Nestled in Southern California’s Coachella Valley and just over 100 miles from Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a literal oasis in the desert. This storied town is defined by iconic mid-century modern architecture, over 350 days of sunshine each year, an abundance of sparkling pools, mountain views, bold and eclectic artwork, and a unique vibe that’s both ultra laid-back and distinctly posh.
Colorful Palm Springs became a mecca for the Hollywood elite back in the 1930s, offering a secluded and glamorous respite from big-city life. Not much has changed, although today people from all walks of life flock to Palm Springs for a low-key desert getaway. You’re just as likely to encounter locals on a staycation as you are to spot A-list celebrities lounging poolside.
Perhaps you’re an outdoor enthusiast or prefer to spend your days lounging by the pool doing. Maybe you want to do some world-class shopping or check out the famed nightlife and foodie scenes. Whatever your vacation style, this hip SoCal town has something for everyone.
With Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks a short distance away and the sweeping San Jacintos close by, there are plenty of hiking, biking, and stargazing opportunities around Palm Springs. There’s no doubt that Palms Springs in home to many of the best things to do in California!
If you want to check out the views but you’re not much of a hiker, take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the 10,800-foot-tall San Jacinto peak, where temperatures are typically 30-40 degrees cooler than in Palm Springs.
If staying in town sounds more appealing, there’s no shortage of things to do in the town of Palm Springs. The downtown area is lined with shops, art galleries, cafes, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and the entire town is walkable, bikeable, and dog-friendly! And if you’re headed to Palm Springs to relax and unplug, you’ll find an enormous selection of spas and pools.
Palm Springs also has some truly unique boutique hotels, adorable B&Bs, and stunning luxury resorts. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in Palm Springs to help you plan your perfect getaway!
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Where to Stay in Palm Springs
Although it’s a relatively small town, Palm Springs is comprised of nearly 70 distinct neighborhoods. However, they are primarily residential areas. The main attractions and most of the hotels are situated in just a handful of the best neighborhoods in Palm Springs – Movie Colony, Old Las Palmas, The Tennis Club, and Central Palm Springs (also known as downtown).
Fortunately, because of the way Palm Springs is laid out, it’s very easy to get around regardless of where you choose to stay. Even if you want to head to the opposite side of town, it’s generally within biking distance or just a few minutes’ drive away. And no matter which hotel you choose, there will be plenty of cleverly-done retro kitsch, that distinctive ranch-style “desert modernism” design (no high-rises here!), and at least one swimming pool (a prerequisite in Palm Springs).
The Movie Colony area, as you might expect, is one of the original neighborhoods in Palm Springs where A-list Hollywood movie stars vacationed and built second homes in the 1930s and ‘40s. This small neighborhood was once home to stars including Estée Lauder and Frank Sinatra. It’s adjacent to the “uptown” section of downtown and has several historic hotels that embody Old Hollywood glam.
Old Las Palmas is one of the most star-studded – and therefore sought-after – neighborhoods in Palm Springs, largely because it’s nestled into a quieter corner of town. Dating all the way back to the 1920s, the hottest stars have called Old Las Palmas home. In recent years that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s been known to hang out at one of the neighborhood’s posh boutique hotels.
The Tennis Club is directly adjacent to the vibrant downtown area, and both are extremely popular with visitors. You have dozens of hotels to choose from, ranging from small, eclectic boutique hotels to sprawling, luxurious estate-style properties. One of the biggest draws of staying downtown or in the Tennis Club is, of course, location. You’ll be just steps away from the hottest restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment in town!
The 12 Best Hotels in Palm Springs, California
We’re convinced that it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you stay at The Saguaro Palm Spring as it’s quite possibly the most fun and colorful (and Instagrammable!) hotel anywhere! The Saguaro is decked out in color-blocked bold neon colors – picture lime green walls, purple carpeting, pink headboards, orange curtains, and yellow everything. Somehow, it all works perfectly and cohesively and makes The Saguaro one of the most unique and iconic hotels in Palm Springs.
The Saguaro boasts one of the biggest pools in all of Palm Springs and unsurprisingly, it attracts a great deal of attention. On weekends, The Saguaro hosts DJs for free pool parties and it is the place to see and be seen. And during the week you’ll find mellow poolside yoga sessions. The pool is surrounded by enough oversized lounge chairs, daybeds, cabanas, and umbrellas (all yellow, naturally) for everyone, so it’s an excellent place to meet other travelers or staycationing locals.
Of course, The Saguaro has plenty of amenities beyond the pool. All the rooms are dog-friendly, and each one has a private patio or balcony. There’s a gym, complimentary cruiser bikes, and El Jefe, the onsite restaurant well-known for its tacos and enormous tequila bar.
This adults-only boutique hotel is about as rustic-chic as it gets in Palm Springs — and that’s a very, very good thing. For starters, you won’t find any TVs or phones at Sparrows Lodge, so you can actually “unplug” and get away from it all. But don’t worry, there is wi-fi.
At the Sparrows Lodge you’ll find elaborate stonework, exposed-beam ceilings, stone floors, funky artwork, and surprisingly roomy horse trough bathtubs. The hotel was originally built as a private home in the 1950s by famous actor Don Castle. Today, it seamlessly blends cabin-chic with the distinctly modern design Palm Springs is renowned for.
Guests can take advantage of free bicycle rentals for exploring Palm Springs, then take a dip in the heated outdoor pool. There’s also a chic open-air massage tent, or you can request to have your treatment in your room for a small fee.
Head to the Barn Kitchen, the aptly-named restored barn, for cocktails and simple-but-delicious home-cooked meals (think perfectly-grilled steaks, roasted chicken, and cold beers). Each night, this unique Palm Springs hotel hosts a complimentary social hour where signature pink sangria and s’mores are served. We couldn’t possibly think of a more perfectly Palm Springs pairing!
Billing itself as “Palm Springs only luxury boutique hotel,” L’Horizon sets the bar extremely high for itself. Fortunately for all of us, it delivers in a big way. The hotel’s efforts have been recognized on a global scale and it won the coveted No. 1 spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.
This adults-only hotel in Palm Springs has just 25 individual bungalows and they are indeed luxurious. They’ve been designed to replicate upscale private homes, but they’re also approachable and unassuming. Bungalows at L’Horizon feature floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain views, copper fireplaces, private outdoor showers, and top-of-the-line bath and bed linens.
Where L’Horizon really shines is in its unique thoughtful touches. Guests are greeted with engraved personalized metal placards on their doors instead of a room number!
Guests also receive hand-delivered goodies every afternoon such as cocktails or cookies, and get treated to complimentary poolside foot and shoulder massages. Now that sounds like a perfect Palm Spring vacation!
If you’re a fan of both 1950s kitsch and upscale boutique hotels, be sure to check out the Palm Springs Rendezvous! Built in the 1930s, this 10-room bed & breakfast absolutely nails the retro theme and it’s exceptionally well-done.
Each of the 10 guestrooms has an elaborate 1950s theme. For example, there’s the all-pink Marilyn Monroe room that’s named “Pretty in Pink”. And “Shake, Rattle n’ Roll” is the hotel’s homage to Elvis. The rooms all have California king beds and open onto the central courtyard. The courtyard features a heated pool, plenty of fun inflatables, a hot tub, and a fire pit. Most rooms also have a whirlpool tub if you’d rather soak in private.
As if the memorable rooms weren’t enough to set this unique Palm Springs hotel apart, guests are also treated to a daily complimentary three-course breakfast, evening cocktail hour with snacks, and fresh-baked treats. No wonder so many Hollywood A-listers (including, of course, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis) have stayed here!
Nestled just four blocks off the beaten path in the coveted Tennis Club neighborhood, the Moroccan-inspired Korakia Pensione is one of the most unique hotels in Palm Springs.
You’ll feel certain you were transported to another era when you see the two historic, impeccably restored Mediterranean villas. The property is covered in olive trees, fragrant bougainvillea, and more fountains and fire pits than we can count! Guestrooms at Korakia Pensione are just as romantic, with massive granite bathtubs, stone floors, four-poster canopy beds, and oversized terraces or balconies.
This gorgeous hotel also features a saltwater pool with tons of cool Mediterranean daybeds and lounge chairs. You can also play bocce ball, borrow a complimentary loaner bike, check books out from the vintage library, and partake in afternoon tea. Korakia Pensione is well-known for its elaborate daily breakfast spreads, so although downtown is within walking distance, you’ll definitely want to linger in the mornings.
If Palm Springs hotels were personas, the Ace Hotel & Swim Club would the Cool Kid. This downtown hotel is the place to both see and be seen. It’s the perfect combination of ultra-hip, artsy, trendy, and retro.
The Ace’s brand of retro is posh and sleek. There’s macrame decor, vintage record players, stacks of magazines, interior archways, dark wooden accents, and even an old-school photo booth in the lobby. The hotel’s location at the foot of the mountains adds to the swanky feel.
While the Ace is one of the larger hotels in Palm Springs with 176 rooms and a five-acre property, guests still enjoy several thoughtful perks. Access to vinyl records, walking sticks (perfect for desert hikes!), and hooded robes, just to name a few.
Its late-night pool parties have earned the Ace a reputation as one of the hottest party scenes in Palm Springs. The hotel almost always has DJs or other live music performances, and the pool is open until the wee hours of the morning. The pool is also the perfect place for relaxing during the day. Lounge in one of hammocks on the sun deck and then grab a bite to eat at the well-loved restaurant, Kings Highway.
The Monkey Tree Hotel is a shining example of how retro can be perfectly modern. Tucked into a quiet part of town with spectacular views of the San Jacintos, the Monkey Tree is designed in a 1960s mid-century modern style.
This cool Palm Springs hotel is absolutely beautiful but maintains a laid back vibe. Everything inside and out is white with bright blue and sunny yellow accents. And there’s plenty of colorful, funky artwork adorning the walls.
At the center of the 16-room boutique hotel is a heated saltwater pool and a large courtyard. Parking, wi-fi, and daily continental breakfast are all included in the room rates, and the Monkey Tree doesn’t charge a pesky resort fee. If you have an electric vehicle, the hotel has you covered with three Tesla charging stations and one universal EV charging station.
Another unique thing about this hotel is that it has Palm Springs’ only authentic Scandinavian spa! Relax in the dry sauna or hot tub, or brave the cold plunge. And guess what? Those are all included in your room rate as well!
Everything about the Triada Palm Springs hotel says Old Hollywood glamour. From the Spanish-style colonial architecture and its location in the Movie Colony district downtown, to the gorgeous guest rooms and private sundecks, you’ll feel a connection to that era.
You’ll also feel pampered, as the Triada is romantic, luxurious, and charming all at once. Guestrooms at this beautiful Palm Springs hotel feature a mix of old and new furnishings, all accented with rich wood finishes and luxe Spanish linens in brilliant colors. You’ll feel right at home here!
The Triada is pet-friendly and it boasts one saltwater and one freshwater pool. Guests can also take advantage of the fitness center, morning yoga on the sun deck, and numerous spa services that can even be requested in-room. Finally, Triada’s restaurant, Iluminara, is a locals’ favorite and offers a pool bar as well as outdoor dining.
Another Spanish-inspired boutique hotel in Palm Springs, La Serena Villas, is comprised of 18 private bungalows with the San Jacinto Mountains as their backdrop. This hotel is adults-only, welcoming guests ages 21 and up.
La Serena Villas is exceptionally well-rated and is known for its lush gardens. Every detail in this hacienda-style property, both on the grounds and in guestrooms, was professionally decorated by interior designers — and it shows.
The bright white Spanish architecture, Mediterranean patterns, brightly-colored patio furniture, and rich wood accents all tie together beautifully. Each of the secluded bungalows has a standalone claw-foot bathtub and private patio with a fire pit., Upgraded villas have private plunge pools, kitchens, and front porches.
This gorgeous Palm Springs hotel features a full-service spa, a fine dining experience at Azucar restaurant, and a rooftop bar. If you do want to venture out and explore, all the restaurants and boutiques on Palm Canyon Drive are within easy walking distance.
If you’re looking for a low-key yet posh Palm Springs hotel, look no further than the Desert Riviera. It has just 11 rooms, but don’t let that deter you — the Desert Riviera was named the No. 1 Small Hotel in the US in the 2019 and 2020 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best Awards.
All 11 guest rooms at the Desert Riviera open onto the courtyard, which has a heated pool and hot tub, multiple fire pits and seating areas, and an outdoor kitchen with BBQ grills. There’s also a fully stocked community kitchen for guests to use, but if you prefer a bit more privacy, each room has a kitchenette or full kitchen.
Help yourself to 24-hour coffee service or afternoon popcorn in the poolside atrium, then take one of the complimentary retro bicycles out to explore. Desert Riviera also provides free parking and a free shuttle to the airport and downtown Palm Springs.
11. The Parker
No list of the best hotels in Palm Springs would be complete without including The Parker. Just a 30-minute drive from Coachella, it’s popular with festival-goers and is a known hangout of Hollywood celebs. But it manages to feel secluded thanks to the large hedge that completely surrounds the hotel, hiding it from the main road.
In addition to feeling remote, The Parker is quirky and upscale. This retro-modern Palm Springs hotel was designed by interior decorator Jonathan Adler and features bold colors, cheeky artwork, and mismatched furniture.
The Parker boasts three pools, a spa, a 24-hour gym, a diner, a bar, a casual bistro, and expansive lawns with plenty of yard games. Think croquet, life-sized chess, and ping-pong. Keeping with the quirky theme, the poolside bar has an adult lemonade stand theme.
Guest rooms at The Parker have oversized four-poster beds, large balconies with dense landscaping to add even more privacy, and a notably upscale selection of toiletries with brands like L’Occitane and Hermes. It’s impossible not to have an amazing experience when spending a few nights at The Parker!
We all know good things come in small packages, and that is certainly true of The Weekend Palm Springs! The Weekend has just 10 guest suites, but it has loads of top-notch amenities including a killer location and impeccable style. Guests also rave about the excellent customer service, which is reflected in the hotel’s near-perfect ratings.
Situated in the highly sought-after and loved-by-celebrities Old Las Palmas residential neighborhood uptown, The Weekend is both quiet and posh. It’s also conveniently located just a couple of blocks from all the bars, restaurants, galleries, and shops downtown.
Each room at this all-suite hotel opens onto the pool courtyard and has a separate private patio. Wi-fi, parking, and daily continental breakfast are all complimentary, and the owner often hand-delivers breakfast to guests’ doors himself.
The Weekend is also extremely dog-friendly (they don’t even have restrictions on breed or maximum size!) and it’s one of only a few family-friendly hotels in Palm Springs.
That’s it – 12 of the best boutique hotels in Palm Springs! Did we miss any cool Palm Springs hotels? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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