Welcome to InStyle ♥ Palm Springs! Throughout the month of April, we'll be highlighting our favorites in the area, from the best places to dig for buried vintage treasures to where to find all the cool kids in town for the city's myriad music and film festivals.
With more than 350 days of sunshine a year, Palm Springs, Calif., is one of the hottest destinations to visit. The fabled resort city—Hollywood’s playground since its 1950s heyday when Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra made it their dreamy desert escape—now boasts 143 hotels where you can lounge, play, relax, and (of course) stay.
With so many places to choose from (most offering the same key ingredients: pool, cocktails, and palm trees), finding the perfect fit is essential. To make the decision easier, we rounded up six of our favorite spots, each with its own raison d’être. Whether you’re into poolside snacks, a killer restaurant, or feel-good vibes with a caffeine fix, we know just the hotel for you. One thing’s for sure: these check-in points provide a lot more than just a place to rest. If you’re planning your next trip to the shimmering oasis of Palm Springs or just visiting the desert for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival and hoping for an off-hours hangout spot, check out the havens we love best below.
1. BEST RESTAURANT: L’Horizon Resort & Spa
Los Angeles-based designer Steve Hermann recently brought this iconic Palm Springs architectural gem back to life. Originally built in 1952 for a film producer hosting Marilyn Monroe, it still exudes '50s Hollywood glamour, just with a modern facelift thanks to the luxe pool and bungalows with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Snag a rez at the resort’s Michelin-star-chef-helmed eatery So.Pa and dine alfresco on the intimate, tree-lined patio. Try one of the rustic, decadent dishes, like blistered sea scallop carpaccio, and save room for dessert—you won’t want to share the fabulous Mont Blanc chocolate mousse.
1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr., 760-323-1858; lhorizonpalmsprings.com
2. BEST POOLSIDE SNACKS: Avalon Hotel
Previously Viceroy Palm Springs, the newly monikered hotel still offers the same punchy vibe and Kelly Wearstler-designed style, but with a few fun upgrades, like the Estrella Spa’s revamped menu of wellness-centric treatments and the new poolside restaurant Chi Chi, known as much for its tasty tapas as its views of stylish swimmers. Latin fare abounds, so order a traditional plate, like a fresh assortment from the chili-spiced fruit cart. The Desert Jewel, a crisp mandarin vodka-infused cocktail, is also a must.
415 S. Belardo Rd.; 760-318-3005; avalon-hotel.com/palm-springs
3. BEST COFFEE BAR: Ace Hotel Palm Springs
The Ace Hotel Palm Springs offers feel-good vibes all day long at its swim club, but if you’re in need of a jolt, hit up its Stumptown Coffee Roasters kiosk in its King’s Highway diner. After a caffeine shot, work off some energy in the lobby's photo booth and then snag a chaise lounge by the epic pool.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-325-9900; acehotel.com/palmsprings
4. BEST RELAXATION VIBES: Sparrows Lodge
If quiet is what you seek, check out this nature-filled 1950s retreat, newly restored and reopened. The 21-and-over hub, with its manicured grounds and serene pool setting, offers a calm refuge. Order microbrews and California wines from the Barn Kitchen, which stays open until 11 p.m., and convene around the outdoor fire pit. The rooms will help you disconnect too—you won’t find any televisions or phones in them!
1330 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-327-2300; sparrowslodge.com
5. THE NEWEST HOT SPOT: V Palm Springs Hotel
The 140-room hotel, cushioned by wildflower-filled grounds, is the latest oasis in town, having just opened its doors in March. Settle into savasana during weekend-morning yoga, or just relax in your room—there’s a swing on every patio. A dip in the iconic V-shaped pool is a must.
333 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 877-544-4446; vpalmsprings.com
6. BEST ALL AROUND: Parker Palm Springs
With its cheeky Jonathan Adler-designed interiors and 13 acres of lush grounds, this colorful resort is a girl’s weekend heaven. Get blowouts and epic massages at PSYC (their indoor spa, Palm Springs Yacht Club), eat brunch at five-star diner Norma’s, and take a dip in the saline pool. There’s also croquet, tennis, and petanque; a lemonade stand, a Trina Turk outpost in the lobby, an outdoor fire pit, uber-luxe villas (Gene Autry’s old residence, for example), and endless grounds to explore. See what we mean? Finish with martinis at the gilded Mini Bar—you'll wish you never had to leave.
4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-770-5000; theparkerpalmsprings.com