Palm Springs may get a lot of buzz around this time thanks to Coachella, but the desert getaway is actually the perfect year-round destination for a warm-weather escape. That’s been proven for about a century, since the Hollywood stars of the 1920s started making the location their vacation spot of choice. The proximity to Los Angeles, its consistent sunshine, and breathtaking beauty are undoubtedly behind its continued success — and just a few of the many reasons it’s worth stealing away to this summer (and beyond). Just be sure to check into one of the most luxe resorts to really get the full Palm Springs treatment.
Of course, you can experience the city in many different ways — but few will give you that glamorous, nostalgic feel like a luxurious hotel. That’s because the best properties just do things right; they combine interesting architecture (often mid-century) with endless drinks, happening pool scenes, and colorful decor that make them feel straight out of that one episode of Mad Men. To top things off, they provide a true escape, whether that’s through a wealth of spa offerings, spacious villas, indulgent amenities, or all of the above and more.
At this point, it’s unlikely you need convincing to book one of these opulent Palm Springs stays; rather, you’re probably just trying to decide on the best one. To help you choose, continue on for five of the resorts you shouldn’t miss and why they’re worth your money.
With interiors by Jonathan Adler, three pools, onsite activities like tennis and croquet (“Our staff is available to settle disputes, provide copies of the official rules, and offer additional libations,” its website cheekily states), The Parker is kind of the ultimate Palm Springs experience. It puts fun into luxury, with details like bright, decadent decor, an eclectic collection of designer amenities, and what it calls the “world’s smallest restaurant” — aka a table for two by the Gene Autry Pool. For a truly over-the-top experience, book a villa, which includes a private hedgerow-enclosed patio and, if available, a complimentary poolside cabana.
You can always count on The Ritz-Carlton to bring unparalleled luxury, and Rancho Mirage is no exception. The hotel, which is situated above Coachella Valley, is huge — it has 244 guest rooms, two pools, a luxury spa, a fitness center, upscale dining, and more. In fact, guests staying here really never have to leave. And they may not want to, given the expansive desert views, abundance of seasonal California cuisine, and general tranquility of the resort.
A short distance from downtown Palm Springs, L’Horizon Resort and Spa is an adults-only luxury resort that aims to bring back the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. It was originally built in the 1950s (and then acted as a hotspot for Hollywood’s elite and U.S. presidents), but has since been restored by interior designer Steve Hermann. His touch is evident throughout the mid-century property, from the ultra-sleek pool to the manicured grounds to the 25 luxurious bungalows. But it’s not just the quiet beauty of the hotel that will impress you; every detail is considered, including the Le Labo amenities and the sumptuous Frette sheets.
Not big on large, corporate-feeling resorts? Korakia provides a totally opposite experience. Often referred to as downright “sexy,” this restored, Mediterranean-style hotel delivers serious romance. Much of that comes from its architecture, which is said to blend “the charm of Southern Europe with North African accents.” But that can also be attributed to the pools with views of the San Jacinto Mountains, the Moroccan tea service in the afternoons, and the nightly turn-downs done in the European tradition, plus more of the details and practices that make this place a perennial favorite of those looking to escape.
If you know anything about Palm Springs, La Quinta Resort & Club is probably the first place that comes to mind when you think luxury hotels. (And that’s not just because it’s made an appearance on ABC’s The Bachelorette). The massive resort (in total, it has nearly 800 guest rooms) has been a celebrity stomping ground for decades, playing host to icons like Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, and Clark Gable. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s known as an oasis in the desert, with 41 pools (!!!), a salon and spa, multiple golf courses, and three restaurants, not to mention the countless other amenities on its sprawling complex.