Walking into the Palm Springs Rendezvous, blogger Jan Smith was taken aback by the hotel’s “timeless elegance.” Her visit only got better when she learned she would be staying in the “Pretty in Pink” room, where Marilyn Monroe would spend the night during her visits to Palm Springs.
Two nights a week, guests at Holiday House only have to walk a few steps in order to have a delectable dinner.
The Pantry, under the leadership of Chef Gabriel Woo, has two theme nights every week: Cantina Night on Tuesdays and Fried Chicken Fridays. Inspired by a south-of-the-border fiesta, Cantina Night’s menu includes fun appetizers, like the Papitas con Limon y Chile (potato chips with lime and HH Hot Sauce), and carnitas, chicken tinga, and mushroom tacos. Seafood lovers can order the tostada de ceviche, and for dessert, there’s the indulgent dark chocolate brownie with cinnamon, chipotle, orange, and ice cream. Of course, there are also handcrafted cocktails. Cantina Night runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and reservations aren’t required, but are recommended.
On Fried Chicken Fridays, dinner is served family-style, and the menu changes slightly every week. During a recent meal, diners enjoyed the bucket of vegetables with chive dip and ranch; queso fundido; fried chicken with the chef’s special blend of savory spices; roasted garlic mashed potatoes; local corn and carrots; and for dessert, dark chocolate brownies with peanut butter and ice cream, topped with a Valrhona chocolate sauce. There is limited seating, and reservations are required.
The Pantry is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving lunch and brunch staples, and the full bar doesn’t close until 11 p.m. nightly. As part of a Holiday House stay, guests receive a complimentary breakfast, including pastries, yogurt, granola, and fruit.
Good news for people who want to try The Pantry, but aren’t staying at the hotel — you can still dine at the restaurant, you just need to make reservations in advance: 760-320-8866.
The Pantry is 21 and over.
In Chicago, St. Patrick’s Day is such a huge deal — they dye the Chicago River green and have a huge parade, then everyone does a pub crawl, downing Jameson shots with green beer chasers, before going home and calling in sick the next day.
At least that’s what I’ve heard.
Palm Springs loves a good parade, which is why, on St. Patrick’s Day, we don’t have one. No parade worth its floats wants to follow Pride. (Yes, Pride was in November, but it was a party!)
So, no parade, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pubs to celebrate that 2% of Irish your DNA results revealed. We’ve got Shamrocks Irish Pub, and … that concludes our tour of Irish pubs in Palm Springs.
We do, however, have a few places where you can chow down on corned beef and cabbage (C&C), the Americanized version of the meal the Irish consume on the day (in Ireland, it’s all about pork and potatoes).
Here are a few definite hits for the boiled delight, and a few that have celebrated in the past (a.k.a. may or may not this year).
Sherman’s Deli — The corned beef is always tender, and there’s not much you can do to hurt a cabbage.
Manhattan in the Desert — Located on the south end of Palm Springs, these guys make corned beef and cabbage on the regular menu.
Village Pub — This multilevel party place has had some pretty swinging St. Paddy’s days in the past. This year the party goes from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Palm Canyon Roadhouse — On Palm Canyon just southeast of Ramon Rd., this rock ‘n roll old school playground will have corned beef and cabbage on 3/17, as well as entertainment. I am not linking their website because they’ve been hacked, and unless you have a need for OTC Viagra, it’s currently useless. Link takes you to FB (which, in the grand scheme of things, is not much safer).
Agua Caliente Casino — Check with the steakhouse for C&C (not yet listed) but they DO have music in the form of Lee Rainey and the Midnight Players.
Paul Bar — This little gem is a local treasure. Hidden in a not-so-tidy strip mall on the corner of Gene Autry and Vista Chino, they have served C&C in the past. Don’t let the lack of curb appeal fool you, the inside is as classy as you can get.
And that, my friends, pretty much covers it, unless you want to make your own celebration; then, try some karaoke where you can belt out “Danny Boy” or “My Wild Irish Rose” until the other patrons throw shamrocks at you.
Don’t forget to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, though; it’s worn to keep you safe from those pesky, pinching leprechauns Palm Springs is known for (they’re not).
Happy Irish Day everyone!
Known for their intimate and extraordinary lodgings, several Palm Springs boutique hotels also have on-site restaurants that round out an authentic stay experience. Kitchens are run by chefs dedicated to creating thoughtfully prepared, and often locally sourced, meals with their own twist.
La Serena Villas
Azucar: Modern contemporary cuisine with an emphasis and focus on flavor utilizing high-quality, local ingredients.
About Chef Joane Garcia-Colson: A recovering trial lawyer turned chef who left the practice of law to pursue her true passion – cooking. After graduating with both honors and distinction from the Arizona Culinary Institute, she threw caution to the wind and established dish Creative Cuisine in 2012. In January of 2018, Joane had the opportunity to take the culinary helm at Azucar in La Serena Villas in Palm Springs. “When I walked in the door of La Serena Villas, I fell in love with the property and couldn’t wait to bring my passion and love of food to Azucar.” Joane and her team are dedicated to excellence and strive to provide their guests with a creative, delicious and memorable dining experience.
Melvyn’s: Elegantly upbeat and the home of authentic Hollywood glamour with classic dishes and PlumpJack wines. The Casablanca Lounge at Melvyn’s is known for its nightly entertainment and the popular Sunday Night Jam Sessions featuring guest musicians and singers. No shorts, flip-flops, or baseball caps are permitted in the dining room.
About Chef Jennifer Towne: A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Town studied at Northern Italy’s Ristorante La Torre under Chef Patrizia Grossi, head chef for the Italian Olympic Team in Salt Lake City, Athens and Torino, Italy. She then went on to become junior sous chef at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas where she trained under a master French pastry chef and oversaw all aspects of food preparation within a four-star hotel. After three years of island life, Town relocated to Palm Springs to be part of the opening culinary management team for the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. In her role as executive sous chef, Town planned menus with an emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients for the hotel’s restaurant, bar, pool, in-room dining and banquets. Town also served as executive chef of the Purple Room Supper Club, a former Rat Pack hangout and destination for Palm Springs residents and travelers alike.
Interview with Executive Chef Jennifer Town (from spring 2018):
Cheeky’s: Chef: Genuinely local. Small farm food, responsibly sourced meats and fresh local produce. Modern space for creative breakfast & lunch sandwiches, bacon flights & specialty cinnamon rolls. Chef: Jose
Birba: Modern Italian restaurant with a changing menu of global eats and craft cocktails. Chic, tree-filled patio. Chef: Eric
About local chef, restaurateur and hotelier, Tara Lazar, F10 Creative.It was a simple idea: Create a fun hangout for a homemade breakfast where Tara and her friends could gather, with no fuss, fresh local ingredients, and everything made from scratch. In 2008, the now-infamous Cheeky’s was born. Always an avid eater, born of will-travel-for-food gourmand parents, Tara began building her small empire of restaurants, bars (and a hotel!) from an endless appetite of cravings, tastes, sights, sounds and colorful spaces found around the globe. Recalling a midsummer night in Tuscany, pasta-heaped and wine-imbued, Tara (and her Milanese husband) created Birba, the al fresco Italian spot next door to Cheeky’s, in 2011. With friends around the globe dropping in to visit her burgeoning Palm Springs empire, Tara dove into a splashy pool season-weekender hotel—with the ideal Palm Canyon address—in Alcazar, opened in 2011.
The Barn Kitchen: This rustic chic American eatery serves an inspired menu of sandwiches, salads and small bites daily until 6 p.m., including an excellent burger and a chicken salad sandwich that explodes with flavor (roasted chicken, avocado, bibb lettuce, tomato and spicy mustard on rustic sourdough). Family style dinners on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Reservations required.
Interview with Executive Chef Gabriel Woo (from last fall):
Pantry, also overseen by Gabriel Woo. American fare. Fried chicken supper Friday’s only. Reservations required.
Los Arboles Hotel:
El MirasolCocina Mexicana has built a reputation for consistently serving piping hot plates of artfully prepared Mexican regional cuisine and tangy, flavorful Margaritas in Palm Springs, California. It features a singular focus on wholesome, fresh food with house specialties like Chicharron en Salsa, a rich, aromatic Mole Sauce and handmade Corn Tortillas made fresh daily.
About Felipe and Lisbet Castañeda. They have seen their tiny original restaurant grow into two busy Palm Springs locations. El Mirasol South is still in the original location they opened in 1985. The restaurant is a landmark in Palm Springs and enjoys a bustling atmosphere, small bar and outside tables on East Palm Canyon Drive. The Castañedas’ are natives of the small ranching town of Tepechitlan, Zacatecas, an area with a proud culinary history that borders Jalisco’s famous Tequila region. Mexican food traditions go back for generations in this family and that passion for food translates into great meals for customers of both their Palm Springs restaurants.
Draughtsman:elevated pub fare and an extensive list of draught beers.
Reservoir: Modern Southern California cuisines
Interview with Executive chef, Carmen Rodriguez:“What I’m known for is the global Latin thing of fusing different cuisines together. But more than anything else, I fuse cultures together. I look at the history of the dish and when I find a commonality between an Asian dish and a Latin dish is when I put them together. I look for a commonality in the culture and people behind it—there are stories behind every dish.”
Missed Part 1? Read it here.
Welcome to summer in Palm Springs! This is long — lots to share! — so without further ado, the smaller resorts with restaurants:
Arrive Palm Springs — This resort is built to be social, and the poolside restaurant serves snacks and libations including “Poptails” — icy alcoholic popsicles. They used to have another restaurant, but sadly, the local favorite for lunch closed. However, you’ll barely notice the temps when you walk a few storefronts away to the hotel’s coffee shop, Cartel Coffee Lab, and ice cream parlor, Ice Cream & Shop(pe). Just a titch further is 1501 Gastropub by local restaurateurs Chad Gardner and Willie Rhine. Directly across the street from the resort is Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey Bar, which is as trendy as it sounds.
Fleur Noire Hotel — Initially called Burket’s Trade Winds Hotel, the new owners have reimagined the 1940s hotel and brought its original (heated) pool back to life. Surrounded by lush desert landscaping, the Spanish-style property has 21 casitas, studios, and standard rooms — all eclectic and all designed by Chris Pardo and wallpaper designer Ellie Cashman.
The clubhouse is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a communal pantry, lounge seating, and working and dining areas. They don’t actually have a restaurant, but Rick’s Desert Grill is its next door neighbor. They do, however, have a rosé and champagne speakeasy called La Boisson that will also bring your chilled libation poolside. You can literally have rosé all day.
Holiday House — Smack in the middle of downtown and just a bit west of Palm Canyon is Holiday House. This is the sister property of Sparrows Lodge, which is located on the south end of Palm Springs.
Named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels of 2022, Holiday House is a 21+ property. Please note there are no TVs in the rooms, but honestly, you can do that at home. Your time is best spent poolside, in a very swimmable pool.
The 28-room hipster hideaway has a little restaurant called The Pantry. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m., and they’ve even got a poolside menu. There aren’t a lot of choices for dinner, but what they do have is pretty scrumptious, which means they’re pretty busy. Locals try to go, but you guys generally have eaten all that deliciousness by the time we get there.
L’Horizon Palm Springs — Originally designed in 1952 by William F. Cody as a retreat for television producer and oil tycoon Jack Wrather and his actress wife, Bonita “Bunny” Granville (yeah, no idea either), L’Horizon has been restored to its original grandeur and is 100 percent squee-worthy.
Located on three acres, the 21+ resort has 25 private bungalows, and the original 2,000 square foot home is available for bookings as well. The living room and yard of the house have unobstructed views of the mountains, and there is a sunken seating area, wood-burning fireplace, dining room, wet bar, kitchen, marble bathrooms with rainforest showers, and an outdoor shower.
When you’re done lazing by the pool, The Spa offers massages, body treatments, facials, and add-ons like peppermint foot therapy and wild lime scalp treatments. Once you’re fully relaxed, stop by Le Shop, a boutique featuring Naturopathica’s skin care and body products, resort wear, swimsuits, jewelry, sunglasses, and home accessories.
And…drumroll…L’Horizon also has a gourmet restaurant called SO•PA that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (feel free to order poolside as well). Dramatic, refined, and intimate, SO•PA offers a unique alfresco dining experience, and is on everyone in Palm Springs’ bucket list for dining.
Los Arboles — The Casteñada family would like to welcome you to their 21-room “home” featuring a rooftop deck, a courtyard pool, hot tub, and home cooked authentic Mexican meals at El Mirasol at Los Arboles.
I am not kidding you about the authentic food. Mama Casteñeda oversees the kitchen, and all of the dishes are from her recipe box (the box actually lived in her head, and she had no need to write them down until she opened a restaurant).
The restaurant is in a courtyard, and is a local favorite. They also have a sister location on the south end of town, the original El Mirasol. Pair the jalapeño margarita with any dish and you’ll be a very happy camper.
Sparrows Lodge — The bohemian sister resort to Holiday House also has zero TVs, but man do they have a great swimmable pool and misters all throughout the courtyard. The interiors have a modernist, beachy, farmhouse feel to them. If I’m any indication, you’ll feel a sense of serenity the moment you enter.
Their restaurant is called The Barn and like The Pantry at Holiday House, it’s on everyone’s bucket list. I cannot stress to you enough that you need a reservation, and generally well in advance. Executive Chef Sebastian Lowrey and Sous Chef Daniella Lara have created some wonderful offerings for lunch and dinner, and everyone wants in.
Villa Royale — Gorgeous old bones have been renovated to an even more glorious and contemporary retreat, well off the beaten path in the Deepwell neighborhood. The 21+, 38-suite property has three pools, mountain views, and folks, it is pet-friendly.
With over 50 original pieces of artwork on site, it’s like being immersed in a museum. All of the work was commissioned exclusively for the resort, and artists Sara Radovanovich, Lou Kregal, and Juan Casas lived at the Villa Royale while creating their oil paintings, which feature everything from pop culture icons to desert scenes.
Focusing on Spanish and Mediterranean flavors and led by Chef Louis Martinez, the Del Rey is Villa Royale’s small-plate restaurant. It boasts a beautiful 12-seat oak and marble bar, as well as booths and an outdoor patio with firepit. The cocktail menu is very creative — drink ingredients include black tea ice cubes, saffron syrup, and olive oil — so get ready to imbibe.
Coming next Tuesday: resorts with breakfast and lunch served on premise for guests only. Not a local in sight.
It’s getting even hotter here in Palm Springs, and I’m not just talking about the temperature. From the ashes of 2020, new establishments were born – some so new that locals haven’t even had an opportunity to try them! Some are fancy, some are grab and go, but they’ve all got one thing in common, they’re all brand-spankin’ new and they’re all fabulous.
Quick note: *means I have personally been here and loved it!
Bar Cecil – The brand new eatery is definitely going to be one of the hottest spots around. Check out the story and pix on their website.
Gabino’s Creperie – it’s small, and maybe a tad hard to find, but doesn’t that make it pretty special? Located at the tri-corner of E. Palm Canyon, S. Palm Canyon, and Belardo. If you run into Kreem, a fabulous vegan local ice cream shop, you’re in the right neighborhood. If you’re craving a nice glass of wine, or a frosty beer stop at Dead Or Alive just a few steps north where you can also order from Gabino’s!
1501 Uptown Gastropub Pub – If you’ve ever been to *Eight 4 Nine, *533 Viet Fusion or *Roly China Fusion then you know you’re in the hands of two of PS’s finest restaurateurs, Willie Rhine and Chad Gardner. Make reservations, they’ve been booked solid since they opened.
Boozehounds located at the old Dink’s space at 2080 North Palm Canyon. Beverages of every ilk, a great menu, and 4 tables set aside as work spaces. Especially for dog owners (aka bring’em).
Four Twenty Bank Dispensary and Lounge: At 38,000 square feet, it’s in the running for world’s largest dispensary and cannabis lounge. Pool tables, pinball, Zoltar! and the game Operation are just a few ways to play while enjoying your purchases.
Vegan Clean Green Eatin’
So many people have dietary restrictions these days. Some are by choice, others for medical reasons. Whatever your reason, we’ve got you covered. All have plant-based options, and for those of you who are gluten free, just about every eatery has something for you. Including the bakeries. Here are some of the great vegan friendly places. Keep in mind that vegan doesn’t mean gluten free. Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and tempeh is made with soy, but they all still have something for everyone’s appetite.
Wake Up Winning With These Local Coffeehouses
You likely know about *Koffi, but here are some other local roasters and coffeehouses to get your caffeine on. Cafe La Jefa (Latina owned), Ernest Coffee, Gre Coffeehouse and Art Gallery (and they spin LPs). Bonus points: most are within walking distance of our boutique hotels.
Tootin’ Terrific Tours
There’s a LOT of great hiking to be done in Palm Springs, but sometimes you just want someone else to show you around. And that’s what tours are for. And some, like the CannaBus Express Tours, will take you to places no human dares to….nah, just kidding, but you will get to go places that most will never get to see. It’s from “Root to Toot” and it’s a three-hour tour, where you’ll visit growers, distillers, distributors with a “high light” at the end, aka a dispensary lounge where you can smoke’em if you bought’em but smoking on the bus is a no-no.
Indian Canyons is one of the best places to hike in Palm Springs, there are tons of different trails, but Red Jeep Walking Jeep Tours is happy to show you around. They’ve got tours of the San Andreas Fault, Joshua Tree, and more. Check’em out. Some include lunch!
If you missed Modernism Week, then PS Mod Squad has some great tours for you. It’s all about the architecture – “see the works of William Cody, Albert Frey, Hugh Kaptur, William Krisel, E. Stewart Williams and Donald Wexler along with others that have been influenced by their version of Southern California Modernism. They’ve also got a socially distanced interior tour. Check ‘em out.
That should keep you busy for awhile! Next month, we’ll bring you more fun options because we have barely scratched the surface of all the magic that is Palm Springs. And let’s not forget those wise words from Kurt Vonnegut’s commencement speech, “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.” If you’re older than 20 then you know I just lied to you. That it was written by Kurt Vonnegut is an urban legend. Instead, it was written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune as a speech she would have liked to give to a graduating class. Vonnegut/Schmich, the message is clear and true: Wear sunscreen.
Say, if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotel (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!) #PSPSH
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, we’re delving into boutique hotels that have food and beverages available for guests only — but I’ve also got a few surprises tucked in here as well.
With these resorts, breakfasts are almost always included, and the afternoons have other delectable amenities. It’s all about shutting out the rest of the world. These hotels really do provide everything you’ve ever wanted in a luxurious getaway — and more.
Dive — This funky and stylish 21+, 11-room resort is a visit to the south of France (on the southern end of Palm Springs). Be on the look out for their neon 1940s, bathing suit-clad young lady in mid-dive, and you’ll know you’re in the right place.
That diving lady is one of the Lulus, and there are two more behind the stucco privacy walls that hide the soul-quenching slice of Saint Tropez waiting inside. The grounds are nook-filled, with a historic and very swimmable pool, and each room is a work of art. The place is truly unique.
When you’re ready for food, you can either pop by and place an order at the window, or text them from your phone and someone will bring it to you, because you’re on vacation and you’re posh. I can’t wait to tell you all about Dive, which I will do soon. Just know that you are going to lose your ish over it. Seriously.
The Marley — Bring your besties, because this nine bedroom, nine bath property only books one group at a time (it can accommodate up to 22 guests!).
There is a gorgeous Viking catering kitchen so you can hire a chef and not have to worry about a meal. There is also a spacious pool and a fire pit. It’s the perfect place for a bachelorette weekend, a milestone birthday, a corporate workshop, or a yoga retreat. How about a college reunion with your old chums?
This place is equal parts sassy and dreamy. I encourage you to check out the photos on their website — I had trouble trying to figure out what part of it to show you!
The Willows Historic Palm Springs Innn — I used to deliver rack cards for the Purple Room to this eight room resort, and I was never allowed past the gate, that’s how exclusive it is. It has a delightful history — this boutique hotel was once an old mansion, and Albert Einstein had a favorite bench here.
Guests are served a three-course gourmet breakfast in front of a 50-foot waterfall, and in the afternoon, wine and hors d’oeuvres are served in the lounge. Fresh fruit is available all day, and guests not wanting to leave for lunch or dinner can order room service from Le Vallauris, the French restaurant across the street.
Korakia Pensione — Downtown, but tucked away from any distractions, is Korakia Pensione, described by The New York Times as “one of the sexiest hotels in America.”
Korakia is housed in two lovingly restored historic villas, and rests on 1.5 lush acres. There are bungalows, guesthouses, gardens, and pools. It positions itself as more of a retreat than a resort, although it’s not lacking in amenities. Expect a full breakfast, lunch options by the pool or in your room, yoga, meditation and afternoon Moroccan tea. They even have a bazaar for shopping (guests only).
Truly an escape from the rest of the world.
Orbit In — One of the cutest retro hotels around, even the staff gets into the ’60s vibe. Breakfast consists of gourmet yogurts and granola, there are pool snacks at lunch time, and Orbitinis are served during the cocktail hour. Nice pool, nice people, on a quiet street near Spencer’s (yum!).
Santiago Resort — Gorgeous resort, with tropical plants and exotic flowers. Not only do they feed you breakfast and lunch, but there are spa services and a pool that is such perfection it’s nearly hard to describe.
INNdulge — One of the larger resorts, it has a magnificent pool, and amenities include daily continental breakfast and evening social hour. The owner is a huge art fan, and there are fun and funky pieces throughout the property. More info here.
Triangle Inn – Built in the 1960s as The Impala Lodge, Triangle Inn has a help yourself continental breakfast, and on special occasions you can find Michael (one of the owners) outside cooking up a southern feast. This is the only resort I am mentioning that has kitchens/kitchenettes because they have a houseman that does your dishes for you. You get all of the fun of cooking, but none of the drudgery of cleanup.
Many of our resorts have full kitchens and kitchenettes but that’s not what this is about. This is about you doing nothing. And loving every second of it.
Of course, you can turn any hotel into a restaurant by using Postmates, UberEats, or Grubhub, but there’s comfort in knowing there is delicious sustenance readily available should you experience a food or drink 911.
Joking aside, it’s a very serious world right now, and I think we all need to take a break from the news and regroup. These small resorts offer unforgettable experiences, and each one strives to make their property uniquely their own. All are wildly different, but one thing they have in common is unparalleled hospitality — and you deserve a pampered and luxurious getaway.
Palm Springs in the summer is a bit of a scorcher, and because some people are extra precious, there are deals to be had. I encourage you to check those out.
As we say in Palm Springs, stay cool by the pool! No, we don’t say that. Not out loud. That would be a little cringe. We just go ahead and do it without talking about it because it’s a great way to beat the heat.
Not gonna lie, the A/C is super helpful, too.
By: Susan Montgomery
Palm Springs attracts visitors for so many reasons—from its wonderful weather (the best in the country some say) to its charming boutique hotels, but did you know that this fabulous travelers’ destination is also a haven for some of the most imaginative and delicious cocktails in the world?
My travel partner, Linda, and I recently went on a cocktail tour of Palm Springs (admittedly a tough assignment, but someone had to do it). Our tour resulted in some enticing suggestions for any cocktail aficionados out there. You can find many of these cocktails at the bars or restaurants at the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels. We were visiting on a hot August day and these cocktails provided refreshing reprieves from the warm weather.
Azúcar at La Serena Villas:
We stopped for some small plates and cocktails at Azúcar, the delightful restaurant at La Serena Villas. While all their craft cocktails were tempting, we particularly enjoyed the Rosearita with its complimentary flavors of tequila, rose and pamplemousse liqueurs, lemon and raspberry nectars, highlighted by a rose sugar rim. My tasting colleague (who savors spice) loved the Spicy Melon with Mezcal, jalepeno tequila, aperol, watermelon puree, and lemon and agave nectars. An upstairs patio lounge overlooking the serene pool is the perfect place to enjoy these cocktails. The menu also includes small plates such as the savory chicken lettuce wraps and tasty cauliflower tacos that we enjoyed with our cocktails.
We enjoyed the cozy lobby bar at Holiday House and, while we did not try any food, the menu was appealing. The Aperol Spritz, made with procesco and orange, was particularly refreshing and beautiful to behold. A Raspberry Mojito was icy and fruity with a subtle sweetness. This would have been the ideal relaxing setting to while away the afternoon, but we had more cocktails to try. We’ll be back.
Cheeky’s is a popular breakfast and lunch spot adjacent to the lushly-landscaped Alcazar Hotel. I have relished breakfast here several times and have always enjoyed their spicy bloody mary, which is the perfect drink for jump starting a day of touring Palm Springs, especially when accompanied by the restaurant’s popular bacon tasting.
Mr. Lyons and Seymour’s:
Mr. Lyons is a quintessential steakhouse where we enjoyed icy cold martinis with our tender, perfectly prepared filets. Then we adjourned next door to the hidden-away Speakeasy, Seymour’s, where Linda sipped a Copa Cobana, enjoying the unique combination of flavors — rum, coconut, mango, basil and nutmeg. I adored a luscious dessert cocktail created just for me by Zane, the creative bartender, who concocted my drink with vodka, crème de menthe, and muddled mint—all accented with a dash of Aztec chocolate bitters. We loved sitting at the bar and chatting with Zane in the enchanting ambiance of this special hideaway.
Wexler’s at Arrive:
Arrive is a modern 21-room hotel with a rocking, high energy vibe. The cocktails in Wexler’s Deli onsite reflect this hopping tone. We tried a Smokin’ Cuke’s cocktail made with tequila, cucumber, lime, and a black salt rim. It was crispy and refreshing on a steamy Palm Springs afternoon, but the highlight was the icy All-American Snowcone, which looked just like your traditional childhood treat—but with booze, of course. We savored these creative drinks with a delicious Smoked Fish Plate.
Del Rey at Villa Royale:
The bar at Del Rey, a welcoming refuge on the Villa Royale property, is dimly lit and romantic, a cool oasis on a warm evening. We can see why this was a popular place for Hollywood celebrities in the 50s to hide out. We enjoyed two special cocktails: Permanent Friends (great name since I was drinking with a permanent friend) is a complex combination of gin, grapefruit and pineapple juice, jalapeno, vanilla, maple syrup and lime. It went down smoothly but with a pleasant kick. Miami Vice is a tasty combination of rum, coconut cream, strawberry puree, and lime juice. We enjoyed these drinks with two delectable small plates, one of charred octopus with salsa verde and one called Manchego Bomba, which was lightly deep-fried cheese served with a spicy Calabria aioli.
Of course there are many other great cocktails served all over Palm Springs, but this tantalizing list is the best place to start.
Susan Montgomery is a travel, food and wine writer who has a special affection for Palm Springs, which is about an hour from her Southern California home. She is on the Board of Directors of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association and in the last several years, she has published more than 300 articles on her blog, Life Uncorked and in other publications.
This past year has presented us with amazing opportunities to get delicious food delivered directly to our doorsteps. But the grandaddy of delivery, the classic that stands above the rest, is of course, pizza! Palm Springs is fortunate to have several pizzerias offering some truly awesome pies. Check out some of the staff at Santiago’s favorites here.
Bill’s Pizza – Definitely one of the best-known pizza’s in town, this is a local and tourist favorite. Famous for their thin crust pizza, they offer a huge selection of toppings as well as famous house combinations like ‘the Elton John.’ They serve up vegan and GF options as well. You can find Bill’s on several delivery apps.
Giuseppe’s – This is a local hot spot for pizza. Both their thin crust and deep-dish pies are delicious. They offer a nice selection of salads and traditional Italian dishes, but pizza is the star of the show! They serve vegan and GF options and have an in-house delivery service.
Birba – This beautiful outdoor Italian restaurant makes some amazing pizza. They offer 6 to 7 pizza options nightly, all rustic and delicious. Add a few of their very tasty ‘small dishes’ to spice things up. You can find Birba on several delivery apps.
Blaze Pizza – This national chain makes great and affordable single sized pizzas and you can customize every bite – from crust, to cheese and toppings. For a great GF option, they offer a terrific cauliflower crust. Their home page connects to a food delivery app.
Spaghetteria – This hole-in-the wall, vinyl table cloth Italian restaurant, run by a mom and her two daughters is beloved by locals. They have a great selection of pizza, all made with love. Their calzones are awesome as well! Pick up or delivery from their yelp page.