Last Updated on April 4, 2021 by Katrina

Photo credit: L’Horizon Palm Springs

Nowhere does desert bliss like Palm Springs. During the cooler months—from November to April— you can spend your days golfing or hiking the trails. Or take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the largest of its kind in the world—to the top of San Jacinto Peak. Any time of year, of course, is good for browsing the downtown boutiques or lounging by your hotel pool. From quaint boutique inns to rehabbed motels and luxury resorts,  Palm Springs hotels have a distinctive brand of Rat Pack retro-chic style. Here are five unique hotels in Palm Springs that tap into that quirky heritage..

L’Horizon Palm Springs (1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-323-1858) Deepwell Estates

If you want a crash course in Palm Springs aesthetics, this 25-suite hotel is the perfect place to start. “Today’s iconic Palm Springs architectural style owes its beginnings to William F. Cody, and this boutique hotel, built in 1952 for a Hollywood producer, is preserved as a tribute to his mid-century modern designs,” says Travel+Leisure. The adults-only resort also offers the contemporary perks of a spa, saline pools, and private outdoor showers. One Yelp reviewer noted some sticker-shock fees and felt the place was a little too pet-friendly. “Too many guest dogs at the pool, and $30 plus tax, plus tip for parking in and out was a surprise,” he says, but “ there’s very cool 50s vibe type to the place.” To soak up more beauty, it’s a short walk to the Moorten Botanical Garden.

Parker Palm Springs (4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-770-5000) Canyon Sands

This chic resort sits about four miles from downtown and seems to exist in its own happy sphere among hotels in Palm Springs. “While a stay at the Jonathan Adler–designed, 13-acre Eden is a bit of a splurge,” says Timeout, “once you’re here, there’s no need to leave,” thanks to amenities such as saline pools, the Palm Springs Yacht Club spa, and clay tennis courts. One Google reviewer found the hotel comfortable and also a visual feast: “All the furniture down to the knick-knacks are handpicked individually to suit the hotel’s theme. It was refreshing to be in an environment that felt so private yet still so full of life.”

The Rowan (100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way; 760-904-5015) Downtown

This seven-story boutique property, part of the Kimpton chain, sits in the heart of Palm Springs. You can see it all nicely from the rooftop bar—after all, this is tallest spot in downtown. “Though built from the ground up, the property’s mid-century aesthetic feels very old-school,” says Condé Nast Traveler. “The sprawling lobby boasts a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and a two-story picture window looking out on the San Jacinto mountains.” One Tripadvisor user loved The Rowan for its “awesome location, near all the restaurants and shops. Went for a hike, museum trail loop is also nearby, walking distance. Try to catch the sunrise!”

Avalon Palm Springs (415 S. Belardo Rd.; 760-318-3012) Downtown

This bungalow-based hotel in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains is something of an aesthetic rebel in Palm Springs. It’s Spanish Mission-style but still plushly comfortable with crisp-white rooms, a spa, and three pools. “This quaint cluster of terra-cotta roof bungalows and cottages…offers up a healthy dose of Beverly Hills decadence,” says Timeout, nodding to the hotel’s sister property in L.A. One extra-nice surprise: the rates are pretty reasonable. The blend of history plus relaxation charmed one Google reviewer: “We were told that Marilyn Monroe was known to lounge poolside and that the Brat Pack were frequent guests, and you can definitely feel that vibe. The spa is fantastic with an amazing steam shower you don’t want to miss.”

Saguaro Palm Springs (1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-323-1711) Deepwell Estates

Popping with vivid color, this 244-room hotel in a former motel is decorated with Mexican furniture and exudes retro charm. “Classic Palm Springs,” declares a Google reviewer. “Accessibility to bikes makes everywhere you need to reach that much more accessible, and Palm Springs is enjoyed when you get to ride a bike through it.” Most rooms have balconies or patios, with views of the pool, the city, or mountains. “Blue bedrooms with lime furniture and purple carpeting may sound like a designer’s worst nightmare,” says Timeout, “but somehow this place pulls it off. Maybe because it’s so pleasant.” For better or worse, the magazine adds, the hotel does seem to attract  bachelor and bachelorette weekends, “but the place is set up so you can mostly avoid anyone you don’t wish to lounge near.”

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