Cool and fun Palm springs

Top 15 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. It’s colourful 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 kookily cool place here are my favourite quirky, hip and just downright fun hotels in Palm Springs…

Palm Springs Rendezvous – retro themed fun

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 centre. 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!

Ace Hotel and Swim Club – stylish retro beauty

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!

‪La Serena Villas – Hispanic inspired luxury

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 sunbath 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.

  • Prices from ¢150 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for La Serena Villas

Desert Star – a colourful modernist wonder

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.

The Monkey Tree Hotel – gorgeous retro/modern boutique

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…

The Palm Springs Hotel – film themed swish boutique

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 centre, museums, bars, nightclubs and plenty of restaurants.

The Saguaro – colourful, kitsch and fun

Arguably the most Instagrammable hotel in Palm Springs, this brightly coloured 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 travellers and have amples 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 24 gym, bike rentals, a spa and even yoga sessions. Just fabulously cool and funky all round really!

  • Prices from $80 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Saguaro

The Three Fifty Hotel – cool, bright and intimate

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 in 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.

Sparrow’s Lodge – rustic/retro luxury haven

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 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 TV’s 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!

  • Prices from $150 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Sparrow’s Lodge

Triada Hotel – Stylish Spanish Colonial

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!

  • Prices from $100 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Triada Hotel

Movie Colony Hotel – striking modernist gem

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 properties 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!

  • Prices from $110 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Movie Colony Hotel

The Parker – hip, stylish and luxurious resort

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 coloured and are furnished with large four-poster beds, sisal carpets and colourful 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 favourite with local celebrities and the fashion crowd, book here if you want to see and be seen!

  • Prices from £180 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Parker Resort

Desert Riviera Palm Springs – swish garden resort

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.

  • Prices from $180 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Desert Riveria

Korakia Resort – elegant and romantic hideaway

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!

  • Prices from $180 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Korakia Pensione

Avalon Hotel – immaculate retro/chic boutique

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. Revitalise 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, 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!

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in 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 over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi 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 all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


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    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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