Guide to Palm Springs


Del Marcos Hotel
225 West Baristo Road
1.760.325.6902 / 1.800.676.1214

The Del Marcos today looks remarkably similar to when it was first built in 1947 by William F. Cody (well, aside from a few “martini kitsch” additions to the interior). The moment you arrive, you’re handed a complimentary Tecate and glass of wine, and given the keys to one of the 17 rooms that encircle the swimming pool–a common layout found in most ’50s motels. Like most of the mid-century properties, rat pack tunes play by the pool, the San Jacinto mountains are in full view, and fire-pits are first-come first-serve when the sun sets. Located five minutes from downtown Palm Springs. Adults only.

Horizon Hotel
1050 East Palm Canyon Drive
1.760.323.1858 / 1.800.377.7855

The Horizon Hotel was also built by William F. Cody, in 1952, as a retreat for TV show Lassie and Lone Ranger producer Jack Wrather. It was restored in 2004 and split into 24 bungalow-style rooms spread across 2 1/2 acres of immaculate grounds. Be sure to choose one with the outdoor shower and/or indoor glass shower, so you can bathe in the spectacular view. The mood is peaceful and serene at the Horizon, and better for those who prefer a more tame atmosphere. That said, the property is one of the most scenic of the mid-century modern hotels, and the complimentary breakfast on your patio is a real treat. Last time I was there, the poolside bar was still out of use, as they had yet to obtain their liquor license. I imagine once that’s sorted, the ambience may be a little less hushed. Adults only.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 East Palm Canyon Drive

Hipsters flock to the Ace for its daytime pool parties, live music + DJs at the Amigo Room, and late-night dinners at the Kings Highway diner. I mention it for its very reasonable room rates and popular nightlife, but I find the place a bit too concrete for my liking. It’s more side-of-the-highway old-school motel than mid-century modern. The trip advisor reviews have been mixed, so proceed with caution.

The Orbit In & The Hideaway
562 West Arenas + 370 West Arenas Road

Sister properties the Orbit In and the Hideaway live about a block from each other, with the Hideaway offering a more laid-back, secluded stay, whilst the Orbit Inn encourages guests to mix n’ mingle by hosting a “Orbitini and wine” happy hour everyday at 5pm (guests staying at the Hideaway are also welcome at “Orbitini” hour). If you can forgive the awful Orbit In signage (what were they thinking?) you’ll find it has a lot to offer mid-century fans–tastefully designed rooms (some with turntables and a stash of LPs), exceptionally friendly staff, jacuzzi, free bikes, fire pit, poolside bar, and a very social atmosphere. I highly recommend snatching the Frey Lounge room if you can. It’s the best in the house. Adults only.

Where To Eat

Tropicale Restaurant & Coral Seas Lounge
330 East Amado Road

From the outside, Tropicale could be mistaken for a seedy strip-club. Its concrete, neon lit exterior masks the large supper-club-styled dining room decorated with huge chandeliers, plush banquettes, and Trader Vics-esque South Seas decor. The restaurant continues outside, onto a massive patio big enough for parties of 500. It’s fun, festive, and the Polynesian-inspired menu is varied enough to satisfy the fussiest of eaters. Check their website for jazz nights and details on happy hour.

196 South Indian Canyon Drive

The desert may be lacking the exceptional gourmet fare of LA, but you’d never know dining at Johannes. It calls itself “world cuisine with Austrian and Asian influences,” and every dish we had was above and beyond. The decor is pleasant , the food is exceptional. 

622 North Palm Canyon Drive

Ask anyone from Palm Springs where to go for breakfast, and they will send you to Cheeky’s. Their breakfast menu includes such mouth-watering options as pumpernickle waffle with smoked salmon, frisee, and creme fraiche, buttermilk & fresh corn pancakes, and sourdough french toast with fresh strawberries & balsamic. You can’t go wrong here.

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