Palm Springs

Gay Palm Springs Palm Springs Travel Guide

Once a sandy hotbed for the Hollywood elite, the glittery deserts of Palm Springs have since been commandeered by modernists and gays, with over 40% of permanent residents identifying as LGBT+ and the first all-LGBT city council in the U.S. Dripping with creativity. Palm Springs is a desert oasis built by visionary architects, complete with clean lines and sleek glass styles breaking barriers between inside and out. Science says you can thank high cirrus clouds hovering 25,000 feet above the city for the breath-taking sunrises and sunsets you’ll be sure to witness, whether you’re enjoying one of the world’s top golf courses, a luxury getaway spa or one of the city’s myriads of festivals – from Pride to Coachella. Those just here for the food and drink, will not go disappointed, as this is cocktail capital flowing over with tiki-speakeasies, Vietnamese fusion and craft beer rapture. Wondering about what to do in Palm Springs besides soaking up the rum and the sun? Here’s Mr Hudson’s Palm Springs gay guide to the city’s world-class resorts, high-fashion hubs and a nightlife to be reckoned with.

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The best hotels in Palm Springs

Let’s start this gay Palm Springs travel guide with a roundup of the best places to stay in Palm Springs. There’s a lot going on in the desert, and with so many hotel and resort options to choose from, it’s hard to select where you’ll lay your head at night. The good news is, most everywhere that offers accommodations has something great to offer, from golf to fine dining. There are always the classics, like The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, or the La Quinta Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, both of which are beyond magnificent and offer a guaranteed luxury experience solely with name recognition alone. There’s also the Parker Palm Springs, which has more of a hip and stylish vibe going for it, while still having the service level similar to a Waldorf or a Ritz, minus the white gloves. The interiors of The Parker were designed by the one and only Jonathan Adler, and the 144-room property has some pretty cool features including three pools, a full-service spa, and clay tennis courts. And for the overly fancy guests, there is even a croquet lawn and pétanque courts, because why not?

If croquet sounds a little too booji, a fun and vibrant alternative is the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, the hottest destination in the reaches of Downtown Palm Springs, offering day-drinking and pool vibes. As well as having a spa, fully kitted out with hot tub, steam room and gym, the hotel’s Amigo Room bar also boasts an extensive craft beer and cocktail selection. Stay the night or visit for a day to enjoy the spa’s bohemian aesthetic, quirky taxidermy and, on the weekend, wild poolside parties with DJs and live music.

If you want something a bit more on the boutique side of things, there are two other hotels that can’t be overlooked. Triada Palm Springs, Autograph Collection, recently underwent a complete transformation. The 56 guest rooms in this Spanish style hacienda hotel are conveniently located in the Movie Colony of Downtown Palm Springs, offering majestic views of the San Jacinto Mountains. If something even smaller is appealing, Sparrows Lodge, a restored 1950’s retreat, has 20 rooms, all featuring exposed beam ceilings, butterfly chairs, concrete floors and red walls. The lodge is both modern yet rustic, so rustic that it even has a communal barn and vegetable garden. On paper, it may seem on the simple side, but trust that it’s full of elegance inside.

Photo: Derek Owens

Photo: Tom Grimbert

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