10 Palm Springs Hot Spots Perfect for Desert Relaxation

Palm Springs reigns as the undisputed retro-chic capital of laid-back luxury. With a flurry of new restaurants, boutique hotels and the recently-opened Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza downtown, which includes a spring-fed, 73,000-square-foot deluxe spa, there’s more to do in the desert than ever. Here’s a taste of what’s around and to come:

The Parker Palm Springs
The Parker Palm Springs celebrates 20 years in 2024, featuring the Palm Springs Yacht Club spa and several eateries. Recent updates include swanky mirrored bathrooms, revitalized rooms and the return of Mister Parker’s stylish, secluded dining room, where the cocktails are classic and dinner is remarkably indulgent.

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Counter Reformation wine bar at the Parker Hotel
Counter Reformation wine bar at the Parker Hotel

Breakfast on the sunny patio at Norma’s, or find the hidden Counter Reformation wine bar, where confession booths decorate the intimate hideaway for tapas and vino. Whether you’re choosing between two lushly landscaped pools, playing petanque or ping pong or gathering round the firepit at night, the Parker offers a number of relaxing hang-out areas in a spacious, private setting.
4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr.

Thompson Palm Springs
The 168-room Thompson Palm Springs is slated to open later this year above a highly visible corner in the Uptown Design District, complete with a chef-driven Mediterranean restaurant, pool area with stunning mountain views and a streetside tasting room from Napa Valley’s prestigious Hall Wines. |
414 N. Palm Canyon Dr.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum
Native fan palms and cascading streams re-create the peaceful environment of the nearby Indian Canyons at the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza and lead to the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and adjacent Spa at Sec-he. Visitors begin their museum tour within an immersive 360-degree theater showcasing an animated introductory film, which encapsulates the tribe’s origin story. Among the exhibits are prehistoric artifacts excavated from the site (estimated at 7,300-8,400 years old), a replica of a roundhouse tribal gathering place and the first slot machine from the Agua Caliente’s original casino.
140 N. Indian Canyon Dr.

Spa at Sec-he
The Spa at Sec-he’s essential element is the natural, 105-degree, spring-fed mineral water. Outside, the oasis-like setting features both a spring-fed pool and a larger pool capped by a towering waterfall, all surrounded by palms and shaded loungers. No expense was spared in outfitting the spa treatment rooms, each done in earthy desert shades. Malmal Café, off the spa’s lobby, is open to non-spa guests too. Smoothies, a plethora of seasonal salads and vegan grain bowls are on the health-conscious menu.
200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way

A Danish modern influence infuses Drift’s 39 hotel rooms, many with multiple bedrooms ideal for group hangs. Room décor harmoniously fits together with low-rise couches, fully outfitted kitchens and large furnished balconies, some with hammocks. 
284 S. Indian Canyon Dr.

Maleza at Drift
Baja Mexico meets youthful Coachella Valley desert vibes at Maleza, the restaurant within Drift. Open to a sun-washed pool deck, the contemporary breakfast/brunch-to-dinner restaurant is artfully screened from passing traffic. The inventive menu features fresh takes on customary Mexican dishes, dozens of craft tequilas and creative cocktails — the house Oaxacan Negroni blends mezcal, vermouth and strawberry-infused Campari.
284 S. Indian Canyon Dr.

Life House, Palm Springs
Opened in November, Life House, Palm Springs, thoughtfully reimagines the former Royal Sun’s mid-century modern architecture. Outdoors, Minerva’s restaurant specializes in plant-forward dishes.
1700 S. Palm Canyon Dr.

Del Marcos Hotel
Native stone and redwood finishes embellish the 17-room Del Marcos Hotel, which was built in 1947 by architect William S. Cody. Time travel feels possible while gazing through the glass-walled, mid-century modern lobby out to the picture-perfect pool. Major festival venues are within easy walking distance. 
225 W. Baristo Rd.

Canopy Wine Lounge
Canopy Wine Lounge combines a textured, sophisticated look from designer Christopher Kennedy and more than 150 international wines, complemented by upscale bar bites. 
175 N. Palm Canyon Dr.

Alice B. at Living Out
Alice B., from veteran SoCal restauranteurs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, is located at Living Out, a newly built, senior LGBTQ+ friendly community. The California-modern menu represents a change of pace for the pair’s first foray into Palm Springs. “Forked,” director Liz Lachman’s documentary chronicling Feniger’s challenging solo restaurant launch, screens at PSIFF. Festgoers can see the film, then try Alice B. for a thematic night out.
1122 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way

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