Boutiquely Palm Springs - Alcazar

An Art District uptown favorite, The Alcazar Palm Springs is ideally located in walking distance to just about everything fabulous!  Enjoy this video tour with founder Tara Lazar Alcazar and General manager, Robert Hunt.

La Plaza Downtown Palm Springs ©Kathy Condon

Palm Springs is known for its excellent restaurants and umbrella drinks around the pool. However, after an evening enjoying our restaurants and relaxing music venues, you may need an eyeopener cup of coffee or a light breakfast the following day. Here are a few locally owned coffee shops you might want to consider.

L’Atelier Café means coffee shop in English. It is located in our historic La Plaza. Thus, it is centrally located and about two blocks from the well-known La Serenas Villas boutique hotel.

Like so often happens, this town draws people in and makes it hard to leave. Visiting Palm Springs from Southern France, the present owners dined at this coffee shop. While sipping their coffee and people watching, the enchanting charm of this desert city hooked them. The words, “This café is for sale,” are stuck in their heads as they head back to France.

Three months later, they sold their place in France and bought the café. Now, this thriving location has people raving about its croissants, brioche, and quiche.

Koffi Readily Available to Help You Wake Up ©Kathy Condon

Want a quiet place to meet friends or work on the next great American novel? There is a Koffi nearby to serve you. With three locations in Palm Springs, you just have to search out which one is nearby your hotel.

North Koffi appears to be your average coffee shop. However, after you have your coffee and breakfast pastries in hand, continue walking to the back of the store. Once you walk through the door, there before you an expansive grass-covered courtyard, complete with sculptures, a view of the mountains, lounging chairs, and palm trees. If you are lucky, you may even see the resident roadrunner.

Central Koffi is the newest addition in Palm Springs. Located on busy Tahquitz Boulevard, it is set far off the street, so it is quiet under the bright blue umbrellas. If you want a pleasant place to have a meeting, this is a place to consider.

South Koffi, located in South Palm Canyon, is one busy place. Serving the same great coffee and pastries as the others, its location is perfect for a quick stop before heading down the valley or to one of our many trails.

Ernest Coffee Brews up the Unusual ©Kathy Condon

Ernest Coffee is an independently-owned coffee shop in the former home of the Don Beachcomber in North Palm Springs on North Palm Canyon Drive. Look for a building with lots of orange accents and the original tiki torches guarding the door. Their patio is a great place to strike up conversations with others who have discovered their excellent Stumptown Coffee.

Located near Coyote Inn, this coffee shop is a great place to go for breakfast for their variety of pastries. Be sure to try their flaky, so satisfying scones.

The adventurous types will be delighted to discover the wide variety of coffee drinks and teas. The baristas are creative, so you never know what the special of the day maybe. How about a golden milk kind of chai tea with healing herbs and coconut milk? Okay, you got the idea; this is the place to try something new or just enjoy a perfect cup of coffee to start your day.

Café LaJefe Newest Coffee Shop in Palm Springs ©Kathy Condon

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century architecture for a reason. Great care has been taken to preserve buildings built in the mid-50s and 60s. Happily, Café LaJefe’s new home is located in a repurposed bank building in the Uptown Design District. It is right around the corner from the Los Arboles Hotel.

Their large patio provides the backdrop for your Instagram photos of your Palm Springs vacation with its colorful string-back chairs. Of course, these comfortable chairs, many of them rocking chairs, will beckon you to stay longer than you had anticipated.

Believing in partnership, the owners seek out ways to not only serve their community but provide sustainable coffee from Sister’s Coffee in Bend, Oregon, and gourmet food from local artisan Chula Artisan Eatery.  Thus, you can get your morning pick-me-up cup of coffee and grab some healthy organic food for your lunch later in the day.

Ristretto Serves Up a Magnificent View of the Mountains ©Kathy Condon

One wouldn’t expect a coffee shop to have thirst-quenching Italian sodas. However, the local owners of Ristretto are well aware that our summer’s rising temperatures increase the need for a cool, tall drink. Thus, why not a drink that is not readily available in other places in Palm Springs.

Across the parking lot, Bank of America is one of the most iconic modernist architectural buildings in our city. If you stay at the Ingleside Inn, it is easy to walk across the street for a scone or a muffin. Their inviting patio literally sits at the foot of the Jacinto Mountains.

Are you going on a hike? They have vegan choices and salads that will be perfect for eating as you hike and stop and take a break as you sit and enjoy the views looking over Coachella Valley.

4 Paws Coffee Co. Welcomes Dogs ©Kathy Condon

The Northside of Palm Springs needed a coffee shop. Thus, when 4 Paws Coffee Co came into the neighborhood, it was greeted with cheers. Guests of hotels, such as The Cole, can now grab a cup of coffee on the way to exploring our many attractions.

Not only are dogs welcomed, but they also get a free treat. The “puppy cup” (whip cream with a dog treat bone) is a big hit with their 4-legged guests. It is not unusual to see dogs in training as service dogs, for the atmosphere is conducive to quiet contemplation and people watching. In addition, the coffee shop is a great supporter of our animal shelter programs.

They have breakfast entrées. Word is their turkey croissant alongside their organic and certified coffee salted caramel latte is a great lunch.

Part of Palm Springs’ charm is the slow pace and the ability to stop and relax practically any place in the community where you can see our magnificent Jacinto Mountains. So, take your time and stop in one of our local coffee shops. You are sure to meet some of our residents who are ready to share our history and give you suggestions for places to see that are often now obvious to a visitor.  Better yet please take advantage of our summer discounts and stay longer.

From The Weekend to the newly-expanded Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, the hotel landscape of Palm Springs is changing.

There’s never been a more exciting time to visit a Palm Springs boutique hotel and cast off winter’s gloom.

Several hotels, including The Weekend Palm Springs, are now open and welcoming guests, while timeless favorites, like The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, have recently expanded. At the Desert Riviera and Hotel California, there’s even a brand new owner.

Two new hotels — The Weekend Palm Springs and Tuscany Manor — both have roots in Palm Springs, as they were built in the 1970s. A newly renovated 10-suite hotel, The Weekend offers sophisticated mid-century modern furnishings. The living rooms are spacious, the bathrooms have rain showers and L’Occitane toiletries, and the private patios are made for relaxation, with lounge chairs and fountains. In the morning, a complimentary breakfast is delivered to guests.

“What people really love is the space and attention to detail,” owner Mark Hermann says.

The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn has long been one of Palm Springs’ most legendary properties, originally serving as a private getaway for a Los Angeles millionaire in the 1920s. For years, this graceful hotel had only eight guest rooms, but the property doubled in size when it was joined with the nine-room Bishop House. Guests can travel between both buildings via footpaths.

“The Willows is a confection of the past,” owner Tracy Conrad says. “It recreates a more gracious and lovely time in two twin historic homes which have hosted luminaries, dignitaries, scientists, and royalty.”

Neil Mehta is the newest hotelier in Palm Springs, having purchased the Desert Riviera and Hotel California in January. Mehta comes to the desert with a background in real estate development, and experience in the hospitality industry — he owns a hotel in Newport Beach. Consistency is important to Mehta, and he does not plan on making any major changes to his popular hotels.

“That was the most critical element of our purchase, to ensure that guests did not feel a thing,” Mehta says.

He will add fun new amenities, like movies by the pool at the Desert Riviera and giving guests access to both properties. Mehta has long been enamored with Palm Springs, and can’t wait to get settled.

“I am a big fan of the city of Palm Springs and of the culture that has always embraced diversity,” Mehta says. “I’m excited to be part of it, to grow our business, and to provide positive experiences for guests.”

The front entrance to Les Cactus Palm Springs painted green and pink with cacti in pots

Centrally located in the Warm Sands neighborhood of Palm Springs, the historic 1930’s property has been refreshed under the direction of up-and-coming LA-based hotelier/designer Matthew Kurtz in partnership with local hoteliers Richard Crisman and Jeff Brock. Together they strive to deliver a new, whimsical boutique hotel with minimalistic yet chic design and approachable service – all at an affordable price point.

Women are shaking things up in Palm Springs. Many of the boutique hotels in Palm Springs are owned or co-owned by women, and each one has her own distinct story on how she became a hotelier.

Many of Palm Springs’ best boutique hotels are owned and operated by women

Women are shaking things up in Palm Springs. Many of the boutique hotels in Palm Springs are owned or co-owned by women, and each one has her own distinct story on how she became a hotelier.

Mona Verlengia, owner of The Aloha Hotel Palm Springs, grew up watching her parents operate restaurants on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. After her father’s death, Verlengia’s mother moved to Palm Springs in the early 1970s and purchased The Aloha Hotel, built in 1947.

“I asked my mom questions every day,” Verlengia says. She learned the ropes by watching her mother run the hotel at a time “when women were not applauded.” Verlengia spent 30 years teaching at College of the Desert, and loves the legacy that her mother passed down to her. “The hotel business is exciting,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade the Aloha for any other job.”

Denise Adams, a Los Angeles native, spent countless weekends as both a child and adult visiting Palm Springs. At the same time she sold her greeting card business, the opportunity to purchase an older hotel on North Palm Canyon Drive came up, and she quickly made an offer.

In November 2014, The Palm Springs Hotel opened, and she has found that being a female hotelier is empowering. Adams makes it a point to know how to do every job at the hotel, and “loves exceeding [guest] expectations with great service and great ambience,” she says.

Cornelia Shuster of La Maison, a former advertising agency owner, is no stranger to the power of outreach. “When I opened my first inn, another woman hotelier reached out to me and showed me everything I needed to know. From refunds to staffing, she was shockingly honest.” That gesture influenced Cornelia and set her on the same path. “I always try to reach out to other women hoteliers to see how I can help them.” From Cornelia’s handmade lavender breakfast scones to the imported luxury linens, that same generosity of spirit permeates La Maison. “The name ‘La Maison’ is French for ‘my home’ or ‘the home.’ It’s more than an inn or hotel — we want people to feel like they are at home.”

Other women-owned Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels include:

About Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned, boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s unique culture and economy. From quirky, to charming, mid-century modern to clothing optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on Facebook and Instagram.

The white sign at the front of Alcazar Palm Springs with blue letters spelling out the hotel's name

As fall arrives and with winter approaching rapidly, one’s thoughts often turn to places in the sun. With an average of 269 days of sunlight every year, Palm Springs is a sound choice.

With a perfect combination of ambiance, amenities, and location, a wise choice to stay is Alcazar Palm Springs. This quiet, 34-room, secluded hotel is one block from the central artery into downtown Palm Springs. Yet, the beautiful grounds makes you feel as if you have arrived in Paradise.

Alcazar is part of local restaurateur and hotelier Tara Lazar’s F10 Creative, which focuses on developing and upholding sustainable methods of operation, maintaining genuinely happy and inspired team members, and creating unique and memorable moments for every guest.  The F in the corporate name stands for “fun, food, festivals, family, fashion and friends.” The 10 stands for 6+2+2 — their address 622 North Palm Canyon Drive.

Once you park in the spacious lot, you will see the impressive artistic gates, which give homage to the site, which was once known as the Pepper Tree Inn. These gates are large and display a local artist’s interpretation of the pepper trees once prevalent in the Palm Springs area.

When you walk through the archway to the registration desk, you immediately feel this is an extraordinary place. At the registration desk, you are graciously welcomed, offered drinks, and pastries as you take a breath and begin your time away from home.

Like a cathedral, the palo verde trees provide a canopy over this inviting space. The water screen helps provide the sense of serenity; and quickly calms any travel anxiety. At night, this area becomes a magical, communal space to enjoy the desert sky.

After you settle in, the saltwater pool beckons you to come for a swim. Lounge chairs and towels are readily available and provide the perfect accessories for you to relax after your drive or flight. As your drinks are served in the jacuzzi, you take a deep breath and realize you are now on vacation.

Hungry? No problem, you do not have to leave the premises nor take a shower and dress up. Just take the walkway to Cheeky’s. This restaurant is part of F10 with the same owners as the hotel. Farm-fresh ingredients are used to produce an ever-changing delectable breakfast and lunch menu. On weekends, you find locals waiting in line for late breakfast. Its bacon flight is a perennial favorite of tourists and locals alike.

With your car safely parked, you have access to free bicycles to start exploring Palm Springs. Each neighborhood has distinctive architectural and landscape, which makes any direction you take on our many clearly marked bike paths an exceptional experience. After each use, bicycles are thoroughly disinfected as part of Alcazar’s Covid-19 protocol.

After your bike ride, swim, and shower, it is time for dinner. Just a few steps from Cheeky’s is Birba, where the menu is seasonal and the ingredients perfectly fresh. This outdoor restaurant has a great story. The owner’s husband’s family is from Italy. When F10 decided to add another restaurant to its portfolio, he said, “I would like a restaurant where we could use my grandmother’s recipes.

The name, Birba, in Italian means “Little Rascal.” It was the name his grandmother called him when he grew up.  Reservations are recommended.

Robert Hunt has been the manager of this hotel since it became Alcazar in 2011. He has watched over every detail of its creation. When the cleanliness of even the courtyard chairs was mentioned, he replied, “I’m a little OCD about keeping this place immaculate, sometimes to the despair of my team.”

Eleven years is a long time for a hotel manager to be in one place; the obvious question was, “What has kept you here so long?” He said, with a broad smile, “We realize we have to change with time. I am a fortunate person to make creative suggestions, and once approved, I am the one to implement them. Besides, gesturing his hands to the beautifully serene courtyard, “Can you think of a better workplace than this?”

Dive Palm Springs, BelleVue Oasis join the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels family.

It was a summer of change in Palm Springs, and this fall, you’ll want to check out — and check into — the newest boutique hotels to open in the city.

LaReve room at Dive hotel

Dive Palm Springs is an 11-room paradise, inspired by the French Riviera. Formerly Colt’s Lodge, the property reopened in August, after a meticulous two-month renovation. Most of the rooms come with an outdoor patio, and the most magical one of all, La Reve, features a customer ceiling mural and wallpaper by Christian Lacroix and a gorgeous red-tiled bathroom with a rainfall shower and smoked glass two-way mirror.

“Dive is more than a hotel,” owner and general manager Abdi Manavi says. “It’s a private luxury time machine. Evoking the casual elegance of Saint Tropez in the 1960s, we created Dive to transport our guests to a romantic forgotten world where it’s still safe to relax, play, explore, and release all the trappings of modern life.”

In September, Escape Palm Springs officially became BelleVue Oasis. It is no longer a men’s clothing-optional hotel, but will remain a 21-and-over, mid-century modern resort. The lush grounds are what inspired the new name, with senior hotel manager Charles Zalepeski saying once you walk onto the property, “it’s kind of shocking, you don’t expect it to be as beautiful and as big as it is. The pool is beautiful, and the mountain views are ridiculous.”

Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, is under new management by the Casseta Group. Casa Cody was founded in the 1920’s by Hollywood pioneer, Harriet Cody, cousin to the legendary, Buffalo Bill. Renovations are underway in several rooms as well as at the Winters House, an original 1930’s California Ranch House, which was added to the property in 2004.

With the closing of the Terra Cotta Resort, Tuscany Manor is now the go-to destination for adults looking for a clothing-optional experience. The all-suite hotel boasts apartment-style units with one or two bedrooms, plus kitchens and living and dining rooms. There is also an updated flower-filled courtyard, complete with a renovated pool, spa, and picnic area. In another major change, the entire property is now smoke free.

As for the Terra Cotta Resort, it is being renovated and will reopen in the fall of 2020 under a new name.

And if owning an exclusive boutique hotel is the dream of a lifetime, The Old Ranch Inn, a Spanish-style landmark hotel built in Palm Springs in the 1930’s, is available for sale at $2.5 million. 

About Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Welcome to the Old Ranch Inn, an intimate 21+ boutique hotel in Palm Springs, California

These hotels and their owners are bringing fresh perspectives to Palm Springs

From the intimate and tranquil Old Ranch Inn to the fun and fabulous Float, you’ll want to check in to Palm Springs’ newest boutique hotels.

When the Old Ranch Inn’s new owners, husbands Jason Ball and Troy Jones, first stepped onto the property, it was love at first sight. Together, they have refreshed the 8-room Old Ranch Inn, and nearly all of the renovations are completed — the exteriors are new, there is fresh landscaping, and almost all of the rooms have been repainted with updated furniture. For longtime fans of the Old Ranch Inn, they can expect the same warm and welcoming environment.

“When guests come, we want this to be an intimate getaway for them to rest and restore and relax, party a little bit, and be in a good mood,” Jason says. “When they leave, we want them to say they had a great experience and are ready to come back.”

Tortuga del Sol is now Float Palm Springs, a place where guests can enjoy lounging by the pool, sunbathing with friends, or kicking back in their well-appointed rooms. “Its essence is more of a retreat, where you can relax and have fun,” owner Tayfun King says. “You can meet people or be with your own crowd. It’s a very sociable space.” He came up with the name Float because when people think of “quintessential Palm Springs,” they imagine “a person in a pool, floating on an inflatable, with palm trees and blue skies behind them.” While Tortuga del Sol catered to gay men, Float Palm Springs caters to anyone who wants a classic Palm Springs stay experience.

If you love the Santiago Resort, you’re going to adore its new brother property, Descanso Resort. Formerly known as East Canyon Resort & Spa and the Uptown Hotel, the 14-room Descanso will open in the fall, catering to gay men but providing luxe accommodations to a diverse clientele.

The former East Canyon Resort & Spa will become the Descanso Resort  now that it has been purchased by the owners of the iconic Santiago Resort.

The main building is now undergoing renovations, and all of the spacious guest rooms will receive “a complete facelift, top to bottom,” Kent Taylor, general manager of the Santiago Resort, says. That involves new paint, furniture, floors, and window coverings, plus high-end linens and bath towels. “It will feel like a completely different room by the time we’re done,” Kent says. The grounds are also being revamped, and a cantina area is being configured so guests can enjoy gourmet coffee and other drinks throughout the day. Just like at the Santiago, the Descanso staff will go above and beyond to make every guest feel welcome and at ease. “The goal is to make it even more of a men’s boutique hotel experience by the time we’re done, to make it even more special than the Santiago,” Kent says.

For fans of mid-century architecture, the Hotel Las Palmas, opening early this fall, is for you. This property, formerly known as the La Posada, was designed in 1952 by Herbert Burns, and new owner Ben Storck is making sure that the hotel retains its charm. “It is in remarkable condition and retains almost all of its original fixtures and details,” Ben says. “We are doing a sensitive, historical restoration and have Steven Keylon, who wrote the book on Herbert Burns, as a consultant.” He can’t wait to open the Hotel Las Palmas’ doors, promising it will be “the premier boutique hotel of Old Las Palmas.”

Two other boutique hotels are gearing up to open in the near future — the Fleur Noire Hotel and the Tiki Hotel.

In closure news, The Monkey Tree Hotel, a beloved mid-century modern property, has been sold and is now a private residence.

About Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is an association of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Subscribe to our Monthly e-Newsletter, Boutiquely Palm Springs. From tips on what to do, see and eat in Palm Springs, to interviews with hoteliers, it’s the insider’s guide to everything great about Palm Springs and its iconic boutique hotels. Follow the fun on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest

The  is pleased to announce that Danny Warhole has won its first annual Greater Palm Springs Play Gay, Stay Gay Poster & T-Shirt Contest. 

“The Board voted unanimously for Danny’s design,” said Michael C. Green, DGTG President. “It was, by far, the clearest representation of what we were trying to achieve as we celebrate fifty years of LGBTQ hospitality in the greater Palm Springs area.”

Warhole submitted both a color and a black and white design, and the DGTG Board elected to use both of them; one for the full color poster and the other for the t-shirt design, which will be executed on one color. “Both designs were uniquely ‘Palm Springs’,” said Bill Sanderson, DGTG Vice-President. “And both had particular aspects that made them ideal for our two applications. They are related, but slightly different in their focus. And since the design features a couple, we asked Danny to create one with a male couple and another with a female couple.”

The artist and contest winner, Danny Warhole, was born and raised in the Midwest (Pittsburgh and suburban Detroit), and currently lives in Chicago with his husband, Joe. As a teenager, Danny was awed by Andy Warhol, whose art was his first exposure to homosexuality in popular culture. Today, Danny continues to take inspiration from Warhol and from the figure artwork of others such as John Singer Sargent, Tom of Finland and Mark Beard, and from photographers such as Tom Bianchi. His inspiration for the DGTG winning design comes from his love for Palm Springs, and out of a longing to see more depictions of LGBT persons in Palm Springs’ thriving art scene. For Danny, art isn’t work, it’s play. It’s a good day if his subject feels beautiful, and those who view it feel represented in the world. Danny primarily showcases his work on Instagram: @DannyWarhole

Warhole will receive $500 for his winning design, as well as an all-expense paid trip to Palm Springs, where he and his husband will stay at the popular Santiago Resort.  Other details of the visit are still being planned, but an artist reception and signing will take place at the Palm Springs Cultural Center on Wednesday, April 15th, and continue with events throughout the weekend.

About the Desert Gay Tourism Guild: The Desert Gay Tourism Guild (DGTG) is a collection of LGBTQ owned and operated businesses in greater Palm Springs, California that are dedicated to bringing the local tourism business community together to work cooperatively in marketing and advertising efforts in order to increase tourism for the Greater Palm Springs area. The goal is to promote the Greater Palm Springs area as the premier vacation destination for the LGBT traveler that it is, and let people all over the world know about the destination. Its website, https://www.palmspringsgayinfo.com/, offers a plethora of LGBTQ tourist information about the destination.

The people who own and operate the restaurants, shops, bars, spas, and boutique hotels in Palm Springs are the reason why this city is such a beloved destination — because of them, when you crave sizzling fajitas, fancy a stiff drink, or want a fabulous bathing suit to wear by the pool, you can always get what you want.

Due to the pandemic, these establishments need our support more than ever. As part of the new We are Palm Springs campaign, local businesses are raising awareness, letting travelers know the services they offer, and how they enhance their Palm Springs experience.

When we can safely travel again, book your stay at one of our independently-owned Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels — intimate establishments that cater to all travelers, from mid-century modern fans to those who adore Mediterranean architecture.

Once in Palm Springs, there are hundreds of mom-and-pop restaurants to order from, offering to-go, curbside, and delivery. The Los Arboles Hotel is home to El Mirasol, a delicious Mexican restaurant, while next door to Alcazar Palm Springs is Cheeky’s, a breakfast hotspot. After fueling up, you’ll be ready to check out the world-class shopping in downtown Palm Springs, from Wabi Sabi Japan Living to Destination PSP to Bouschet, the place for premiere wines.

Want to show your support from home? Call your favorite restaurant to see about buying a gift certificate you can use the next time you are in town. If you’re within driving distance, place a to-go order and enjoy a meal in the comfort of your own dining room. You can also go shopping — if your favorite boutique doesn’t have an online store, find out if they will let you shop over the phone and ship your purchase.

Spread the love further on social media — tag photos of your favorite shops, restaurants, and hotels with #wearepalmsprings #visitpalmsprings and #PSPSH

With your help, we can keep Palm Springs fabulous!