Where to Stay

Chic lodging with amazing design

One year ago next month, The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel opened its doors in downtown PS. The sprawling lobby, part of which is pictured here, boasts a two-story picture window looking out on the San Jacinto Mountains. Photography by Laure Joliet

Half the fun of a Palm Springs getaway is choosing where to stay. Of course there are the lovingly rehabilitated roadside motels, but there are also more sophisticated, design-forward digs to provide a welcoming (and quieter) home base for your vacation.

The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs is literally head and shoulders above the crowd—at seven stories it’s the tallest building in town. Opened in 2017, these urbane accommodations are pet friendly and are highlighted by the rooftop pool and restaurant, 4 Saints, which offer incredible views.

For a more resort-style stay, the Parker Palm Springs features 13 acres of groovy-glam Jonathan Adler design, three pools, a spa (cheekily dubbed the Palm Springs Yacht Club), tennis and pétanque courts, and multiple restaurants and bars, including the intimate wine bar, Counter Reformation.

For a cozier stay, check out Sparrows Lodge, a rustic, 20-room property with plenty of wood and stone accents, as well as artwork by the likes of Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari. Be sure to make a reservation for one of the twice-weekly dinners at the hotel’s Barn Kitchen. The proprietors also operate the recently renovated Holiday House, built in 1951 and designed by self-taught desert modernist architect Herbert W. Burns.

There’s a Mediterranean fantasy awaiting at swoon-worthy Korakia Pensione, a collection of historic properties that blends Greek and North African motifs. It’s been a gathering spot over the years for creative types ranging from Grant Wood to Rudolph Valentino; you still half expect to see Paul Bowles holding court in the library.

To soak up that midcentury vibe, though, consider renting a classic house via ACME House Co. or Airbnb (though be aware of the draconian noise restrictions placed on renters). For the ultimate Palm Springs experience, the absolute coolest pad available is Twin Palms Estate, the house that once belonged to none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. (Ava Gardner not included.)