Posh Digs near San Jacinto Mountains
When naturalist John Muir climbed San Jacinto Peak, he called the view "the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth." Nowadays, it's much easier to reach the summit and take in the panorama Muir raved about. Every day, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ferries tourists up the steep escarpment, and scenic trails reach to the peak, where trendy Palm Springs looks like a quiet desert mirage. Located fewer than 10 minutes from the tramway and surrounded by dramatic views of the San Jacinto Mountains, Marquis Villas Resort puts visitors within reach of the area's natural attractions as well as the city's hip resort scene.
The resort manages to meld arid mountain surroundings with a distinctly vintage vibe. Native palm trees encircle the outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and the "San Jac" Peak—as it's known to locals—makes a breathtaking backdrop. The exterior of each one-bedroom condo has a ruddy, terra-cotta quality that harks back to the old Southwest, even as the architecture's sleek, angular lines reflect a more modern aesthetic.
To explore Palm Springs, you can take a short drive to visit celebrity homes, family-friendly museums, and international restaurants. With this Getaway, you get a $25 credit to Maracas Cantina, a colorful eatery that serves foot-long flautas ($12.95), deep-fried lobster, and veggie enchiladas ($11.95).
Palm Springs, California: Desert City with Outdoor Recreation and Hollywood History
Nestled in the Coachella Valley in southern California, Palm Springs has fallen in and out of fashion over the course of the past two centuries. The desert town, which boasts a strong Native American presence, remained relatively unknown up until the 20th century, when it was "discovered" by Hollywood A-listers who were drawn to its temperate weather and tucked-away feel. Word spread quickly, and by 1950, the landscape was dotted with tennis courts, swimming pools, and flashy modern homes owned by Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
Though it experienced a lull at the turn of the century, Palm Springs has emerged once again as a vacation hot spot. The sun shines on Palm Springs 350 days a year on average, which makes it easy to hike or play on one of its designer golf courses year-round. Luxury spas and boutique shops cover the glitzy downtown area of "PS." There's an old kitschy feel that still survives in the town, which is now surrounded by a mix of retro midcentury hotels and new Mediterranean-inspired villas.