Blogger Elaine Masters experienced everything Palm Springs has to offer during a recent 3-day trip.

Blogger Elaine Masters wanted a classic Palm Springs vacation, and that’s exactly what she had, soaking in the city’s sights and visiting some of the most popular hotels, from the Spanish-style Los Arboles to the Art Deco-inspired Westcott.

Staying at Arrive Palm Springs was everything blogger Mary Farah hoped it would be — her room was spacious, the pool was just steps away, and she was able to kick back and relax in the desert heat.

Author: Brittany Ryan

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown sits the newly renovated Bellevue Oasis, a modern, tech-friendly oasis in Palm Springs. With a streamlined digital procedure for self-check-in, this boutique hotel sets the standard for safe social distancing.

Enjoying the pool at Bellevue Oasis Photo Credit: Brittany Ryan

Prior to arriving, you’re provided with a keyless entry code for both the gate and your room. Private travelers will appreciate the ability to quickly and easily check in and out without any lengthy procedure or human interaction.

From the outside, Bellevue Oasis seems rather unassuming, however this boutique hotel surprises its guests right as they hear the joyful chirp of the keyless entry granting you access to the property. Upon stepping through the threshold, guests are greeted with the exotic smell of jasmine from the gardens and sounds of birds singing in the trees. Perfectly manicured lawn and bright white guest rooms surround the focal point of Bellevue Oasis – an Insta-worthy swimming pool (an essential for every chic boutique hotel in Palm Springs)!

 

Bellevue Oasis Whirlpool in Palm Springs. Photo Credit: Brittany Ryan

The refreshing pool, heated seasonally, is encircled by white lounge chairs. Retro pagoda-style patio umbrellas with alternating turquoise and white panels compliment the pool’s crystal clear blue water. Hidden away under the shade of tropical trees sits a heated whirlpool for guests to relax in. Guests can ask Alexa to play their favorite tunes poolside as they sunbathe and swim.

The ground-level guestrooms at Bellevue Oasis are low-profile to ensure perfect views of the desert mountains from the pool. Each guestroom features a private front patio covered in stylish black and white geometric tiles.

Bellevue Oasis Front Patio in Palm Springs. Photo Credit: Brittany Ryan

Bellevue Oasis’ recently renovated rooms are contemporary with a touch of Hollywood glam. Despite a low-profile exterior, every room features high-vaulted ceilings to create a more open, sophisticated atmosphere. Special touches like velvet accents, mirrored dressers, and floor to ceiling marble bathrooms create a luxe ambiance.

As a former network TV producer and a BBC World News journalist, Owner Tayfun King has a keen eye for details. It was important to him that Bellevue Oasis capture the essence of Palm Springs.

“I was captivated by the culture and architecture that Palm Springs had to offer,” says Tayfun. “I wanted to preserve the 1950s Palm Springs aesthetic, while incorporating a global perspective and localized style to the hotel.”

Bellevue Oasis Bedroom in Palm Springs. Photo Credit: Brittany Ryan

Tayfun has curated an aesthetic that many cannot master – Bellevue Oasis blends the best of mid-century modern design elements with the modern luxuries of today. Some of the guestrooms come with a full kitchen and dining area, while every room is outfitted with food and drink options for purchase. Keeping with the tech-friendly theme, all T.V.s at Bellevue Oasis are Roku-enabled and come with Hulu Live.

At first glance, it appears that the room tour ends there, but wait, there’s more! Not only do rooms feature a private front patio, but they also have a private back patio, decorated in the same chic black and white geometric tile. There, guests can enjoy a cocktail or play mini golf in the back of the property, steps outside of the guestroom.

Bellevue Oasis Back Patio in Palm Springs. Photo Credit: Brittany Ryan

One may think that a mobile self check-in may eliminate the chance for a personal touch at Bellevue Oasis, but that is not the case. Tayfun is renowned for his commitment to excellence and customer service, and these values have been adopted by the Bellevue Oasis staff. Hotel Manager, Adam Ramirez, knows guests by name and is often seen on-property tending to guest needs.

“We want our guests to know that we are there for them,” Adam explains. “If guests ever need anything, like an in-room massage or bike rental, they can just shoot us a text or give us a call. Our guests are the reason why we do what we do!”

As Adam mentions, guests looking to get off property and explore Palm Springs have full access to bike rentals. Bike about 4 minutes west to arrive at the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center, where you can take an out-and-back hike (2 miles total) and be rewarded with beautiful views of a 60-foot waterfall. Or you can ride about 4 minutes south instead to visit the 1-acre, family-owned Moorten Botanical Garden. Chat with the second-generation owner, Mr. Clark Moorten, who lives onsite and shares his knowledge of cacti and desert plants from around the world.

Whether guests want a whole week with full kitchen access or just a relaxing weekend to get away, Bellevue Oasis offers the ideal Palm Springs stay. Experience the luxuries typically found at larger, chain hotels, but in a quiet, intimate setting.

Can you take a dark-brown cement bench and turn it into art while still maintaining its function for resting or people-watching? The answer in Palm Springs is an unequivocal, yes.

Mainstreet Palm Springs’ Downtown and Uptown Business Association have upgraded the benches throughout the entire area thanks to a grant by the Palm Springs Art Commission. Local artists, representing  the culture and diversity of  the valley, were each paid a stipend for giving a new look and life to 70 benches, including 8 at the Palm Springs International Airport.

Initially, local artist Tysen Knight was commissioned to paint ten benches to test the concept. And they were a big hit. Functional and eye-catching, the colorful benches became the focus of many visitors’ photos. With the success of the first phase, phase two was approved.

Each bench looks like this before it receives its new life. As you can see, the artists have a blank canvas to design and apply their art.

A before shot of the plain brown benches have been transformed by local artists.

A before shot of the plain brown benches have been transformed by local artists.

Here are examples of the benches created by our local artists from our culturally diverse community.

Abe Alvarez Tostado

Abe Alvarez Tostado colorful bench in Palm Springs evokes community heart and unity.

A resident of Yucca Valley. In his younger years, he was interested in comics. Then with his Mom, who was an artist, he started going to art galleries. His artistic talents were encouraged by friends that surrounded him at Long Beach, California. He has painted murals in San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs for over 30 years. 

Susan Gresto

Artist Susan Gresto’s bench in iconic Palm Springs hues of oranges and blues features free-spirited winged humans greeting one another.

A resident of Palm Springs. It brings her great joy to mentor students, support community art programs. Her work has been exhibited and sold at the Palm Springs Art Museum Store, University of California Riverside, the Community Gallery at Palm Desert City Hall, Indio Senior Center, and CREATE Center for the Arts Palm Desert.  

Tim J Leary

Tim Leary created a bold geometric and linear bench design.

A resident of Indio.  His work as a visual merchandiser spanned 28 years and three states: Florida, Connecticut, and California. After moving to San Francisco, he completed his formal education, studying spirituality and art, and art therapy. He has a studio in the Backstreet Art District in Palm Springs.

Jessica Frederic

A bright lime-green bench with palm fronds and yellow and black birds came to life by artist Jessyca Frederick.

A resident of La Quinta. After years of searching, she now uses her creativity and problem-solving skills to create art. With encouragement from friends and artists, this bench is her first piece of public art.

Paul Kole

Paul Kole created a word-art bench with a bright white background and multi-colored letters that remind visitors of the joys found in Palm Springs.

He resides in Orange County, Palm Springs, Arizona, and International resort stay-cations. His abstract work on wood and other materials are in the United States and international collections. He has a working studio in Palm Desert, California.

Stroll up and down Canyon Drive to see these creative benches. They most certainly will bring a smile to your face. Oh, if you need to stop and rest, be our guest, and remember, we have great people-watching in Palm Springs.

Wanderlust must be in my DNA. There are times when my innate desire to travel and explore wells up like hot lava that’s about to burst from a volcano, and I have no choice but to hit the road. Traveling via airplane fills the need, too, but there’s something about being on the open road that feels the most liberating—plus, I can pack as many pairs of shoes and hats as I want without paying extra baggage fees.

For years, the Coyote Inn was where Chris and Barb Miller would go when they needed an escape. Now, it’s home.

The Millers have owned the Coyote Inn since 2008. They fell in love with it as guests, when they would leave their donut business in Utah for a few days of relaxation in Palm Springs. It was “a grind,” Chris says, and when the opportunity to purchase the Coyote Inn came up, they jumped. “The previous owners were looking for a different lifestyle, and we were looking for something different,” Chris says.

Chris and Barb live on the property, and work seven days a week. They do everything and anything that needs to be done, and always have their “game faces on,” Chris says. They love forging relationships with guests, greeting new faces and welcoming back regulars.

“We meet a lot of interesting people,” Chris says. “When people find us, they’re hooked.”

Guests come from all over the world, and enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes along with a property that is adults only. They also love the saltwater pool and hot tub, which is good for the skin. Snowbirds flock to the Coyote Inn during the spring, and book for the next year before their visit is even over.

“People come here to relax,” Chris says. “Our location is ideal; you can walk downtown, but you’re far enough away where you can’t hear it. Some guests don’t even rent a car.”

There’s something about walking through the gate and entering the Coyote Inn’s courtyard that instantly puts guests at ease.

“Once people hit the fountain, they forget about everything,” Chris says. “It’s a great place to unwind.”

Author: Andrew Schaeffer

I’m not an outdoorsy guy. I’m in my element when I’m lounging on the couch binging something on Netflix. But, I needed to change that habit and get out and get moving—and what better way to do so than by going somewhere with plenty of outdoor activities?

We always love it when travel writers visit Palm Springs and stay in one of our uniquely beautiful, independently-owned Palm Springs boutique hotels. But it is particularly heartening when a writer like Joanna visits us and is completely captivated by the charm of her hotel and Palm Springs. Joanna recently stayed at the Alcazar and here’s what she had to say about her trip.

Wake up in Palm Springs with the sun gloriously shining and grab your glamorous floppy hat, recyclable water bottle, and sunglasses. It doesn’t matter if the museums are closed because there’s so much fabulous public art to explore in Palm Springs.

Start your walking tour in the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon.

First Stop – Palm Springs Desert Art Center

The center for Palm Springs creative arts is the Desert Art Center at 550 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Often overlooked, this grand building is the home for numerous art classes, exhibits, and theatre performances. One of our city’s latest art installations is on the Desert Center’s palatial grass-covered lawn.

MIDABI is an artist and philosopher focused on large-scale public art using text in sculptures and murals. Residing in Palm Springs since 1998, with family roots going back to the 1950s, MIDABI continues a family tradition of contributing artistically to the desert.

Large, bold, and thought-provoking, MIDABI creates works of art that seek to inspire and challenge the viewer to think for themselves and see reality differently. One may feel shaken, for emotional core values may be questioned.

Since you have your walking shoes on, head on down Palm Canyon; along the way, you will see colorful benches to rest upon, which our local artists created.

Second Stop – Koffi North

If you want to have a cup of coffee, you might want to stop at Koffi North. Be sure to go straight through the store to the back and see the courtyard. The locals hang out here during non-Covid times.

Third Stop – Near the Palm Springs Art Museum

Now that your energy is restored, head down to Museum Way and turn right.

Before you get to the Palm Springs Art Museum and located in what we locals call the “Sand Pit,” (and future home of an underground parking lot) are ten sculptures, 11 ft long X 9-foot fiberglass babies. A barcode replaces any semblance of a face.

Czech artist David Cerny has loaned this art installation to Palm Springs through 2022. He wanted to make a statement about the dehumanization of society due to big tech and data. We are betting you will have an opinion.

Check out the wall on your left as you overlook the Sand Pit. You’ll spot a mural by Santa Monica artist, Peter Tigler, who worked with attendees of all ages to create this 7-foot-tall-by15-wide mural at the Annual La Quinta Arts Festival in 2019. Look closely; it was created by finger painting. The bright colors and numerous scenes invoke the sense of “Wish you were here.” It’s a great place to take a selfie to post your social media.

Fourth Stop – Graffiti Park

Across the street from the Sand Pit is our Graffiti Park. While waiting for the area to be developed, artists are encouraged to express themselves through their art. The various cement pillars and stones, remnants of past construction, serve as canvases. The art is constantly changing, so be sure to come back and see it on your next visit.

Fifth Stop – Right Side of Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum is closed, but the parking lot holds a surprise. Check out the Road Signs scattered throughout the premises. They were created by artist Gerald Clark, who identifies himself first as an artist; and secondly, a Cahuilla Indian.

These Road Signs were created for an exhibit of his work in the Palm Springs Art Museum a couple of years ago. Walk to the museum’s right side first, then see the rest of them on the museum’s left side.

Sixth Stop – Left Side of the Palm Springs Art Museum

After you have pursued both sides of the museum, you will see a large semi-truck parked in the parking lot. In the semi is a three-story all-metal house, called the Aluminare House, designed by Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher. The house was donated to the Palm Springs Art Museum for its permanent collection and will be reassembled in 2021. It is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of Modernist architecture in the world.

We hope you have enjoyed this tour of some of our public art. There are many more installations–both inside and outside–scattered throughout the city. However, we wanted to give you a small taste of the many treasures that await your visit to Palm Springs.

The outside of Sakura

The outside of Sakura

George Cebra brought his love of Japan to Palm Springs.

Sakura, the Japanese-style bed and breakfast, offers a unique experience. At Sakura — which means “cherry blossom” in Japanese —  guests can wear kimonos and slippers, and sliding shoji doors lead to the garden and swimming pool. Shiatsu acupressure massage is available.

George is a jazz musician, and has performed in clubs around the United States and world. He spent five years playing in Tokyo, and “planned on living there forever,” he said. “There’s no crime, you can leave your purse or wallet on a train with $1,000 in it and no one would touch it. The food is incredible. You can eat off the sidewalk, everything is immaculate.”

Things changed when he met his wife, whose dream was to live in California. George thought they would only live in the state for a few years, but they stayed, and 20 years ago, as their daughter prepared to go to college, George and his wife opened the bed and breakfast.

“My wife taught me how to make Japanese food,” George said. “People seem to like what I do.”

George’s wife has since passed away, and George runs Sakura on his own. It has just two rooms, and he spends much of his day maintaining the property and getting to know his guests, including many who are first-generation Americans with parents born and raised in Japan. He also sees a lot of people from western Europe and those who “enjoy the Japanese culture.”

“I enjoy hanging out with people during breakfast, we can sit down and talk,” George said. “About 50 percent of guests are from other countries, so it’s nice talking with them about where they are from.”

When George isn’t at Sakura, he is teaching music — everything from violin to the cello to the trumpet — and playing at clubs and with a local orchestra. While George would love to have the chance to go back to Japan and play in the clubs, “If I won $1 million tomorrow, I wouldn’t change anything,” he said.