Whenever I visit Palm Springs, one of my favorite things to do is people watch. A great spot to scope out everyone from regular folks to celebrities is at one of the city’s ultra-chic hotel lobbies or pool bars.
The Parker Hotel
The Parker has to be one of my favorite places in Palm Springs. There's a fabulously retro lounge just inside the front doors where you can get a cocktail or a pot of French press coffee. The patio at Norma’s restaurant has to be one of the sunniest and most pleasant patios in the city. Stop in for breakfast, then linger over coffee. While you're lounging at the Parker, be sure to walk its lush grounds before you leave.
The Colony Palms Hotel
See and be seen in the poolside bar at this ultrachic, Moroccan-style hotel. Once you step through the main entrance and into the cool courtyard beyond, you’re instantly transported to the Mediterranean.
Grab a bar stool and gaze out over the turquoise pool, while one of the bartenders at the Purple Palm Restaurant shakes you a very dry martini. Enjoy just the cocktail, or stay for dinner.
The Riviera has to be one of the glitziest of the retro-looking hotels. It's big, it's flashy, and it's beautiful.
Find your way through the massive awning over the main entrance and into
the bold floral and leather lobby. Gorgeous lighted walls and tall
ceilings, make you feel like a somebody inside this hotel. Before you
settle in for a drink, walk the hotel property and peruse some of the
unique art and be sure to go outside and see the gardens, which look out
over the vast outdoor pool.
The Saguaro Hotel
If you've driven Highway 111, you can't miss this rainbow-blocked hotel along the north side of the road near Sunrise Way. Don't just admire the bold exterior, go inside and just off the reception desk grab a stool at El Jefe bar for one of the best margaritas in the city. The stools are comfy, the service is excellent, and if you find yourself peckish after that margarita, the restaurant also serves an array of small tacos that are fresh and tasty and will satisfy your cravings. When you're finished, walk through and look at the neat art and artifacts in the hotel’s lobby, and be sure to pop out back to the courtyard where you can salivate over the lush greenery, set against the bold color scheme. You'll want to take a selfie back here, so bring your camera!
This eclectic but chic hotel offers you a few options for lounging, cocktails, or people watching. If you're looking to beat the desert heat, slip into the dark and cool Amigo Room. Don't mind the menacing looking bear behind the bar, he's harmless. Sip a craft beer, or get them to make you a delicious cocktail with fresh grapefruit juice. Watch hipsters cavort through the bar, on their way to the swim club pool, another spot where you can hang out if you're looking for sun and fun instead. A membership will get you access to the pool and hot tub if you’re a snowbird or staying the winter, but if you’re just visiting, day passes are also available to non-hotel guests from Monday-Friday for $25USD. Just present yourself at the front desk.
I find it very relaxing to find a comfy spot in a chic hotel, order a cocktail, and just watch the world go by for an hour or so. Whether you're on vacation or just have an hour to kick back, this is a fabulous mini getaway.
Do you have a favorite pool bar, or hotel lobby I should check out? Let me know on Twitter @ErinLYYC