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Dads are notoriously hard to please, even on the gifting front (just mine?). Personally, I was never able to beat anything my sister got him. But then I figured out that I could offer him an experience, so we’d go places together. I wish he was still around so I could show him my Palm Springs. He’d love it. So, if you’ll allow me, I’d love to help you plan that perfect getaway for you and your Dad/Daddy in our little slice of paradise.

Let’s start with accommodations:

Old Ranch Inn: There are eight rooms available at the western-themed, architecturally historic resort. Every room is around the pool, so there’s no long walk like on larger properties. Just steps away from downtown, it’s a great choice.

The Wescott: Art Deco, old Hollywood style with a nice pool for swimming some laps. A top Palm Springs lodging option, it has earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2013.

The Westcott’s pool area. Photo courtesy of The Westcott

Ingleside Inn: If a hotel could write a book, hoo boy what stories it could tell. Luckily, former owner Mel Haber did write a book, and spills all the secrets. The bar in the on-property restaurant Melvyn’s is so old Hollywood, in your mind’s eye you can see Dean Martin leaning across the bar to talk to Dinah Shore, or Debbie Reynolds laughing with bestie Ruta Lee. The hotel and the restaurant are first class, as is the entertainment.

The Three-Fifty Hotel: Sweet 10-suite hotel with fabulous poolside views of the mountains.

Once you’ve got your hotel locked down, it’s time to figure out the rest of the experience. If Dad is a golfer, there are SO many options, you can read all about them here.

There’s nothing like the feeling of being behind the wheel of a sporty car on a racetrack, so if Dad’s into cars (and I’m going to pull a statistic right out of thin air and say 95% of all men love cars), book the ultimate driving experience at the BMW Performance Track. He’ll be talking about it for years to come.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is pretty cool. Even cooler? You can ride in an old war bird in the sky.

The Palm Springs Air Museum. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Windmill Tours: From golf cart tours to self-driving tours, it’s all about the energy of these turbines, how they work, and how much electricity they produce. I hear it’s marvelous. Likely not for toddlers, though.

June 16 and 17: Baseball with Palm Springs Power. 7 p.m.

If Dad’s into art, take him to the Palm Springs Art Museum, and to one of the many galleries around town.

A nice spot to have a coffee is in the Corridor Courtyard. Choose from Ernest Coffee or Koffi (both local coffee shops) and Mod Cafe (all vegan, breakfast, and lunch) then go behind the buildings into a magical little garden away from the hubbub of Palm Canyon.

Sports bars — there’s The Village (they have a Father’s Day luncheon), Shamrock’s Irish Pub, and Hair of the Dog (pool, darts, and, you know, booze).

Small batch brewers: Las Palmas Brewers, La Quinta Brewery Tap Room

Happy Hour: Las Casuelas, Lulu (at the bar)

Lulu California Bistro in downtown Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Dinner:

Spencer’s: Book the Bougainvillea Room.

The Purple Room Supper Club: Check the lineup and check with Dad. They have a lot of great jazz singers, and Sundays is the fabulous The Judy Show.

Johnny Costa’s: Old school Italian fine dining. The chicken parm and eggplant parm are delicioso!

Del Rey: Great drinks and tapas in the Villa Royale. Small space makes great memories.

After dinner:

V Wine Lounge and Martini Bar has a great selection of wines and fun cocktails, including martinis. It’s got a cool, retro vibe with its mid-century modern decor. Sometimes there’s karaoke and sometimes there’s other forms of entertainment. But even on a quiet night, you’ll enjoy the ambiance, and the staff is helpful and friendly, too.

Breakfast: 

Bit O’Country: Locally owned, great American and Mexican cuisine.

Elmer’s: My favorite breakfast, because hash browns.

Billy Reed’s: It’s the most old school, Midwest spot in Palm Springs.

Pinocchio’s: The home fries are made with baked potatoes, and they have free flowing champagne and Bloody Marys. It’s a party.

For something different, on the South Course in the south end of Palm Springs is Indian Canyons Golf. The link I’m giving you indicates both restaurants are open, which is news to me. Go here.

Indian Canyons South. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

And now for the Daddies.

Clothing-optional resorts for men:

The Hacienda at Warm Sands

Santiago Resort

Desert Paradise Resort

Vista Grande

El Mirasol Villas

^^all of these are great options for couples

The relaxing Hacienda at Warm Sands pool. Photo courtesy of The Hacienda at Warm Sands

Brunch/Dinner: 

Blackbook

Tropicale

Trio (Saturdays and Sundays)

To get the full Palm Springs experience, head on down to Arenas Road (Blackbook is there) and check out all of the clubs. Gay Desert Guide will be a big help.

For the Sugar Daddy — you’re footing the tab, go to Paris! Looking for romance not requiring a passport? Try these resorts on for size: L’Horizon (swanky beyond swank), Smoke Tree Ranch (so exclusive most locals have never been), and Casa Cody (the romance of old Palm Springs) in downtown.

Spend one entire day in the Spa at Séc-he. If you book a service over $200 you get access to all of the pools, baths, salt caves, etc. Several spots to lunch inside. I hear it’s worth every penny.

Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there in the wild. I hope you get to spend some quality time with your kids, and that they like you. In which case, see you in Palm Springs soon!

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. 

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!

Say goodbye to your home office and hello to Palm Springs

For those who have been working from home for months now, a change of scenery is in order — and the best views are in Palm Springs.

Since Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels — a collection of more than 70 boutique hotels — began reopening on June 12, some guests have been settling in for work and play. El Mirasol Villas owners Paul Pressman and Bruce Wishnefsky have had several people specifically request rooms conducive to working remotely, ensuring that they have strong WiFi and a desk available.

“As they have been self-quarantined or already work remotely, they wanted to get out of the house or home office and work in a relaxed desert environment,” Paul says. “They love taking breaks between conference calls or Zoom meetings and laying in the sun, taking a swim in the pool, or relaxing in the jacuzzi. One guest who has work that crosses time zones said he loved the desert nights on his patio or poolside where he could set up his laptop and work.”

“Monday through Friday work vacations are definitely becoming a thing,” says Robert Hunt, general manager of Alcazar Palm Springs, a 34-room boutique hotel in the uptown Palm Springs art district. “It makes perfect sense because there are fewer people around mid-week and the rates are lower than on the weekends.  People are craving a change of scenery but they want someplace quiet and safe where they can still get their work done.”

Sabrina Sakdikul is a community relations manager for a nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area, and drove down to Palm Springs to spend a few days at the Los Arboles Hotel. After spending several months working from home alongside her roommates, it was a relief to have a space of her own.

The property felt like “an oasis,” Sabrina says. She switched up her location throughout the day — sometimes working in her room, other times by the pool or on a patio — and with everyone wearing masks, she felt safe. When it was time for lunch, she would walk a few steps to the on-site restaurant, El Mirasol, and if she needed to clear her head, would take a quick dip in the pool.

“Palm Springs is a very laid-back place, and it does make me feel like I’m in paradise,” Sabrina says. “In Google and Zoom meetings, they have backgrounds that look like you’re somewhere cool and calming, and I was actually in a place that was cool and calming.”

Going on this getaway to Palm Springs left Sabrina feeling energized and refreshed, her stress melting away in the desert sun.

“I feel like I was able to really get away from all the craziness that has been going on,” Sabrina says. “It was nice being able to do something different.”

Several small hotels, like The Weekend Palm Springs, The Rossi, Casa Cody Country Inn, The Triangle Inn Palm Springs, and Les Cactus – among others – offer small suites or casitas with kitchenettes, which allow space for weeklong guests to prepare their own meals. Some hotels such as Villa Royale, Arrive Palm Springs, La Serena Villas, and Alcazar have restaurants on site. Many Palm Springs restaurants deliver meals and cocktails directly to hotels so guests can dine poolside.

 

Comfort and Safety Prioritized

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels are legendary for their style, safety, and comfort–all of which continue to be a priority. Over the past few weeks, the owners and general managers of Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels have collaboratively created a baseline of safety sanitation standards.

Most Palm Springs boutique hotels have fewer than 30 rooms, making them easier to thoroughly clean and keep sanitized. Common areas are typically outside, and a majority of rooms have their own private entrances and air conditioning units.

Each hotel will provide its own safety guidelines in addition to the requirements set forth by the City of Palm Springs and the ones they collectively developed. This information will be shared with guests when they receive their reservation confirmation.

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Please visit Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels Summer Recovery Specials page for details.

In need of a respite from daily life, we recently decided to visit Palm Springs with our dog, Fender. Not only did we want to stay at a dog-friendly hotel, but we were looking for a secluded setting with a nostalgic vibe, a wonderful pool for dipping and lounging, and a top-notch restaurant and bar. We found all this and more at Villa Royale, a beautiful hideaway — perfect for getting away in stylish comfort. 

Villa Royale, one of the first small hotels in Palm Springs, was built in 1947 with the Hollywood elite in mind. For many years, it was a sanctuary for celebrities who wanted to escape their hectic lives in Los Angeles, only two hours away. Several years ago, the hotel underwent a complete renovation, which fortunately retained the historic, mid-century charm of the original hotel. Today it is still an appealing popular retreat, not just for the rich and famous but for anyone seeking peace and tranquility in a lovely setting, highlighted by a stunning mountain backdrop.

In the cozy lobby, we checked in and were happy to be welcomed with a delightful cocktail. As we walked to our villa, we were thrilled to see not just one inviting pool surrounded by lounge chairs, but three. There are 38 villas at Villa Royale, each with its own unique mid-century modern character and design. We learned that the property has more than 50 pieces of original art commissioned for the hotel, with one in each room.

Our inviting room at the Villa Royale. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Our very nicely furnished room facing the serene pool was a haven for us and our dog, with a private landscaped back patio, luxurious bedding, and a wonderful walk-in shower. We were happy to learn that we could enjoy fresh coffee and a continental buffet in the morning. 

Welcome to the Del Rey. Photo by Todd Montgomery

In the evening, we were excited to be dining at Villa Royale’s upscale, popular restaurant, Del Rey, which specializes in tapas and small plates with a Spanish/Mediterranean flair. The menu is overseen by much celebrated Chef Louis Martinez. Since our dog was with us, we sat outside on the restaurant’s pleasant, inviting patio. It was a lovely but chilly night; however, we were warm and comfortable because of the very effective heating lamps strategically placed by our table. There was a wedding party dining nearby and, like us, they seemed happy and relaxed. We also checked out the inside of the restaurant which is romantic and intimate, with dim lighting and cozy tables. The restaurant features an inviting oak and marble bar where I would like to while away a few convivial hours someday. 

The inviting fireplace inside the Del Rey. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Del Rey offers a variety of enticing cocktails. We enjoyed a unique and surprisingly delicious Del Rey Martini made with touches of sherry, orange bitters, and olive oil (yes, olive oil). We also relished the El Ultimo cocktail made with strawberry tequila, absinthe, and orgeat syrup, served with lime and mint. In addition, Del Rey offers a full wine list, featuring Spanish wines. Fender was happy with his drink, too, when the helpful staff brought him a bowl of fresh water.

Then, in the Spanish tradition, we ordered a variety of tapas for our dinner. I love this kind of meal because you can sample small bites of a variety of dishes.  We really enjoyed the Basque asparagus, topped with romesco sauce and manchego, and also savored albondigas — beef and pork meatballs covered with a sweet and sour glaze. 

We loved the Chuleta de Cordero, rosemary and lemon marinated lamb chops, which were tender and full of flavor.  Another superb dish was a grilled flatbread called Pan Con Setas that was topped with mushrooms, manchego, red onion, and an herbed olive oil drizzle. For dessert, we savored the delectable walnut bread pudding. The friendly service at Del Rey was impeccable and added to the ambiance of the evening. Satiated, we sauntered back to our villa through the lushly landscaped courtyards with flowing fountains and pools that shimmered invitingly in the moonlight.

The delicious walnut bread pudding. Photo by Todd Montgomery

It was truly a special night and we felt very far away from our busy daily lives. It is surprising how relaxed you can become with just a night away in such a peaceful, glorious retreat. We may not be celebrities, but we felt like royalty at Villa Royale. 

The Villa Royale lights up at night. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Palm Springs, California, is a mecca for the LGBTQIA+ community and home to some of the most fabulous boutique hotels in the world. Many of our hotels are attached to equally spirited bars and restaurants that serve up some deliciously colorful cocktails.

Today, I’m spotlighting five different bars that are serving up the Top Five “Gayest” Drinks in Palm Springs in honor of our vibrant LGBTQIA+ community. Each bar has its own unique take on their gayest drink, and I’m excited to share them with you.

The “Garden Cooler” at Azucar at the La Serena Villas

Azucar is a cozy little hideaway at the La Serena Villas. The bartender, Manny, served up the Garden Cooler, made with rum, cucumber, basil, lemon, and sugar. This drink was not only refreshing, but it’s also the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. Manny created this drink on the spot for me to review, and I have to say, he hit it out of the park. It’s not too sweet and goes down easy, making it a fantastic drink for a hot summer day. This drink made me feel like a Slim Aarons model from one of his iconic Palm Springs photographs. This drink is not on the menu, but I’m sure Manny will make one special for you upon request. Azucar at La Serena Villas, 339 S. Belardo Road.

The Garden Cooler at Azucar. Photo by Gregory Douglass

The “Hello Kitty Kitty” at Blackbook

Blackbook is in the heart of Palm Springs’ beloved Arenas District. Tom the bartender poured me a Hello Kitty Kitty, made with Portland Potato Vodka, Giffard’s Violette liqueur, club soda, Orgeat almond syrup, and a mammoth rosemary sprig for garnish. This drink has been on the menu since Blackbook first opened, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s sweet, bubbly, and looks like a psychedelic rosemary garden in a glass. Blackbook, 315 E. Arenas Road.

The Hello Kitty Kitty at Blackbook. Photo by Gregory Douglass

The “Lucy Goosey” at Del Rey at Villa Royale

Del Rey is a hip Mediterranean tapas-style joint, tucked inside the Villa Royale hotel. Alejandro was behind the bar, serving up the Lucy Goosey. He made this drink with Grey Goose vodka, orange liquor, raspberry syrup, and lemon, shaken and strained into a coup glass with lime zest. Alejandro created this drink on the spot for me to review, and it tasted like a bowl of frozen sherbet on a perfect summer day. It’s fruity, but not too sweet, and it’s a great drink for any occasion. He chose the name “Lucy Goosey” as an ode to famed Palm Springs celebrity Lucille Ball and the Grey Goose the cocktail was made with. While it may not be on Del Rey’s drink menu, I’m sure Alejandro will make one special for you if asked. Del Rey at Villa Royale, 1620 S. Indian Trail.

The Lucy Goosey at Del Rey. Photo by Gregory Douglass

The “La Passion Pour la Vie” at The Front Porch

The Front Porch, located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, is known for La Passion Pour la Vie, the winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2020 Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Competition. It’s lovingly made with house-infused apple tequila, mezcal, house-made passion fruit syrup, house-made apple juice, St. Germain, lemon, and a float of pomegranate liqueur, smoked with applewood. The La Passion Pour la Vie is a work of art. It’s as delicious as it looks (the flowers are even edible), and it’s the perfect drink to sip on a warm Palm Springs evening. If “Gayest Drink in Palm Springs” were an official competition, this cocktail wins my vote. The Front Porch, 117 La Plaza.

The La Passion Pour la Vie at The Front Porch. Photo courtesy of The Front Porch

The “Plush Cosmo” at V Wine Lounge

Finally, we have V Wine Lounge, where Doug served up the Plush Cosmo. This drink is made with Plush plum-flavored vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. This drink is essentially a Cosmo, but the plum-flavored, corn-distilled vodka by Plush takes it to the next level. It’s not too sweet, and the fresh lime really accentuates the flavors. V Wine Lounge, 600 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way.

The Plush Cosmo in a martini glass

The Plush Cosmo at V Wine Lounge. Photo by Gregory Douglass

Whether you’re looking for something sweet, tangy, or bubbly, there’s a drink for everyone here in Palm Springs. So come and explore, sip, and savor the flavors. I think it’s safe to say that Palm Springs is serving up some of the best drinks in the world year-round.