Monday, April 5, 2010

Voyager Bien: Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs

You shouldn't be a stranger to the Ace Hotel dynasty... But if you are, you have some homework to do. The mindful, smartly designed and accessible American hotel group has changed the reality of urban travel for Seattle, Portland, and New York - and with the addition of Palm Springs, the get-away vacation.
Located on East Palm Canyon Drive just south of downtown Palm Springs, The Ace Hotel & Swim Club occupies a sprawling 1965 Howard Johnson motor hotel and resurrects its late mid-century vintage spirit as a stylistic springboard. Combining desert chic, modern simplicity, and a sense of adventure and rustic luxury, the Ace is immediately comfortable and challengingly familiar.
Housed in a former Denny's at the hotel's helm, the King's Highway restaurant evokes roadside diner mainly in aesthetic, replacing greasy, fried, and processed with local, seasonal, and organic. With an eclectic menu, Portland's infamous Stumptown coffee (a unicorn find for CA), a handy to-go counter for in-room dining, and poolside service, your snacking needs are well accounted for.
For your thirst, the quaint and charming Amigo Room is enlisted with a flight of extremely accommodating bartenders mixing up classics and zesty Latin-inspired cocktails.
Fresh squeezed fruit juices and house-made mixers take the agave-kissed Amigo Margarita and herbaceous Desert Facial (muddled cucumber and mint, vodka, pineapple) to a class level hard to match on the Palm Springs strip of yesteryear tourist watering holes.
My favorite, the Daiquiri Perfecto, made with 8 year aged golden rum, brown sugar and lime truly is the perfect nightcap after a scorcher in the desert sun.
The Swim Club includes a snaking pool, geometric hot tub, day spa, gym, towel & cocktail service, poolside hammocks, and of course a tamale cart. DJs and bands round out the weekend poolside experience, with refreshments of boozy sno cones (blackberry/vodka, mango/rum) and a flaming walk-up cash barbecue. Guests wanting to do-it-themselves can order a BBQ kit to be delivered to the room for "VIP" patio parties.
We opted to finish the afternoon with lunch from King's Highway delivered on the poolside patio. A.L.T. sandwiches and fish tacos gave us energy to wrap up our towels and totes and get back on the road. Palm Springs... it may only be a hop from LA, but sadly weekends don't last forever. At least there's always something to look forward to, an oasis waiting lazily in the desert sun.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 East Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA 92264; 760.325.9900


  1. You know how I know you're good at this? Because I was THERE and I'm STILL, 'Omg - that looks so fun. I wanna go.' As if I hadn't. Like it's totally foreign to me. Or maybe I just want to want ... Hmm ... (as she stares at her belly button). In any case, that trip is forever immortalized as a piece of livable heaven. Ugh. Love. It. There.

  2. Fabulous post. I love your writing skills it made for a fun read. I'm really 'hankering' for those fish tacos and a desert facial though. Yum! Great photos too. Why don't weekend's last forever?

  3. Great post! Really nice photos that really capture the vibe, too. We were at the Amigo Room recently and were told to ask for the Cool Hand Luke cocktail -- it's not on the menu but very worth it. Cucumbery, minty, delicious. We guessed on the ingredients and talk about it here:


  4. Looks like such a wonderful getaway! nice photos!

  5. Thanks! I will have to try the Cool Hand Luke when I'm back out there next weekend!