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We’re back with the next feature in our series on Instagram-able small hotels in Palm Springs, featuring the rustic chic Sparrows Lodge.

Originally built in 1952 as Castle’s Red Barn by MGM actor Don Castle, the property was a popular getaway for Hollywood stars, and rumor has it that actress Elizabeth Montgomery (best known as Samantha in the original “Bewitched” television series) was married there.

After passing through various ownerships and doing stints as Catalina Palms and El Rancho Lodge, the property was again purchased and a major renovation was completed in 2013, resulting in a beautiful property that combines luxury with summer camp vibes and lots of Instagram-friendly photo ops.

The 20-room property, located in south Palm Springs, features the ‘50s original barn, now renovated to house a bar and lounge seating. Exposed redwood beams, concrete floors with hand-inlaid pebbles and functional wood window shutters lend a cabin-y vibe to both the exterior and interiors. Rooms are outfitted with custom-made redwood beds featuring plush mattresses topped by Swiss Army blankets, as well as metal footlockers and leather butterfly chairs.

A rock wall acts as a divider for the bathroom area, which includes enameled horse troughs for bathtubs and an open shower made of concrete and inlaid pebbles.

Most guest rooms have private patios, and two larger suites offer a little extra space and luxury: the Owner’s Suite, with a large sitting area and a sunken bedroom area with a functional fireplace, and the Cabin, with a kitchen and dining area separate from the bedroom.

Outdoor amenities at Sparrows Lodge include a saltwater pool and spa, a fire pit and horseshoes, and guests can enjoy spa services in the Massage Tent. There are hammocks throughout the property, as well as bikes available for guests to use their stay.

Daytime dining is available in the Barn Kitchen, along with outdoor seating surrounded by fruit trees. Chef Gabriel Woo also preparestwo special family-style dinners each week: a chicken dinner on Wednesday evenings and a steak dinner on Saturdays.

The property is very pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along for some fun in the sun!

If you’re heading to Sparrows Lodge, just look for the nameless sign bearing two small birds and you’ll know you’ve reached this laid-back and inspiring retreat.

Stay tuned for our next installment as we explore the most Instagram-able Palm Springs small hotels!

 

Images via Instagram, Jaime Kowal and Camron Carrier.

Is your daily life starting to wear you down? Are you experiencing symptoms of undue stress — constant worrying, sleepless nights, feelings of anxiety? Or, maybe you’re just looking for a change of scene.

It may be time for a true getaway, and Palm Springs is your perfect destination. Not only is the weather beautiful, but there are lots of “get-away-from-it-all” activities and a plethora of charming, peaceful boutique hotels in the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels group that provide the ideal places to relax and regroup.

Here are some tips that may help you plan a real getaway in Palm Springs:

First, decide if you are going to get away alone or with another person, like a partner or friend. Sometimes another person can just add to your stress or distract you from focusing on relaxation — in that case, a solo getaway may be your best option. On the other hand, a traveling companion may enhance your getaway experience. It all depends on the person and what you are seeking in a getaway.

 The inviting pool at Azure Sky. Photo courtesy of Azure Sky

If you do decide to visit Palm Springs with someone else, make sure that the two of you either have similar ideas for your trip or that the other person respects your desire to experience a true getaway. If you just want to relax at your hotel and lounge around the pool, and your companion wants to hop around to museums and entertainment venues, then you need to respect each other’s wishes. You don’t have to do everything together. 

Set your getaway goals before you arrive in Palm Springs — do your research and make a list of activities that interest you, keeping in mind that trying something new is a wonderful way to get away from your daily routine. Consider going to  a spa or booking a massage, or how about that long-overdue pedicure? But please don’t over-plan. Doing too much in one day can be stressful. Allow plenty of time for naps! 

A bedroom at Sparrows Lodge. Photo courtesy of Sparrows Lodge

Choose a hotel that meets your relaxation goals. I have probably stayed at about 10 PSPSH boutique hotels in Palm Springs and I must say that they were all wonderful places to relax, but some are busier than others. They all have a relatively small number of rooms, so you will not be inundated by the distractions of lots of other guests. Many of these hotels are for adults only, and this is important if you don’t want cute but noisy little kids jumping over your lounge chair while you’re trying to lose yourself in a good book or take a serene snooze. Do you want a vibrant music scene around the pool or a more soothing atmosphere? Read the hotel reviews or call and ask about the atmosphere.

Consider a getaway where you can escape technology and the media for awhile. Several PSPSH hotels have no televisions or in-room phones, such as Azure Sky, Sparrows Lodge, and Korakia Pensione. (But of course, even if you stay in a hotel with a TV, you don’t have to turn it on.) You can also put your mobile phone and laptop away for a few days and just enjoy the sun, the sky, the pool, and a few friendly exchanges with other hotel guests. Be sure to bring some good books for relaxed reading.

The Artist Studio at Korakia Pensione. Photo courtesy of Korakia Pensione

Think about keeping a daily journal. Jot down random thoughts that come into your head. Record goals for maintaining a stress-free life when you return home. Or write about the many positive aspects of your life, and what you appreciate right now. Don’t focus on your problems — focus on what is good.

Meditation and mindful exercise or stretching routines like yoga can also be helpful in finding tranquility. Maybe you can start each day with a meditation on what you love about your life and how you hope to find peace in the future. There are also many wonderful hiking options in the Palm Springs area. Investigate those ahead of time and perhaps plan to take a daily walk or hike. There is nothing like nature to soothe your soul.

A hike in Indian Canyon is always a good idea. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

During your getaway, emphasize healthy eating and keeping alcohol to a minimum. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and fiber, which contribute to a healthy digestive system. A glass of wine occasionally is fine, but don’t overdo the cocktails. Many PSPSH hotels have small kitchens in their rooms so you can bring these healthy foods with you. Or you can order out from local restaurants if you don’t want to leave the hotel. 

Plan to stay long enough to really decompress. A week’s stay is ideal if possible.

I guarantee if you follow some or all of these suggestions you will leave refreshed and ready to embark on your daily challenges with renewed vigor. Remember the three Rs — relax, renew, refresh. Savor every moment.