their guests… I say it’s worth a try if you’ve got the dollar bills, y’all.
Parker Palm Springs
The Colony Palms Hotel is just off the main drag in PS on Indian Canyon. It’s known as a party hotel and they say “all the action is by the pool, baby”, but boast that it is not loud when “lit”. Not officially kid-free, but you won’t see many water-winged cuties splashing about. The rooms are subtly sophisticated with brilliantly colored mosaic tiles, and some rooms have fireplaces and claw-foot tubs and open to a central courtyard with a pool. The outdoor spaces are intimate and lush. BTW… the casita is worth splurging on. They have a newly redesigned Spa and it’s a haute wedding and event destination… worth a look and perhaps a stay!
The Colony Palms in Palm Springs
Like to PAR-TAY? Or perhaps you’ve been blackmailed into hosting your rowdy college gal-pals bachelorette? The Saguaro Palm Springs is IT! The vibe is “tequila shots all day, bitch” and “we’ll eat when the pool waiter remembers to bring us a menu”. This place is popular, maybe not for the comfy beds, but it looks, and I’ve heard, is fun!
The Saguaro Palm Springs
The Ritz Carlton in Rancho Mirage. Sooooo, my hubby, Joe built this beauty that sits high atop the mountain that overlooks Rancho Mirage (where the “family-money” go to die). I have visited (picture me drooling) many times for drinks and the spa, it is fabulous! I want to stay there (Joe, are you reading this?) very, very much. I love the Ritz’s hospitality, style, and amenities. From the miss manners front desk staff to the game lawns, to the cocktail balcony with a gorgeous view over the grounds, to the amazing beds (sat on one, once) I want, I want, I need, I need, haha, not really, yes really.
Ritz Carlton Rancho mirage
When you can travel again… and if you love gorgeous warm, dry heat, super friendly peeps, 4-star restaurants, and spa-days, get yourself down to Palm Springs! xo-Katie
*Pricing Key: $ = inexpensive, $$ = moderately expensive, $$$ = expensive, $$$$ = very expensive