48 Hours: Boutique places to Eat, Stay and Play
BY KEVIN PERRY
The ideal vacation is a harmonious balance of sin and serenity. If you go too far in one direction, you pay too much for a garishly guilty excursion. Veer the other way and you’re stuck camping in some boring, remote dud of a locale.
The perfect medium is a getaway that keeps you connected and cozy; it’s an escapade that feels tailored specifically to your boutique tastes.
Welcome to Palm Springs.
We are the capital of cool for a reason, and a 48-hour stay in our fair town will broaden your horizons without breaking your budget. Palm Springs is a melting pot that simmers with the best international cuisine, SoCal sophistication, and desert exploration.
To experience this orchestra of luxury at full volume, book a stay at Arrive Palm Springs. This mixed-use marvel celebrates the contours of haute modernism with rooms that cushion your arrival in a tsunami of lush accessories. After an initial pampering, step out to the shops to enjoy gourmet ice cream, decadent coffee, or our favorite: pastrami prepared on-site at Wexler’s Deli. Or in the historic tennis neighborhood you'll find gems like Amin Casa, Korakia Pensione and Orbit In, all offering unique experiences. See the full list of small resorts and Inns. There’s over 50 to choose from.
Put that protein to great use by hopping on a complimentary bike and perusing the fashionable Las Palmas neighborhood. Shop, sip, or get artsy at one of the many galleries within a half-mile radius of your resort, but be back in time for more fun. Friday nights at Arrive bring poolside sunset concerts and outdoor movies after dusk. Lights, camera, awesome!
If you’re a night owl, sample a who’s who of foodie fantasies at Fisherman’s Market & Grill. Seek out one gastronomical gem, in particular: Shanghai Reds Oyster Bar. Over the years, it has harvested an ocean of rave reviews, including visits from such culinary luminaries as Rachel Ray and the late Anthony Bourdain.
Happy Saturday! Now, you don’t need to wake up early, but the kitchen crew at Chi Chi is already bright-eyed and baking up a storm. You’ll go ape over their house-made banana bread. Or perhaps you would prefer to indulge in healthiness with the Avalon Breakfast, named for the upscale resort where Chi Chi so stylishly resides.
Cool break! Languish in the pool for an intoxicating beat before immersing yourself in our next adventure…
Your 48-hour boutique safari continues with a transcendent architectural tour, courtesy of the Palm Springs Mod Squad. Mingle with masters like Albert Frey, Donald Wexler, and Hugh Kaptur, and beat the heat with Mod Squad’s exclusive interiors tour. Don’t just admire architecture; live it…
…and taste it! The MidMod Café is the perfect lunch enclave for what you crave. Your appetite has been raging since the midcentury, so send it back to the Rat Pack era and then get inspired with a vintage shopping spree Uptown. Work your way from The Frippery to Iconic Atomic and get lost in their finds.
Let us guess: you’re hungry again. That’s why we like you! Well, fear not because Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is a hybrid of bold flavors and refined execution. Visionary food-smith Engin Onural ranks among the best 30 sushi chefs in the world, and he’s bringing his unique spin on beverages and boutique dining to your table.
As day breaks on even more culinary possibilities, get sweet on Azúcar. Named for the Spanish word for sugar, this charming eatery has an observation deck called Sugar High from which you can greet the morning… but they are so much more than desserts. Nestled cozily in La Serena Villas resort, Azúcar offers succulent menu surprises like their Duck Egg Omelet, so put it on your bill! You still have a few hours left to explore.
If you don’t catch a swim at La Serena, splash on over to another festive pool: Caliente Tropics. It’s a tiki takeover of a destination, with playful décor and island hospitality so authentic, you’ll forget you’re in the desert. Hang ten next door for lunch at Evzin Mediterranean, where robust ingredients meet subtle craftsmanship. This is boutique, served on a platter.
As your 48 hours dwindle down to cherished memories and a promise of your return trip, enjoy more shopping at Plaza Del Sol or an artisanal nosh at Kreem, but don’t fill up on dessert; something sweeter lies ahead.
For your last meal in Palm Springs, the choices are as vast as they are conveniently located. That’s right, just across the street from one another, you’ll find the hip Vietnamese splendor of Rooster and the Pig and the Italian comfort cuisine of Il Giardino. The latter serves elevated Sicilian fare with a Northern twist and a generous dose of gorgonzola, which they import directly from their family back in Novara, Italy.
But if your palate demands sweet, spicy, and surprises supreme, check out Rooster and the Pig… but remember to make a reservation. It fills up faster than your belly!
These complementary kitchens illustrate the dazzling dichotomy of boutique Palm Springs. Worldly but familiar, intimate yet epic, our hometown crafts a perfect two-day stay for the two (or more) facets of your vacation persona. Reconcile your wild side with your inner Buddha and feed them both heartily during a 48-hour adventure in Palm Springs.