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Looking for a serene resort in which to relax? A romantic getaway? A fun and fabulous hotel with high energy? Or a place to catch some sun on your buns?

Here’s the thing about boutique hotels in Palm Springs: they’re each so very different. 

So, how do you choose the one that best suits you? Here’s a tip:

Use PSPSH’s vibe sorter to increase your odds of landing in the perfect boutique hotel or resort. There are six vibes to choose from:

Stay in Style: Perfectly Designed Palm Springs Hotels: Palm Springs boutique hotels are known worldwide for their attention to style and design. So, if you’re intrigued by staying in a well-appointed hotel that places an emphasis on architectural flair, there’s a hotel for you. Palm Springs is a design hot spot, and modernism aficionados flock here year-round to stay in some of the finest and most authentic examples of desert-modern and mid-century design. But there are also prime examples of historical Art Deco, Mediterranean, and contemporary design. 

Les Cactus, a laid-back escape

Utterly Tranquil:  Forget the party scene — these hotels cultivate serene quiet environments where social interaction is minimal and staff can usually help you book an on-site massage or a delivered dinner from one of Palm Springs’ many amazing restaurants (some even have restaurants on site!). These hotels are small and intimate…just perfect for that writing, meditation, or personal rejuvenation retreat you long for. 

Do Not Disturb: These romantic Palm Springs hotels offer the ideal destinations for that anniversary celebration, honeymoon, or first — or 100th — getaway. These dreamy properties offer exquisite gardens and intimate spaces with plenty of comfort and indulgence for every beautifully love-filled vacation.

Korakia, one of the most romantic hotels in Palm Springs

Fabulous & Fun Palm Springs Hotels: Sometimes you just have to cut loose! These hotels are known for supporting their guests’ desire for a playful, unforgettable Palm Springs experience. They’re ideal for a bachelor party, a girl’s weekend away, or a reunion with college friends or family. Most of these hotels have less than a dozen rooms — perfect for property buy outs — so you and your party can have the whole place to your party-happy selves. 

Nakedly Confident: Clothing-Optional Desert Resorts: If you love a safe, body-positive environment that welcomes the sun on your skin, you’ll be in your element at these clothing-optional Palm Springs small hotels. Many of these clothing-optional resorts cater to gay men, but a few welcome the ladies and couples, too. 

The Santiago, a men’s clothing-optional hotel.

Culturally Queer: LGBTQ Palm Springs Hotels are Here  The gay community put Palm Springs back on the map. From the bearlicious to the salacious, fit for a queen or perfectly serene, you’ll find an extraordinary concentration of jaw-dropping resorts in Palm Springs that cater to gay men (but also welcome their sisters and allies). Find out why Palm Springs has been a desirable destination for the LGTBQ community for more than five decades.

Did you know that Palm Springs is internationally famous? Well, it is. Since 2006, people from all over the planet have been coming to Palm Springs during the month of February for the banging party we call Modernism Week. It’s like the United Nations all up in here.  

Before the big event, Modernism Week holds a four-day preview in October called Modernism Fall Preview (a.k.a. Mini-Mod Week), running from October 14 through 17. It’s jam-packed with loads to do — over 50 events!  

Modernism Week and Mini-Mod Week are so popular the best events sell out the same day they go on sale. So unless some fabulous bit of wizardry transpires (it might, Palm Springs is magical), forget about Sunnylands and Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate Tour. There’s plenty left to see though, from significant mid-century modern home tours to architectural double decker bus tours. 

You can dress as you like, but a lot of people choose to pull out their pedal pushers and fedoras — whatever it takes to achieve that retro look. During Mini-Mod Week, the town takes on that old-timey feel of the ’50s and ’60s.

There are some cool cocktail-style events, but those sell out pretty fast. One of my very favorite supper clubs, PS Underground, has a brand new show for this year called Beatnik. Hurry and book, their shows are always outstanding. 

Even if you miss out on your favorite events, there’s still the main event at the Palm Springs Convention Center where you can browse everything mid-century modern, including art, furniture, and lighting. You can find a list of exhibitors here. 

If you’re the curious type like me, or a little iffy on modernism, this article breaks down mid-century modern art for you. The same with architecture here. 

Friday night is the big opening night party for the Modernism Show and Sale. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door. A purchase to the opening night party gives you access to the show on Saturday and Sunday. 

Skipping the party? (You’re gonna say “no” to a party?!) You can still buy a ticket for Saturday and Sunday that will cost you one Jackson (soon to be Tubman!) and gets you in both days so you can shop ‘til you bop later on that evening. 

Whether you do or don’t plan on going to the Modernism Week preview, but love the vibe of the mid-mod experience, we have mid-century modern hotels for the complete experience. There are 25 of them, all with great amenities — learn more about these fabulous spots here. 


The Purple Room, a Rat Pack-inspired supper club, has some of the finest entertainment in town. Here are the weekend shows during Modernism Preview:  

October 14: Sharon Sills (every Thursday) 

October 15: Branden and James — vocals and cello performing the Lady Gaga songbook 

October 16: Branden and James  — vocals and cello performing the Lady Gaga songbook 

October 17: The Judy Show (my favorite show in town! Every Sunday.) 

Also, check out V Wine Lounge, where the vibe is so retro you’ll squee. 

By the way, the bus tours are hella fun. I am a tour guide assistant and even from my view (I sit in the bottom of the bus, you’ll be on top — bring sunscreen and hold onto your hats!) it’s a fun and informative 2-and-a-half hour ride. 

Hope to see you there, and let’s go retro! 

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

Twice a year, Palm Springs celebrates its architectural roots. We don’t go all the way back to colonial times because we don’t have them; back then California was part of Mexico. Europeans began “settling” here in the mid-1800s with the exception of the Spaniards, who’d been stomping all over California and beyond since the days of Montezuma (1500s). And before that? Native Americans lived here for thousands of years.

Back in the mid-1800s, the U.S. government gave land to the Southern Pacific Railroad, which used it to entice people out west with a promise of land — for a price. That money would help them bring the railroad out west. East Coast Europeans started showing up in the mid-1800s, and by 1890 they had a hotel, The Palm Springs Hotel.

It took about 25 years for Palm Springs to become known for its health benefits, including the healing dry air and the hot springs (agua caliente). This was thanks to the arrival of Nellie Coffman in 1909, who made her Desert Inn the place to visit in Palm Springs.

And then came the celebrities. Just a two-hour drive (back then) from the studios in Los Angeles, it was exactly the contractually allowed time and distance actors were allowed from their respective studios. An added bonus? Paparazzi were not paid for trips over 100 miles. And bingo, the sexcapades were in full swing.

Every single decade from then on has stories about celebrities here in Palm Springs. Many of them were buying vacation homes, and architects were starting to sit up and take notice of the desertscapes and what they could accomplish here.

And now we’re at Modernism Week, the celebration of all of those guys who came here and turned Palm Springs into a mid-century modern architectural paradise (along with our other paradise qualities!).

So, here’s what you can expect Oct. 19-22: 50 events! What?? You can make just as hearty of a meal out of all things Modernism in October as you can at the February bonanza. Let’s have a look-see!

It’s my party!

Cocktail parties: There’s two. Sinatra always sells out, I think before it even hits the internet. Okay, that’s not true, but you know what I mean. The second one looks to be fun as well, so book it, Danno!

Preview party: This is the first soiree and the biggest.

Lizzie and the Triggermen: Called “one of the hottest swing bands in L.A.” by Good Day L.A., Lizzy & The Triggermen has been making waves since bursting onto the SoCal scene.

Mixology cocktail clinics: Held at Mr. Lyon’s, one of Palm Springs most iconic fine dining restaurants. Oct. 19, 20, 21, 22, with two time slots at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Mid-Century Moderns is not on the schedule of official MW activities, but absolutely worth the price of the ticket. It’s a very fun jukebox musical, not for the faint of heart. Begins Oct. 6 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with multiple showtimes including a 2 p.m. matinee for after brunch.

Cruising through town

Bus tours — There are a ton of them, and this year they’ve divided them all up by neighborhood. All are a good time, and there is even a twilight tour where certain buildings are beautifully lit to show off their architecture. It’s pretty cool. I am a guide on one of those this fall.

A Modernism Week bus tour. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Here are the (other, heh heh) celebrity tour guides:

Charles Phoenix: Mid-century pop culture expert Charles Phoenix is a performer, author, explorer, and collector celebrating classic and kitschy American life and style, who has appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage and Conan and been a judge on Cake Wars Christmas and Nailed It.

He’s known for the Big Retro Trailer Slide Show. Lavishing commentary on the very best images from his massive collection of vintage “flea market found” Kodachrome slides, he shares a wide variety of spectacular scenes, décor, classic cars, festive fashions, potlucks, parties, parades, and picturesque locations.

Bella da Ball: Bella is our ambassador drag queen; she stands 6’4” tall without heels. Heavily involved in Pride, and many other activities, Bella also hosts Drag Queen Bingo & Trivia at the Ace Hotel on Monday nights. She recently resumed her Drag Queen Storytime at Palm Springs Library, and we couldn’t be happier to have her back.

Here are a few places I’ve always wanted to see:

Frey House II — Albert Frey had a unique understanding of function, form, practicality, and love for the desert landscape, all combined to provide us this extraordinary legacy. It includes a free day at the Art Museum, and a ride on a bus up to the property. If you go, tell me about it please!

Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palm Estates — Frank owned a lot of houses here in the desert, but this is the one that used to have his own plane out back, and where he used to hoist a flag to let friends and neighbors know it was cocktail hour. It’s also where he lived and fought with Ava Gardner.

Some of these tickets require deep pockets, but there are also free events you can attend and still feel all mid-mod-y.

Free events

Friday, Oct. 20

9 a.m. “Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs”: Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board president Gary Johns will present his popular slide lecture, “Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs.” At Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E Baristo Rd., Palm Springs.

11 a.m. The Design of Herbert W. Burns: Palm Springs Preservation Foundation board vice president Steven Keylon will present an entertaining overview of architectural designer Herbert W. Burns’ life and career. At the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

A quick note on the Cultural Center. With everything it offers, it’s gearing up to be a major presence in Palm Springs. It was also built in 1967 as the first cineplex in Palm Springs.

A pool with loungers and palm trees in the background

The Three Fifty Hotel was designed by Herbert W. Burns. Photo courtesy of The Three Fifty Hotel

Saturday, Oct. 21

9 a.m. Hot Purple Energy Architectural Bike Ride: Join us as we pedal our way through architecturally significant neighborhoods in South Palm Springs and highlight mid-century homes. Indian Canyons Golf Resort Clubhouse parking lot, 1100 E. Murray Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

This is a terrific area to explore. The two golf courses are gorgeous, and Lykken Trail is on South Palm Canyon and Murray Drive. The Walt Disney Fountain is here as are some mid-century homes that you can see on one of the bus tours (there used to be an app for $5 with all of the architecturally significant spots in P.S. on them, so do a Google). Make sure to grab breakfast or lunch at the Indian Canyon Clubhouses, and then drive through the Indian Canyons neighborhood. 

If you’re a hiker, Lykken Trail dumps onto South Palm Canyon just past Murray Canyon, and if you keep going down South Palm Canyon, you’ll hit one of the greatest hiking spots in Palm Springs: the actual Indian Canyons Reserve.

2 p.m. The Alexanders book signing with author James Harlan: James Harlan will also give a talk about the famous Palm Springs developers. ​​Palm Springs Historical Society, The McCallum Adobe, 221 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Historical Society is located in the Village Green next to Cornelia White’s home, which was relocated from where it was first built, at The Palm Springs Hotel. It’s also across the street from Lulu, the best people watching spot in town.

4 to 9 p.m. Shag’s October Modernism Print Release Party: Join artist Shag and guest Nancy Sinatra for a book signing and print release party at The Shag Store, featuring complimentary cocktails, live music, and other fun surprises. The Shag Store, 745 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

The Shag Store — I’ve never gone in because I’d feel like an imposter; I can’t afford a Shag piece, but it’s a party and everyone’s invited!!

Sunday, Oct. 22

8 a.m. to Noon. Modernism Yard Sale: Brought to you by Chris Bale Homes and hosted by H3K Home+Design, this annual sale has become one of Modernism Week’s most popular FREE events! H3K is high-end, but on the more affordable end. H3K Design+Home parking lot, 501 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

Here’s a link to all the rest. Use the sorting function and “category” to help you get just where your little heart desires. And you’re gonna need a place to stay, right? Here’s a list of the nearly 80 boutique hotels in Palm Springs; if you’re looking for something mid-century modern, or even more old-timey, you can use that sorting button to find your perfect stay.

I’ll be waving at you from the top of my bus!

The Orbit In is a perfect example of mid-century modern architecture and design. Photo courtesy of Orbit In