Jessica and I had a great time in Palm Springs. In fact, she's documented the entire trip in three (3!) parts over on her blog. It was especially good being back in California, where I grew up. As we were flying over the Mojave Desert from LAX I found myself settling into the (hard) seats and feeling comforted by the mountains with their familiar soft ridges and brown rocks. Growing up I looked up at those mountains every day. And I realised on this trip just how much I miss their giant shadows.
Obviously, Palm Springs was really hot during the middle of July. It averaged 109ºF while were in town, and that meant we pretty much stayed poolside or in our cold hotel room. But, honestly, who doesn't want to be poolside?
We stayed at the Ace Hotel in midtown Manhattan in the spring of 2012 while in town for my graduation from grad school. We absolutely loved that hotel for how much there was to do just on site. The other major benefit that location has is its proximity to everything New York City has to offer.
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, unfortunately, doesn't have that going for it. It's a really cool property. They built the whole thing out on the foundations of a 1960s Howard Johnson and the vibe that comes from that architecture is awesome. The restaurant on-site was built in a renovated Denny's diner. And it's really cool looking.
The three days we were there were more than enough. We were tired of the restaurant's menu after 3 meals and there were really many other options nearby. Their bar, The Amigo Room, had lackluster cocktails, but a decent selection of beer on tap. Jessica ordered an Old Fashioned and it came out as a sort of icy Old Fashioned-flavored Manhattan. Not awesome. Especially for how much they tote having "hand crafted cocktails focusing on fresh fruit juices", etc. I would expect, since they cater to a Los Angeles crowd, that the drinks would've been moderately acceptable.
The grounds were beautiful; lime and kumquat trees lined the walkways, giving shade and looking generally beautiful. There was even a pomegranate tree outside of our hotel room.
All in all, we had a great time and got some much-needed rest.
More photos from our trip are over on Flickr.