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Twin Palms Resort is Palm Springs’ newest kid on the block. 

An upscale boutique hotel, Twin Palms is a brother property to the Santiago and Descanso. This trio of remarkable resorts offer gay men a gorgeous selection of naturally chic, swimsuit-optional retreats right in the heart of Palm Springs, and having now experienced all three properties myself, I can happily say “the third time’s a charm” with Twin Palms Resort.

Welcome to Twin Palms Resort. Photo by Gregory Douglass

Santiago was my first experience at a men’s resort in Palm Springs, back in 2018. As a 40-year-old gay man living in Los Angeles at the time, I’d never felt such freedom and restoration from a long weekend away from my big-city life. It was a game-changing experience for me.

I was curious how the other men-only resorts here in the Coachella Valley compared to the distinguishable Santiago experience. “How different can they all be?” I wondered. Having now experienced the majority of gay hotels here, it’s a privilege to be writing about what a spectrum of enticing options we have — each with its own flavor, vibe, and healing benefits.

The modern clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Resort

Twin Palms Resort is no different from its brother properties when it comes to top-notch luxury and leisure. The “casually extravagant” experience is what many have come to expect from a Resorts Palm Springs property, and yet Twin Palms already has a distinct personality of its own. Santiago has a modern Spanish aesthetic, while Descanso boasts a “California garden patio” motif. Twin Palms is the first to celebrate a true mid-century modern concept inside and out.

Nested in Palm Springs’ first modernist neighborhood, Twin Palms Estates, the resort looks as timeless as it does fresh in style, with its pops of yellows, blues, and greens. These colors accent that classic, clean white modernism style that makes Palm Springs architecture so iconic. It might even rival the hotel’s historic start — opened in 1959 as the Brentwood Apartments, the property was originally developed to blend in with the neighborhood’s 90 modernist tract homes, designed by one of the founding fathers of Palm Springs modernism, William Krisel.

Hotel guests can use these bikes to tool around town. Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Resort

What really makes Twin Palms Resort unique is its communal layout. The perfectly heated saltwater swimming pool acts as a centerpiece to its 20 single-story guest rooms, yellow umbrellas, and chaise lounges that all wrap around the pool like a rainbow. The 12-man spa is just as welcoming as the luxurious patio space, which faces a breathtaking view of the San Jacinto Mountains.

You have to love those mountain views. Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Resort

Like Santiago and Descanso, the Twin Palms experience also includes a hip clubhouse guest lounge, a communal fire pit, an outdoor mist cooling system, a 24-hour canteen with complimentary beverages, a daily complimentary continental breakfast, and complimentary poolside lunch.

You can expect the same level of guest service as well from Twin Palms’ friendly staff, and in-room welcome amenities too. Some highlights include beautiful modern gay artwork, a resort texting hotline for direct communication with the staff, lamps with charging stations, luxurious heavy-weight bathrobes, some fun “adult goodies” in the drawer of each bedside table, and even a personalized welcome note upon your arrival.

A plush king room at Twin Palms. Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Resort

In addition to an outdoor shower and pool bathroom communal showers, every room features grand marble bathrooms with spacious walk-in glass showers, sporting both rain and handheld shower heads – lending even more community appeal to the place.

The outdoor shower is one perk of staying at Twin Palms. Photo by Gregory Douglass

Twin Palms Resort is also as earth-friendly as it is gay-friendly, offering off-street guest parking with four electric vehicle chargers, sustainable bath products from Public Goods, and even bicycles you can borrow to explore the neighborhood.

It’s easy enough to retreat from the community as well. Every room features remote lighting and window shades, as well as private rear patios. Even the mini-fridge is tucked away in the bathroom vanity, which I thought was a clever decision.

The author enjoying his room at the Twin Palms. Photo by Gregory Douglass

What makes the communal aspect of Twin Palms Resort so special is its potential for new friends and new connections to be made. In an environment somehow as nonchalant as it is enveloping, it was seamless to connect with fellow guests and then naturally go our separate ways. 

I’ve learned that every resort has a “scene” of its own. Time will tell what the Twin Palms scene is — but the stage is set for all sorts of possibilities. I suspect it will help spark a long line of lasting friendships that will all begin at the charming little gay hotel in Twin Palms Estates.

Unwind in the resort’s pool and spa. Photo courtesy of Twin Palms Resort

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.