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About Palm Springs
The desert of Southern California might not seem the obvious place to build a resort, but it’s sunny and both the ‘springs’ and the ‘palms’ parts of the name are all present and correct, and the best places to stay in Palm Springs take advantage of both.
Moreover, at only 100 miles from L.A., Palm Springs became the getaway choice for a sling of '60s stars including the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. So some of the best places to stay in Palm Springs are also dripping in retro cool.
Palm Springs is hot and dry and boasts wonderful mid-century modern architecture (lots of sweeping white facades); it’s also known for its sparkling pools, great hiking, flat cycling and golf.
It’s the retro-chic which really sets Palm Springs apart as a great destination though. The design is so uniform, from the decor in your boutique hotel, the cocktails on the list in the piano bar, to the glass and stone bungalows and all those swimming pools.
If you want to ‘see the sights’ you’ll want to try out the cable car (which rotates!), visit the art museum, the air museum and some of the more niche museums. And of course relax in the springs.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Palm Springs are busy properties year round. So if you want to bag one of the top beds in town, do yourself a favour and plan ahead.
For a city break
- The Movie Colony Hotel was a movie star hang out in the '30s and the '60s and its 16 rooms have elegant, contemporary furnishings plus there’s an in house spa and wellness centre. More importantly you’re in a prime spot for Downtown Palm Springs.
- Hope Springs is a ten bed hotel on a natural hot springs site. The rooms are spacious, light and minimalist, all opening onto a central pool - with two other pools part of the complex.
- The Colony Palms Hotel is ideal for a relaxing break. Think Moroccan style interiors, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, Moroccan spa, pool side dining, and glorious mountain views.
For great value
- The Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a chic, '60s era whitewashed classic, which has been renovated to modern standards, but keeps its vintage charms, with 180 rooms, an expansive spa and two pools. Rooms start from just £80 per night.
- For a similar room rate you could also stay at the Avalon Hotel Palm Springs, a bright, modern resort at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. The rooms are modern and there’s an Estrella spa and three heated pools surrounded by manicured gardens.
- The Alcazar Palm Springs is another reasonably priced option, especially if your’e interested in a smaller hotel - the Alcazar has 34 rooms. It’s also family owned in a quiet neighbourhood.
- The newly renovated Sparrows Lodge has been painstakingly restored to its 1950s heyday. Rooms are full of wood, exposed stone and flag stoned floors. A beautiful secluded choice in South Palm Springs.
- The Willows Historic Inn has just eight rooms, a lovely pool, luxurious bathrooms with roll top tubs, lush gardens and lovely views of the San Jacinto Mountains. It was once the domain of a millionaire and simply oozes with classy opulence.
- Alternatively The Chateau at Lake La Quinta is a larger offering with suites and cottages surrounding the lake. It's adults only here, and you're just out of town, so perfect for a romantic tryst.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Palm Springs, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively you can widen the net and check out all our recommendations in California.
Best Hotels in Palm Springs
Ace Hotel & Swim Club 180 rooms from $98Palm Springs
Renovated motel retaining its 1960s whitewashed architecture but boasting contemporary features and an expansive spa with two pools. The rooms communicate laid-back chic, with draped fabrics and vintage furniture. The Swim Club also features an open fireplace, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.Local exploring - The hotel is within biking distance of downtown, close to Joshua Tree, Salton Sea, Salvation mountain and other desert featuresSpa breaks - The two pools, hot tub, sauna, steam room and spa facilities all provide for anyone seeking a spa retreat.Spa - Consists of a hot tub, a spa with a steam room and sauna, and assorted massage yurts.Swimming Pool - The hotel features 2 outdoor pools and a jacuzzi in an atmospheric outdoor settingRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Avalon Hotel Palm Springs 67 rooms from $98Palm Springs
Bright, modern resort at the foot of the San Jacinto mountains in Palm Springs. The stylish Kelly Wearstler-designed rooms glow white with black gingham and primrose features. The Estrella spa is excellent, and the 3 heated pools are surrounded by chic cubanas and beautifully manicured gardens.Local exploring - 20 minutes drive from the Aerial Tramway, 1 hour from Joshua Tree National Park, and minutes from Palm Springs sightsSpa breaks - The luxurious full-service spa, expansive gardens and 3 pools make this hotel the perfect spa break locationTotal relaxationSwimming Pool - 3 outdoor pools, including an adults-only tranquility pool, a family pool, and 2 large hot tubs surrounded by citrus treesRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
Alcazar Palm Springs 34 rooms from $120Palm Springs (California)
Family owned neighborhood feel hotel in Uptown Palm Springs great for lazy days by the pool and comfortable nights under Italian cotton sheets. White walls with modern art, this hotel has something of the Med about it. Restaurants like Cheeky's on the block. Exploring by bike or by car is possible.Hideaway - Quiet spot in the Palm Spring's neighbourhood.Views - Great views from hotelSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Tablet
Colony Palms Hotel 57 rooms from $129Palm Springs
A beautiful and charming hotel, hidden away in the heart of Palm Springs. Individually decorated rooms. Pool, hot tub, spa - a perfect and secluded hotel to relax in, as the sun sets over the San Jacinto mountains in full view. Smart, slick and stylish, featuring a Moroccan interior.Parking - Free private parking on site is available. Reservations not needed.Hideaway - Tranquil, remote and surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the San Jacinto mountains.Secluded setting - For escaping.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Tablet
Movie Colony Hotel 16 rooms from $160Palm Springs (California)
The name mirrors the movie star hangout of the 30s to 60s, as does the classy and contemporary furnishings. Rooms feature all the must-haves, as well as being simple and elegant. Prime location to explore Palm Springs or kick back and relax at the in house spa and wellness centre, or by the pool.Local markets - Downtown Palm Springs a block away.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Hope Springs 10 rooms from $185Palm Springs (California)
Natural hot springs and architectural mastery make up this 10-bed hotel two hours from LA. Spacious, light and minimal rooms all around a central pool with two others for further swimming. Local restaurants and jaunts are a drive away. Perfect for a hidden spa break away from the hustle and bustle.Romantic BreakBack to Nature - Hot springs are all around.Restrictions on childrenSpa
Sparrow's Lodge 20 rooms from $200Palm Springs (California)
Secluded boutique lodge escape with no screens but gorgeous pool and wood fires. Rooms all showcase wooden furnishing to mirror the great outdoors. The Barn Kitchen offers delicious bites and the bar is well stocked. Koffi town is close-by for restaurants. Relax is the theme.ArtworksSights nearby - 5 minutes away from Palm Springs Art Museum.Full of characterRestrictions on childrenRecommended by - Tablet
Korakia Pensione 28 rooms from $222Palm Springs
This Moroccan & Mediterranean themed spa resort in Palm Springs is truly a unique experience! Rooms vary in features, think rustic charm, exposed beams, stone walls, whitewash with antique furnishing, Moroccan style day beds and plenty of muslin drapes. A desert fantasy land!Spa - On site spa and fitness facilities.Restrictions on children - Children cannot be accomodated.Swimming Pool - Year round outdoor pool.Lively - Hip and happening.
The Chateau at Lake La Quinta 24 rooms from $235Palm Springs (La Quinta)
Nestled in the Californian desert near Palm Springs, this contemporary and recently renovated hotel surrounds the serene and beautiful lake La Quinta. The luxurious suites all have individual custom furnishings, fireplaces, lakeside views and a private patio. A grown-up, romantic retreat.Views - Resort surrounds La Quinta lake and all rooms have a lake viewRestrictions on children - This is an adults only propertySwimming Pool - Outdoor poolSights nearby - Well located for major sights.
The Willows Historic Inn 8 rooms from $375Palm Springs (412 West Tahquitz Canyon Way)
Traditional and intimate boutique with views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Relax by the pool or spoil your self with a private massage. The rooms are classic and comfortable, with fireplaces and gorgeously deep bathtubs. Al-fresco gourmet breakfast is a delicious way to start the day.Sights nearby - Palm Springs Art Museum and Palm Springs Desert Museum are both walking distance.Swimming Pool - Outdoor Pool.Back to NatureFull of character