Sparrows is one of three new hotels in Palm Springs. // © 2013
At just more than 100 miles away from Los Angeles, Palm Springs makes for an easy getaway for both locals and Southern California visitors. With the San Jacinto Mountains as its backdrop, Joshua Tree National Park to the east and an array of hotel, dining and entertainment options, Palm Springs has something to offer everyone, from active trekkers to cabana loungers. These three new hotels expand on the already wide range of accommodations in the desert city.
Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
The Hard Rock Hotel brand is a natural addition to Greater Palm Springs. Every year, thousands of music fans flock to the area during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Music Festival. The property’s hip, musical-themed decor and amenities make it an ideal hotel for any music lover.
The exterior of the hotel may be plain — it looks the same as it did when it was Hotel Zoso, minus the new purple signage — but the interior has undergone major renovations that bring the Hard Rock brand to life. Guests are greeted by an arch of vintage radios and boom boxes, a full bar and pit-like lounge space and an extensive rock ‘n roll memorabilia collection. Among the artifacts are a Danelectro guitar signed by Keith Richards, a corduroy jacket worn by Johnny Cash and a Pearl drum kit used by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, Chad Smith. Clients won’t want to miss the pieces handpicked to represent Palm Springs’ own musical history, such as Elvis Presley’s honorary Palm Springs Police Department badge and a shirt worn by Sonny Bono, who was elected Mayor of Palm Springs in 1988.
In the 163 guestrooms and suites, amenities and decor nod to the Hard Rock brand whenever possible. Large-scale concert photos adorn walls; iPod docking stations allow guests to listen to personal set lists; and brand-wide Sleep Like a Rock bedding and Rock Spa products ensure a comfortable stay. Carpeting and bedding are of course purple and silver, Hard Rock’s signature colors.
Other onsite amenities include a business center with iPads and complimentary Wi-Fi access, a full spa and the Sessions Restaurant, open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Plans for a nightclub are underway and, thanks to a recently announced partnership with Coachella creator Goldenvoice, the hotel will soon host poolside music events and offer hotel and ticket packages during festival season.
Peak season rates begin at $159 per night. During the scorching summer months, midweek rates begin at $89 per night.
Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
Clients seeking a tranquil vacation will relish the chic yet minimalist grounds of Sparrows, a boutique hotel located one mile from downtown Palm Springs. Owned by Doug and Josie Smith, this 20-room lodge transports guests to another world with its cabin-like rooms and artistic detailing. The adults-only property might suit those travelers looking for a quiet and more private getaway.
Originally a motor lodge called Red Barn, the buildings have been stripped down to their studs and rebuilt into a modern, rustic ranch. There is a simple lobby where guests are checked in on a clipboard, an azure pool at the center of the property and an inviting barn with a bar and lounge. Future site amenities include a brick pizza oven and outdoor movie nights.
Inside guestrooms, walls are made from exposed red wood, flooring is composed of hand-laid stones and metal horse troughs have been converted into bathtubs. Other furniture pieces, including benches, chairs and beds, were handmade on-site. Rooms do not have televisions, but clients won’t likely miss them — they’ll be too busy playing horseshoes, reading by outdoor fire pits or taking in mountain views from the pool. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the property, however.
“The hotel should provide peace, comfort and rest,” said Josie Smith, co-owner of Sparrows. “We think our clientele will be well traveled and yet will appreciate the space and the calming atmosphere we try to provide, without any extra bells and whistles.”
Pool-view rooms are $150 per night and rooms with private gardens are $175 per night.
Suite rates begin at $200 per night.
The Monroe Palm Springs
Once an America’s Best Value Inn, The Monroe Palm Springs is within walking distance to the Uptown Design District and is a great option for no-frills, eco-conscious travelers. After undergoing a six-month renovation period, the 62-room hotel now offers freshly painted rooms with modern colors and decor. Guests are also provided complimentary Wi-Fi access, coffee, snacks and breakfast at Rick’s Restaurant and Bakery just up Palm Canyon Drive, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
The new property owners are committed to supporting the community and to running the hotel as efficiently as possible. During the renovation, property materials were recycled or repurposed whenever possible. For example, old wooden window sills were turned into poolside garbage cans, towel bins and amenity trays. For these projects, the owners enlisted the help of Palm Springs High School woodshop students. Furniture, lighting and linens that could not be repurposed were donated to local organizations such as Operation Blankets of Love.
“We understand that in order to be successful we need to be committed to the community,” said Denise Detrano, general manager of hotel. “We are also committed to the environment and employ green practices wherever possible.”
Rates begin at $69 per night during the low season but can climb to $179 per night during festival season.
The Monroe Palm Springs