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Are you thinking about a holiday in a stylish Southern California playground where the sun shines year 'round? For generations, Hollywood stars and others in the know have headed to Palm Springs for quality R&R.
Offering warmth and low humidity, cool architecture, abundant swimming pools, good restaurants, luxurious spas and enticing shops, Palm Springs also features a variety of accommodations, from Airbnb to hip hideaways to deluxe dwellings with outstanding service.
The place where you choose to stay, particularly if it's among the following romantic hotels, can make the difference between loving this desert oasis and wanting to check out ASAP.
Tip: Know that the busiest times of year — during winter, Midcentury Modern Weeks and the Coachella Music & Art Festival — are also the most expensive.
Classic Vintage: Colony Palms Hotel
A true romantic hideaway, the Colony Palms Hotel has a colorful history and seductive charms. Originally built by a mobster, the two-story accommodations are surrounded by palm trees. Ivy-covered #20 is steps from an outdoor fireplace and also has one right in a corner of the room. Breakfast overlooking the pool and San Jacinto mountains is a perfect way to start the day. Pets are welcome and although children are permitted, this is more of an adult-friendly destination.
Couples will love: The heated pool and hot tub are accessible 24/7.
Sensual Surroundings: L'Horizon Resort and Spa
Even hotter now than it was in the 1950's as a Hollywood haunt, L'Horizon Palm Springs is tailor-made for sleek, sensual couples. Burrow into one of its 25 Midcentury Modern bungalows, which were updated in 2015. Extra enticements on the hotel's three acres include sexy outdoor showers and fire pits.
Couples will love: Dining in the hotel restaurant under the stars.
Charm Central: The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn
Only open from September to May, the exclusive Willows has just eight opulent guest rooms, a spa and elegantly landscaped grounds. Despite being one of the ten oldest structures in the entire city, the in-room amenities — including premium bedding, fireplaces, and high-speed Wi-Fi — are certain to please modern guests with high expectations. Private balconies or terraces, oversized tiled showers, and priceless antiques add to the pleasures of a stay.
Couples will love: The outdoor pool is romantically lit up at night.
Spa Sanctuary: Two Bunch Palms
Join the bathrobe brigade strolling this gated, adults-only resort on 77 mountain-view acres at what was originally Al Capone's desert hideaway. The lush, tranquil grounds surround healing, mineral-rich waters in hot springs pools. Although Wi-Fi is available, there is a no-cellphone policy to keep the grotto quiet and peaceful. This sustainable property also includes a farm-to-table restaurant where bathrobes are permitted, a swimming pool and tennis courts. There's also a resident shaman and weekly drumming session.
Couples will love: Spa that offers outdoor treatments.
Modern Luxury: Parker Palm Springs
A magnet for celebrities and people who believe themselves to be equally important, the Parker has two swimming pools (the Gene Autry pool is for adults only), an extensive spa and orange trees (go ahead; reach up and grab a juicy citrus) on the immaculate grounds. If you're a fan of lawn sports, there's croquet and petanque in addition to tennis.
Couples will love: Norma, Parker's restaurant, where elaborate breakfasts are served all day.
Classic Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
After a 2014 renovation of the public areas and 244 guest rooms that added terraces and fireplaces, this Ritz-Carlton outpost on a 650-foot cliff overlooking the Coachella Valley again epitomizes desert chic. Swimming in one of the three pools, having treatments at the hillside spa and dining at the resort's restaurant with expansive views are among the experiences to savor. The only drawback: It's a distance from downtown Palm Springs, so you'll need a car.
Couples will love: A creative team experienced in arranging out-of-this-world weddings.
Hipster Haven: The Ace
The Ace Hotel brand — which has outposts in Portland O, Los Angeles, New York City and elsewhere — also owns this Midcentury Modern former motel. Re-conceived for a new generation, it offers the basics — pool, hot tub, spa, gym, shop, fire pit — in stripped-down style. (But what's with the creepy taxidermy?) Note: Kings Highway, its restaurant (a former Denny's), was started by the same people who operate the popular Five Leaves eatery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn — and the ricotta pancakes are revered. Guests can get food poolside daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Couples will love: Like the Moroccan robes in your room? They're for sale.
Party Central: The Saguaro Palm Springs
Painted the colors of the rainbow, from the outside The Saguaro looks as if there's a party going on. It's as lively and colorful on the inside as well. Rooms are boldly adorned with purple carpeting, lime green sofas, bold orange chairs and hand-crafted Mexican furniture. Dogs up to 60 pounds are welcome at no extra charge. Dip into the Olympic-size swimming pool, hot tubs and spa. There's barstool seating in the dark El Jefe tequila and taco bar; more sophisticated palates may prefer tapas and Spanish wines at the hotel's Tinto restaurant.
Couples may love: Daily yoga at poolside.
Points for Marriott: Triada Palm Springs
From the outside, Triada resembles a Spanish hacienda. It's recently been majorly renovated. The hotel's interior now has three sections with different color schemes and a bar and restaurant. Some rooms have kitchens. An Autograph Collection hotel, it's a good place to lodge if you've got Marriott points to spare.
Couples will love: Up a staircase there's a suite where Elizabeth Taylor and her paramours occasionally perched.
Suite Time: Hyatt Palm Springs
At this all-suite hotel, each unit provides a separate living room and private balcony with stunning views. There's also a marble bathroom, 42-inch LCD TV, refrigerator and stereo with iPod docking station. Bikes available for loan and pets are allowed.
Motel Moderne: V Palm Springs
A former Travelodge motel that's been deconstructed and rebuilt to appeal to a new generation of travelers, the V tries to have it both ways as a hipster haven and also a family-friendly resort. If you mind the screams of kids cannonballing into the large pools, requisition one of the free tandem bikes and escape for a ride.