Palm Springs brings together my favorite things: warm weather and palm trees, beautiful, boutique hotels perfect for poolside cocktails, delicious brunch spots and great shopping—specifically vintage attire and home décor. All set to a backdrop of beautiful desert mountains and palm trees. Palm Springs is a desert oasis that’s perfect for a girls’ weekend, bachelorette, or escape from the city.
My best friend, Steph, and I had planned a girls trip to LA, Joshua Tree, and Palm Springs, and we had been looking forward to it for quite some time. After a night camping in Joshua Tree, I was very ready to check into a hotel, as being dirty and cold, and sleeping on the ground aren’t really activities that work for me.
We checked into the Saguaro, a colorful oasis in the middle of the desert, developed by the Sydell Group, the luxury property creation and management firm that developed the NoMad, the Freehand, and the forthcoming Line Hotel in D.C. The Saguaro is a modernized, 1960s era motel: a giant rectangular structure with outdoor walkways to the rooms and a pool in the courtyard. Saguaro updated the rooms with modern, luxury amenities, added a edgy, cool restaurant focused on tacos, and, most importantly, painted the walls around the motel in a rainbow of bright colors.
Perhaps the most photo-worthy, and dare I say Instagrammable place I’ve ever visited, the Saguaro is a bright rainbow of color and retro vibes. Just stepping foot into the hotel made us happy.
When we arrived, we were greeted with a cocktail bar at the door of our room brandishing the ingredients for Aperol Spritz, which happens to be my signature cocktail. While a bit small for a suite, our room was great—the bed was incredibly comfortable and plush, the curtains kept the room dark, and the robes were so great I almost brought one home.
The Saguaro is the type of hotel where, once you check in, you never want to leave. And that’s exactly what we did. Despite the gloomy weather, we took our cocktails to the hot tub, and spent the afternoon enjoying the pool, playing corn hole, and taking in the bright, fun vibes of the hotel and its occupants. We were so lazy that first night that we opted to order room service, eating tacos in the comfy bath robes and watching Modern Family. Yep, it’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.
The next day, we were off to brunch, shop and explore Palm Springs.
Let’s talk about the shopping. Palm Canyon Drive, which runs through the center of Palm Springs, is lined with dozens of high-end home and design shops, as Palm Springs is known for its homes and interiors, playing host to Modernism Week, the premier event for interior designers in the United States. It’s like Art Basel, but for interiors rather than modern art, and brings the best designers into town.
While we stayed at the Saguaro, we popped over to a couple other boutique hotels for poolside cocktails. I’ve wanted to visit the Parker since seeing Jonathan Adler’s delightful photography series, wherein he posed wild animals in the foreground of the hotels many bright and beautiful backdrops. It was just as cute as I imagined it would be.
Below, find our picks for the best places to shop, stay, and brunch in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs Must-Dos
The Saguaro—a bright, retro oasis in the desert that’s packed with creative quirk and good fun. 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
The Parker —this posh, playful boutique hotel is a dream come true for a weekend getaway. 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA.
The Avalon Hotel —a pristine, modern and luxury hotel that’s perfect to treat yourself for poolside cocktails brunch, or to stay the night. 415 S.Belardo Road, Palm Springs, CA.
Grace Home Furnishings —Perfect spot for decorating your entire home, and going broke in the process. 1001 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA.
Just Modern, Inc.—An art and design store that’s great for picking up souvenirs, like vintage postcards, prints, pins and baubles, to remind you of Palm Springs. 901 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
The Frippery—This vintage boutique is loaded with bright, designer caftans, wicker handbags, collectible jewelry and 60’s style frocks. It has everything you need for glamorous poolside cocktails. 664 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA.
Trina Turk—This is no ordinary Trina Turk boutique, but rather a mecca of the designer’s men’s, women’s, swim and homewares. If you love bright and colorful attire and home décor, this is a must-visit. 891 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA.
Jake’s—A must-visit spot for brunch in downtown Palm Springs. Be sure to order lots of brunch cocktails and save room for dessert. Read our brunch review here. 664 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA.