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Where to Stay (and What to Wear) in Palm Springs

We're jumping the gun on winter, and booking our favorite cold-weather escape early. Here, our 7 favorite Palm Springs sleeps, plus fashions to inspire your desert getaway.

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Photos by Jaime Kowal


The Amado

Owner Jaime Kowal tested 37 different shades of orange for the hotel doors of The Amado before deciding on the now signature shade—an interesting fact that should give you an idea of this impeccably-designed five-room desert retreat. Built in 1955 as an apartment complex, the classic midcentury modern building still bears signs of its former life (think: original vintage fireplace and clerestory windows); however, new additions like teak furniture and Native American textiles have breathed new life into the space. There’s no restaurant on-site but a private courtyard with heated pool and plenty of restaurants nearby make up for it.

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Sparrows Lodge

Sparrow’s Lodge skips the Midcentury modern design typical of hotels in Palm Springs and opts for a rustic, adult-summer-camp vibe. The 20 rooms are decked out with exposed beam ceilings, russet red walls, Gray Swiss army blankets and other hipster-approved accoutrements. Outside, young creative-types lounge around the pool, play tennis and pedal around the surrounding area on bike. The mess-hall-style Barn Kitchen serves a healthy breakfast of muffins, yogurt, granola and fruit, and at night, friends gather around the fire-pit and sip microbrews until late night.

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Saguaro Palm Springs

The Saguaro Palm Springs is a crayon-colored Coachella Valley sleep known for its tequila-fueled pool parties, celebrity-owned restaurants and bevy of on-site amenities, including free daily yoga, bicycles and poolside Ping-Pong. Rooms come in 14 sunny color schemes, and feature balconies with views of either the pool, mountains and gardens. After dark, the Saguaro’s scene gets even hotter, when several restaurants and bars by Iron Chef America’s Jose Garces stay open until late. Don’t leave without sampling the beer battered mahi-mahi tacos and stuffed dates with blue cheese and bacon at the Moroccan-inspired El Jefe.

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This Mid-century icon occupies a William F. Cody-designed 1952 building that was once a playground for golden-era Hollywood elite like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and several presidents. Owner and designer Steve Hermann is behind the multi-million-dollar renovation, which kept details from the original hotel, while adding bespoke and upscale vintage furniture. At the pool, brush shoulders with a civilized mix of fedora-d studio execs and Trina Turk-wearing socialites, all reclining around the stunning infinity edge pool as the sun hangs heavy against the San Jacinto mountains. Then, settle in for a mouth-watering feast of roasted Spanish octopus and a compressed melon salad with mint and French feta at the alfresco SO.PA.

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Ace Hotel and Swim Club

Party with the cool kids at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club, a midcentury motel turned hipster hangout with a rock ‘n’ roll poolside scene and a flea market chic aesthetic. The whitewashed guestrooms are kitted out with vintage furniture, hand-printed canvas bed throws, and old-school prints, and the vistas look out onto the surrounding mountains. After you’ve settled in, mosey on down to the pool’s hammock-strewn concourse, where PYT’s pass pitchers of white sangria and groove to reggae, electronica and old-school hip-hop blasting from the speakers. If you stick around until sundown, you’ll score prime seating for late-night poolside performances by star DJ’s like California’s Tribe and Kings and Meesinja.

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Parker Palm Springs

The Parker is spread over 13-acres and decked out in eclectic, tongue-in-cheek décor that the hotel’s designer, Jonathan Adler, describes as “your great-aunt’s estate.” What does that look like exactly? Needlepoint butterfly pillows, lamps shaped like horses and, in the lobby, knights in armor, atomic chandeliers and a vintage store sign that reads “Drugs.” Interior design aside, other highlights include two salt water pools, a 16,500-square-foot spa, lawn croquet, pétanque, golf and tennis. Reserve in advance for the sexy retro brasserie Mister Parker’s and for the hearty brunches at the funky Norma’s.

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Korakia Pensione

Find a slice of Morocco at this dreamy adobe-style pensione in Palm Springs. The intimate hideaway is known as the sexiest hotel in America, thanks to its seductive desert setting and Tangier-inspired architecture. Massages, bicycle rentals, yoga classes, and afternoon mint tea are just a few hotel perks, and we love the breakfast spread (free!) served every morning on the stone-paved courtyard. By night, snuggle up on a Moroccan daybed for an outdoor screening of a classic Hollywood film, then take a midnight splash in the heated pool.

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