Palm Springs is a popular weekend getaway for Angelenos looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, which boasts all the amenities discerning hipsters from LA crave. As soon as we pass the famous windmills on the drive there, we visibly calm down. Palm Springs has also been a playground for the rich and famous international jet set crowd since the Golden Age of Hollywood and circa Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. It’s also a popular vacation destination for the gay community.
There isn’t terribly much to do here - compared to an urban metropolis -which is actually really nice. Mostly vacationers lounge by the pool, sip cocktails, enjoy a great dinner somewhere on the promenade and play golf. There’s also great mid-century modern furniture shopping and some fantastic architecture tours. Nearby Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and Pioneertown beckon for exploration, and you can go on a lovely and memorable hike in Palm Canyon right on the outskirts of Palm Springs.
Palm Springs also hosts a fantastic film festival. That’s when the town is hopping, along with springtime, when the Coachella music festival takes over and all the hotels burst at the seams. Check out some of our favorite hotels, such as the hip but also family-friendly Ace Hotel Palm Springs.
What Is the Ace Hotel Palm Springs?
The Ace Hotel Palm Springs is a member of a fashionable group of boutique hotels with properties in Los Angeles, London, Kyoto, New York, and Seattle. There are just ten Ace hotels. This edition opened in 2009 after they remodeled a former mid-century Westward Ho with a Denny’s diner.
This hipster enclave features 179 rooms in the heart of Palm Springs and is not your average hotel. It has a unique corporate philosophy, and one customer described it like this: “Ace is everything you need and nothing you don't.”
As to their philosophy, this should give you an idea. The Ace Hotel Palm Springs describes itself like this: “Ace Hotel is a collection of individuals, multiple and inclusive, held together by an affinity for the soulful. We are not here to reinvent the hotel, but to readdress its conventions to keep them fresh, energized, human. We accept the hotel as a potential for real, fluid community. We believe that hospitality is compassion.”
This sounds very philosophical and interesting, right? This should give you a good idea of what kind of accommodation the Ace Hotel Palm Springs is. We love it!
The Ace Hotel Palm Springs has 179 rooms. They range from Standard King, King Plus, and King Lounge to the Side by Side and Ace Suites. Some rooms have a garden patio, a fireplace, or record players and old vinyl. In the minibars you can find tasty caramel popcorn.
Unique hotel features include whimsical Americana-meets-mid-century décor with communal fireplaces throughout the hotel, fun events such as bingo, karaoke, taco night, crafting, music, and more. They have a stargazing deck, which is nice for small receptions, especially after sunset.
Another space for meetings is the Commune, a 3,000-square-foot space for weddings, receptions, dinners, product launches and other things for up to 200 seated guests. The walls open to a pool, an amphitheater, and mountain views.
Other features worth mentioning include two pools (very important during the hot days in Palm Springs), a spa, a gym, free Wi-Fi, and a vintage photo booth. It is also worth mentioning that this hotel is kid-friendly and pet-friendly. You can bring your dog!
Last but not least, the Ace Hotel Palm Springs collaborates with friends and DJs to play cool music in their lobby and at the pool. On weekends, there’s a fun poolside scene with a DJ.
For eats and drinks there’s King's Highway, offering roadside diner fare, the Amigo Room for beer and craft cocktails, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters for a great latte or cappuccino.
Room rates range from $150 in the summer to $350 in the fall. You can book on the hotel website itself or look for reduced rates and special deals on hotel booking or travel sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.com. You can cancel your booking free of charge up to three days before your arrival.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar hotels in Palm Springs to see how they compare.
- The Saguaro
- JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa
- Kimpton Rowan
Ace Hotel Palm Springs
The rooms of the Ace Hotel Palm Springs are beautifully and stylishly decorated but don’t feature enough amenities for a rating of 5 Stars when compared to the top hotels in town and in the world.
Service totally is king here. Everyone is warm and hospitable. It feels like a big happy family.
We have no complaints about the value. When you know exactly what to expect from this hotel after reading our review, realizing that it’s a small and stylish boutique hotel, you’ll agree that you’re getting great value for your money.
The hotel is located near a lot of attractions and just a 5-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs with all of its shops, galleries and restaurants.
Opened in February 2012, the colorful Saguaro is a feast for the eyes at every turn. That’s why it’s one of the most Instagrammed hotels in Palm Springs. Architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat were inspired by the wildflowers of the local desert.
We love that each room comes with a view and a patio or private balcony. Book your panorama and choose from the San Jacinto Mountains, garden, courtyard, pool, or city lights. This boutique hotel has 244 rooms and belongs to the Sydell Group, the creator of unique boutique hotels “deeply rooted in their location and architecture.”
For dining, there’s El Jefe cantina, inspired by Mexican street food and the tastes of Mexico City. You can choose from over 100 tequilas and mezcals. The hotel houses two bars; one is a full bar at the lively and happening pool with weekend DJs, parties, and daybed rentals.
Summer rates start at a little over $100 per night in October but go up to about $350 in March.
Rooms are vibrantly and colorfully decorated, feature handcrafted Mexican furniture, and come with either balconies or patios and views, sitting and work areas, 50-inch HDTVs, iPod docking stations, organic bath products, and organic linens for sweet dreams.
Service is reliable and solid at the Saguaro.
There aren’t a lot of amenities besides the pool and restaurant.
While this is a gorgeous and fun place, you don’t get a lot of "stuff" for your money, and we don’t mean this in a judgmental way. We expect a few more amenities such as a spa or golf course, perhaps.
With the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains as a backdrop and near lots of great outdoor adventures, the Saguaro is located just a short drive from downtown.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa
The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is in a very different league than the other boutique hotels for stylish urbanites on our list. It’s more traditional. It’s also elegant but less whimsical, bohemian, and hip than the others. But the key difference lies in this resort’s features and amenities. This Marriott in Palm Desert near Palm Springs has five outdoor pools, two golf courses, and a full-service spa. It also boasts more truly family-friendly amenities and more dining options. It’s a totally different scene with a convenient location near Palm Springs. You can even take a gondola tour of the hotel’s waterways from the gondola deck. Enjoy clay and grass tennis courts and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Rates range from about $190 (December) to $480 (March), depending on the season.
The rooms are nicely furnished and offer views of the hotel’s pools and gardens, LCD TVs, and marble bathrooms with lighted makeup mirrors. They have mini-refrigerators, robes, pillow-top bedding, and work desks. Choose from standard rooms to suites with parlors and balconies.
The service here is reliably good.
The rooms feature a lot of amenities that are not as whimsical and playful as those of the other hotels on this list (e.g. record players and yoga mats) but more standard, from refrigerators and ironing boards to safes, coffee machines, and iPod docks, not to mention the five pools, two golf courses, tennis courts and full-service spa.
You get everything you want in order to never have to leave the premises; we could stay all day at the five pools alone. But this hotel doesn’t have all the LA-style urban hipster touches of the other properties on this list, and it could use a freshening up.
The hotel is not actually in Palm Springs but in nearby Palm Desert. But the location is beautiful with green spaces and soothing water features - an oasis in the desert.
Long before boutique hotels were a common sight on the international hotel landscape, the Kimpton group was a trailblazer in the stylish and intimate accommodations game. The Kimpton Rowan in Palm Springs is a stellar new addition to the city. The seven-story property is the tallest building in town and the only one to boast a rooftop pool. It is also the first full-scale hotel built in Palm Springs in decades.
The Kimpton Rowan's design is gorgeous, right out of a décor magazine, done in a sleek, contemporary and elegant style with nods to local desert vibes from Palm Springs' mid-century heydays. Featuring 153 rooms with great mountain views, the most notable amenities besides the rooftop pool range from the pièce de résistance in accommodations, the Arlo (a 1,500-square-foot Presidential Suite with a pool table, a record player with vintage vinyl, and a pull-out sofa) to nice touches like yoga mats in the rooms and complimentary towncar rides. You can also rent bikes and enjoy spa treatments in your room.
Rates in Palm Springs vary a lot from high to low season. In the hot summer months you can get a room for around $200-$250, but during high season (cooler weather or Coachella), a room can cost $400 to almost $800.
Choose from 153 beautifully furnished rooms.
Guests rave about the amazing staff here.
Our favorites include the two on-site restaurants (we like 4 Saints offering shareable, seasonal Mediterranean plates) and two bars, the 2,900 square-foot Sky Ballroom, in-room spa services, a fitness center, bikes available to borrow for a ride around town, overnight laundry and dry cleaning, and an official Tesla destination charging spot.
You get a lot of good stuff for your money, but it’s also much more expensive than the Saguaro or Ace, so to us the value is comparable in that light.
This new Kimpton hotel is situated right in the heart of downtown, walking distance to shops, restaurants, galleries, and everything else. It couldn’t be closer to the action and easier to get around.
Hopefully, you now have a good idea about what makes each of these four Palm Springs hotels unique. As far as rating them in order of highest to lowest, it's like comparing apples and oranges. The Ace Hotel Palm Springs has such a distinct ambience and flair, it's unlike any other hotel in Palm Springs. While the property is not large and sprawling, and boasts neither tennis nor golf course nor spa, it's super popular with the "in crowd" and most guests would rate it favorably. We give it a solid 4 out of 5 Stars.
The other hotels here rate similarly, but we recommend them for different reasons. The Saguaro is on par with the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, albeit styled differently, while the Marriott is a more traditional type of accommodation with standard yet bigger amenities - golf, tennis, spa - which many folks who visit "The Springs" would not want to miss. So it's up to you whether you prefer a hip scene or a larger place with more activities on a bigger scale. Finally, the new Kimpton is a stylish choice for discerning travelers looking to stay in the heart of things.
We hope you enjoy your trip to this famous desert oasis of lore, at whichever property you choose to lay your head.