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By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, much of America will have had their first dusting, if not their first dumping of snow. Not so in Palm Springs! We’re just getting used to the cooler mornings, our warmer afternoons are full of sun and followed by sultry evenings, and you might need a little body heat (or a nice jacuzzi) to stay warm.

This year for Thanksgiving, instead of the inevitable familial bickering, why not enjoy four days in Palm Springs with a group of friends at one of our small resorts, and leave the clashes, the dishes, and cooking behind you?

Here are some boutique hotel options, and read on for where to eat on your special respite of thanks … and fun. I mean, you are in Palm Springs. We’re not Disneyland fun, we’re cool fun. That’s why we always wear sunglasses. (Don’t forget to bring yours so you can be cool too. They also help with our very bright sun.)

Once you’ve got your peeps, your sunglasses, and your hotel sorted, it’s time to figure out who’s gonna be cooking for you this year. All of the below come with at least one starter and a dessert. 

Thanksgiving meals in Palm Springs

Tropicale — Known for its very popular happy hour and buzzy outdoor patio, their entree is herb-roasted Mary’s Farm organic turkey, along with sausage, apple, and sage stuffing, whipped potatoes and turkey gravy, buttered Brussels sprouts, and cranberry apple chutney. You also get a soup or salad option, and three different desserts from which to choose. Featured wines: Rombauer Vineyard Chardonnay and Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir. $84 per person.

Lulu — For those who don’t have a great relationship with turkey, Lulu is a wonderful choice. They have 10 choices of entrees with only three featuring turkey, and there’s a veggie option too. Plus, the atmosphere is pretty groovy. $59.99 per person.

Grand Central — There be turkey and fixins’ here! There also be four non-turkey options, including salmon and steak. For the vegetarians: pumpkin ravioli. Located in La Plaza at Palm Canyon, it’s a very big room so your chances of nabbing a spot are good. $79.99 per person.

Eight4Nine — Spend Thanksgiving at the former Palm Springs Post Office, now home to Eight4Nine. Willie Rhine is one of our favorite local restaurateurs, and Eight4Nine is his most popular restaurant. The four-course meal includes fig ricotta toast, a list of options for your starter and your main (including the very popular turkey dinner), and dessert. All for $76 per person.

Freddie’s Kitchen — Located in The Cole Hotel, this would be a great choice for staying and for Thanksgiving dinner. The French restaurant is serving the classic slow-roasted turkey, but they also have barramundi and grilled seasonal vegetables Wellington. For a starter, choose from soup, salad, or escargot, and the finale has three options for dessert. You don’t even need to leave the hotel. $72 per person, $25 corkage fee.

Melvyn’s — It’s another 2-fer here. Stay at the historic Ingleside Inn and dine in the glory of Melvyn’s. After dinner enjoy a martini at the bar and/or take a stroll around the grounds. Choose between four starters, four mains (including apple cider brined turkey breast), and two desserts. Sides will cost you $14 each on top of the $115 per person cost. It’s pretty Rat Pack-y, and if that’s the vibe you’re going for, it can’t be beat. Plus, you never know who you’ll see in the lounge.

So•Pa — One more 2-fer. Stay at L’Horizon and you’ll not only be treated to an incredibly swanky stay, but also a meal at So•Pa. Their offering is strictly of the turkey variety with all the fixins’ and then some. $95 per person.

Spencer’s — Located in the Class 1 historic Tennis Club on Baristo Road, smack up against the mountains, it’s one of the fancier places to dine in Palm Springs. They have a gorgeous patio they call the Bougainvillea Room where you can eat al fresco. Three starters to choose from, six entrees, and two desserts. $79 per person.

Zin American Bistro — In the heart of downtown, right on Palm Canyon Drive, is local restaurateur Mindy Reed’s Zin. This Thanksgiving there are five options as starters, five as mains (including turkey), and four dessert choices. $69.99 with a 22% gratuity.

Mr. Lyon’s — Probably the most popular steakhouse in town, and always a treat to the palate, this restaurant is located on the south side of town and features a speakeasy called Seymour’s. It’s a terrific dining experience, and for Thanksgiving they are offering four choices of starters, four choices of main (including turkey), and three dessert choices. $95 per person.

Pomme Frite — Zero turkey to be had in this French bistro, but what would you expect? It’s not a French holiday. But if you’re a fan of French bistro food, this just might be your jam. Five choices of starters, entrees and desserts, all very Français. $64.95 per person. 

Trio — Trio took a bit of a hit during the pandemic, but it’s coming back strong with a refresh of the interior and the menu. This Thanksgiving they have a family-style first course, three offerings for mains, three sets of sides served family style, and two desserts from which to choose. If none of those three mains suit you, there’s an a la carte menu featuring 10 extra items. $59 per person.

Palm Springs does Thanksgiving poolside

Thanksgiving experiences

The Purple Room is offering a dining and jazz experience with the Pam Phillips Trio. If you haven’t heard Pam on keys, you haven’t lived. Four choices for starters, five choices for mains (including turkey breast), and three choices for dessert. $79 per person. This club is dressed in an homage to the Rat Pack era, and although it’s not as old as Melvyn’s, it gives it a run for its money on the Rat Pack front.

Finally, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will operate a special holiday schedule Thursday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 26. The first tram up each day is at 8 a.m. with the final tram at 8 p.m. The last tram down is at 9:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day Ride ‘n’ Dine tickets include tram admission and your meal at Pines Café, served from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their fancy restaurant, Peaks, is also serving a special Thanksgiving pre-fixe menu. Reservations begin at 11 a.m. Tram tickets are not included. The regular menu is also available. 

So why not hit all the right notes this Thanksgiving with a very special holiday away from home? Spend the four-day holiday in Palm Springs where the weather’s perfect, the food is fantastic, the small hotels are gorgeous, and the vibe is Barry White — laid-back and a little suggestive. We can’t help it; the sun makes us frisky. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Modernism and technology have come together to offer a unique experience at The Cole Palm Springs. The hotel is operated by Sonder, a hospitality management company that utilizes an innovative approach here and in more than 40 cities worldwide.

Sonder was founded on the principle that you can get anything from your mobile phone. You can find rooms and even loft apartments for short-term rentals and make reservations, and are sent an access code on the day of arrival.

At The Cole Palm Springs, check-in time is 4 p.m., and you can come in and swim or find a quiet corner to read in the courtyard until your room is prepared. Once it’s ready, you will receive a text with a code that opens your room’s door. At The Cole, you are instantly transported back to the ’60s, with the rooms artfully decorated by design experts who have incorporated replicas of items that would have been used during the Modernism period.

As you look around the space, you will see a retro mini-bar refrigerator and Victrola Bluetooth stereo. Be sure to look out the window — you’ll likely have a magnificent view of our mountains, which proudly surround our beautiful valley.

The view of the pool from a room at The Cole Hotel in Palm Springs

A typical view from one of the spacious rooms at The Cole Palm Springs. Photo by Kathy Condon

What does a hotel managed by Sonder look like?

On the table on the far wall is a card with a QR code, which, when opened, provides you with several pieces of information, including the number to reach someone on the grounds (they are on call 24 hours) and a code for more towels. There’s also instructions for the television and coffee pot, a list of attractions you might want to check out during your stay in Palm Springs (we have much more happening than just playing golf and sitting around a swimming pool), and the menu and hours of operation for Freddie’s Kitchen at The Cole. By the way, locals are giving this on-site restaurant rave reviews for its excellent food.

There are a couple of things you also should be aware of when staying at The Cole: this is an adults-only hotel, dogs are not allowed, and there is a charge of $15 per day for parking.

A blue door

The Cole has several one-of-a-kind doors. Photo by Nadine Conger

Who developed Sonder?

Co-founder and CEO Francis Davidson’s vision was created over time. It began when he started managing apartments, and kept seeing the same patterns and issues repeating. By recording those issues and matching travelers’ needs, he was able to create a new plan for managing short-term rentals. Sonder was officially formed in Montreal in 2014, with the help of Martin Picard, now the company’s chief real estate officer.

Sonder’s mission is to “redefine hospitality by bringing exceptional stays everywhere,” and they are doing this by utilizing the technology of a mobile phone;  developing relationships with world-class architects and designers to ensure each space meets the established high standards; minimizing the company’s environmental footprint (for example, single-use plastic has been eliminated from all properties); and offering 24/7 support and easy check-in and check-out.

Palm Springs looks back at its history through Modernism Week each year. The Cole represents that period, with its décor that harkens back to the era. However, with the help of Sonder, it is among the most forward-thinking, technology-run hotels in the Coachella Valley.

The sign in front of The Cole Hotel in Palm Springs

Your sign that you’ve arrived at The Cole Hotel in Palm Springs. Photo by Nadine Conger

The Cole Hotel and Courtyard

It is time to pack your bags and head to Palm Springs and the fabulously restored retro hotel called The Cole. Locals drop by on weekends for their fabulous brunches.  Even celebrities are starting to discover it, so make your reservations while you still can.

The Cole Hotel Sign

A getaway to Palm Springs offers some spectacular views. By plane, you see the windmills scattered on the Coachella Valley floor. If you are driving in with your convertible top-down, you pass the miles of windmills standing there like soldiers guarding the valley.

Whether arriving by taxi or convertible, The Cole, located on the northernmost end of Palm Springs on Highway 111, is waiting to provide you with every comfort you were dreaming of for your escape from the city.

The Cole Hotel Inviting Entrance

With the soothing sound of the entryway water fountain and the 50s and 60s vibes radiating everywhere from the colorful courtyard, it is easy to start to relax into the casual and fun style that awaits you.

The Cole Hotel Registration and Bar Area.

Gone is the big registration desk one has come to expect. There is no need for one since all your information is already safely guarded in the hotel’s new online registration system. The bartender or the assigned person to check you in will be there to greet you and hand you your card key.

The Cole Hotel Welcome Package

A welcome gift awaits you. Protected by a see-through bag are a mask, sanitizer, and most importantly, a barcode that will help you ease into your lifestyle during your stay. Contained on the barcode are the WIFI password and instructions on running all the appliances in your room. Perhaps, even more importantly, are the food/drink and minibar menus and the pool and open bar hours.

The Cole Hotel Welcome Beverage

Thirsty after your journey? No problem. At the registration desk, cocktails are waiting for you, along with a non-alcoholic drink if you want. Try something new like their cocktails served in a can. Many visitors have decided to take this tasty alternative to a traditional cocktail home with them.

The Cole is a dog-friendly hotel. Since you registered online, they already know the name of your dog. Their pet gift pack includes a “Pet Relief Map” of the grounds with a bag. However, we think your dog will be most pleased with the treat.

The Cole Hotel Art Décor Rooms

With the sun shining and key in hand, it is time to wander up to your room.

Opening the brightly colored door reveals a well-appointed space with contemporary art and sleek furnishings. The high-end linens were carefully selected and their luxurious will make you feel like you are an extraordinary person, indeed.

The Cole Hotel Partnership with Biscuit and Counter

With no full-time chef at present, The Cole developed a partnership with Biscuit and Counter, a new business known for its exquisite, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. When you stay here Thursday through Sunday, you can order some of these tempting biscuits in a variety of ways. They are so good; you will more likely find locals stopping in for their brunch specials.

The Cole Hotel Swimming Pool and Spa

The Cole’s Manager, David Smith, takes immense pride in his staff. He remarked, “I have an incredible staff, and they have been crossed trained so anyone can handle any request you might have during your relaxing stay.”

“Hopefully, we had handled the little details before you arrived, for your room has been inspected at least three times. But if we missed something, all you have to do is ask.”

The Cole Hotel Manager David Smith

If you didn’t met David earlier, he is sure to wander over while you are sitting by the pool sipping your cocktail. David’s pride in this property is evident with every word he utters. “I have been so fortunate because I have been here from the very beginning. To see it transformed to the vision the owner had has been one of the most extraordinary chapters of my life.”

What are you waiting for? Go online and reserve your room. Yes, we expect to fill up during the summer too, so the sooner you make your travel plans, the better.  There is so much to explore in Palm Springs. However, if you decide you just want to stay by the pool, we have you covered.

We forgot to mention that the Cole shows movies by the pool too. Since it 21 plus hotel, they are not planning on showing any cartoons.

See you soon.

With the world opening up more, it is the perfect time to visit Palm Springs. With 70 plus small hotels to choose from within Palm Spring’s city limits, deciding which one may seem like an overwhelming task. However, here are five hotels that each have a unique touch that might help with your selection.

Photo of Arrive Hotel pool

You Never have to Leave the Premises when you Stay at Arrive

Arrive

Located on North Palm Canyon, the adults-only Arrive hotel is a playful  oasis in the desert.

Here is the best thing about Arrive that you will not find anywhere else in town: their Poptails.

Made for adults only, Poptails are boozy, frozen ice pops aka childhood nostalgia for the very grown-up you. Available in rotating flavors like Aperol Spritz, Paloma, and Sex by the Pool, these housemade treats are a must. They’re available poolside for hotel guests but the locals know they can pop by and pick them up to go. It might be the best $8 you can spend on a hot day.

If you need to satisfy your caffeine or sugar craving, Arrive also has the Ice Cream Shop(pe) right on site, which is perfect if you want something a little less adult-like to cool your palate. And you can pick up speciality drinks for poolside enjoyment  or to go from the Cartel coffee shop.

 

The Cole Hotel and Biscuit and Counter Develop a Partnership

The Cole Hotel

This Palm Springs boutique hotel, designed by American Architect Hugh Kaptur in 1959, is restored and opened during the pandemic. The kitchen was expanded for the owners wanted to make their space one where visitors didn’t have to leave the premises for superb food.

Suddenly, things closed down because of Covid-19. It no longer made sense to have a full menu and chef on the premises. Biscuits and Counters had recently come to town and had no venue consistently to produce their melt-in-your-mouth biscuits, which were quickly becoming in great demand.

A partnership was developed. Biscuits and Counter made their savory biscuits in the kitchen and started to serve them in creative ways to The Cole’s guests. Now you walk out of your room and enjoy brunch by the pool.

If you want, you can meet local Palm Springs residents, for they have heard about the brunches and are coming to The Cole for a Sunday morning meetup with friends.

 

Take a Deep Breath and Enjoy the Gardens at the Dive Hotel

Dive Palm Springs

Are you dreaming of going to Europe and visiting the French Riviera?  We cannot help you with that right now, but we have a suggestion: reserve a room at Dive Palm Springs, an 11-room, adults-only boutique resort located in the heart of Palm Springs.

There are several stand-out  aspects to Dive but one of them is LuLu — an 8-foot-tall woman in a blue swimsuit and bathing cap made of neon and aluminum— who coyly greets you when you arrive.

And the other thing is Dive’s magnificent two-room, two-bed Paris Suite. It’s centerpiece is a 1919 belle époque brass and copper elevator cage that has been fully restored and converted into a Queen bed and lounge. There’s also the vintage“Not-So-Minibar” — a full-sized bar in a stunning vintage Tambour cabinet featuring 8 full bottles of premium liquors, elegant glassware and premium wines and Dom Perignon. There’s also an original copper-clad exterior window from the Flatiron building in NYC (c. 1903), reborn as an oversized antique wall mirror, the Christian Lacroix butterfly wallpaper, and antique Parisian chandeliers.  Très magnifique!

 

The Monkey Tree Offers Relaxation and Scandinavian Spa

The Monkey Tree

The 60-year old The Monkey Tree hotel has been restored to its mid-century modernism grandeur. Step back and feel what it was like when Palm Springs was the haven for movie stars escaping from the glare of the cameras.

This is the only place with an authentic Scandinavian Spa.  It has three components:

  1. First, you go into a dry sauna. (Presently, it is not open due to Covid-19 regulations – However, as soon restrictions are eliminated, it will be available again.)
  2. Then you jump into a pool cooled to 55 degrees and is for single occupancy.
  3. Finally, you go into an extra-deep jacuzzi. You sit on a bench, which allows you to have water over your shoulders. It is heated at 102 degrees and has room for two.

There are no day passes, so you can only have this “refreshing” unique experience if you are a hotel guest.

 

The Santiago Hotel has the Largest Resort Pool in Palm Springs

Santiago  

The Santiago hotel has a well-deserved reputation as one of the premier small hotels in Palm Springs that caters to gay men. This swimsuit-optional, 24-room boutique hotel is set amid luxurious and meticulously cared-for gardens.

Time for a dip? You can get plenty of exercise, for the Santiago has the largest pool at any Palm Springs resort. Enjoy a poolside lunch and drinks with misters providing the perfect cooling system on hot summer days. Picture swinging in a two-man hammock among the lush garden planted with exotic plants and cacti.  When you look up, you see the majestic mountain views with the occasional cloud dancing on the horizon.

Bonus wow: The Santiago  is the only resort in Palm Springs that includes complementary breakfast, lunch, and refreshments (served all day in the cantina).

Enjoy the tastefully decorated rooms, luxury bath products, and flat-screen TVs. You deserve a stress-free, pampered getaway.