Whether you're heading to Coachella or not, you certainly don't need to be in festival mode to enjoy the glory that is Palm Springs. That year round desert sunshine, palm trees as far as the eyes can see, pops of bright color, carefree days spent lounging by the pool and an eclectic retro vibe that sometimes makes you feel as though you've stepped back in time into Old Hollywood Glamour is what draws countless visitors to this prime Southern California vacation destination. And did I mention the hotels and food? Oh yeah.... those aren't too shabby either...
In fact shabby they are not....but whether you're looking to blow it out or travel on a budget, there are truly beautiful and fantastic accommodations for travelers at any price level. I love how Palm Springs has kept it's buildings and overall vibe very retro and eclectic...it has an unmistakable ambiance and feel unlike any other place. It's like a cross between a tropical desert oasis and a 1960s Andy Warhol pop art piece.
Recently, my husband and I had the pleasure of staying at the Korakia Pensione Hotel; a little slice of Moroccan and Mediterranean style heaven tucked away under the palm trees. Close to the main, bustling strip of Palm Springs but removed just enough to offer a little more peace and quiet; it's the prefect place to retreat to one you're all partied out.
Adorned in hand carved wooden doors, daybeds by the pools that look like they came out of an Anthropology catalogue, a fountain filled with brightly colored fresh flowers, and dates, cookies, fruits and teas filling the lobby with a sweet and fragrant aroma give the Korakia it's rightful name as "the sexiest hotel in America." It truly is a feast for the senses.
You can start your day with yoga and meditation on their gorgeous outdoor platform, then head to breakfast in the courtyard to enjoy gourmet delicacies like strawberry crepes, banana pancakes and quiche with chèvre.
After that you might take out one of their bikes to explore town and do some world class shopping or check out the fun retro architecture. While you're at it you might want to check out the Indian Canyon neighborhood to see the infamous Pink Door House, the Party Lions and the many brightly colored doors that give Palm Springs it's unique and one of a kind feel. And if you REALLY love color, then you should probably stop by the Saguaro Hotel as it's just down the street. This place is known for their epic pool parties, fun vibes and delicious Taco Tuesdays. The nearby ACE Hotel is also a must for those seeking some fun in the sun. It boasts some of the best pool parties in town and has a laid back, vintage vibe unlike no other.
Once you're done sightseeing for the day, there's nothing better than returning to your hotel for a relaxing massage and an afternoon swim. My husband and I got couple massages at Korakia that were top notch and we followed those up by ordering lunch by the pool. We then proceeded to take a nap in the one of the outdoor day beds...YUP! We were those people. But that's just bound to happen in an environment that's that relaxing...and being parents of 2 kids and one on the way...we needed it!
Almost every restaurant in town has a 4-5 star rating so really....you can't go wrong when looking for a good place to eat. We loved our first night's dinner at Spencer's. The outdoor patio is fun and vibrant and the food was just as delicious as everyone had claimed. The crab cakes were unparalleled in taste and a must try. Our second night we ate at the Purple Palm at The Colony Palms Hotel and the poolside ambiance was lovely while the sun was setting. Everything we ate there was ON POINT...especially the Cauliflower and the Duck Dumplings. I don't eat much meat, but those were definitely worth it!
One of the things I love the most about the desert are the warm nights under the bright canopy of stars. Taking an evening stroll after dinner is the perfect way to top of a perfect day in the desert. It truly is pure magic.
At the end of our 2 night, 3 day stay, I think it's safe to say that neither Pat nor I were ready to leave. It's the kind of place you could stay for weeks. But alas, we had to get home to our little cuties. We'll be back soon though...very soon I imagine!
If romance, beauty, quiet and a retreat like environment are what you're looking for in a place to vacation, then look no further than Korakia Pensione. If you're craving a little more livelihood and shenanigans, than The Saguaro or The Ace Hotel are excellent options as well. The Parker is also really lovely and kind of strikes a balance between luxury retreat and fun, hip party place. It also boasts one of the best spas around and their facials are top notch! I got the hydrating facial which I still feel glowy and dewy from. This place is a bit pricier but definitely worth the money if you're looking to go all out. It would be the perfect spot for a girls trip (which is a HINT to my girlfriends who are reading this)!
Usually on my way to or back from the desert I make a stop in Joshua Tree for a night of camping under the stars in one of the most stunning National Parks ever. It's about $20 to camp and the scenery is unparalleled in beauty. It's a great place to take a day trip to from Palm Springs as it's only 30 minutes away and has some gorgeous hikes for all you nature lovers out there. Something I haven't done yet but have been wanting to try are the soundbaths at the nearby integretron. It's this spaceship like dome out in the middle of the desert that hosts epic soundbath meditations that you can do in public groups or can reserve for private parties. If you've tried it, please comment below and let all the readers know about your experience! I've heard amazing things...
If you've been meaning to go on vacation for some time but can't seem to muster up the time or money to make it happen, Palm Springs is the perfect place to meet your vacation needs as you can do it in 2 days and not break the bank. It's only a 2 hours drive from Los Angeles and a short flight from anywhere in California. If you have the time though, I'd recommend staying a bit longer as you won't want to leave once you're there! But then again...that seems to be the common theme with most vacations huh??
As always please comment with any questions or recommendations that you might have. If you've been to Palm Springs before and have any tips or must see places let the other readers know! I sincerely hope that all of you make the trip out to the desert at least once...your body, mind and soul will thank you for the time spent there.
From my heart to yours...Happy Travels my Loves!