The Angeleno’s Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs

Everything you need for a perfect trip to the desert

Palm Springs is always a good idea–but especially this time of year. Whether you’re thinking about traveling for Coachella, Stagecoach, or other fests, or just planning a weekend getaway from L.A., there’s always something new and notable. Here’s our guide to the best bets and recent arrivals in the desert.

Where to Stay

Villa Royale: This brand-new property mixes Mediterranean style with mid-century touches. The hotel is owned by Oregon-based Provenance Hotels and Lightning Bar Collective, and you’ll find one of P.S.’s best new cocktail dens inside. 1620 S. Indian Trail, Palm Springs.

The Amado: In between a hotel and an Airbnb house rental, you’ll find the Amado. The property has just six rooms, which can be rented individually or bought-out for big groups. The adorable retro building dates to 1955; rooms feature private kitchens, dining areas, and other spacious accommodations. 1821 E. Amado Rd., Palm Springs.

Holiday House: A charming boutique hotel of 28 rooms, Holiday House is decked out in fun blue-and-white patterned everything. Rooms feature private outdoor showers, balconies, and even make-your-own cocktail carts. The entire hotel is adults-only, so your restful poolside hang won’t be interrupted by screaming kiddos. 200 W. Arenas Rd., Palm Springs.

La Quinta Resort & Club: Oh, you want swimming pools? This lush resort from the Waldorf Astoria group features 41 swimming pools. From big and family-friendly to adults-only, you’ve got a lot of ways to splash. During festival season, the resort has partnered with Veuve Clicquot for a glam “après swim experience” offering music, bites, and everyone’s favorite bubbles. 49-499 Eisenhower Dr., La Quinta.

Eat & Drink

The Pink Cabana: Is the Pink Cabana the most Instagram-worthy restaurant in Palm Springs–or the entire world? Inspired by the Old Hollywood racquet clubs of mid-century P.S., the look is stunning. The food is great too, with Moroccan-Mediterranean fare from chef Jason Niederkorn. Sands Hotel & Spa, 44-985 Province Way, Indian Wells.

Mr. Lyons: Rat Pack vibes are in full effect at this retro (but not old fashioned) steakhouse. Sink into a velvet booth in the dining room for a throwback steak-and-creamed spinach situation, or opt for a martini and casual bites off the bar menu. Mr. Lyons is a project of the Foundation 10 group, which also owns Palm Springs staples Cheeky’s and Birba. 233 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

King’s Highway: Once a roadside Denny’s, King’s Highway is now the Ace Hotel’s excellent all-day restaurant. The menu offers Stumptown coffee and avocado toast for breakfast, and salads and sandwiches as the day goes on, available indoors or at poolside tables. Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen: Lounging around in the sun and heat may leave you craving light, veggie-focused meals. Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, a charming vegan spot, has you covered. Mostly a take-away spot, Tanya’s is the place to grab salads, bowls, and tempeh burgers to stock your Airbnb kitchen or pack for a day trip to J-Tree. A favorite order? The Fleetwood Macaroni Salad, of course. 706 S. Eugene Rd., Palm Springs.

4 Saints: Rooftops are rare in P.S., but the Kimpton Rowan hotel boasts one of the few, and it’s put to good use with a sunny pool deck and this elevated restaurant. Enjoy lounge dishes or a full dinner menu, with views of the San Jacinto mountains everywhere you look. Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, 100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs.

Spa & Wellness

Estrella Spa: Estrella Spa promises its treatments will offer a “vacation happy glow.” Set in a private bungalow surrounded by gardens on the Avalon Hotel property, the treatment menu includes services using the spa’s custom-made CBD-infused product line crafted with L.A.’s Highland Pantry. Avalon Hotel, 415 S. Belardo Rd., Palm Springs.

The Spa at Two Bunch Palms: Originally opened in the ’40s on the site of 600 year old natural hot mineral springs, Two Bunch Palms recently underwent a stylish renovation. Take the waters–or a mud bath, if that’s your vibe–or select from a menu of spa treatments, including Himalayan salt scrubs and high-tech oxygen facials. 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail, Desert Hot Springs.

The Spa at Desert Springs: Located inside the JW Marriott, this spa boasts 48 individual treatment rooms and a full-service salon. Take advantage of the Coachella Valley’s local produce with the spa’s special date-based scrubs, massages, and facials or bounce back after a long day at the Polo Grounds with a muscle relief massage featuring arnica cream. JW Marriott Desert Springs, 78-855 Country Club Dr., Palm Desert.

Things to Do

Palm Springs Art Museum: Too many visitors overlook the desert’s prestige institution, and that’s a shame. When the sun gets high, duck indoors and explore the collection of modern art featuring significant works from Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abromović, and others. A second building houses the Architecture and Design Center, also worth a visit. 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs.

Modern Tour Palm Springs: Want to get up close with the best of Palm Springs’ iconic mid-century architecture? These tours are for you. At $200, they’re for true enthusiasts, but what you get for the price includes exclusive access to tour the interiors and exteriors of famous homes designed by architects Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, and estates that housed Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and other stars.

RELATED: The L.A. Mag Guide to Every Music Festival That Matters in 2019

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