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It’s that time of year, when Palm Springs throws The Dinah — the biggest, baddest lesbian party in the world. 

Running from Sept. 20-24, The Dinah will be held at the big hotels, and if you like being in the thick of it 24/7, then read no further. If you’d prefer your own getaway from the getaway, then I have some suggestions. If you’re coming in a group, I have ideas for that, too.

Palm Springs boutique hotels for groups

The Marley is a hotel with one rule: you gotta rent the whole place. From their website: “The Marley isn’t like all the other Palm Springs boutique hotels. In fact, it isn’t like any other boutique hotel. After all, we designed it to fit the exact needs of one unique group of guests at a time. So you and your friends can relax like Hollywood royalty — in total privacy.”

Women use floats in the pool at The Marley in Palm Springs

Hang out with the whole gang at The Marley. Photo courtesy of The Marley

The Three Ten Hotel, recently renovated and remodeled, is a mid-century modern property that’s rented out to just one group at a time. The gated hotel’s seven rooms are all brightly decorated and have queen-sized beds, kitchenettes, full bathrooms, and patios. There is also an arcade/game room and washer and dryer on the property, and all bedrooms have a view of the sparkling central pool. On top of all that, there’s a firepit, barbecue and outdoor dining space, lounge chairs, hot tub, and a hammock, surrounded by lovely desert landscaping. No on-site staff.

The living room space with a couch and arcade game at The Three Ten Hotel in Palm Springs

The Three Ten Hotel has an arcade in the common room. Photo courtesy of The Three Ten Hotel

Limón Palm Springs is a one-group-at-a-time property, and its “celebration specialists” will help with everything from reserving transportation and golf tee-times to hiring a gourmet chef to make a delicious meal onsite. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a charcuterie board featuring locally-sourced ingredients, plus chilled bottles of prosecco and sparkling rosé.

A colorful bedroom at Limon Palm Springs with patterned wallpaper and a bed with a yellow blanket

One of the colorful bedrooms at Limón Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Limón Palm Springs

Blackhaus is a truly unique space. Just look at it! I’m not going to say any more — I just urge you to look for yourself.

An aerial view of Blackhaus hotel in Palm Springs

Four separate buildings make up Blackhaus. Photo courtesy of Blackhaus

There are other places to stay, and ostensibly do a buyout. I’ve done the sorting for you — just go here.

More cool places to stay during The Dinah

Dive! Stunning hotel, marvelous pool, and exceptionally well-curated rooms. There’s also a soundproof after-hours room, so you can continue the party well into the morning.

A gilded elevator cage that has been converted into a bed frame at Dive Palm Springs

The Paris Suite at Dive showcases a 1919 brass and copper elevator cage. Photo courtesy of Dive Palm Springs

Drift, one of our newest hotels, is located downtown and has a plethora of social events. It’s a stunning hotel, just steps away from everything.

The pool at Drift Palm Springs surrounded by lounge chairs with the hotel's building in the background

The poolside views at Drift are delightful. Photo courtesy of Drift Palm Springs

Villa Royale is a 38-room hotel in the south end of Palm Springs. Built in 1947, it was owned and managed by a woman named Evelyn Pell. You can stay in her namesake villa, a private residence with its own hot tub and garden.

A chair and fireplace in a room at Villa Royale Palm Springs that has a tile wall and hanging picture of Debbie Harry

The Villa Royale is known for its stylish and art-filled rooms. Photo courtesy of Villa Royale

Old Ranch Inn  is done in a western style, and damn it is gorgeous! The eight-suite, dog-friendly property is completely walled and gated for your privacy. It’s centered around the pool, which is heated to a perfect 88 degrees. Old Ranch Inn is an intimate hideaway to call your very own, and as a bonus, it’s located one block west of Palm Canyon, making downtown your playground.

The pool at Old Ranch Inn with blue chairs around it

The pool is always 88 degrees at Old Ranch Inn. Photo courtesy of Old Ranch Inn

There are so many more Palm Springs boutique hotels, in so many different styles, that it’ll blow your mind. Visit the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to find the place that will boost your Dinah experience.

Have fun!

“Everyone’s feeling pretty, it’s hotter than July. Though the world’s full of problems, they couldn’t touch us even if they tried.” — Stevie Wonder, “Master Blaster”

July is a big month everywhere in the USA because *drumroll* it’s America’s 247th birthday. California wasn’t even a state back then — well, it was, but it was Spanish.

Before that, Native Americans roamed free and have fascinating lore dating back thousands of years. The last Net (chief) of the Cahuilla tribe wrote them all down. I stopped reading at “flies the size of a dog” because ew. But he describes saber-toothed tigers and all the animals they found in the La Brea Tar Pits as being part of their oral history.

That was a long road to travel for me to say: I’ma write a post about the big birthday bash in Palm Springs. This is the “after” party space, and there’s still plenty to do, and I need to tell you about our Splash Pass because it’s crazy good.

So, here are some fun things to do when you come out. (I realize now, after reading it back, that phrase has a dual meaning, but I’m not mad at it. Here in PS, you do you. Just earlier in the week I saw two guys in, not sure you can call them shorts, both wearing mesh dog heads. My companion said it was called “puppy play” and no one blinked; everyone in Bill’s Pizza just went about their own business.)

Here’s what’s going on during the Palm Springs month-long birthday after-party:

Happy hours

Zin American Bistro

The lounge at Hotel Zoso 

Bar Chingona

Ticketed events 

PS Underground — Highly original shows with equally original menus that complement the show

Cascade — Comedy, jazz, Latin, blues

Reforma — Check out their creative drag brunches

Big venues outside PS

Acrisure (Palm Desert/Thousand Palms arena)

The Show (Rancho Mirage)

Stuff to do

July 8: Crystal Fantasy Psychic Fair all weekend. Other events here.

Four Twenty Bank Jam Sessions at the dispensary/lounge are every Thursday, for singers, songwriters, comedians, poets, etc. All are welcome to play with or without the house band, so go try out that new song you just wrote, or buy some inspiration and enjoy it while you shoot some pool and listen to the jams.

July 13, 15, 27, and 29: Cocktail Cinema at PS Art Museum: Enjoy four films with iconic soundtracks. Before the show, purchase a specially-crafted cocktail inspired by the movie. Cocktails start at 5 p.m., with the films at 6 p.m. Free with registration.  

The very hip, brand spankin’ new Drift Palm Springs hotel is offering some very cool events including pool parties. They also have a new restaurant that’s on my list to try. Check out their fun times here.

The poolside views at Drift are delightful. Photo courtesy of Drift Palm Springs

Palm Springs Historical Society Private Tours  — Outside of season, things tend to slow down a bit, but they don’t stop. You can still go on one of the awesome tours offered by the Historical Society, you just have to call ahead.

Hiking with T — I can hike, generally without being airlifted out (there was that one time, at band camp…) but it can get tricky out here. So, that’s a link to someone who has more than a clue. She also has a recurring space in the CV Independent, our local newspaper.

Reminders

Coachella presale for 2024 already sold out — get on the waiting list here.

Modernism Week October goes on sale August 1. The hottest tickets sell out immediately, so grab those and then grab yourself a room at one of our preferred boutique hotels so you can stay authentically Palm Springs.

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

And if you haven’t caught wind of it yet, we’ve got a little summer special that’s sizzling hot in its own right. It’s the Summer Splash pass that’s a collaboration of organizations and businesses in Palm Springs offering discounts and deals from hoteliers, restaurants, bars, and local attractions. Read more at the link above, and to get your pass, click here.

Join us this summer in Palm Springs where we’ll be jammin’ until the break of dawn

You could be jammin’ and jammin’ and jammin’… 

We’ll be doing it in August too, so see you then!

Once the construction fences went up, curiosity soared about what was being built on South Indian Canyon across from the downtown multilevel parking garage. The wait is over: it’s called Drift Palm Springs, and this boutique hotel is quickly gaining a reputation as a place to stay, relax, or meet up with friends.

Even the Drift Palm Springs sign hints that this is no ordinary hotel. Like all of the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, it has its own vibes.

Welcome to Drift. Photo courtesy of Drift Palm Springs

What makes the Drift Palm Springs stand out?

Its proximity to everything happening in Downtown Palm Springs makes it a great home base while you dine in the area’s restaurants and shop in the many retail stores.

However, what makes the Drift Palm Springs unique from other hotels is its ability to welcome individuals, families, and retreats by easily adjusting the size of the accommodations.

There are 30 rooms, with 84 guest rooms. Confused? So was I. Then Paul Patino, Drift Palm Springs’ general manager, showed me what this meant. Once you unlock the door, you are in a spacious room with a kitchen bathed in light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Then the magic happens. Paul opened the door to the grand room, and after he unlocked another door, it revealed a bedroom. There is still one more door, and look! It opens into an additional room.

As Paul explains it, this is why the Drift Palm Springs works so well; it can be configured according to your needs. You can reserve a studio or up to four bedrooms with them all connected for your bachelorette party or family reunion.

Bedrooms at Drift are made for relaxing. Photo by Erin Feinblatt

‘Industrial chic’ décor

When walking into the space, my first reaction was that it felt so clean and the energy seemed great. I was drawn to the sliding doors leading to the patio, and there before me was a stunning view of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Back inside, I marveled at the furniture’s simple structure and classy style. It was all oversized yet comfy, with natural colored cushions. Paul shared that the owner, Philip Bates, designed and manufactured the furniture to his specifications. Various raw materials, stone, Italian brick, brass, and cedar wood provided a calming reaction against the tan walls. The term coined by the hotel management, “industrial chic,” fits the style of the décor perfectly.

Meeting space at the hotel is abundant, with areas that are perfect for intimate parties or corporate retreats. One “drawback” for a retreat is that the view out the window is of the beautiful mountains — it might be a bit distracting.

A special outdoor setting

Yes, there is a large pool, lounge chairs, and cabanas. One of the real draws is at night. The lighting is superb, and the fire pits scattered through the area add a special touch. You will want to have a cocktail, sit there, and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere under the desert sky.

A little prediction: I believe this will become a place where you can meet locals. One of the reasons is that the restaurant, Maleza, is open to the public and has a patio area where people can grab a drink after a day of work and enjoy it poolside.

The poolside views are delightful. Photo by Erin Feinblatt

South of the border dining

Maleza is quickly becoming a favorite restaurant in Downtown Palm Springs. If you can’t make it to the Baja Peninsula, here’s a great option.

This rustic restaurant lets you get your fill of Mexican food with the unique twist you look for when traveling down south, and of course you can also get a delicious cocktail made with mezcal, the hot spirit taking the United States by storm.

The bar at Maleza. Photo by Erin Feinblatt

Explore the surroundings

If you want to explore the neighborhood, ask for directions and then hop on one of the bikes available for guests to use. Head over to Old Las Palmas to see some magnificent original homes — this area offers a glimpse into a world that is often missed by visitors.

As a resident, I’m excited to have Drift as a new addition to our community. If you are planning to come to Palm Springs, I suggest you head over to the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website and make your reservation before the word gets out, and you miss an opportunity to be one of the first to visit this special place in the heart of downtown.

In Palm Springs during the summer months, we sing a little ditty, and it goes like this: “Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my mister,” but we’re not talking boyfriends like Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen are in White Christmas no. It’s those wonderful inventions that are de rigueur in downtown Palm Springs, the ones that provide a light zhuzh of moisture to your skin. And while the first part isn’t true in any sense of the word, we do have fabulous water misters cooling everyone down while they walk down the street. We just don’t sing about it.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, how about a little humblebrag on the weather so far this year? It’s been damn near perfect, that’s what it’s been. A better season has not been had. The ratio of cool to heat, and dry to wet, produced a gorgeous array of desert flowers, and gave everyone a chance to wear a cute vintage jacket or a treasured designer sweater, and what girl doesn’t love fashion?

Now we’re moving into another season (more fashion!!) and if you compare Palm Springs to the peppers on the Scoville scale we’re going to be nearing Scotch Bonnet by the end of June. But right now, we’re at a very do-able Thai pepper.

So, now’s a great time — day or evening — to stroll down Palm Canyon and pop into local watering holes and eateries for a well-earned cocktail and a nosh. If it’s hot, those misters we talked about earlier will be zhuzhing. Caveat: this is not a good time for any hairstyle that requires a hold. That will not happen with misters, so leave the hairspray at home. You look gorgeous au natural.

A beautiful aerial view of Palm Springs. Photo by Chris Miller

For those that would prefer eating rather than drinking their sugar, you must try some of our award-winning toffee at Brandini’s (they give out samples). They’ve also got a great variety of items including popcorn, milkshakes, and ice cream, and can even make you an espresso, with toffee. Enjoy it outside while you check out details for the restoration they’ve got planned on the historic Plaza Theater located next to and slightly behind Brandini.

My favorite date shake is at Tutti Frutti, made entirely with local ingredients. It is heavenly, and I am not usually a fan of dates unless they’re stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon. If you’re not willing to risk your status as a disliker of dates, try the yogurt. It is also made entirely from local ingredients. I am particularly fond of the sorbets (sour apple ZOMG) and of the non-produce options, the salted caramel runs a good race against the chocolate. I have never had a loser here, and I may have tried them all.

If you are a fan of pizza there is only one place and you must go there, I insist. Bill’s Pizza is in La Plaza on the Indian Canyon side, next to Tyler’s (great burger joint, closes for summer). The crust is award-winning sourdough, house recipe, and I am partial to the all-veggie Elton John pizza. They’re all incredibly good though. The pizzeria is super busy all the time, but they’re friendly and efficient. The bathroom is a trip. It’s located outside, then through a coded door, and down a couple of hallways in what feels like a basement. Outside of that, they’re fine. They work.

Back on Palm Canyon, right next to Sonny Bono’s statue, is Maracas Restaurant, and not only do they serve one helluva margarita, the street tacos and salsa are outstanding. The fajitas smell so good they might as well have a smoky cartoon aroma finger wafting out of them leading you inside. The staff is magnifico, and if you see a tall blonde-ish guy with a beard hanging around, drinking a beer, that’s the owner. Todd. Nice guy — say hello.

A luxurious evening dip at your boutique hotel’s sparkling blue pool is a great way to end an evening outside your room. That’s where my involvement ends. You’re pretty much guaranteed that there’s never going to be a mob at your pool like there can be at the larger hotels, so at the end of the day you won’t be hanging around with strangers, but possibly new friends.

For those with grander aspirations than eating, relaxing, and shopping, see the list of events and clubs below and get cracking on a plan. Or just make a plan to come and wing it from there. There’s plenty to keep you happy. Read on…

June 1-4 and June 6-14: Scavenger Hunt (June 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 are for lovebirds), departing at various locations. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Read all about it in the link.

June 2-11: Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Participating restaurants valley-wide. Menus are often set, as are the prices. It’s a great way to get to know the Coachella Valley! Mangia!

The entrance to Melvyn's

Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn is participating in Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

June 9-11: Splash House: Passes, Lineup. Might I suggest a hotel room away from the bustle? Then just use a rideshare to venue hop. If you’re done for the night, but the party’s still going, you’ll get a good night’s sleep because you were smart enough to book a room at a locally-owned resort or hotel.

June 10: Diana Ross at The Show (SOLD OUT — I just put this in here because I am humblebragging again. Our little valley got Diana Ross!! #sorrynotsorry)

June 2: Lizzo at Acrisure. Our little valley got Lizzo! But unless you’ve already got tickets… (see parentheses above)

June 19-24: Native American Arts Festival, Idyllwild. It’s art in the mountains!

June 20-26: Short Fest. Great option for people who love movies but have short attention spans. I’m kidding (am I? Isn’t that why we like cartoons?). Sometimes a story can be told succinctly and with an impact in a shorter span of time. They know when to stop writing, which is on my list of things to learn.

Clubs

Reforma – Ticketed events, great dancing, and some very fun Saturday brunch shows like Disney Villains Drag Brunch on June 3. Regular menus here.

Cascade Lounge — Located in the Agua Caliente Casino, they have comedy nights, Jazzville, blues reviews, and Latin nights. They occasionally have late night concerts too, so check the website, and definitely check out the new Séc-he spa. It’s pricey but I’m told it’s worth it.

P.S. Underground — No longer underground, they’ve had their own fabulous space since 2019. Highly original, themed dinner theater (or brunch) where the food is as big a draw as the entertainment.

The Purple Room — Weekends are ticketed events with traditional music acts that lean more toward jazz, but they’ve got a mix. The Judy Show is my favorite show in town.

Palm Springs Cultural Center — This space has so much going on, it’s crazypants! They’ve got movies, concerts, plays, weeknight entertainment with snacks and adult libations, and film festivals galore. They’ve always got something cool going on, so make sure to check back often.

PS Air Bar — Like no other bar in Palm Springs, it’s decorated as the inside of an airplane complete with airplane windows. It’s a must see, for sure. The place has a terrific sense of humor about itself, and the entertainment always flies first class local, and so will you. The wine shop below not only has terrific choices in beer and wine, there’s a small “deli” serving delicious salads and sandwiches.

A bar cart at PS Air Bar

All aboard PS Air Bar. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

If you’re planning on a hike, please go early early early, and take a lot of water with you. The best hike right now is Tahquitz Canyon. The waterfall is flowing merrily down the stream, and it’s about 45 in and 30 out (I don’t know why it is, stop asking me!).

And lastly, we have a brand spankin’ new hotel in town called Drift Palm Springs, and it has a restaurant called Maleza.

That’s it for June, everyone. Don’t forget the sunscreen and the hat, or even an umbrella or a parasol if you’re fancy (and we are!).

See you under the misters!