Morning delivery of a breakfast basket filled with croissants, Greek yogurt, and orange juice
Gazing at the mountains from atop one of the plentiful pool floats
The thoughtful details, like the pet treats added to the breakfast basket for guests traveling with dogs
What To Know
The circa-1993 historic hotel was redeveloped in 2016 by architect May Sung
All 18 villas have private patios, clawfoot tubs, and fire pits; two have private pools
WiFi can be spotty occasionally
Guests can borrow bikes for free to pedal around Palm Springs
All-villa hotel in downtown Palm Springs, with private patios, fire pits, San Jacinto Mountain views, and charm to spare
La Serena achieves that most difficult of tasks: occupying a central spot in town while maintaining the feel of a retreat. Part of this has to do with the hotel’s layout—individual bungalows, no under-21s allowed—as well as with its quirky, stimulating design, which contributes to the feeling of being somewhere altogether new. A riot of patterns and prints, with different textures everywhere, the interiors of the hotel boast striped pillows, African baskets and Moroccan-inspired tiles—photographers and interior design lovers will be thrilled. Villas have well-stocked kitchenettes (with Smeg fridges), private patios with clawfoot tubs for starlight bathing, and fire pits for starlight cuddling; some have front porches with views of the San Jacinto mountains. The restaurant, Azúcar, does Cali-style fresh and healthy food that’s unpretentious but consistently good, like fish tacos, spiced tempeh bowls, and cocktails livened up with fresh juices and herbs.
In the Area
Two blocks east of Palm Canyon Drive, the strip populated by the city’s buzziest shops, restaurants, and art galleries, La Serena is handy for shopping and dining excursions. Book in advance in the high season for lunch or dinner at EIGHT4NINE, a New American restaurant where chef Chuck Courtney turns out a well-executed menu of super-fresh ahi tuna poke with house-made kimchi, lobster mac and cheese, and mesquite-smoked carne asada. The Palm Springs Art Museum, home to exciting contemporary work by Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell as well as exhibitions often inspired by the desert, is an easy half-mile walk from the hotel. For brunch, hit up Workshop Kitchen+Bar, which pairs a James Beard Award-winning restaurant design with blue crab eggs Benedict and house-cured gravlax.