A Desert Oasis in the Heart of Southern California
Beautiful Palm Springs is a desert resort city located within the Colorado Desert’s Coachella Valley in Southern California.
The city covers approximately 94 square miles and is around 100 miles from my home in Los Angeles. Known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses, and spas, Palm Springs is also noted for its many fine examples of mid century-modern architecture, design elements, arts, cultural scene, and recreational activities.
Hollywood’s Playground to the Stars
The city quickly became popular with movie stars in the 1930s and was coined “Hollywood’s Playground of the Stars”
Within a 2-hour drive east of the Hollywood studios in LA, Palm Springs beckoned Hollywood’s elite with reliably warm weather and cinematic desert expanses framed by the San Jacinto Mountains. Celebrities, prominent business leaders, and the famed could escape the spotlight and sip cocktails by the pool. Architectural modernists flourished with commissions from the stars, using the city to explore architectural innovations, new artistic venues, and exotic back-to-the-land experiences. Numbers of popular films and series have been created in this desert oasis. Some of your favorite scenes from retros like I Love Lucy and Less than Zero to current blockbusters like Mission Impossible and Ocean 11 have been shot on location in Palm Springs.
Today the city has over 130 hotels and resorts, numerous bed and breakfasts, and over 100 restaurants and dining spots. Events such as Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals in nearby Indio attract a younger crowd.
Conde Nast Traveller recently quoted:
“Palm Springs youthful renaissance continues with a series of pool parties for the summer. Nothing perhaps encapsulates its new-found energy more than the succession of pool parties planned in the summer weeks, which will see thousands of Los Angelinos pack a (very light) bag, jump in a car, pump up the stereo and take a two-hour drive into the desert.”
A Touch of Old Hollywood Glamour
On the hunt for a local (but new) staycation destination, my beau and I decided to hit the road and take the trip making it to downtown Palm Springs in a record 1 hour 45 minutes.
There were no pool parties in sight, but our weekend was engulfed in luxury and relaxation in what sometimes felt like a scene out of a glamorous 70’s mini-series. Our hotel of choice Holiday House, an adult-only 28 room boutique hotel that featured mid century-inspired elements combined with a communal atmosphere and whimsical edge was a perfect complement to my Capricious ways. The grounds were immaculate. Clean, secure, and quiet, with an ever-present hint of coolness.
During our stay we frequented the delicious complimentary continental breakfast each morning: The fresh taste of bagels with lox and cream cheese, oatmeal, granola, and eggs got us on our way with our day. The service and dining options for dinner were A+, featuring a Chef’s Special for dinner daily. This property is all about the details: from the service to the decor to the personal touches in each room to make them all one of a kind; the entire experience is one that exceeded our expectations. When it first opened, the Holiday House was billed as the newest “luxury hotel” in Palm Springs and catered to what they referred to as “exclusive select clientele”. Today this still rings true for all guests that have the pleasure of staying here.
A Birthday to Remember
Add a bit of adventure with a Hot Air Balloon ride over the valley, perfect 75-degree weather (in early January) for poolside cocktails and evening walks, and yummy food selections from the amazing local restaurants – and you have a recipe for a successful birthday weekend in the desert.
A mix of the charming, iconic, and modern, Palm Springs is the perfect quick weekend getaway. Looking for your own unique experience? Check out AirBnB Experiences for Palm Springs desert fun. If you want more ideas for local poolside relaxation, read our recent article Staycation At The Hollywood Roosevelt.