Let me keep this simple. Palm Springs is a great place to go. And easy from Vancouver. Direct service with Westjet and Allegiant Air from Bellingham.
I did some research and Palm Springs has reinvented itself. It’s not only taken the old 1950’s style motels and remodelled them to a more modern hipster look, but they’ve attracted a younger tourist to town and working locals. It’s not just the retirees living there now, there’s a mid twenties to mid thirties, planet friendly, food loving, modern hippy group living and visiting Palm Springs today.
While researching places to stay, I stumbled upon this cool website showcasing many of the old motels that have been transformed along with some beautiful quaint inns. http://www.smallhotelsofpalmsprings.com. But in the end, I really wanted to stay at the Ace Hotel chain (also in cool cities like Seattle, Portland and New York!) http://www.acehotel.com.
A charming little 2 storey place. It was previously a boring Howard Johnson, not anymore! It’s now this funky, modern hotel, with outdoor fireplaces, private patios, outdoor pool with towel service, two hot tubs, a spa set amidst a number of yurts and restaurant with some of the best food in Palm Springs! As well, it’s located just 5 mins from old downtown Palm Springs where you will find all the restaurants and nightlife. Rent a car, use some of their bikes or just take a taxi to get here and there.
You will still find the golden oldies around this town, such as George and his entourage of pretty white hair women at Cipollini’s. He has played piano there for over 30 years, and his ladies join him nightly singing their favourite tunes. It adds a charm we are not used to seeing here in Vancouver. As well, Cipollini Osteria (used to be a mafia meeting place back in the day). So you’ll enjoy some good old Italian food (in gigantic portions), but you’ll also enjoy the ambiance of history.
Back at the hotel, The Kings Highway used to be a Denny’s, now it serves delicious and healthy choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dine in or order poolside or better yet in front of the fireplace with your own wine for dinner. We enjoyed the Chicken Salad with avocado, greens and tortillas with tonnes of flavour; Ceviche with lime, tomato and cilantro, this was a huge portion, that made me happy as I love ceviche. The fish tacos were good along with the white bean chili. They use local and organic where possible and seem to have a flare for original, delicious recipes!
For breakfast I enjoyed the Ricotta hot cakes with syrup and banana, but it was a toss-up between that and the coconut bread french toast. Next time I am eating breakfast every morning there!!
Right across from the Ace is a local fresh coffee-house with home-made oatmeal and muffins, so if you are wanting something lighter, that’s a great alternative to a full breakfast. And not far away by car, visit the Trader Joe’s – for some organic, inexpensive grocery items for snacking.
While sitting in the hot tub one night, I spoke to a local who hangs out at the Ace every weekend, he mentioned the food at the Ace is in a league of its own and it’s some of the best food around. That was good to know, because it was a good as what we would find in Vancouver.
Also, consider the taco stands off the highway or beaten path instead of drive-thru McDonald’s for a fast fix. On our way to Cabazon (a gigantic outlet mall just west of Palm Springs), we discovered Crazy Coyote Tacos, a little place with really well made tacos! Authentic corn tortillas and tasty fillings. I of course had the fish tacos (again) and they were really good! It’s a locals favourite apparently.
There are many more quaint restaurants to discover in old town, just promise me you will stay away from the tourist traps – because you get what you pay for, which is not good food!
Consider a relaxing trip to PS, sit by the pool, play tennis, golf, sightsee, shop and of course eat!
The Ace Hotel
Small Hotels of Palm Springs
Palm Springs Tourism