If you’re going to book a stay in Palm Springs, do it at one of these luscious hotels

Hotels and Palm Springs go together like mountain views and citrus trees. Hotels are so ingrained in the culture and history of Coachella Valley cities that staying in one is part of the desert experience.

For nearly a century now, they’ve hosted health-seekers, Hollywood stars, industry giants, and Southern California vacationers. Many of the earliest properties in the area have been refreshed to meet today’s fascination with the Palm Springs area, and the historic midcentury modern properties are wearing their updates especially well.

But that’s not the only option: There are enchanting Spanish- and Moorish-style retreats among the sharp angles, too.

Below are some of the best hotels the region has to offer. Palm Springs is well represented on this list, but there are a couple stand-outs in the greater Coachella Valley that are among the best.

Jamie Kowal

Sparrow’s Lodge

Sparrow’s Lodge combines the best of a social Palm Springs experience and a relaxing retreat. Guests post up on the lounge chairs around the pool and share family-style meals under a gorgeous vine-covered trellis (a daily breakfast spread, Roast Chicken Wednesdays and Steak Saturdays). We get that some Palm Springs visitors want to be steeped in mid-mod 24/7, but the rustic Craftsman-meets-red barn style at Sparrow’s Lodge is a nice break from that.

You’ll still get desert minimalism, though. Massage and spa treatments—including sage smudging—take place in the cute little massage tent, and while there are no televisions or phones in the rooms, there are private patios and deep horse trough soaking tubs, so you can return to HGTV bingeing when you return to reality.

Nightly rate: $220 to $449 for a standard poolside room

No kids.

1330 East Palm Canyon Drive

A post shared by Korakia Pensione (@korakia) on Dec 21, 2017 at 2:46pm PST

Korakia Pensione

Many hotels in Palm Springs have the same look from the street: low stucco buildings, citrus trees, lots of shade. They’re all exceptional, but few magically transport you like Korakia Pensione does. The property is split by a street, with a Moorish-style villa on one side and a Mediterranean villa on the other.

Both are stunning, with fountains and saltwater pools, gorgeous landscaping and gardens, and little nooks to discover. It’s fancy, but cool. The New York Times called Korakia one of the sexiest hotels in the country—it’s not wrong.

Nightly rate: Check here for rates.

257 South Patencio Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Douglas Lyle Thompson

Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Hipster haters might roll their eyes at Ace Hotel, but as the saying goes: haters gonna hate… and miss out on one of the best stays. A weekend at the Ace can be an endurance-event party, if you want it to be. But during the week, it’s a sleek oasis, quietly humming with creative types, retreaters, and Monday night Bingo players. Even if you’re staying somewhere else, stop by for a diner delight at King’s Highway or a drink in the Amigo Room.

Nightly rate: Check here for rates.

701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Richard Hart

The Saguaro

Does The Saguaro’s rainbow exterior ever get old? Does it never not give off sunny, happy vacation-feels? Not for us. We could lay in one of those orange poolside loungers and stare at the rainbow rooms all weekend long. It’s also one of the best places to score mid-week deals in the high season. Also sort of underrated but very worth a visit: El Jefe, the Mexico City-inspired taqueria off the lobby.

Nightly rate: $150 to 249

1800 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Courtesy of L’Horizon Resort and Spa

L’Horizon Resort and Spa

L’Horizon is exclusive, chic, beautiful, and very Palm Springs. Architect William Cody designed the compound as a retreat for Hollywood A-lister Jack Wrather, who produced The Lone Ranger and Lassie and opened the Queen Mary and the Disneyland Hotel. Steve Hermann scooped up the property, polished it and reopened it in 2015. Even though it’s on a lively strip of Palm Canyon Drive, it’s probably one of the quietest and most pristine desert retreats on the planet.

Nightly rate: $230 to $1,605, excluding the Residence, which runs $3,000 to $5,000

No kids.

1050 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Courtesy of Del Marcos Hotel

Del Marcos Hotel

If you want to stay in a starchitect-designed hotel but your budget isn’t quite at L’Horizon level, stay at William Cody’s other hotel, the Del Marcos. It’s in the historic Tennis Club neighborhood, really in the heart of it all, and it has the right combination of updated and sleek mid-mod and hopelessly funky mid-mod.

It’s a no-frills retreat: small but comfortable, with well appointed rooms, a really nice pool, mountain views, and a short walk into town. For more frills, like spa treatments and a margarita, head next door to La Serena Villas, the Del Marcos’ sister property.

Nightly rate: Check here for rates.

225 West Baristo Road, Palm Springs

La Serena Villas

If the Del Marcos Hotel is the spunky vintage-shopping sister, La Serena Villas is the sorta-preppy-but-kinda-earthy and perfectly curated sister. It’s still a historic property, built in 1933, but it reopened in 2016. Each of the hotels’ 18 villas has a private patio and fire pit and a clawfoot tub. The rooftop bar is also a highlight—it’s a great spot to soak in the mountain views.

Nightly rate: Check here for rates.

339 South Belardo Road, Palm Springs

Courtesy of Avalon Hotels

Avalon Hotel

Amid the Tennis Club neighborhood’s tiny and trendy hotels, the Avalon Hotel and Bungalows is a nice Hollywood Regency palate cleanser. Do those exist? They do here, with super cozy and private bungalows around pristine hedges and perfectly green lawns, drought be damned. The rooms of black and white, with mirrored accents and pops of color, will satisfy even the biggest Golden Age nostalgic.

Nightly rate: $199 to $1,279

415 South Belardo Road, Palm Springs

Arrive Hotel

Courtesy of Arrive Hotel

Driving into Palm Springs on the 111 used to be kind of a snoozefest from the Aerial Tramway until you reached town. Now there’s the appropriately named newcomer Arrive: an industrial-chic hotel with two superior restaurants and a coffee shop right on site.

The deli Wexler’s (of LA’s Grand Central Market fame) draws locals and guests for lunch, and even if you’re not a guest, you can lounge by the pool during lunch as if you were one. Like many Palm Springs hotels, the pool is the center of Arrive’s universe. There’s a calendar full of parties, poolside yoga sessions and craft markets to fill a short stay. At the very least, stop for a scoop of date ice cream or avocado ice cream (in a pretzel cone: do it) at Ice Cream & Shop(pe) on your way out of town.

Nightly rate: $199 to $389

1551 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Dan Chavkin

Orbit In

Is it a pun, or a spelling mistake? It doesn’t matter. The Orbit In is one of the most fun places to stay in Palm Springs, because it does midcentury modern kitsch right. There are record players and a vinyl collection in every room, a free “Orbitini” at happy hour, a nice saltwater pool, and a seat for you at the Boomerang bar. It’s like staying at your hip grandparents house, but way cooler.

Nightly rate: $139 to $269

562 West Arenas Road, Palm Springs

La Quinta Resort & Club

Palm Springs has gotten so… hip, you know? La Quinta Resort & Club is where you should go if you’re over everyone and their dreams of desert Insta-fame. The resort has all the trappings of a gorgeous desert resort—little villas and pools everywhere, mountain views, perfect landscaping, Hollywood history—and all of the peace and quiet (and luxe spa treatments, golf and tennis courts) that a trendy Palm Springs hotel just doesn’t have.

Nightly rate: Check here for rates.

49499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

So many hotels in the Palm Springs area have you staring up into the mountains, but at the Ritz, you’ll be looking down into the Coachella Valley from a poolside perch. It’s an especially lovely view in the winter when there’s snow in the mountains. The Ritz-Carlton is a luxurious resort with restaurants, pools, a spa, and access to golf courses in the area. True, it’s a more traditional resort than others on this list, but it’s also close to hiking trails and some of the best vintage shopping in Cathedral City.

Nightly rate: $189 to $999

68900 Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage

Courtesy of The Lautner Compound

The Lautner Compound

This cluster of four John Lautner homes is one part resort, one part vacation rental in nearby Desert Hot Springs. There’s no restaurant or bar on-site—just everything you need for a relaxing weekend in the desert, plus tons of style. With plenty of open space on the property, the Lautner Compound is also used as an event space. With a standard rate starting at $245 year-round, though, spending a few nights immersed in the famous LA architect’s designs is a steal for a modernism aficionado.

Nightly rate: $245 to $295

67710 San Antonio Street, Desert Hot Springs

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