Swanky Retro Hotel Steps from Downtown Palm Springs
In the 1950s, the vast desert valley of Palm Springs was on the cutting edge of an architectural movement dubbed desert modernism. Futuristic buildings with dramatic angles and stone accents quickly became de rigueur for the city’s wealthy residents and vacationing celebrities. One of the strongest proponents of this style was William F. Cody, who designed dozens of buildings in Palm Springs, including homes for Frank Sinatra, Conrad Hilton, and Walt Disney. In 1947, Cody designed Del Marcos Hotel, a sleek, streamlined embodiment of swinging mid-century architecture located just steps from downtown Palm Springs.
The hotel, now a Class 1 historic property, features guest rooms with space-age fiberglass furniture and bold tangerine and canary hues. A black-and-white photo of Frank Sinatra graces the spacious Ocean’s 11 suite, where a patio looks out on views of the San Jacinto Mountains. In select pet-friendly rooms, Fido can tag along for a nominal fee, and the hotel will provide pet-sitting services.
At the center of things, cabanas and palm trees surround a heated saltwater pool, where you can bask in the desert sun or direct your attention to the poolside televisions. Fire pits flicker around the perimeter. Because beach cruisers are free to use, you can bike to downtown Palm Springs in minutes. Or if you want to hit the links, the hotel will arrange tee times at one of the many golf courses nearby.
Palm Springs, California: SoCal Ease Meets Classic Hollywood Glamour
Set amid a rugged desert landscape recalling the face of a distant planet, Palm Springs is an oasis of casual living and midcentury Hollywood glamour. The sun-splashed getaway was once the stomping grounds of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, and it was an inspiration for the architects who founded the desert modernism movement here. Guided architecture tours run year-round; you can also grab a map of midcentury-modern landmarks at the Palm Springs Official Visitors Center, itself housed within an iconic building—the retro-futuristic Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey.
The Uptown Design District's central location between the glitzy Movie Colony and the architectural mecca of Las Palmas makes it rich grounds for touring on foot. Furniture and fashion boutiques along Palm Canyon Drive, the main drag, embrace Palm Springs' trademark midcentury modern aesthetic—what you might call Mad Men West. Nearby, the small but impressively curated Palm Springs Art Museum features works by Picasso and Rauschenberg alongside significant contemporary and Native American collections.