Regular readers of the blog will know about my love affair with Palm Springs. It started back in 2008, when we went on a little Californian road trip. The holiday began brilliantly: San Fran, Route 1, LA; the usual pilgrimage for Brits. But when we got to Palm Springs, our pules started racing and our palms began to sweat.. Here was a world we had only imagined. Nowhere in sight were the grey, dreary ration fashions of post-war British architecture. Instead there were expanses of shiny glass, outdoor boomerang bars, swimming pools, sunshine. We checked in, swapped our dusty travel clothes for swimsuits, and swiftly cancelled the rest of our Californian plans.
The Orbit In & Hideaway play a big role in this little romance. If you love mid century modern, it’s your mecca. Nine impeccably designed rooms face around a pool at the foot of the desert mountains. You come and go as you please, keep to yourself or mingle with fellow guests. Thanks to jet lag, we always crash at ten and rise at 6 to watch the sunrise on the mountains. After a morning in the pool, we might borrow one of the hotel’s bikes and take a ride into town. Or escape the midday heat by seeing a movie or visiting Elvis’ Honeymoon Hideaway. There is always something to do.
The Ace up the road caters to the party animal or kids that have never grown up. Personally, we outgrew the all-night raves a few years back and prefer the chilled vibe of the Orbit. Whereas at The Ace you get served by louche waiters wearing Ray Bans, here you are known by name. One night we bumped into one of the hotel managers in a pizza restaurant. After he left, our server said he had left a twenty behind the bar to buy us cocktails. Now I ask you, does it get any better than that? (Thank you, Bill.)
2012 was our third visit (2008, 2010 & Pt 2, 2012 & in b&w), and thanks to our new addition, most likely our last for a while. It’s a regular topic of conversation for us though, and whenever the English weather gets a little too miserable, we take a scroll back through our Instagram feeds and remember that just a few years into our future, we will get to go back.
Photographed on film