I recently had the pleasure of attending a conference for a few days in Palm Springs. (If I had known I would be returning to Hurricane Sandy, aka "Frankenstorm" I might have stayed a few days longer!) In the spirit of full disclosure, I must say this: this was not my first visit to Palm Springs. My actual first visit was graced with record heat and humidity so I hope you'll forgive me for sticking to the hotel's air conditioning and pool. This time, however, I made sure to get out to see some nearby sites in the bit of free time in my schedule. And here are a few of my favorite shots...
ACE HOTEL PALM SPRINGS
I made my base for my stay at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. The hotel's self-described "organic and bohemian" design is evident from the front lobby down to the pool signage. The rooms have an eclectic retro vibe, an unique and imaginative minibar and very comfortable beds. The grounds of this renovated mid-century modern motor lodge offer artful surprises around every corner.
Top: One of many beautiful palo verde trees that grace the grounds of the Ace.
Bottom: A catwalk seating area with abundant mountain views.
THE SAGUARO HOTEL
This vibrant hotel is named after the famed "armed" cactus and is decorated in an unapologetically bright palette drawn from the native desert wildflowers. I visited just after sunrise and saw the colors in all its full-sun glory. I can only imagine how the atmosphere must change as the light shifts throughout the day.
Top: Color confronts you from the first step into the Saguaro Hotel's lobby. Bottom Left: Even the hallways are well attended with color. Bottom Right: Outdoor seating area of the hotel's wine bar and restaurant, Tinto.
THE PARKER PALM SPRINGS
You know you're somewhere special from the minute you drive onto the beautifully landscaped Parker Palm Springs. The property was once owned bby the singing cowboy, Gene Autry, as well as by entertainment industry legend, Merv Griffin. The current incarnation boasts interior design by Jonathan Adler whose bold color, graphics and mod vibe are a perfect fit for this desert town.
Top: The Minibar Lounge at the Parker Palm Springs. Center Left: Iconic Jonathan Adler decorative objects adorn a lobby console table. Center Right: Side seating area near the lobby entrance. Bottom: Though the main seating area has evolved from the original design, it still exudes colorful, exuberant and eclectic style.
Wait -- what? You're in the sunny Californian desert and you want to go outside? Fine. So be it. Hang out by the pool. Go shopping or thrifting downtown. Or, better yet, take a quick ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and you can breathe in the brisk clean mountain air and take in the expansive view of the valley.
Sunset view of the valley in the shadow of Mt. San Jacinto from the observation deck of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Look closely and you'll see the windmills of the famed San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm.
I didn't have a lot of free to time explore on my own on this trip and know I missed seeing lots of great design. Have you been to Palm Springs? Any favorite spots I should put on my list for next time? Do tell...