Cool and fun Palm springs

Top 20 cool and unusual hotels in Palm Springs 2021

A true oasis in the midst of a long hot sprawling desert, Palm Springs has had a long history of attracting the Hollywood elite from major film directors to starlets looking for fun, relaxation respite from all the Los Angeles city hassles. The principal city of the famous Coachella Valley in California, the opulent resort city is surrounded by Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave Desert, and Death Valley. Known for its spas, its sublime restaurants, bars and boutiques, and more than a healthy dose of fifties stylish kitsch, Palm Springs is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Its colorful history and celebrity magnet status also ensures that its large collection of low-rise hotels are utterly unique, from my own time spent in this cool place here are my favorite trendy, unique, and downright fun hotels in Palm Springs (in no particular order)…

1. The Saguaro – a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel to stay in Palm Springs

The Saguaro Hotel

Room in Saguaro Hotel

Arguably the most Instagrammable hotel in Palm Springs, this brightly colored Californian gem of a hotel is located just three miles from downtown Palm Springs. With large, social communal areas, one of the largest pools in Palm Springs, and two whirlpool hot tubs, The Saguaro is a great place to meet fellow travelers and have tonnes of fun.

The decor is handcrafted Mexican, with superb mountain views and a young hip vibe throughout, the rooms are comfortable and quirky, and the trendy Palm Springs hotel also has its own private onsite spa. The clientele come here to party and the hotel hosts DJ party nights at weekends. The El Jefe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is famous for its legendary tacos and burgers, plus its very own extensive tequila bar. Other hotel highlights include a 24-hour gym, bike rentals, a spa, and even yoga sessions. Just fabulously cool and funky all around really!

2. Ace Hotel and Swim Club – easily one of coolest hotels to stay in Palm Springs

Ace Hotel and Swim Club inside

Ace Hotel And Swim Club

pool side in Ace Hotel

A hidden treasure in downtown Palm Springs, the exceptionally rated and much-loved Ace Hotel and Swim Club is a seriously lush and trendy spa resort close to the Joshua Tree National Park, Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and masses of hip vintage boutiques and cool bars, and swanky restaurants. An arty haven for the hip, you can enjoy a laid-back massage or treatment at their ‘Feel Good Spa’, sip on cocktails at their lively bar or just chill out around one of their two pools.

The interior has been designed with mid-century simplicity in mind and has plenty of super-cute retro touches to add to the vintage Americana vibe that this hip Palm Springs hotel is so proud of. Feeling hungry? Enjoy traditional American fare in the Kings Highway Diner, or grab a cocktail or artisanal beer from The Amigo Room. Perfect for any road trip or relaxing holiday, the gorgeous Ace Hotel is a taste of days gone by with a delicious modern twist!

3. ‪La Serena Villas – Spanish inspired luxury

La Serena Villas

La Serena Villas Bathroom

Set in beautiful gardens, this elegant, historic, and exceptionally rated hotel in downtown Palm Springs, is within walking distance of the famous Palm Canyon Drive, with its fancy restaurants, upmarket boutiques, and galleries. Carefully designed throughout, every single part of this very impressive and very chic Palm Springs hotel has been handpicked by interior designers to create a picture-perfect, Hispanic-inspired luxury hotel.

Each of the secluded private villas at La Serena Villas sits against the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains and offers a private patio with romantic claw foot bathtubs and fire pits. Opt for an upgrade and find yourself with ultra-lush amenities like plunge pools, living areas, kitchens, 4-poster beds, and even a front porch with a swing – aw!  Relax at the onsite Whispers Spa, dine on fine cuisine at the Azucar restaurant, or just sunbathe by the retro-cool outdoor pool. If you are feeling more bohemian, sit back with a beer at the Sugar High rooftop bar and take in the amazing scenery laid out before you.

4. Desert Star – a colorful mid-century modern hotel

Desert Star Hotel Room

Desert Star Hotel

Designed in the 1950s by modernist architect Howard Lapham, Desert Star is a low-key affair made up of five studio apartments situated around a heated swimming pool. With subtle reminders of its mid-century heritage to be found throughout, including Formica kitchens and retro-chic furnishings, Desert Star offers tranquil, adult-only accommodation.

In keeping with its relaxing vibe, there is no bar or restaurant on site but there are plenty of amazing views of the mountains behind, coffee-making facilities in every room, and free WiFi. Desert Star offers visitors the chance to exhale and unwind in this extraordinary piece of mid-century modern history.

5. Palm Springs Rendezvous – a small and fun retro-themed hotel

Palm Springs Rendezvous Hotel Room

Palm Springs Rendezvous, pink Hotel Room

Palm Springs Rendezvous Hotel

I absolutely loved the Palm Springs Rendezvous! This fab and funky fifties-styled retro boutique bed and breakfast is a little piece of history in Uptown Palm Springs. Originally built in the 1930s, the very cool Palm Springs accommodation features a traditional Bermuda-style roof and an astroturfed courtyard with a pool (adorned with fun inflatables of course) at the center. Once known as the Mira Loma hotel is was once a hideaway for seriously famous guests as Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, and Gloria Swanson.

These days, you can relax around the pool at this exceptionally rated Palm Springs gem and feel like a movie star yourself as you enjoy any one of the ten individually themed bedrooms that lead out onto the pool and offer air conditioning, retro decor, and vintage furnishings throughout. Choose from the uber-pink Marilyn Monroe suite, the toe-tapping John Wayne room, the list goes on…There is even a communal hot tub and a fire pit for guests to enjoy, a sociable complimentary cocktail hour as well as free WiFi in all the rooms. Fun, kitsch, and just wonderful!

6. The Monkey Tree Hotel – a gorgeous retro/modern Palm Springs boutique hotel

The Monkey Tree Hotel Room

The Monkey Tree Hotel

The exceptionally rated Monkey Tree Hotel is a beautiful example of 1960s California, both inside and out. Nestled against the backdrop of the stunning San Jacinto mountains in a quiet, laid-back area, this bright and funky Palm Springs hotel is deliciously retro, without being pretentious. Built by the renowned modernist architect Albert Frey, the boutique hotel has been fully refurbished in recent years to provide cool, calm, and cleverly crafted interiors.

The private courtyard with a saltwater swimming pool is the heart of the trendy Palm Springs abode, and visitors can spend all day soaking up the sun in this picture-perfect Palm Springs accommodation. Alternatively, take five in the Swedish Spa facility offering a sauna and a hot tub. They also offer all-inclusive services. The Monkey Tree is everything you ever thought Palm Springs would be, and so much more…

7. The Palm Springs Hotel – a film-themed chic boutique Palm Springs

The Palm Springs Hotel Room

The Palm Springs Hotel

Set in the trendy Uptown Design District, this contemporary Palm Springs hotel with a retro twist sells itself as the ultimate Palm Springs boutique experience. The exceptionally rated hip abode combines bold interiors with modernist architecture – a fancy film-starred themed desert oasis! Cleverly combining mid-century chic with new century convenience, the Palm Springs Hotel offers Apple TV, Widescreen televisions, and a sound dock in every room.

In keeping with the Californian way, all rooms are located around the pool, there’s a hot tub of course and the hotel prides itself on its tailor-made art and custom curated interior styling. Situated in the very heart of Palm Springs, on the famous Palm Canyon Drive, visitors are within easy reach of the visitor’s center, museums, bars, nightclubs, and plenty of restaurants.

8. The Three Fifty Hotel – a cool, hip, and intimate Palm Springs hotel

The Three Fifty Hotel Room

The Three Fifty Hotel

Enjoying a near-perfect rating on Google, this retro-contemporary gem of a Palm Springs hotel was built in the 1950s by famed architect Herbert W. Burns, this mid-century modern boutique property is located right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs amongst all the hip goings-on. Located on the grounds of the historic Tennis Club, this intimate ten-room boutique hotel offers contemporary interiors, heavy with white walls and linens with a touch of green and black thrown in for good measure.

All rooms at The Three Fifty Hotel have poolside access, and just beyond is the stunning San Jacinto Mountain range so gorgeous mountain views are guaranteed. All rooms cater for adult guests only, and as well as a cool outdoor pool and a hot tub this unique Palm Springs hotel is within easy reach of the very best restaurants, shops, hiking trails, and museums the area has to offer.

9. Sparrow’s Lodge – a cute rustic/retro upscale Palm Springs hotel

Sparrow’s Lodge, Outside View

Sparrow’s Lodge, Inside View

Originally built by MGM actor Don Castle in 1952, this beautiful exceptionally rated 4-star red barn hideaway is chock full of rustic charm. A simple hand-painted sign welcomes you to this unique Palm Springs abode that offers a communal barn, an outdoor fire pit, and a vegetable garden as well as a large collection of fine art. All of the bedrooms at the adult’s only Sparrow’s Lodge will make you feel like you are living in your very own Western adventure with russet red walls, concrete floors, and butterfly chairs as well as horse troughs used as bathtubs – cute!

In keeping with the laid-back vibe of the lodge, there are no TVs to be found in the bedrooms, but there are intimate outdoor areas perfect for enjoying the ever-changing scenery in front of you. The Barn Kitchen Bar and Restaurant stocks cold beers and perfectly cooked steaks all year round. Situated in South Palm Springs, Sparrow Lodge is within easy reach of both downtown Palms Springs and The Joshua Tree National Park, although you probably won’t want to leave!

10. Triada Hotel – upscale Spanish Colonial style hotel

Triada Hotel Room

Triada Hotel

Oozing with old-style Hollywood charm mixed with a Spanish Colonial-style, this enchanting and chic 4-star Palm Springs hotel offers glamour and style by the bucket load. Located in downtown Palm Springs you can stay and play in the same hallowed ground that was once enjoyed by the movie elite during the golden age of Hollywood. The bedrooms at the exceptionally rated Triada Hotel (part of the prestigious Autograph Collection) are an eclectic mix of sleek new furnishings and vintage pieces, framed with unusual artwork and organic accessories.

You can enjoy locally sourced fresh food at the Iluminara restaurant, or sip cocktails around the pool bar during your stay. Also offering a gym, yoga classes, a hot tub, and two outdoor pools, the hip boutique hotel offers an enticing blend of relaxation and indulgence, in this fabulous enclave of nostalgia, surrounded by the majestic San Jacinto Mountains! Perfection!

11. Movie Colony Hotel – a striking mid century modernist gem

Movie Colony Hotel Room

Movie Colony Hotel

Housed in a striking modernist building dating from 1935 in DownTown Palm Springs and offering the perfect South Beach vibe, this Modernist gem of a hotel offers old-style Hollywood glamour in the heart of the Design District. Surrounded by art galleries, museums, eateries, and fashionable boutiques, this is a perfect example of why Palm Springs is one of California’s best-loved cities.

The interior of the highly-rated Movie Colony Hotel fully embraces the property’s 1930s roots and boasts travertine bars with stainless steel refrigerators, seagrass carpets, and elegant plantation shutters combined with all mod cons such as WiFi, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs. Most rooms have their own private terraces and all of them have easy access to the stunning outdoor pool and jacuzzi. Evening wine served around a fire pit and some of the upgraded rooms seriously have to be seen to be believed! You’ll be sure to find your inner-film star with a stay at this retro-chic Palm Springs hotel!

12. The Parker – hip, stylish and upscale resort

The Parker Resort

The Parker Resort, outside view

Pop-art paintings and lush green gardens marry together perfectly to transform this hip and happening hotel into one of the most revered and sought after in Palm Springs. Set on a 13-acre complex and completely hidden away from the main road, this exceptionally rated 4-star hotel is a popular base for festival-goers heading off to Coachella, a mere 30-minute drive away.

The interiors at this upscale hip and unique Palm Springs stay have been designed by Jonathan Adler, and offer a luxe, yet retro-modern look throughout. The upscale bedrooms at The Parker are brightly colored and are furnished with large four-poster beds, sisal carpets, and colorful wall hangings some have private patios, entrances, and kitchens. Other gorgeous highlights include a drinks lounge, a diner, bistro, no less than three pools, a spa, a 24-hour gym, and even lawn games and a ballroom – phew! A favorite with local celebrities and the fashion crowd, book here if you want to see and be seen!

13. Desert Riviera Palm Springs – one of the hippest hotels in Palm Springs

Desert Riviera Palm Springs Hotel Room

Desert Riviera Palm Springs Hotel

An exceptionally rated stunning garden resort in the heart of the Coachella Valley, the Desert Riviera maintains its mid-century appearance, whilst offering sleek and modern interiors. Famous for its landscaped gardens with towering palm trees and gorgeous flowers, this little piece of paradise is tucked away in the foothills of the Jacinto Mountains.

This romantic setting comes complete with a heated outdoor pool, BBQ grills, candles, and soft music as well as more modern conveniences like retro bicycle hire, free WiFi and a 24-hour coffee service in the atrium. Take a break with your significant other at this very cool Palm Springs hotel.

14. Korakia Resort – an elegant Palm Springs boutique

Korakia Resort Room

Korakia Resort

Housed in a historic and elegantly resorted 1924 romantic villa, The Korakia Pensione promises to offer unique accommodation unlike any other in Palm Springs. This very cool and unusual relaxing getaway destination is full of Moroccan and Mediterranean charm and is the perfect place to enjoy yoga around the outdoor pool, or locally sourced and made Moroccan soul food. With a library full of vintage books and a massage therapist on hand to ease away aches and pains, the Korakia will make you feel alive again.

The rooms and suites at this beautiful Palm Springs abode are simply stunning with wood or stone floors, ultra-stylish decor mixed with antique finds. Upgraded rooms come with have gorgeous four-poster beds, kitchens, and balconies or terraces and all come with modern amenities. Watch vintage movies on the outdoor screen, or sit back and enjoy authentic Moroccan tea as you soak up the soft Californian sun in this inspirational retreat hotel located in the heart of Palm Springs!

15. L’Horizon Resort and Spa – a gorgeous small hotel in Palm Springs

Chic boutique in Palm Sprigs

Cool hotels in Palm Springs

Modern hotel in Palm Springs

If you’re looking for the height of luxury, look no further than L’Horizon, Palm Springs’ top boutique hotel with oodles of Hollywood history and glamour. Built in 1952 and designed by world-renowned architect to the stars William F. Cody, L’Horizon has hosted timeless icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.

This is an all-bungalow boutique hotel with only 25 units available, making it a highly exclusive and intimate experience. Each bungalow features oversized marble baths and showers, high-end antique furnishings, 600-thread-count linens, and several other luxurious amenities. All of the bungalows have sweeping views, and some have exposed brick walls or beam ceilings. The suite bungalows also feature amazing details such as motorized curtains, private outdoor showers, and direct access to the beautiful pool. For the ultimate luxurious experience, try The Residence, the former home of Jack Wrather.

16. Avalon Hotel – a fancy retro/chic boutique

Avalon Hotel

Avalon Hotel Room

A classy, chic, and contemporary 4-star and highly rated boutique resort situated at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains, The Avalon Hotel focuses on health and well-being better than anywhere else in Palm Springs. Revitalize your soul with a stay in its stunning pure white rooms accented with black gingham and yellows (and all mod cons such as Wi-Fi, flat-screens, Bluetooth speakers, and lush Italian linens), as you learn about the trendy hotels very own Hollywood history.

Enjoy a choice of suites with either a private patio or balcony, a second bathroom, a full kitchen, and gorgeous fireplaces. During your stay take advantage of the hotel’s three outdoor pools, two jacuzzis, the gym, and the Estrella Spa offering his ‘n’ her therapies, massages, facials, and couples’ treatments. Complete relaxation awaits you…especially at their wonderful garden cabanas framed by a perfect mountain view backdrop – pure bliss!

17. The Weekend – a fabulous modern retreat

Boutique hotel in Palm Springs

Trendy hotel in Palm Springs

Retro modern hotel in Palm Springs

Evocative of the quintessential style of Palm Springs, mid-century modern, The Weekend Palm Springs is one of many boutique hotels in Palm Springs, but this one is located in the coveted Old Las Palmas neighborhood. Its recent renovation has helped make it one of the most exclusive hotels in the city, situated in this quiet yet posh residential region.

The Weekend welcomes families, but it maintains an adult atmosphere, and children are not allowed in the classic courtyard pool, where you may find the door to your adorable room. Fancy yourself among the Hollywood elite of the 1960s as you return from a day of shopping to your room, which travelers and reviewers alike rave is a perfect balance of style and comfort.

18. Kimpton Rowan – a hip, cool and trendy Palm Springs hotel

Instagrammable hotel Palm Springs

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel

Photogenic hotel Palm Springs

If the characteristic mid-century modern design of Palm Springs isn’t quite your thing, the chic, sleek, and modern Kimpton Rowan is still among the cool hotels in Palm Springs. This 153-room hotel brings the calming, earthy ambiance of the desert into its design, which features several stunning vistas from locations inside and out.

Truly an outdoors enthusiast’s dream, this hotel connects to trails and paths throughout the surrounding California desert. More traditional attractions such as shops and restaurants are just minutes away as well. Or remain close to your home-away-from-home at the rooftop pool and nearby golf courses.

19. Arrive Hotel – a beautiful design hotel in Palm Springs with a youthful vibe

Trendy modern hotel Palm Springs

Fun hotel in Palm Springs

Millennial hotel in Palm Springs

This adults-only boutique hotel with only 32 guest rooms provides an intimate, friendly experience that emphasizes the great outdoors. With breathtaking mountain views, the relaxing pool and the quiet firepits allow guests to unwind while enjoying delicious cocktails, coffee, or homemade plant-based ice cream. Or check out bicycles and utilize the many paths to which the Arrive Hotel is connected.

Arrive has great proximity to the best that Palm Springs has to offer. Shops, restaurants, bars and lounges, and other unique businesses are just minutes away. In addition, the knowledgeable and friendly staff is happy to help you find the right venue for your day or evening adventures.

20. Dive Palm Springs – a small luxury boutique Palm Springs hotel

Small hotel in Palm Springs

Small boutique hotel in Palm Springs

Cool hotel in Palm Springs

This tiny, adorable boutique Palm Springs hotel has only 11 rooms. By far that is the smallest on this list, and this delivers an amazingly intimate and personalized experience. Inspired by 1960s French Riviera, The Dive Hotel is like stepping back in time, or as Travel and Leisure described it, “1960’s St. Tropez without getting on a plane.” Enjoy the daybeds and cocktails by the pool under shady palm trees or walk to nearby restaurants and lounges.

Everywhere you turn at Dive, you’ll find a comfortable and stylish place to lounge, which is the atmosphere they’re trying to achieve. With top names contributing to almost every area, including aperitifs concocted by Pernod Ricard and furniture by Serena and Lily, you’re literally surrounded by and covered in luxury from the moment you walk in the door.

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a special fondness for Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland.


  • Bernie & Jess

    23 May, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Some of these places look like they are straight out of a mad men episode. Palm Springs is on our list for a visit in the next 12 months–definitely bookmarking this page. Thanks for the tips!


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