The front entrance of Triangle Inn Palm Springs has a brick wall with its name in large black letters

For Michael Green, the past two decades feel like they’ve gone by in the blink of an eye.

Michael and his husband Stephen Boyd own The Triangle Inn (https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/triangle-inn-palm-springs), a gay men’s clothing-optional resort, having purchased the property in January 2000. They bought the hotel after spending their careers in advertising, embracing the opportunity to try something new. Now, nearly 20 years later, Michael can’t believe they’ve been hoteliers for so long.

Michael and Stephen have created such a welcoming atmosphere that it’s inspired several guests to actually move to Palm Springs.

People often ask them if they’re tired of running their own business, or want to try something new. “To me, as long as we still enjoy it, we should keep doing it,” Michael says. “It’s great owning a small hotel. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a great lifestyle.”

The Triangle Inn was built in 1958, and Michael and Stephen are its fifth owners. They’ve been through renovations and upgrades, and are always doing something to enhance the property. Along the way, they’ve made tons of friends, and have created such a welcoming atmosphere that it’s inspired several guests to actually move to Palm Springs.

“It’s what happens when people come and fall in love with the hotel, fall in love with the city,” Michael says. “All of a sudden, they think, wow, we need to have a part-time place here, or retire here. That has really been a phenomenon that has fueled a lot of Palm Springs’ resurgence.”
 

Known only as one of Lulu’s sisters, she is forever this close to diving into what one can assume is a refreshing blue pool. She’s the eye catcher on the outside of the white stucco wall that, once inside, keeps the noise from Indian Canyon at bay, and is the only indication that you have arrived at your destination: Dive.

Welcome to Dive. Photo courtesy of Dive Palm Springs

This 11-room boutique hotel “just has a cool, chill vibe to it,” says April Smith, vice president of Mariners Companies, the private equity investment firm that recently purchased Dive.

Smith is what you might call an accidental hotelier. In fact, just about everything about her career has been accidental. At 22, she had no idea what she wanted to do — she’s one of those people who live to learn, but learn best while living. Since you need a paycheck to live, Smith took a job as a receptionist at a mortgage loan company, and once she saw the bottom line, got interested.

Her dad’s advice always stuck with her: “You just need to know a little about a lot.” So, Smith set out to do just that.

“I asked a lot of questions, and I paid a lot of attention,” she says. “I wanted to be part of a lot of things to understand things.”

Upper management took notice, and Smith quickly climbed the ladder to become a top earner. There were twists and turns from there, always upward, and by the time she met Steve Olson, her current business partner, she had learned a little about a lot.

“We all have our own strengths,” Smith explains. “I’m operations, Ron [Millar, their CFO] is numbers, and Steve brings in the capital. All three of us together triangulate a perfect situation.”

Mariners is the parent fund of many smaller businesses under its umbrella. Operating out of Newport Beach, their office is next to a hotel broker who brought them a deal they just couldn’t refuse.

The Fountain Room at Talavera Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Talavera Palm Springs

That was Talavera, a laidback resort on a quiet street situated between the Palm Springs Tennis Club (home to the upscale dining of Spencer’s) and the bustle of downtown Palm Springs. While Dive’s vibes are Saint Tropez fun in the sun, Talavera is about tranquility. 

An escape from the crowd offering your own secluded private residence, Talavera has an old world Moroccan charm, and feels more like an exotic VRBO than a hotel (although there is a fully-stocked, attended bar in the works just for guests). Many suites have a kitchen or kitchenette, as well as an outdoor spa, so your space is entirely contained. At night, the courtyard is lit by stars and basket lanterns hanging from sturdy tree branches, with just the whisper of rustling leaves and the crackle of the embers from the firepit.

One of Talavera’s pools. Photo courtesy of Talavera Palm Springs

While Talavera has two pools, Dive has only one, and it is magnificent. It’s a Libott pool, originally built in 1954. The property is très ooh la la, with muralist Gabriella Fash’s playful art adorning the walls of Dive’s entryway and fabulous neon divers outside. (Fun fact — in 2019, the original neon was found hidden on the roof. She was lovingly restored, and they named her Lulu. She lives out by that glorious pool, and so she wouldn’t be lonely, they gave her a few sisters, like the one on the exterior wall.)

The property is as intimate as a French kiss. It’s a large rectangle, with the courtyard artfully divided into small gathering spots — a bench wrapped around a large tree, a set piece with a koi pond. There is always space for quiet conversation away from the pool area.

Inside each of the rooms, designer Vanessa Schreiber has created a whimsical world of immersive art, where swirls and murals accent the Christian Lacroix wallpapers. Every item has been hand-picked to melt into its unique design, creating a fun and playful atmosphere that can only be described as joyful.

A colorful room at Dive Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Dive Palm Springs

Breakfast and lunch are available onsite and can be delivered to you by the pool so you can enjoy the day without having to leave. Dive is located in the residential neighborhood known as Deepwell Estates, one of Palm Springs’ historic neighborhoods filled with $1 million homes. There is a noise ordinance after 10 p.m., however Dive solves that problem with a soundproof room where you and your friends can party until the wee hours and disturb nary a soul.

While both Dive and Talavera are 21+ with 11 suites, Smith says they are adding a third and much larger property to their portfolio that will be perfect for families — and will also be Smith’s first complete remodel. Because the deal hasn’t quite closed, I can only tell you that the hotel started out in 1958 as a weekend hangout for celebrities like Nancy Sinatra, Elvis, and the Rat Pack, and had a very iconic name. In later years, it was purchased and operated by a national brand, and while it’s a very nice hotel, it’s still a chain. Smith intends to inject personality back into the 130-room resort.

 Considering that she now knows a lot more than a little about the hotel industry, we’re giddy about the possibilities. 

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.

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?”

BelleVue Oasis pool, courtesy of BelleVue Oasis

While on assignment for BBC News, Tayfun King was interviewing the owner of a boutique hotel in Buenos Aires when it hit him — he wanted to be the one running an inn.

As a travel reporter, Tayfun was immersed in the hospitality industry, crisscrossing the globe to learn more about the world’s most fabulous hotels. This wasn’t his original career choice — while studying mathematics and management at Cambridge University, he made a promise to himself: if he graduated with a first class honors degree, he would turn down the financial job offers he had received to follow his passion and become a professional Latin American dancer. Tayfun graduated with honors, and embarked on a dancing career, which led to him becoming a television journalist and host with the BBC, presenting programs on technology and travel.

“The travel show is where I developed my passion for boutique hotels,” Tayfun says. “I traveled to over 70 countries and 200 cities, and more than anything, staying at these amazing boutique hotels around the world stood out.”

Tayfun was fascinated by how these properties were able to forge their own identities, with each room connected despite their individual distinct themes. The owners he spoke with had “a passion that was coming through so clearly,” Tayfun says. “It was hard work for them, but they loved it and being able to express their creativity.”

In 2014, Tayfun launched a hospitality company in Los Angeles. He opened a property in Venice Beach, and then turned his attention east to Palm Springs. He was interested in a particular hotel for sale, but when his realtor showed him 641 E. San Lorenzo Road — the resort formerly known as Escape — Tayfun knew this was the place.

An aerial view of BelleVue Oasis

An aerial view of BelleVue Oasis. Courtesy of BelleVue Oasis

“I didn’t expect that,” Tayfun says. “I was there to have a matter-of-fact look around, but once I walked in and saw the entrance, I had an emotional reaction. The feeling you get when you’re there is so welcoming. It’s so natural, and there’s so much greenery with the grass, the trees, and the flowers. If I were coming to Palm Springs for a stay, I would love to stay here.”

A lot has changed at the mid-century modern property, starting with the name. Tayfun chose BelleVue Oasis because “belle vue” means “beautiful view” in French and “was what I was experiencing in the moment,” he says. The 13-room hotel has a new pool, pool deck, and interiors, plus recently installed turf and two putting greens. The mature palms and tropical landscaping are still in place, and guests rave about being able to enjoy the serene setting from their private patios.

“A common reaction is this is a hidden gem in Palm Springs — it’s beautiful, it’s lovely, it’s an oasis,” Tayfun says. “We have a high number of guests who keep returning to the property, and people who say their friends told them to stay here.”

Tayfun plans on developing a boutique hotel brand that will first grow in California before expanding, and is excited to get it started in Palm Springs. For him, it’s important that hotels tap into the history and true essence of the cities they are in, and he wants to make sure that people know as soon as they arrive at BelleVue Oasis that they are in Palm Springs.

“I love Palm Springs,” he says. “I love the energy, the people are friendly, it’s spread out, and it’s so well groomed.

From the time they book to the time they check out, Tayfun aims to make it so guests enjoy every part of the BelleVue Oasis experience. He wants them to look forward to their stay, building it up ahead of time and then having their expectations surpassed once they arrive, and to leave with lasting memories of their visit.

“It’s so fulfilling and exciting hearing what guests have to say,” Tayfun says. “That has been so rewarding and greater than what I thought it would be.”

BelleVue Oasis spa at night

Night falls on BelleVue Oasis. Courtesy of BelleVue Oasis

If you’re obsessed with going behind the scenes, look no further! We’ve created a series of insider videos that take you behind the gates and into the mindset of Palm Springs’ savviest hoteliers. From high-end retreats to budget-friendly getaways, you’ll discover how each boutique hotel has a distinctly different vibe.

   

  • Discover the lush grounds of Azure Sky hotel in Palm Springs. Owner Henry Courtemanche shares his vision for this freshly remodeled mid-century modern hotel and luxurious pool in the Deep Well neighborhood.
  • Visit Dive Palm Springs with Operations Manager and Events Coordinator Steven Janji. Explore this charming retro French Riviera inspired hotel and discover all of the amenities that will help you to disconnect from your busy world.
  • This classic (and surprisingly affordable) bohemian/mid-century styled hotel, the Inn at Palm Springs, is located near the Uptown Design District in Palm Springs.

A new video is released every few weeks, so be sure to follow us on You Tube for notifications.

 

You made a wise choice to visit Palm Springs, where the sun shines 360 days a year. As you pull up in front of the Avanti Hotel, the contemporary exquisite stone entrance affirms that you also made the right decision for your home away from home…especially if you brought your pup.

The secure hotel requires newcomers to ring the doorbell. Suddenly, Jim Rutledge, the owner, and manager opens the door, for he lives on site. His huge smile and very welcoming greeting immediately help you understand you are about to have a memorable experience.

Pets are always welcome at the Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs.

Dogs are very welcome at Avanti. Next to the registration area is a knee-high dog constructed of real looking plants sitting beside a chalkboard welcoming your dog with their name and a water dish. When is the last time your dog has been welcomed in such a gracious manner?

Avanti View as you enter into the complex.

When you look around the space, you see the spacious pool surrounded by the ten rooms identified by bright sunshine-yellow doors. Framing the doors are full-length beige drapes, which help define each space.

Lucky room 88 at Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs.

If you are fortunate, you will be checked into the lucky room, Room 88. Why the number 88 when there are only ten rooms, you ask?  The number four is considered unlucky by those with traditional Chinese beliefs. When management learned about the number four, they had already numbered all the rooms. Since eight is deemed lucky, they decided to make room number four twice as lucky by labeling it 88.

The hot tub is open 24/7 at the Avanti Hotel.

It is not often you will find a spacious hot tub separated from the main pool. In this case, it is not only separated from the main pool, but it also has its own private walled space. Comfy benches are strategically placed around the perimeter, and artwork adorns the walls. Once again, the long beige drapes make an appearance adding to the elegance of space.

The jacuzzi holds 12 people. Can you imagine having a retreat here and saying, Let’s meet at the hot tub for a brainstorming session? By the way, the hot tub and pool are open 24 hours a day. However, there are rules, and they will be enforced.

Avanti Hotel patios offers refuge from the world.

 

Four rooms have kitchenettes and one a full kitchen. So even though snacks are freely available, it is good to know you can prepare your own romantic dinner if you so choose.  Or order from a Palm Springs restaurant that will deliver meals complete with cocktails. Some of the rooms have large patios with a dining table. These patios are an excellent place to hang out if you want to do some quiet reading.

Breakfast is Served Poolside at the Avant Hotel in Palm Springs.

Breakfast is served around the pool. As Jim was quick to point out, it is a cold breakfast. However, there is more than enough to get you on your way for the day.

After a day of sightseeing, you will want to get back for Happy Hour, which will be the perfect time to mingle with other guests, often from other countries. For example, the Avanti has the same visitor from Iceland come back a year and after year.

Avanti owner and Manager Jim Rutledge with doggy diva Maya

Jim Rutledge is the owner and has been watching over the development of the space for ten years. Here he is pictured with his companion, Maya, who is the diva of the Avanti.

He keeps a close pulse on the community. Thus, guests have access to a wealth of information to decide how they spend their time exploring the Coachella Valley.

When asked what brings him joy about living here and managing the Avanti, his reply was with a large smile, “It’s the people I meet from all over the world.”

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.

There’s no place like the Korakia Pensione.

The historic property says it “blends the silhouette of Tangier with a whisper of the Mediterranean,” and is the perfect escape. There are two restored historic villas — the Mediterranean Villas and Moroccan Villas — with spacious rooms featuring wood-beamed ceilings, stone showers, balconies, private patios, French doors, and antique and handmade furniture. The Moroccan villa was built in 1924 as a hideaway of Scottish painter Gordon Coutts, who wanted to recreate his earlier life in Tangier.

Guests at Korakia Pensione are treated to outdoor yoga and meditation sessions, hot breakfasts in the Moroccan courtyard, use of books in the library lounge and cruisers to get around town, Moroccan tea service in the afternoon, and vintage movies screened outside at night.

The Moroccan courtyard is filled with fountains, a stone waterfall, olive trees, date palms, citrus, and bougainvillea, and as the sun begins to set, staff light hundreds of candles and lanterns across the property, setting off a magical glow. Massage treatments can be booked in the indoor/outdoor spa lodge or in guest rooms, and the two heated saltwater pools, with views of the San Jacinto Mountains, are open all day and night.

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.”