The Hacienda at Warm Sands is a gay resort for men-only that invites every guest to “Enter Quiet Luxury.” That’s exactly what I got to experience upon my arrival, from the moment I was greeted at the front entrance by The Hacienda’s devoted staff. In fact, there was no checking in at any front desk. I was immediately accompanied to my spacious private suite, then given a fresh Arnold Palmer and tour of the beautiful, peaceful grounds The Hacienda has come to be appreciated for by its faithful repeat guests.
The Hacienda at Warm Sands has been a staple in the Palm Springs gay resort community since the 1970s. It’s draped in lush foliage, Southwestern plantings, Saltillo-tiled patios and walkways, and breathtaking vistas of the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s an intimate resort that features only 10 luxurious private suites, each equipped with its own dedicated WiFi as well.
There are two large swimming pools men can enjoy day and night, as well as a jetted in-ground spa and adjacent fireplace. Each pool area is surrounded with cush, ultra-comfy chaise lounges that even sport their own fitted towels to lounge on.
The Hacienda at Warm Sands is a swimsuit-optional resort, which is different from a clothing-optional resort. Guests are welcome to wear their clothing (or not) in their suite, in the pools, or on the grounds, but it’s appropriate to be clothed while walking throughout the grounds. This is what differentiates The Hacienda the most from other gay, men-only resorts here in Palm Springs, in my opinion. It’s a place for relaxation more than it is a place for recreation.
Another Hacienda motto is “Expect the Uncommon.” My expectations were surpassed when the house manager offered me some vintage “welcome” documents from when The Hacienda at Warm Sands first opened and operated as Hacienda En Sueño (“The House of Reverie”) in the late ’70s. The documents were prepared on a typewriter, and provided a fascinating read and an uncommon glimpse into the covert nature of our LGBTQ+ past here in Palm Springs.
Back then, there was no mention of male guests. It was simply described as a “unique and secluded” special oasis that is a “carefully guarded” and “meticulously groomed retreat.” The hotel used to be monitored by armed, uniformed police protecting the property at least four times each evening. While The Hacienda may no longer offer grocery deliveries and a selection of sun tan oils (ranging from 0-15 SSP), it still honors the same pampered philosophy of “intimate privacy and guest compatibility” that it has since the beginning.
The Hacienda En Sueño’s guests were usually by referral as they did not advertise in those days. They also described the resort as being “particularly attractive to the literate, sensitive, and well bred” — and that also still rings true today from what I observed.
During my stay, I witnessed several guests buried in a book, enjoying extended reading time by the pool. I didn’t experience much social time with my temporary neighbors beyond daily pleasantries like “Good morning.” People were quiet, independent, and very respectful of one another’s personal space and shared need for rest and relaxation.
There were plenty of perks to assist with the restoration process too, including a complete pillow menu in the suite bedroom and personalized pillows with guest names embroidered in them. In addition to the custom pillows, every note was personalized as well. The bedroom closet was equipped with a selection of bathrobes, slippers, and yoga mats, and the bathroom featured two showerheads (should you want some company). In the kitchen, there was a welcome basket with various treats and a binder with menus for a daily complimentary lunch (catered by Manhattan In The Desert).
The common area breezeway housed their daily complimentary breakfast selection as well as water coolers (hot, cold, and room temp), guest laundry access, and a daily calendar of local events featured on a bulletin board.
In the spirit of “expecting the uncommon,” there were also intriguing dog paws cemented in the tiles in various spots throughout the property. I asked the manager about them, and while there was no real story or deeper meaning behind the paws, it made for a fun scavenger hunt one afternoon.
What really defines the true Hacienda experience is their five-star hospitality services. I spoke with a manager named Victor and he described their approach as “striving to anticipate guests’ expectations.” They encourage feedback and take it seriously, and have more than 500 Tripadvisor reviews.
Fun fact: the final episode of Logo TV’s Finding Prince Charming was filmed at The Hacienda at Warm Sands. And who knows — perhaps you’ll find Prince Charming during your next Hacienda stay!