Cool Travel Zone

Cool Hotels in Palm Springs

By M Ottersen

In the 1920s, people with health problems first started visiting Palm Springs because the clean air and sunshine were thought to be restorative. The place took off, and by the 1950s, it was a popular resort town with sleek, modern motels, and lots of tennis and golf.

During the 1970s, the area fell of favor, but it was rediscovered in the 1990s by gay travelers attracted by perfect weather in winter, retro cocktail lounges, and pool-centric motels.

Nowadays, Palm Springs is glamorous again, and there are fabulous Palm Springs hotels in every budget. But if you’re not a partier, don’t come on holiday weekends or when there’s an event in town, like the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament.

The first choice of Hollywood producers and affluent Angelenos, Le Parker Meridien is on beautifully landscaped grounds that were once the ranch of cowboy film star Gene Autry. Merv Griffin bought the property and turned it into the Givenchy Resort. As the Parker, it’s a hip, expensive place with stellar service and amenities. Less expensive rooms are a bit of a letdown for the price. There’s plenty to do with tennis, a 24-hour fitness facility, four pools, and a huge spa. The more casual restaurant, Norma’s, serves breakfasts all day, and they’re fantastic. At night, the bar is hopping, especially the area around the retro-style fire pit. There are also plenty of cozy spots outdoors where you can enjoy your cocktail. You’ll need to drive to town, but there are several nice hiking trails within walking distance.

Following a $75 million renovation, the Riviera Resort & Spa is giving the Parker a run for its money. Once a notorious Rat Pack hangout, the Riviera is cool again. Its 406 rooms have been thoroughly updated with plasma TVs, mini fridges, and Internet access. The bathrooms are especially nice with huge showerheads and marble tiles. The two pools are where you’ll find all the action, especially in the 12 private cabanas which have lounges, 32″ TVs, and minibars. The 11,000-square-foot spa can make you feel like new. The Riviera is very popular and it can be a little crazy on holiday weekends.

If you’re looking for a hip hotel but don’t want to break the bank, the Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a good choice. The Sunday afternoon pool parties with DJ are very popular, and the two swimming pools are usually jumping. The updated rooms have MP3 docks and big, flat-screen TVs. Upgrade to a room with a terrace and fireplace. The Ace is pet friendly, and it’s walking distance to Palm Springs shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, keep looking.

Also located in an updated mid-century motel, the Orbit In has rooms in the original motel and in a second building at the back of the property. If you love retro-design, you’ll love this place with its pink tiles, lava lamps, modular furniture, and Fiestaware. Some rooms have kitchenettes and patios. You can get cocktails at the Boomerang Bar by the salt-water pool or at the Albert Frey Lounge. The Orbit In has cruiser bikes guests can rent to explore the area, or go to dinner. It’s a real blast from the past.

Palm Springs Hotels &  Travel Information

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By M OttersenFind more Palm Springs hotels. – Information about more California hotels

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