The Saguaro Palm Springs
What We Love
- The poolside DJ on summer weekends
- Private balconies or patios in every room
- Taco Tuesdays at the hotel’s cantina
- The onsite bocce ball court
What To Know
- There’s a 24-hour gym
- Half the rooms can be accessed directly from the parking lot—convenient for families
- The hotel rents out desert cruiser bikes for exploring Palm Springs
- Pets are allowed for a fee
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
It’s hard to believe this three-storied, candy-colored Coachella Valley getaway was once a dreary Holiday Inn. Sixties-era pop art and desert wildflowers served as inspirations for its look, while the psychedelic palette—14 hues, to be exact—isn’t limited to the exteriors; the rainbow colors seep into the guest rooms as well. A wreath of canary-yellow parasols lines the Olympic-size pool (one of the largest in Palm Springs) in the central courtyard, furnished with a bar that serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon cocktails, easily transforming a morning dip into a blissful all-day hangout. The hotel’s other popular outdoor spaces include Hammock Village, a cluster of swings within listening distance of poolside tunes, and the San Jacinto Lawn, the backdrop for daily yoga classes. Be sure to make reservations for a perch at El Jefe, a trendy taqueria steered by Iron Chef Jose Garces. Just don’t be fooled by its size—the petite spa, equipped with six treatment rooms, punches well above its weight, offering an array of treatments from cucumber-parsley masks to lime and aloe wraps ideal for countering the dry desert air.
In the Area
A stay at this hotel means you’re just 2.5 miles from Palm Canyon Drive, which is lined with antique stores and midcentury modernist galleries including a free satellite location of the Palm Springs Art Museum. For an unbeatable canyon view, take the ten-minute gondola ride, courtesy of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which brings you within gawking distance of Coachella Valley. The Living Desert, an outdoor expanse that resembles an unblemished piece of the Sonoran Desert home to wild cats and giraffes, is just a twenty-minute ride away. Further afield, the Palm Springs Air Museum is stocked with WWII planes and offers expensive rides on P-51 Mustangs.
How to Get There
Our family of four (kids aged 10/13) stayed for two nights in the Saguaro in early July. I chose this hotel after perusing multiple options (including the JW Marriott Desert Springs and other large resort hotels), precisely because I felt it had a wonderful Palm Springs retro feel, and the two-bed Family suite (approx 509 sf) was large. I also wanted something closer to downtown and in Palm Springs proper.
The hotel lobby and restaurant, El Jefe cafe, were indeed cute and colorful. We had a very good late night dinner at El Jefe shortly after arriving, catching the tail end of Taco Tuesday ($5/per - very good deal!) and happy hour. I was pleased with the meal and the servers were very friendly.
The room itself was frankly, disappointing. We were situated as far away from the pool as possible, and had horribly ugly AC units on our patio. I was unsure if the two bed family suites all had to be corner units, and in any case, did not inquire about moving to another room.
The lighting in the room was subpar. There are only floor and table lamps, no overhead light, leading to a quite dingy feel. Also, the lights were mismatched, with some bright white antiseptic lights and some warmer yellow lights. This is a major hotel design pet peeve for me!!!
The pool was nice, although I only experienced it late at night (and swimming under the moonlight in the desert nighttime heat is truthfully one of my favourite memories from this trip). There was a loud personal speaker set up near the pool, which I initially thought was from the hotel but figured it was probably owned by a guest. The music was pulsing dance music which had totally inappropriate (by a long stretch!) lyrics for children. I didn’t have mine with me, thankfully, but felt bad for the other kids trying to swim. At least it was not crowded at that time.
Overall, the stay was just ok. It was farther from the downtown strip than I imagined. I was also really looking forward to a retro Palm Springs experience, and being so far away from the pool (it was a three min walk and you had NO pool view from the ground floor patio) was a real bummer. The room was very clean and trendy but still had a painted motel feel (which I guess it was im a former life). In height of summer, the Saguaro was also dead, with many public areas completely dark. To be fair, I’m sure in high season, it’s a blast. The pics below show a pretty cute property, so I include those too in this review.
I'll make it short. Stayed a few days, hung by the pool, server's name was Pancho. He definitely took care of us. He recommended the el dulce drink which was very refreshing. I love the whole colorful scenery and the hammocks next to the pool.
This pool was awesome! Drinks were on point and tasted amazing. My server, Pancho made our party feel like priority and made sure we were well taken care of. Enjoyed the vibe very much especially with the DJ. If you go, make sure to request Pancho at the pool, he will not disappoint!