Sensualist: a person given to the indulgence of the senses or appetites

The word indulgence has a bit of a taboo feeling to it, doesn’t it? Like, I shouldn’t, but it looks so good. The original meaning was actually a kindness, or a favor. So, you’d be offering your body a kindness or a favor by giving it what it wants, which is the elevation of its senses through visual appeal, taste, and aroma — and I’m not necessarily talking about food. I mean, I am, but I’m not. It kinda applies to anything. So, I’ve made you a little list about how to gratify your senses in Palm Springs. 

Sensualists want to try all the things. They crave new experiences. They want every day to have at least one “ooooh and aaaah” in it, and that’s on a bad day. They are not tourists, they are more than an adventurer, they are cultivators of magical moments. Moments they can relive over and again in their memories. So if that’s you, I’m going to do my best to add Palm Springs to your favorite moments in time. Follow me.

Let’s start with where to stay. The aesthetic of a room’s design should give you a hit of dopamine every time you enter. The freshly laundered, crisp linens on your skin, and the clean aroma should give flood your body with endorphins as you slide between the sheets into the ecstasy of a comfy bed. 

There should be grounds to explore, something peeking out from behind something else. Everywhere is a point of interest. Everywhere. 

There are, of course, more boutique hotels than what I’ve listed. We have more than 75, each offering a unique experience. But you’ve got to start somewhere, and this is what I have curated for you. Do some clicking down below — and this time I mean just the links. Nothing else. So calm down, Tiger.

Boutique hotels to stay at in Palm Springs 

A bed under a crystal light fixture with a lavender wall and white shutters on the windows

The Lavender Suite at The Velvet Rope is an ode to Elizabeth Taylor. Photo courtesy of The Velvet Rope

The Velvet Rope — It’s new, it’s different, it’s old Hollywood with a fun and modern twist. 

Casa Cody — Romantic, historic. Did I mention romantic? The grounds are incredible.

Dive — It’s the rooms. Look at the rooms. Just LOOK AT THEM! And THAT POOL! Lots of peeking things to see.

Villa Royale — Secluded and seductive, with the Del Rey restaurant and bar.

The Wescott — Art Deco, breakfast, poolside cocktail hour. No. 1 rated B&B in Palm Springs.

The Willows — Historic, romantic, the mountains, the gardens, THE VIEW.

Sparrows Lodge — Upscale cottagecore/farmhouse glam. A long sexy pool. 

The Monkey Tree — Authentic mid-century modern. IYKYK.

Stay gay (we love you that way)

The pool surrounded by striped umbrellas and palm trees at Santiago Resort in Palm Springs, California

The Santiago Resort’s pool has fabulous views. Photo courtesy of Santiago Resort

Santiago Resort — Romance. And romance.

Descanso Resort — Young, hip, spa services available. Breakfast and lunch (check website) served, but dinner’s on you. The view!

Twin Palms Resort — Brother hotel of Santiago and Descanso. And just like its bro, the view!

Hacienda at Warm Sands — Quiet elegance. The gorgeous greenery. The door. 

Space and time

Stargazing – It’s a pretty amazing experience getting up close and personal with the cosmos.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum — It is an experience. And a new one at that — this just opened in November 2023.

All the sugar

Tonga Hut — Lava cake, paired with 1934 Zombie (no Zombie for you if you’ve got the car keys).

Truss & Twine — Panna cotta with Harry’s strawberries and lemon thyme syrup, pair with Surfer on Acid. (Also, check out Hoja Blanca, a pop up inside T&T.)

Eight4Nine — Brandini Toffee s’mores fondue, paired with Unshackled by Prisoner cabernet. 

Copley’s — Toffee and date English sticky pudding with Tahitian vanilla ice cream, paired with the chocolate martini.

Jake’s — The three-layer citrus cake (not online, but it’s there and it’s ZOMG), paired with an Aperol Spritz or a sauvignon blanc.

Cocktails, wine, and bites

Clandestino — The vibe, the drinks, the view.

Canopy Wine Lounge — Christopher Kennedy design. It’s sexy and upscale. The bites. 

V Wine Lounge — Creative eats, drinks, and mocktails. Decor is divine. Friday nights have live music with local singer/entertainer Siobhan. She’s funny and a little bit (maybe a lot) naughty. 

Something sultry

Sensuality: A Store for Her — It might be you. Might not. 

Fame Cigars & Wine — Not an experience for everyone, but cigars are pure unadulterated tobacco. Not a single leaf is chemically treated or artificially altered for taste. At least that’s what the internet said. And as was the tradition with Native Americans, a treat just for special occasions.

Blue Wave Hookah Lounge — 120 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Next to the Plaza Theatre.

Brandini Toffee — Named Best Candy Store in California by Yelp

The Tailor Shop — It’s a tiny bar next to Tonga Hut. It’s like the library where men from the 1800s went after dinner to drink and smoke cigars (none of those here). But smaller. It’s a bit of a secret, but out enough that reservations are required.

Seymour’s — No bites, but you’ll feel like you’re in on something. Limited seating, like space for 10. Located behind Mr. Lyon’s (or through the hidden door).

Hike Tahquitz Canyon to the waterfall, and cool off in pool beneath it.

Talk of the town

The latest restaurants in Palm Springs are:

Alice B — In Living Out (new 55+ LGBTQ community). Open to the public.

Crudo Cevecheria — The Corridor, Uptown.

Sonny’s Bar & Grill — Arenas District.

Cipolline’s Osteria — Coming Feb. 17. You can yell FIRST when you walk in. South end of East Palm Canyon.

Hands on a hard body

A woman on a table covered by a white blanket prepares to have a massage at Whisper's Spa at La Serena Villas in Palm Springs, California

A massage is about to start at Whisper’s Spa. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

Hotels with spa services:

Andreas Hotel & Spa — Everything. Steps to Cheeky’s, and so, so cozy. 

La Serena Villas — Home of Whisper’s Spa, Sugar High Bar, Azucar restaurant. The view.

Korakia Pensione — Forbes Traveler named it one of the sexiest hotels in America.

L’Horizon — Historic estate, So•Pa Restaurant, it feels like you’re in a romantic film at your millionaire lover’s estate.

Check these out, too:

Séc-he Spa — OMFG! 

Beautiful Spa Massage — Couples massages, five-star rating. 

Fall Spa Massage — North end of Palm Springs, past Uptown.

Bow chicka bow wow

All World’s Resort — Playground for gay men.

Have fun satisfying those indulgences. Bring a special friend, or meet one here. Palm Springs DOES NOT disappoint. Unless you’re a straight cis-woman looking for a straight single man, then that’s quite disappointing. But hey, I’m happy. Hope you are too. If not, pop on out to Palm Springs. We can fix that. 

A new lap of luxury, elegance, and vintage charm has emerged in the heart of Palm Springs. 

Introducing The Velvet Rope, the latest addition to the city’s illustrious landscape of boutique hotels, uniquely designed for the modern, sophisticated traveler. But this isn’t just any boutique hotel – it’s an experience and a journey back in time, encapsulating the golden age of Hollywood glamour, reimagined with a contemporary, luxurious twist.

The Velvet Rope, poised unassumingly at 120 W. Veredasur in the tranquil Old Las Palmas neighborhood, is an embodiment of Herbert W. Burns’ mid-century genius, now infused with the design sophistication of local designer and owner David Rios. It’s reminiscent of his celebrated design work at the acclaimed Trixie Motel, drag superstar Trixie Mattel’s latest venture featured on HBO’s Trixie Motel.

A photo of David Rios in a floral shirt and Gregory Douglass in a black shirt

David Rios, left, and Gregory Douglass. Photo courtesy of Gregory Douglass

The Velvet Rope is the embodiment of Old Hollywood

While the Trixie Motel feels more like a paradise in pink, Rios’ aesthetic aims more on the darker side, adorning blacks and midnight green up against lighter colors that embody that Old Hollywood era. “I wanted to showcase Burns’ classic architecture and honor the contemporary visionary he was,” Rios said. “Right down to the level of detail in the recessed ironing boards, Burns was very much ahead of his time.”

With its roots deeply embedded in the golden age of cinema, each of The Velvet Rope’s nine unique suites is a narrative, telling tales of an age where walking, breathing Old Hollywood icons of style and elegance escaped to Palm Springs to live their best lives. 

“The location is key because many Hollywood celebrities gravitated to the Palm Springs Las Palmas neighborhood back then,” Rios said. “It encapsulates the way they used to live out here. Everyone talks about the epic parties that happened back then, and The Velvet Rope will offer nine different bespoke opportunities to experience what it was like to live like some of these icons really lived.”

9 suites with their own personalities

With each room honoring different iconic people and events from that era, the discovery is in the details. A blend of original and recreations, every custom design, vintage piece, and luxurious fabric tells a story of its own. And if that’s not enough, each room has an exclusive scent to heighten the experience.

Inside a bathroom with pink painted walls and a gold sink and a photo of Elizabeth Taylor in a black frame

Elizabeth Taylor is the star of this glam bathroom. Photo by Gregory Douglass

The Presidential Estate ushers you into unapologetic opulence; the Honeymoon Suite is where the rebellious spirit of Elvis flirts with timeless elegance; the Ricardo Suite immerses you in an exciting blend of comedy and charm, honoring the timeless allure of I Love Lucy. Other suites pay homage to the Rat Pack era, Studio 54, Liberace, Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Harlow, and even the Playboy bunnies.

An external white door with the I Love Lucy heart icon on it

The Ricardo Suite is made for fans of “I Love Lucy.” Photo by Gregory Douglass

Bar Valerie evokes the golden era of entertainment

Bar Valerie, The Velvet Rope’s premiere lounge, is inspired by the iconic song “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, one of Rios’ favorite artists. It offers a mix of social, musical, culinary, and libation specialties. With nightly live music and an array of craft cocktails, this intimate bar has an eclectic and vibrant speakeasy-type feel. 

“I want this to offer everything from high tea to a luxury piano bar experience that echoes that golden era of entertainment,” Rios said.

The Velvet Rope also welcomes wedding parties and private events of all kinds. The San Jacinto Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop for intimate ceremonies on the property’s private lawn as well.

The Velvet Rope is a testament to the transcendental appeal of Palm Springs’ cultural and architectural heritage. It also underscores the enduring appeal of staying at independently-owned boutique hotels – each a unique tapestry of personalized experiences, architectural wonder, and intimate luxury. As each suite at The Velvet Rope opens its doors this December, the hotel will provide an exclusive experience to Palm Springs like never before, intertwining the city’s iconic past with an exciting, inclusive present.

Contact information for The Velvet Rope and Bar Valerie:


Phone: 714-345-7610