Greater Palm Springs is an oasis of nine district cities: Palm Springs, Coachella, La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and Indio. Due to its close proximity to LA (a mere 2.5 hours drive) and its warmer weather, it’s the go-to location for celebs and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of LA for a cheeky weekend away.
Home to the Palm Springs International Film Festival and of course the super famous Coachella Festival we couldn’t wait to see what this awesome city had to offer!
The drive is gorgeous, as we neared the Palm Springs exit I was totally taken aback by the landscape, the temperatures had climbed to over 40 degrees, yet the mountain ranges adorned crowns of snow and were surrounded by baron desert. Huge white wind turbines are dotted through out the horizon, waving their arms welcoming you — it truly was magic.
We were super excited to spend some time in Palm Springs to enjoy the chilled culture after the fast pace of LA life, we couldn’t wait to see the world renowned architecture and, of course, enjoy some time lazing by the pool.
V Palm Springs
Once a motel, this hotel has undergone a huge $15m renovation just in time to welcome the Coachella crowds — and us, of course.
Most of the rooms overlook the huge pool area, which includes a poolside bar, day beds and lounge chairs. The service was impeccable and the food from the bar was delicious. Make sure you get them to mix you up a mojito and dine on the steak skewers — they were so good!
My room was gorgeous; it was remodelled with high-end fixtures, super modern touches and the inclusion of a desk was a great addition for a workaholic like myself. I also loved the ornaments and trinkets that decorated the room, which I was told paid homage to the local Cahuilla Indians. I spent the mornings, tea in hand, swinging on my egg chair on my little balcony, staring up and the San Jacinto Mountains — the backdrop of this super cute boutique Hotel.
The Parker Palm Springs
If you’re looking to live it up in utter luxury while in Palm Springs then this is the hotel for you. I have stayed in some pretty amazing hotels before, but the Parker was something else! Set on 13 hectares and featuring décor by Jonathan Adler, this hotel really does have to be seen to be believed.
The rooms are broken into three different categories: Estate, which are the basic standard for the estate, Patio which, as the name suggests, include a patio of your room to relax and enjoy a cocktail or two and finally Lanai, which allow you to be poolside with your own lounge chairs and loads of privacy. Should your budget permit you can hire the entire Gene Autry residence which is a private 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom residence with an enclosed balcony, dining room, living room, terrace and kitchen. Some of the worlds biggest stars have stayed here and it’s not hard to see why!
Take some time out to dine at the restaurant — while there is a $4,000 omelette on the menu (I’m not joking), there is also a delicious menu of cult favourites for you to sink your teeth into. The grounds also have a tennis court, two outdoor saline pools and an indoor “adults only” pool which you can escape to if the temperatures get to hot.
The Spa is home to the “Palm Springs Yacht Club” and has a nail salon and indoor pool set to make you feel like you’re relaxing in a Moroccan wonderland. There are so many different areas to discover and relax in, a notable mention is the fresh lemonade cabana which you can grab a cool drink from while exploring the vast estate.
Sunset Tour Of San Andreas Fault
We jumped into a 4WD jeep and headed off to tour the San Andreas Fault with Desert Adventures Eco-Tours & Events. I had just read an article that said the Southern Californian section of the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll” so I was a little nervous! Luckily, I’m still here to tell the tale.
We drove through the twisted and tortured landscape, then jumped out of the jeep and walked between the walls of the cannons that nature created with the powerful forces of plate tectonics and time. I think the highlight though was the natural palm oasis where we spotted a rattle snake (only because it started rattling at me), and I saw my first Coyote right up close! The drive home was also spectacular from the open air Jeep, the sunset was one of the best I have ever experienced in my life.
Architecture Tour with Modern Tours
WE WENT TO THE HOUSE ELVIS SPENT HIS HONEYMOON IN!
I’m sorry for the capitals, but I did not see this one coming… We drove around the streets of Palm Springs with our guide who told us us that Palm Springs was one of world’s largest and best-preserved concentrations of modernist architecture. We went to an open home, stuck our heads in the front yard of Frank Sinatra’s home, stalked Leo Dicaprio’s front yard for a while and then headed to the home that Elvis and Lisa Marie stayed in during their first night of marital bliss. It was AWESOME! For anyone with an interest in art, design, history or even just celebrities, this is a must do on your travel list!
There is so much more to Palm Springs than you could ever imagine, the city is bursting with amazing restaurants, bars and accommodation that is out of this world. Do yourself a favour, go to Coachella and extend your stay to experience the chic old Hollywood feel of Palm Springs.