Posts

Wake up in Palm Springs with the sun gloriously shining and grab your glamorous floppy hat, recyclable water bottle, and sunglasses. It doesn’t matter if the museums are closed because there’s so much fabulous public art to explore in Palm Springs.

Start your walking tour in the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon.

First Stop – Palm Springs Desert Art Center

The center for Palm Springs creative arts is the Desert Art Center at 550 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Often overlooked, this grand building is the home for numerous art classes, exhibits, and theatre performances. One of our city’s latest art installations is on the Desert Center’s palatial grass-covered lawn.

MIDABI is an artist and philosopher focused on large-scale public art using text in sculptures and murals. Residing in Palm Springs since 1998, with family roots going back to the 1950s, MIDABI continues a family tradition of contributing artistically to the desert.

Large, bold, and thought-provoking, MIDABI creates works of art that seek to inspire and challenge the viewer to think for themselves and see reality differently. One may feel shaken, for emotional core values may be questioned.

Since you have your walking shoes on, head on down Palm Canyon; along the way, you will see colorful benches to rest upon, which our local artists created.

Second Stop – Koffi North

If you want to have a cup of coffee, you might want to stop at Koffi North. Be sure to go straight through the store to the back and see the courtyard. The locals hang out here during non-Covid times.

Third Stop – Near the Palm Springs Art Museum

Now that your energy is restored, head down to Museum Way and turn right.

Before you get to the Palm Springs Art Museum and located in what we locals call the “Sand Pit,” (and future home of an underground parking lot) are ten sculptures, 11 ft long X 9-foot fiberglass babies. A barcode replaces any semblance of a face.

Czech artist David Cerny has loaned this art installation to Palm Springs through 2022. He wanted to make a statement about the dehumanization of society due to big tech and data. We are betting you will have an opinion.

Check out the wall on your left as you overlook the Sand Pit. You’ll spot a mural by Santa Monica artist, Peter Tigler, who worked with attendees of all ages to create this 7-foot-tall-by15-wide mural at the Annual La Quinta Arts Festival in 2019. Look closely; it was created by finger painting. The bright colors and numerous scenes invoke the sense of “Wish you were here.” It’s a great place to take a selfie to post your social media.

Fourth Stop – Graffiti Park

Across the street from the Sand Pit is our Graffiti Park. While waiting for the area to be developed, artists are encouraged to express themselves through their art. The various cement pillars and stones, remnants of past construction, serve as canvases. The art is constantly changing, so be sure to come back and see it on your next visit.

Fifth Stop – Right Side of Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum is closed, but the parking lot holds a surprise. Check out the Road Signs scattered throughout the premises. They were created by artist Gerald Clark, who identifies himself first as an artist; and secondly, a Cahuilla Indian.

These Road Signs were created for an exhibit of his work in the Palm Springs Art Museum a couple of years ago. Walk to the museum’s right side first, then see the rest of them on the museum’s left side.

Sixth Stop – Left Side of the Palm Springs Art Museum

After you have pursued both sides of the museum, you will see a large semi-truck parked in the parking lot. In the semi is a three-story all-metal house, called the Aluminare House, designed by Albert Frey and A. Lawrence Kocher. The house was donated to the Palm Springs Art Museum for its permanent collection and will be reassembled in 2021. It is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of Modernist architecture in the world.

We hope you have enjoyed this tour of some of our public art. There are many more installations–both inside and outside–scattered throughout the city. However, we wanted to give you a small taste of the many treasures that await your visit to Palm Springs.

In Palm Springs, change is in the air. Several of Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels are now under new ownership, with each property undergoing its own unique transformation.

The Talavera in Palm Springs has new owners and upgrades.

One example is the Talavera Palm Springs. Formerly known as The Rossi, this 11-suite property has undergone a name change, as well as several upgrades, including new furniture in the rooms.

“We’re bringing in a professional landscaper and arborist to help us enhance the tropical vibe so it’s more immersive, but manicured and lush,” co-owner April Smith says. “We’re also reworking some of the space here so there is a community fire pit and private bar for the guests.”

The Desert Paradise, a clothing optional resort catering to gay men in Palm Springs.

The Desert Paradise is keeping its name and staying as a men’s clothing-optional resort, but has given makeovers to all 12 of its rooms, and improved on the continental breakfast offered to guests. Future plans may also include adding kitchenettes to rooms, so guests who stay for several weeks can cook for themselves when the mood strikes.

The hotel is a “gem, with so much opportunity,” general manager Charles Zalepeski says. “I want it to feel like people are visiting family, a place where they feel comfortable and right at home. It’s a place where everything’s going to be taken care of, from start to finish.”

The iconic Willows Inn was purchased in 2020 by Ron Burkle.

The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is starting a new chapter in its storied history. The luxury 8-room hotel was purchased last year by investor Ron Burkle, the majority owner of the Soho House members’ clubs. The Willows has long been a must-visit for politicians and celebrities alike — Albert Einstein and Shirley Temple were among the hotel’s frequent guests.

La Maison

La Maison, under new ownership, still offers romantic privacy.

Also under new ownership is La Maison, which changed hands in the fall. This 13-room hotel still offers a touch of France in the heart of Palm Springs, with its European decor, delicious continental breakfasts, and lovely, flower-filled gardens.

 

About Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

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.

La Plaza Downtown Palm Springs ©Kathy Condon

Palm Springs is known for its excellent restaurants and umbrella drinks around the pool. However, after an evening enjoying our restaurants and relaxing music venues, you may need an eyeopener cup of coffee or a light breakfast the following day. Here are a few locally owned coffee shops you might want to consider.

L’Atelier Café means coffee shop in English. It is located in our historic La Plaza. Thus, it is centrally located and about two blocks from the well-known La Serenas Villas boutique hotel.

Like so often happens, this town draws people in and makes it hard to leave. Visiting Palm Springs from Southern France, the present owners dined at this coffee shop. While sipping their coffee and people watching, the enchanting charm of this desert city hooked them. The words, “This café is for sale,” are stuck in their heads as they head back to France.

Three months later, they sold their place in France and bought the café. Now, this thriving location has people raving about its croissants, brioche, and quiche.

Koffi Readily Available to Help You Wake Up ©Kathy Condon

Want a quiet place to meet friends or work on the next great American novel? There is a Koffi nearby to serve you. With three locations in Palm Springs, you just have to search out which one is nearby your hotel.

North Koffi appears to be your average coffee shop. However, after you have your coffee and breakfast pastries in hand, continue walking to the back of the store. Once you walk through the door, there before you an expansive grass-covered courtyard, complete with sculptures, a view of the mountains, lounging chairs, and palm trees. If you are lucky, you may even see the resident roadrunner.

Central Koffi is the newest addition in Palm Springs. Located on busy Tahquitz Boulevard, it is set far off the street, so it is quiet under the bright blue umbrellas. If you want a pleasant place to have a meeting, this is a place to consider.

South Koffi, located in South Palm Canyon, is one busy place. Serving the same great coffee and pastries as the others, its location is perfect for a quick stop before heading down the valley or to one of our many trails.

Ernest Coffee Brews up the Unusual ©Kathy Condon

Ernest Coffee is an independently-owned coffee shop in the former home of the Don Beachcomber in North Palm Springs on North Palm Canyon Drive. Look for a building with lots of orange accents and the original tiki torches guarding the door. Their patio is a great place to strike up conversations with others who have discovered their excellent Stumptown Coffee.

Located near Coyote Inn, this coffee shop is a great place to go for breakfast for their variety of pastries. Be sure to try their flaky, so satisfying scones.

The adventurous types will be delighted to discover the wide variety of coffee drinks and teas. The baristas are creative, so you never know what the special of the day maybe. How about a golden milk kind of chai tea with healing herbs and coconut milk? Okay, you got the idea; this is the place to try something new or just enjoy a perfect cup of coffee to start your day.

Café LaJefe Newest Coffee Shop in Palm Springs ©Kathy Condon

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century architecture for a reason. Great care has been taken to preserve buildings built in the mid-50s and 60s. Happily, Café LaJefe’s new home is located in a repurposed bank building in the Uptown Design District. It is right around the corner from the Los Arboles Hotel.

Their large patio provides the backdrop for your Instagram photos of your Palm Springs vacation with its colorful string-back chairs. Of course, these comfortable chairs, many of them rocking chairs, will beckon you to stay longer than you had anticipated.

Believing in partnership, the owners seek out ways to not only serve their community but provide sustainable coffee from Sister’s Coffee in Bend, Oregon, and gourmet food from local artisan Chula Artisan Eatery.  Thus, you can get your morning pick-me-up cup of coffee and grab some healthy organic food for your lunch later in the day.

Ristretto Serves Up a Magnificent View of the Mountains ©Kathy Condon

One wouldn’t expect a coffee shop to have thirst-quenching Italian sodas. However, the local owners of Ristretto are well aware that our summer’s rising temperatures increase the need for a cool, tall drink. Thus, why not a drink that is not readily available in other places in Palm Springs.

Across the parking lot, Bank of America is one of the most iconic modernist architectural buildings in our city. If you stay at the Ingleside Inn, it is easy to walk across the street for a scone or a muffin. Their inviting patio literally sits at the foot of the Jacinto Mountains.

Are you going on a hike? They have vegan choices and salads that will be perfect for eating as you hike and stop and take a break as you sit and enjoy the views looking over Coachella Valley.

4 Paws Coffee Co. Welcomes Dogs ©Kathy Condon

The Northside of Palm Springs needed a coffee shop. Thus, when 4 Paws Coffee Co came into the neighborhood, it was greeted with cheers. Guests of hotels, such as The Cole, can now grab a cup of coffee on the way to exploring our many attractions.

Not only are dogs welcomed, but they also get a free treat. The “puppy cup” (whip cream with a dog treat bone) is a big hit with their 4-legged guests. It is not unusual to see dogs in training as service dogs, for the atmosphere is conducive to quiet contemplation and people watching. In addition, the coffee shop is a great supporter of our animal shelter programs.

They have breakfast entrées. Word is their turkey croissant alongside their organic and certified coffee salted caramel latte is a great lunch.

Part of Palm Springs’ charm is the slow pace and the ability to stop and relax practically any place in the community where you can see our magnificent Jacinto Mountains. So, take your time and stop in one of our local coffee shops. You are sure to meet some of our residents who are ready to share our history and give you suggestions for places to see that are often now obvious to a visitor.  Better yet please take advantage of our summer discounts and stay longer.

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.

Guidelines for Palm Springs Visitors

With temperatures in the 70s and the sun shining brightly, we are welcoming visitors who need to travel for essential reasons. There are restrictions you need to aware of as of December 11, 2020.

According to the state of California’s Public Health Department, essential reasons for travel include “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.”

As you drive into town, you will see this banner across our main throughways into town. We local citizens are doing a great job of wearing masks and social distancing. We ask our visitors to honor us by doing the same.

Boutique Hotels

Unfortunately, our quaint and inviting hotels are not open except for essential Covid mitigation. At this time, we have no way of knowing if this restriction will remain in place after December 27, 2020. If a member of your household is at risk or has been exposed to Covid, you may safely seek shelter at one of the hotels.

Shopping

Retail stores are open. However, they are at 20% capacity. The good news is you can be sure of your safety in the store, for social distancing and masks are required.  You will want to call and check on hours for stores are adjusting their hours to accommodate the flow of traffic.

Dining

Hopefully, you have been here before and know which are your favorite restaurants, because the only way you can enjoy their food is by curbside pick-up or delivery service. The City of Palm Springs just passed a new ordinance that cut the delivery service’s amount and enhanced the amount the restaurant will get from your purchase.

At least through December 27, 2020, there is no outside or indoor dining.

Art and Museums

Unfortunately, museums remain closed. However, we have over 70 public art installations in Palm Springs. There is nothing like taking the paths less traveled downtown and finding them in unexpected places, like behind the Desert Art Center, located on Palm Canyon Drive.

Thursday Night Street Fair

This fun and engaging activity remains closed until further notice.

Certified Saturday Market

Located on the grounds of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, the vendors continue to provide farm-fresh produce.

Hiking

Palm Springs is renowned as a community of great hiking with spectacular views. Trails are open and attract hikers of all degrees of endurance. These hikes also offer the possible chance of seeing our famous mountain sheep. A reminder: Take plenty of water with you and wear a hat. Our sun here is hotter than you might think.

Walks and Bicycling

Each of our neighborhoods takes on its unique kind of personality. Old Las Palmas provides you with a look at mansions built in the late 40s and 50s. Gigantic palm trees and lush plants thrive in the desert air. A walk through the Movie Colony is always enjoyable.

Bike paths are prevalent in Palm Springs. You may want to rent a bike, so you can explore our many streets and view our palatial residents and modernism style homes.

Many of our attractions are closed. Yet, we local citizens never get tired of the sunrises as we sip our coffee in the morning, the sun dancing on the mountains during the day, or cocktails as we watch the sun setting behind these glorious mountains in Palm Springs.

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.

There’s an air of excitement in Palm Springs every October, and not just because of the cooler weather. Running October 14 through 17 is Modernism Preview Week, a mini-version of February’s Modernism Week. This event was originally designed to attract journalists and entice them to write about Palm Springs’ unique architecture.

With few design regulations in Palm Springs, Los Angeles architects Arthur Elrod, E. Stewart Williams, Don Wexler, Hugh Kaptur, and Albert Frey came to the area reveling in the prospect of experimenting with unusual shapes for roofs and buildings. Today, most of their buildings are preserved, and in some cases, also have the original décor. 

During Modernism Preview Week, there are numerous tours available, both walking and through the buildings. Be sure to get tickets in advance at Modernism Week. 

Palm Springs Art Center Architecture and Design Center in downtown Palm Springs. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

Palm Springs Art Museum and local citizens come together

Recognizing the significance of these architects’ impact on the Palm Springs area, a coalition of local residents raised funds to convert the Coachella Valley Savings and Loan building originally designed by Stewart Williams into the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. (Fun fact: Williams also designed the Palm Springs Art Museum!) Today, with the design help of Marmol Radziner architects, this building holds the papers donated by Albert Frey, as well as other documents and designs by the architects that helped put Palm Springs on the map.

Photo: Kathy Condon

Exhibitions that excite

The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture Design Center is at the end of downtown Palm Springs’ retail shopping district, and a great stop to make after enjoying lunch. Take time to notice the plants surrounding the building, and how the cacti cast shadows onto the windows. Walking through the entry doors, you are greeted and asked to pay your $5 admission fee.

The Modern Chair exhibition will quickly grab your attention, with each chair having its own space so it can be viewed from different angles. Swiss-French designer LeCorbusier designed the oldest modern chair, and its inclusion helps one see the journey of the development of the modern seat beginning in 1905. 

Just some of the chairs in the exhibit. Photo: Kathy Condon

Ribbon chair by Pierre Paul, 1966. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

Heart Cone chair by Vemer Panton, 1958. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

Corrugated chair by E. Frank Gehry. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

The old drive-thru window. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

Did you notice incorporated in the décor is the drive-up window installed when the building was a savings and loan? Next to it, the modernism wall is covered in an easily recognized wallpaper design of the ’60s. 

A book store and gift shop worth the stop

What do you do with a vault that is impossible to move? Turn it into a place to house your vast collection of architectural books for sale. The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture Design Center’s collection of books will help you navigate the world of modernism, with many of the authors from the Palm Springs area.  

A unique gift shop entrance. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

With an architectural theme, the items in the gift shop are colorful and unusual — as an added bonus, many of them are created by local artists. Take the time to browse and ask the knowledgeable staff and volunteers any questions you might have.  

The well-stocked gift shop. Photo credit: Kathy Condon

The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center exhibitions and educational programs change, so be sure to sign up for their mailing list. As you walk out the door, look down. There you will see stars in the sidewalk honoring the architects and interior designers who embraced modernism and helped Palm Springs become a destination that embraces the style. 

If you really want to immerse yourself in the architecture, use the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to search for mid-century modern hotels. The best way to cap a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center is by then checking into one of these fabulous properties.

Kathy Condon

Not only does Palm Springs beckon one to come to visit for its countless sunshine days, but there is also a new reason to plan your vacation to this increasingly hip town. At least once a week, contemporary public art is being unveiled.

Palm Springs is quiet and has crispness in the air as one ventures out to get a cup of coffee on Palm Canyon at our downtown Starbucks. Clamoring for your attention is the PS I Love Letters, with its brilliant red color glistens in the filtered sunlight through the palm trees. It’s the perfect place to take an Instagramable photo.

Nona Watson, CEO of Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, conceived the artwork. She enlisted the design talents of Maru Palmersheim, and Palm Spring Canyon Print and Grit Development provided the space.

(This particular morning, a family of three was standing near the sign. The little girl was having fun frolicking around the sign, so we thought she would be the perfect model. The mother later sent us an email requesting a copy of the photo. She is pianist Jeewon Park.)

Unity, a mural with Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman’s portrait, graces one of the “art pit” walls at the corner of Belardo Road and Museum Way.  This temporary art installation will be there through December 2021.

MisterAlex, a Los Angeles-based artist, depicted Amanda surrounded by butterflies. “During my research of Amanda, I discovered she overcame a speech impediment. In addition, during her young life, she dedicated her many hours of hard work to bring people together; thus, I chose Unity for the theme.”

The Fault Line Meditation

Curator and artist, Jevpic considers himself a fortunate man. During the pandemic, he received his largest commission ever. While digging in the “art pit” to create this art installation, many local people supported him. They picked up shovels and helped him develop his vision, which looks entirely different during the day than it does at night.

In Jevpic words, “The path in the shape of the San Andres Fault is a metaphor for the faults we encounter in our life. Faults have existed before us and will be after us. Just learn, grow and move on.”

Guadalajara Artist Gonzalo Lebrija‘s temporary creation, History of Suspended, is directly in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum. The Palm Springs Art Commission worked with the museum to prepare the space and erect the art installation referred to as “A Moment for the Impossible.”

Lebrija wants to encourage thought “suspension of the passage of time – focusing on the precise moment of stillness and impact. This installation encourages one to walk around and even visit at different times of the day. The reflection in the pool also calls one to reflect on the time and space around them.

MIDABI, a Palm Springs artist who has his art in front of the Desert Center Art Center, now came up with another relevant sign. WOW on Indian Canyon Drive, near Andreas, cannot help but make you smile.  When is the last time you saw art that says, “Wow?”

His metal, esoteric sculptures are created using his thought process:  a. Always be a student b. Have a heart of a child and c. Remember you are a human being first and foremost before any other identity.

Popsicles is a temporary art installation near Townie Bagels on Sunny Dunes by Salina, California artist John Cerney. John is known as the “cutout artist” for his larger-than-life creations along California and Midwest highways. This a great place to capture selfies for your social media.

John started as a portrait artist, then began drawing. He noticed barren walls and old barns with expansive walls and convinced owners murals would enhance their spaces. The next step was designing a way for more people to see his figures. At first, he made the life size, but they realized they were not big enough for people to see as they whizzed by on the highways. Thus, these plywood cutouts are now bigger than life.

Besides a vibrate art scene, retail shops are thriving, and new restaurants are popping up everywhere. If you haven’t been to Palm Springs, you are sure to see lots of changes, including constructing the 1.5 acres of new City Park being built steps away from the Palm Springs Art Museum.

So find your stay, maybe even take advantage of a summer special and make your reservation today.

 

You made a wise choice to visit Palm Springs, where the sun shines 360 days a year. As you pull up in front of the Avanti Hotel, the contemporary exquisite stone entrance affirms that you also made the right decision for your home away from home…especially if you brought your pup.

The secure hotel requires newcomers to ring the doorbell. Suddenly, Jim Rutledge, the owner, and manager opens the door, for he lives on site. His huge smile and very welcoming greeting immediately help you understand you are about to have a memorable experience.

Pets are always welcome at the Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs.

Dogs are very welcome at Avanti. Next to the registration area is a knee-high dog constructed of real looking plants sitting beside a chalkboard welcoming your dog with their name and a water dish. When is the last time your dog has been welcomed in such a gracious manner?

Avanti View as you enter into the complex.

When you look around the space, you see the spacious pool surrounded by the ten rooms identified by bright sunshine-yellow doors. Framing the doors are full-length beige drapes, which help define each space.

Lucky room 88 at Avanti Hotel in Palm Springs.

If you are fortunate, you will be checked into the lucky room, Room 88. Why the number 88 when there are only ten rooms, you ask?  The number four is considered unlucky by those with traditional Chinese beliefs. When management learned about the number four, they had already numbered all the rooms. Since eight is deemed lucky, they decided to make room number four twice as lucky by labeling it 88.

The hot tub is open 24/7 at the Avanti Hotel.

It is not often you will find a spacious hot tub separated from the main pool. In this case, it is not only separated from the main pool, but it also has its own private walled space. Comfy benches are strategically placed around the perimeter, and artwork adorns the walls. Once again, the long beige drapes make an appearance adding to the elegance of space.

The jacuzzi holds 12 people. Can you imagine having a retreat here and saying, Let’s meet at the hot tub for a brainstorming session? By the way, the hot tub and pool are open 24 hours a day. However, there are rules, and they will be enforced.

Avanti Hotel patios offers refuge from the world.

 

Four rooms have kitchenettes and one a full kitchen. So even though snacks are freely available, it is good to know you can prepare your own romantic dinner if you so choose.  Or order from a Palm Springs restaurant that will deliver meals complete with cocktails. Some of the rooms have large patios with a dining table. These patios are an excellent place to hang out if you want to do some quiet reading.

Breakfast is Served Poolside at the Avant Hotel in Palm Springs.

Breakfast is served around the pool. As Jim was quick to point out, it is a cold breakfast. However, there is more than enough to get you on your way for the day.

After a day of sightseeing, you will want to get back for Happy Hour, which will be the perfect time to mingle with other guests, often from other countries. For example, the Avanti has the same visitor from Iceland come back a year and after year.

Avanti owner and Manager Jim Rutledge with doggy diva Maya

Jim Rutledge is the owner and has been watching over the development of the space for ten years. Here he is pictured with his companion, Maya, who is the diva of the Avanti.

He keeps a close pulse on the community. Thus, guests have access to a wealth of information to decide how they spend their time exploring the Coachella Valley.

When asked what brings him joy about living here and managing the Avanti, his reply was with a large smile, “It’s the people I meet from all over the world.”