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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.

Triangle Inn Palm Springs

“You have some queer friends, Dorothy.” – The Road To Oz, Frank Baum

Drumroll! The Dinah Weekend has returned! The largest lesbian/queer/non-binary party starts on September 29, and runs through October 3. Bonus: It’s celebrating its 30th birthday!

Check out the link above for the 411- they continue to add. But before you book a room, check out options at Palm Springs Small Preferred Hotels. Side effects of a boutique hotels: sleep better, quiet time when you need it, romantic time when you want it, and then the big party after a disco nap. It’s also less crowded than the big hotels, which means you are a bit safer.

If you check out lesbian events in Palm Springs, you’d get the impression that book clubs and hikes are the only strictly non-stick activities, but I am 100% certain lesbians are interested in some slammin’ party events (see any photo taken at The Dinah). After all, girls just wanna have fun.

Even “MeetUps” has nothing for lesbians. When I asked a few of my sapphic friends, they said they mostly hang out with the boys on Arenas, or at 1501 Gastropub which is neither straight nor gay, just cool. Which makes me think lesbians are woefully underserved in Palm Springs, and it’s time to step it up! (I have no suggestions, just a protest sign. I’m an activist running on empty for this one.)

The gay guys, on the other hand, have everything covered. From hotels, to restaurants, to bars and events. Their cup runneth over. So, here are some of the great spots for gay men here in Palm Springs.

Photo: Linda Milks

HOTELS that cater to gay men

INNDulge – Well-named and floating with hospitality, this clothing-optional resort is delightfully indulgent in all the best ways.

Hacienda at Warm Sands – A longstanding Palm Springs favorite of discerning men, this resort boasts beautifully lush and tropical landscaped grounds,

Canyon Club Hotel – Known for being fun and pet-friendly, this clothing-optional gay men’s resort has 32 rooms in a variety of configurations.

La Dolce Vita Resort and Spa – Pristine and clean, this is the only resort with an on-site spa that caters to men.

Vista Grande Resort – This was the first gay, clothing-optional property in Palm Springs and its testosterone-charged atmosphere makes you feel alive.

Bearfoot Inn – A delightfully bearlicious, clothing-optional resort for our furry friends and those who love them.

Triangle Inn Palm Springs – Small and intimate, the mid-century Triangle Inn (designed by Hugh Kaptor, no less!) offers serenity in the desert.

El Mirasol Villas – Built in the 1940s by Howard Hughes, El Mirasol Villas offer men a blend of Spanish style and bygone Hollywood.

Desert Paradise Resort Hotel –  A lovely luscious sanctuary that routinely attracts repeat guests (who often view the hotel as a second home).

All Worlds Resort – Palm Springs largest gay men’s resort has something for everyone.

Santiago Resort – High-end and all-inclusive, the clothing-optional Santiago Resort boasts the largest pool of any boutique hotel in town. And coming soon, a brother property, The Descanso. Watch for it!

You can also use the sort button on the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website (I’ve already put in the search parameters for you. You’re welcome.)

La Dolce Vita Spa Entrance

Spas

La Dolce Vita: The Men’s Spa

Gentlemen in need of some pampering should look no further than The Men’s Spa. Featuring high-end products and a wide range of services, this is the only spa in Palm Springs catering to men. After finishing their massages, facials, body treatments, or hair removal, guests are welcome to use the La Dolce Vita hotel’s heated pools, hot tubs, and steam room.

Restaurants & Bars

All restaurants are all friendly, but this description cracks me up. Gay Desert Guide describes Rio Azul as a “Very gay tapas restaurant.” They have four-top swings at some of the tables, which is fun. It’s a great place to watch the Pride Parade too.

ON ARENAS

In Chicago there was a street lined with gay bars, just north of Belmont that we called “Boys Town”. Arenas is just like that. A small street packed with gay bars and restaurants. If you know where Lulu is, go east young man, away from Palm Canyon, and across Indian Canyon, where you will find party land. Not all of the gay establishments are on this street, but a good deal of them are. It is also a great place to shop for clothing. Please note that many of these places require proof of vaccination (smart!), so make sure you have it handy.

Bars/restaurants

Stacy’s Piano Bar

Chill Bar

Street Bar

Hunters Nightclub

Eagle 501

Blackbook Bar

Quadz

Stores

Bear Wear

GayMart

Division

Men’s Waxing

Rough Trade Leather and Gear

Off Arenas Bars and Restaurants

Oscars – Home of the Sunday night T-Dance.

Tool Shed – on Sunny Dunes

Q Trading Company – on Sunny Dunes where you can pick up a copy of local writer, David Eugene Perry’s book, Upon This Rock – a twisty, gay, thriller set in Orvieto, Italy.

Toucans Tiki Lounge

Beginning September 16 is Cinema Diverse, which is streaming with, it seems, a few drive-ins that are not included with the passes.

Lastly, BOOK FOR PRIDE NOW! Check out our resort hotels for great options. I’d hate to see you sleeping in my bushes. They’re not comfortable. I may or may not have first-hand knowledge.

First, I regret the announcements: Not quite ready to take the plunge, Splash House has been rescheduled for August; Pride will happen in November. I know! I’m verklempt too. However, there’s still an awful lot of fun to be had this June in Palm Springs. And I hear they’ll be back soon.

Oh, before we get to events, it’s good to mention that we’ve got a few specials going on. Each boutique hotel has a different vibe and their own brand of swagger. Make sure to check them out here.

Okay. June. Planned events, then some build-your-own adventures. Let’s go!

Special Events

June 22-28 – At the top of the list is Palm Springs Short Film Festival. Per Variety, “Palm Springs Shortfest will be the first film festival of 2021 in California to hold all of its screenings in-theater when the event takes place at the Camelot Theatres (aka Palm Springs Cultural Center). Check them out too.

June 17th – Cast & Crew screening of Palm Springs Women in Film & Television’s two short films, “Accidental Date” and “Aftermath.” 6pm reception, 7pm screening followed by a Q&A for both films. Camelot Theater (PS Cultural Center) in Palm Springs.

Oscars – they keep adding events (yay!), so here’s what’s listed as of this writing. Check the link to see if there are additions.

  • Melissa Manchester @ Oscars June 17 & 18
  • Gunhild Carling @ Oscars June 10 5:30 & 9:30, Sweden’s Queen of Swing. Famous for playing trombone, she also plays bagpipes, trumpet, recorder, string instruments and will often play them all in one song, sometimes casually breaking into a tap dance or singing.

Four Twenty Bank and Lounge – The dispensary, lounge, and entertainment venue is located on Palm Canyon and Baristo (this is important, used to be at 777 Palm Canyon). They’ve got a great stage, but check their calendar. There was a Bowie tribute band and a Journey tribute band scheduled when I checked a day ago, but they’re gone, and others added. Things are still coming together on their line-up, but the Lounge is still pretty badass.

PS Underground: Book well in advance; these are the hottest shows in town. Ticketing links below.

  • June 11:  IMAGINE. A multiple course journey of music and food. “What would it feel like to climb into music and let it tantalize your every sense?”
  • June 13: GOSPEL –  a multiple course Sunday brunch with fantastic food and toe-tapping, hand clapping gospel music from the band onstage.
  • June 18: ENIGMA – a puzzling or inexplicable experience or occurrence. “Things are not always as they seem as we navigate through this feast for all senses. …an over-the-top unexplainable out-of-the-box immersive dinner experience.”
  • June 25: LIGHT – “Wear white and bring to the table an open mind and a sense of adventure. Prepare yourselves for an evening of the truly unexpected.
  • June 27: OVATION – A jazzed up Sunday Brunch, “Surprise performers and musicians…free-flowing, bubbly and Bloody Mary’s are included.

On-Going Events

I’m recycling some of these from last month because, FUN! Once again, an asterisk denotes that I have been and it’s fabulous.

*Thursday afternoons are free at Palm Springs Art Museum from 5-7 p.m. Make a reservation.

Saturdays: Saturday Night Flight at PS Air Bar.”Boarding time”  5 p.m.

Wine tastings at Bouschet. They keep adding dates so I’m just linking to their website. Also, their California Caesar is bowl-licking good (the fancy bowl makes it hard, though), and a friend likes their macaroni salad so much he asked for the recipe.

Saturdays: Not Your Grandma’s Bingo at Chill Bar from 12-2 p.m. The name says it all.

*Sundays: Palm Springs Drag Brunch, with Rosemary Galore and her queenly court at Roly China Fusion.

*Saturdays and Sundays – I have written about Palm Springs magic before, but Crystal Fantasy is our go-to guide for crystals, sage, tarot cards, and all things material to interact with or distract the spiritual realm. Saturday and Sundays they have a Psychic/Healing Arts Fair, where you pick your psychic (or did they pick you, hmmm?). Check the website for times and the cool classes they have during the week.

*Sundays: It’s the Pro-Jazz Jam from 2-5 p.m. at Palm Canyon Roadhouse. It’s all the best players in the Coachella Valley led by solid jazz musician, Mikale Karr.

And, drumroll please, the most raucous dance party in Palm Springs is back! It’s Oscar’s T-Dance, Sunday’s from 4-8 pm. You can hear it blocks away. Mostly gay men, but I’ve been and it was a gas!

Day-Time Activities

*Like Mid-Mod? Or the architecturally significant homes of the stars? Palm Springs Life has a self-guided tour app. It’s a great fix as we wait for tours to restart, and Modernism Week to return.

*CannaBUS Express Tours, there’s no other like it. Any canna-curiosity you might have will be replaced with knowledge from their Extreme Green Team. BONUS: it’s hella-fun.

If you’re staying in a boutique hotel, there’s a good chance there’s work by a local artist hanging on a wall, or sitting on a table. That’s because creativity is off-the-charts flowing unlike the rain in Palm Springs. Art has many expressions, and at the indoor Mojave Flea Trading Post, artists and crafters of every ilk come together in a 10,000 sq. ft. marketplace of makers & merchants from Joshua Tree, the Coachella Valley, and beyond.

And guys, check this out: you can take a ride in an old warbird at Palm Springs Air Museum! The Warbird Ride has six options: C-47 Skytrain, T-28 Trojan, PT-17 Stearman, P-51 Mustang and the T-33 Shooting Star Jet.  While you’re there, make sure to take a tour of the *Palm Springs Air Museum. It’s cooler than you might think.

That’s it for events, but I’m super excited to play show and tell with all of the fun and funky spots for your Instagram page. I found some fabulous filters, so I used them. Hope you likey. It’s my first try. You’ll find out why this chair sits on a pedestal.

As always, please shop and stay at locally-owned businesses. And 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

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! 

It’s important that people stay safe and close to home during this unprecedented crisis — doing so slows down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and reduces the risk for contagion. That’s why large gatherings have been suspended in California, and citizens are being advised to avoid non-essential travel.

We understand that people will have concerns about traveling for some time to come, especially in regards to getting on an airplane or cruise ship, and we want to make it clear that there have been no coronavirus cases linked to any of our more than 70 boutique hotels in Palm Springs. 

Please know that the health and safety of guests who stay at our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is — and always will be — our top priority. That’s why we are monitoring the latest news on the coronavirus, with our hearts going out to everyone affected.

Eventually, a road trip to Palm Springs may be a relaxing — and safer —alternative.

Once this passes and you feel confident traveling again, we hope you’ll consider Palm Springs for your first vacation destination. 

For those who are within driving distance — we’re looking at you, L.A., Phoenix, San Francisco, and Las Vegas — you can feel good about hitting the road and staying here in Palm Springs. All of our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels are intimate, with most having around a dozen or so rooms, meaning guests don’t have to fear large gatherings (in some cases, you might go all day without seeing a fellow traveler!). 

From check-in to check-out, our hoteliers ensure that our guests have the best possible experience. One way they do this is by providing a clean environment — rooms, dining areas, common spaces, and bathrooms undergo a diligent cleaning at least once a day, with heavily-trafficked portions receiving special attention.

For those who may still be a little concerned about dining out, several of our hotels also have in-room kitchenettes and outdoor grills where you can whip up your own meals.

Late spring is when Palm Springs hits its peak — the weather is great and the pools are at just the right temperature. It may be the perfect time to treat yourself to a relaxing getaway, tailored to your comfort. Explore our hotels — we know you’ll find one that’s a good fit. We’ve got your stay. 

Holy Ned, October is jamming! We’ve got Modernism Week Preview plus Palm Springs Leather Pride. If neither of those float your boat, there’s HALLOWEEN! It’s a huge holiday here in Palm Springs, and Halloween on Arenas is sick (in the best way possible). Costumes are off the charts creative, and the whole town is one big party.  

And now that it’s cooling down, all of our venues are heating way up. Keep in mind many indoor events require a vaccination card and a mask. Hey, the world is a bit of a horror show these days, but Palm Springs knows how to be safe and party. 

So now, without further ado, say hello to October events:  

Jazzville Shows at Agua Caliente Casino Cascade Lounge  

MFUO Featuring Jacques Lesure — Thursday, October 7, 7 p.m. 

Rumproller Organ Trio at Jazzville Palm Springs — Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m. 

Dan Delgado Sextet — Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m. 

Agua Caliente Casino Caliente Comedy 

Craig Conant  — Friday, October 1, 8 p.m. 

Pablo Francisco Comedy — Friday, October 8, 8 p.m. 

Brian Scolaro — Friday, October 15, 8 p.m. 

Tom Arnold — Friday, October 29, 8 p.m. 

Lalo Guerrero Tribute Show — Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m. 

Cultural Center – Camelot Theatres 

Drag O Rama featuring Rosemary Galore
Sunday, October 3, 2:30 p.m. (repeating Sundays)
Tickets starting at $15

 

Presenting Drag O Rama

 

REPO! The Genetic Opera — special screening of the cult horror film
Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. social hour, event at 7 p.m. 

Chip ‘N’ Dru: Our Favorite Sings
Saturday, October 9, 6 p.m.

Multi-talented singer Dru Rutledge and veteran Broadway pianist Chip Prince present Our Favorite Sings. Featuring a multi-genre selection of songs in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Debussy, Puccini, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Broadway, Opera, Top 40 chart toppers, and more!  

Martinis and Moxie: A Society Social
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m.

A “My Way” society revue celebrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra.  

2021 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival
Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2000 by the late mystery author and Palm Springs community leader Arthur Lyons, the popular Film Noir Festival includes an eclectic mixture of prestigious and obscure black and white B movies from the classic film noir period. The festival is known for unearthing and screening rare films, restored classics, and for the special appearances of the stars who were in them.  

The Purple Room 

Tuesdays: Rose Mallett 

Wednesdays: Michael Holmes and Darci Daniels 

Thursdays: Sharon Sills 

Fridays and Saturdays: Ticketed events 

Sundays: The Judy Show   

PS Underground 

That’s Amore, an Italian feast set to music.
Saturday, October 2, 7 p.m. 

Gospel Brunch featuring great music and Keisha D.
Sunday, October 3, 11 a.m. 

Ovation! A Jazzed Up Sunday Brunch
Sunday, October 10, 11 a.m. 

Death by Cheese, a ghoulishly cheesy Sunday brunch.
Sunday, October 24, 11 a.m.  

420 Bank Dispensary and Lounge 

Cheech Meet & Greet
Friday, October 1, 3 p.m. 

Kottonmouth Kings with DLOC
Saturday, October 23, 9 p.m. 

Rabbit Country
Friday, October 15, 6 p.m. 

Open Mic Night
Thursdays — October 7, 14, 21 

Oscar’s House Parties 

Saturdays: Mimosa Men (Brunch) 

Sundays: Bitchiest Brunch 

Sundays: World Famous T-Dance  

Oscar’s Special Events 

Edie Las Vegas Showgirls: Unleashed (ticketed event) — Saturday, October 2, 7 to 9 p.m. 

Sandra Bernhardt — Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5

Remembering The Golden Girls — Wednesday, October 6

An Evening With Cameron Ross — Thursday, October 14

Melissa Manchester outdoor concert — Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22

Theater 

Desert Rose Playhouse Presents Xanadu 

Thursday to Sunday, through October 17 

(Note: So far their season has been spectacular!)  

Palm Canyon Theater 

Sordid Lives — Through October 3 

Shrek The Musical — Beginning October 22 

More options 

Wind and Wine Paint Party
Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
Wine glass painting class and Windmill Tour  

Paint Splatter at Superbloom Studios
Thursday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Starts at $150.00  

The Gem Show at Palm Springs Convention Center
October 21 through 24   

Modernism Fall Preview
October 14 through 17
 

Halloween 

Palm Springs Cultural Center 

Jazzville Creepy Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 3 p.m. 

Cinema Bizarro: Best of Retro Cartoon Halloween Specials
Sunday, October 31, 1 p.m.  

Jazzville Presents The Jazz Cartel Halloween Special
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m. 

Hocus Pocus hosted by the Sanderson Sisters
Sunday, October 31, 5 p.m.

A screening of Hocus Pocus with special guests the Sanderson Sisters. Kids receive a (kinda) real magic wand from the spooky woods of Salem.  

Zombie Burlesque Cocktail Party
Sunday, October 31, 6 p.m.  

The Three Michaels playing the Halloween score live, plus private party
Sunday, October 31, 8 p.m. 

An ode to John Carpenter’s Halloween with the musical score, scares, and skits performed live in front of an abbreviated version of the film projected on the big screen. 

Dirty Little Secrets Presents Shock Theater Spooktacular
Sunday, October 31 8 p.m.

California’s longest running burlesque and variety show. From zombies to fire performers, this eclectic shock theater of sensational striptease will keep you laughing and howling all night! 

PS Underground 

BITE – a bloody vampire dinner
October 26, 27, 28, 31, 7 p.m. 

Halloween on Arenas Road – The Queen Of All Halloween Parties
The party starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m.. Take an Uber/Lyft, parking will suck, and you’ll likely get pretty boozy. There’s too much to talk about, so I’m just sending you to the link. Prizes up to $1,800! 

For Gay Men Only

The Dirty Show with Skyler Gentry
Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m.

$25 includes complimentary booze, snacks, pre-show and post-show party after every performance. The venue is outdoors with spaced seating. 

Hot Uncle at the Barracks
Saturday, October 16, 9 p.m.  
 

Palm Springs Leather Pride 2021: Unlocked: Full Release
Begins October 26 and runs through October 31. Multiple venues, starting at Eagle 501 bar.  SO MANY EVENTS! Event packages (too easy) here. Need some leather? Try Gear and Rough Trade Gear. 

That’ll do it for October. Don’t forget to shop and stay local. See you in November!  

By Susan Montgomery

La Maison, a thirteen-room boutique hotel, offers guests a lushly landscaped oasis in the heart of Palm Springs. It is owned by Cornelia Schuster and Richard Slosky who opened their doors in February, 2012, although the property had been the site of a small resort since the 1950s. I had the good fortune to stay at La Maison a few weeks ago and savored every relaxing moment.

I learned that the owners moved here from Canada where they had owned a four-room bed and breakfast on lovely rural Salt Spring Island. They enjoyed this experience but eventually realized they needed a more viable hotel business without such a short season and more rooms. They had visited Palm Springs many times and loved the area so it was only logical that is where they looked for another inn to own and manage.  After more than a year of searching, they found the perfect property, which they named La Maison.

This property seemed ideal for them even though it needed some renovation. They liked the layout with the rooms on two sides of the lovely pool and the outdoor breakfast nook. They added a wall on one side and lots of greenery, including ficus. They renovated every room with unique consignment pieces, mostly found in the Palm Springs area, that have helped create what Cornelia describes as a simplified twist on a Country French style.

When I first arrived at La Maison, all I saw was a secluded black door in a wall, but when I opened the door I was greeted by an enchanting patio with welcoming comfortable furniture, outdoor fireplaces, tinkling fountains, verdant landscaping, and a glistening pristine pool. The ambiance is all-enveloping, making La Maison a heavenly retreat from the hubbub of daily life.  Cornelia says many of their guests have told them what a wonderful getaway the property is.  Some have even made life-changing decisions while contemplating their lives in this peaceful setting.

The luxurious rooms offer every comfort and amenity. My room was a deluxe king with warm terracotta floors, charming vintage furnishings, and so many other nice touches such as high quality linens on the beds, along with a little lavender sachet.  Later in the afternoon, guests can enjoy wine around the pool and a cooler is always full of iced water, beer and soda for guests.  La Maison also offers guests bicycles and a fully equipped outdoor barbecue grill.

Each morning a bountiful breakfast is served with such treats as pastries, croissants, fruit, yogurt and juice, plus each breakfast features a special item. When I was there, Cornelia made her famous rosemary, grapefruit cake, which I savored.  Cornelia explained that serving “serious coffee” is important to them so they have a professional coffee machine, which can produce exceptional cappuccino, lattes, and espressos.

Three years ago Marsha and Stephen Ferguson joined the staff at La Maison as the on-site innkeepers. This arrangement has worked out beautifully as far as Cornelia is concerned although she and her husband are also very hands-on. Richard is a handyman who can fix almost anything around the property and who also makes early morning coffee for guests. Besides baking wonderful breakfast items, Cornelia works on the books, inventory, and social media. The couple, who have three daughters (one still living at home), have really enjoyed this venture together in their lives.

Cornelia and Richard like focusing on offering their guests special attention and personalized service. They both love getting to know their guests and, in many cases, making new friends who come back again and again. Guests come to La Maison from all over the world. Europeans especially love the old-world ambiance and all guests enjoy the intimate serenity the hotel offers.

Cornelia says that as owners their greatest satisfaction is knowing their guests are happy and feel rejuvenated when they depart. She believes that small boutique hotels, like La Maison, can offer guests a personalized experience that is hard to find in large resorts.

Oh my goodness, October’s weather was exceptional, and it’s just going to be better in November. Unlike the majority of the United States, November in Palm Springs brings bright, bright, bright sunshiny days. Everyone is riding bicycles and walking because it’s just too gorgeous to be inside a car. The nights are cooler, but can also get a tad chilly, so make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater just in case. I don’t want you to catch cold — we’ve had enough catching things!

Of course, Pride is this month. The parade is on November 7, but there are tons of activities the week leading up to it. Really hope you booked earlier in the year, but if not there may still be some openings at our boutique hotels and resorts, so scurry on over to Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels to see what’s still available. Good luck!

And now, in no particular order, November’s events and happenings:

Courtesy of Hunters

Hunters is taking their entertainment, literally, to the sky. Airotic Soirée is a brand-new sensual burlesque-style circus cabaret combining the best of burlesque, cirque-style entertainment, and astounding acrobatics. Shows are scheduled every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. through the end of the year. It’s gonna be so hot you can leave your sweater at home.

The Best Shows in Town

Purple Room — Sunday is The Judy Show! Squee!

Melvyn’s at Ingleside Inn   Sunday Jams are back. $10. Make a reservation…it’s a hot ticket.

PS Underground — Rouge, Ami Kumar, Dirty Bingo, Cavern, and Bacon are the shows and dinners scheduled for November. A big congratulations to owners Michael and Dave who, after 25 years together, tied the knot. Mazel!

Oscar’s — Great Pride lineup: Bruce Vilanch and Poppy Champlin, Priscilla Presley, and more.

Toucans Tiki Lounge — Everything is dragtastic!

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs has Jazzville, Latin nights, and comedy all month.

Keep your eye on Copa Nightclub. I hear Lipstick may be returning this month, along with Jason Weber in his 5:30 to 7:30 show Thursdays, replacing Mod Squad (which had replaced Jason Weber!). We’re hoping Mod Squad finds a new home…it’s a great show!

November 19 to 21: SoCal 356 Club’s Palm To Pines road trip for those with the need to…never mind, it’s a leisurely trip, no speed necessary.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Air Museum

For those with a need to speed, purchase a ticket for a warbird experience at Palm Springs Air Museum, where you get to ride in the warbird of your choice! Follow it up with the F-117 Stealth Fighter Experience in late November. This is your chance to see an F-117 Stealth Fighter #-833 up close and personal at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Each day will feature a 90-minute speaker engagement to enlighten the crowd on the historic aircraft. Purchase your tickets in advance from their website as space is limited. Note: these fighters are not usually on display.

Theater

November 4 to 21: Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Desert Rose Playhouse. I’ve got my tickets!

Tuesdays at 7 p.m.: Electricity at Oscar’s – I’ve see this two-man play, and it’s very good.

November 7 at Chill Bar: Jennifer Holiday — the original Dreamgirl. 

For car lovers: The 25th annual McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction on November 20, 21, and 22 will feature over 500 classic, exotic, sporty and high-end cars. Admission is free all day Friday; Saturday and Sunday are pay days.

Palm Springs Cultural Center

November 18: Get dressed in your best circus costume and head over to the Greatest Showman interactive event. Join us for cocktails at 6 p.m., with the DJ spinning the hits at 7 p.m. (We will DANCE!) Theater doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the singalong starting at 8 p.m.

November 19: Martinis and Moxie, a musical salute to Sinatra with special guests…some of whom had first-hand experience with the Chairman himself.

Photo credit: Lani Garfield

Pride

Above photo by Palm Springs resident Lani Garfield

Learn more about Palm Springs’ rich gay history, and the origins of Pride, here.

Have questions about this year’s big event? The official website has all the answers.

Some stand out events include:

November 5: Coming Out Celebration – A Night of a Hundred Stars

November 6: Skater Girlz Jam presented by Lesbo Expo. Cool event featuring women skateboarders with some great talent. 5 to 7 p.m. at PS Skate Park.

Third Eye Blind, Jody Watley, and A Flock of Seagulls are among the performers who will hit the stage at Pride — this great article from Palm Springs Life has the details.

All indoor venues require a vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test, so be prepared and be safe. A mask is like a condom — it helps contain the spread of disease. And because life is a bit weird in a mask, it may help prevent pregnancy, too.

See ya in December!

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced during this ongoing pandemic is gathering our families in a safe setting. So here is a great idea. When we are allowed to safely travel again, why not consider bringing your family to one of the lovely small boutique hotels in the Palm Springs?

Recently, representatives from several of these hotels shared their experiences and thoughts with me about planning gatherings of families and close friends.

Many of these hotels encourage guests to buy out the entire hotel. There are many advantages to a buyout, such as knowing you are with a familiar group (your own “bubble”) while not interacting with strangers. You can also relax with confidence knowing that the hotels have taken all kinds of protective measures so that your stay is safe. At the same time, you can enjoy the beautiful Palm Springs setting.

Since the start of the pandemic, Dive (playfully decorated in a St. Tropez style) has hosted more than a dozen gatherings of families and close friends. Like many small hotels, it is well designed to accommodate small groups. Guests can enjoy spacious outdoor gardens, pools, multiple lounging areas, and fountains spread across a half-acre lot, making socially distancing easy and comfortable. Dive, which has 11 rooms, welcomes small groups, but if you need more than five rooms, the hotel requires a full buyout, which means you would have exclusive access to the property and a dedicated staff for support.

The Weekend, a small, mid-century modern hotel, where I have stayed and which I love, has ten deluxe suites, most with two bedrooms and two baths, along with living rooms, kitchens, and patios.  During the pandemic, the owners prefer that the entire hotel be bought out so you will not encounter other guests besides your family members.

One advantage at The Weekend and most other small boutique hotels is there are no hallways or elevators and the rooms open directly to the pool so there are plenty of opportunities for social distancing.

Both Hotel El Cid and The Marley (sister hotels) are private boutique hotels that rent to only one group at a time so they are perfect for families or close friends. They are also lovingly decorated and totally luxurious. The Marley has nine bedrooms and El Cid has seven bedrooms.  Both hotels are completely walled and gated for total privacy. Each hotel has full kitchens that allow guests to cook for themselves or groups can bring in professional chefs

Dining options are varied but ample at most of the small hotels. The Weekend delivers a lavish continental breakfast to each suite every morning. Their suites have a kitchen (no stove) with a full-sized refrigerator, ice maker, and four-seat dining room table. At Dive, two amazing chefs are available to support whatever dining needs guests have. In addition, each guest receives a complimentary organic breakfast each morning. During the current Covid situation, all food and drinks are served in single-use containers to ensure guests’ safety.

The safety and well-being of guests are the top priorities at the PSPSH hotels. Each hotel has enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place. All staff members are equipped with proper PPE — sanitizers, gloves, and masks. At The Weekend, staff members have daily temperature checks.  At all the hotels, guests are asked to wear masks coming and going from the hotel and to socially distance while relaxing at poolside. Outside visitors are not allowed.

So many of us have been mostly confined to our own homes for the last many months and, if you are like me, you are chomping at the bit to get out and start traveling again. Staying at a small boutique hotel is an ideal way to reconnect with close family members and friends while enjoying a luxurious setting in a fabulous location. Even if you live close to Palm Springs, you will feel as if you have really gotten away. Just go to the PSPSH website to find out when hotels are open and then you can explore the many enticing options for small groups in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels — a collection of more than 70 boutique hotels — have reopened just in time for those who crave the sun and need a change of scenery from the recent California lock-down orders. Many hotels have special offers to celebrate the reopening, including free nights and percentages off.

“Palm Springs small hotels are ideal for those who need a change of scenery but aren’t ready to be around many people,” says Michael Green Chair of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels/TBID commission. “It’s the perfect time to escape to somewhere bright, sunny and safe.”

The comfort and safety of guests continues to be a top priority. Over the past few weeks, the owners and general managers of Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels have collaboratively created a baseline of safety sanitation standards.

Most Palm Springs boutique hotels have fewer than 30 rooms, making them easier to thoroughly clean and keep sanitized. Common areas are typically outside, and a majority of rooms have their own private entrances and HVAC.

Hoteliers will continue to take every precaution during this time, from sanitizing surfaces throughout the day to rearranging patio furniture to ensure social distancing,” says Green.

As Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels are independently owned with unique property designs and configurations, each one will have its own safety guidelines in addition to the requirements set forth by the city of Palm Springs and the ones they collectively developed. This information will be shared with guests when they receive their reservation confirmation. Those who have visited before can expect some changes when it comes to checking-in and food and beverage services.

Some hotels, such as The Alcazar Palm SpringsLa Serena VillasLos ArbolesVilla Royale, Holiday House, and the iconic Ingleside Inn, have restaurants on site. Additionally, many Palm Springs restaurants and bars offer cocktail and food curbside pickup and hotel delivery services for those who don’t plan to leave their pool lounge chair.

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Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Pinterest. Please visit Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels special offers page for details.