The Best Boutique Hotels in Palm Springs

August 20, 2021

Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.

Here are the top 5 boutique hotels in Palm Springs.

5.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club

We’re always glad to see a classic American roadside motor inn de-branded, renovated and repurposed. It’s a shame to see these mid-century buildings torn down, and as the building disappears, so does an example of an authentically American cultural form. Luxury boutiques can stay in the cities, and luxury villas can stay in Bali, where they belong — on the highways of the American west the motel is king.

Ace Hotel & Swim Club  – Boutique Hotel in Palm Springs

Admittedly, though, we didn’t see this one coming. For the Seattle-based Ace Hotel group, an expansion into downtown Portland was always in the cards. An outpost in Manhattan presents a challenge, but not a total re-invention. Palm Springs, however, is another matter entirely — but if anyone’s capable of swimming against the twin tides of faded mid-century design museums and bland contemporary luxury resorts, in the process making Palm Springs both hip and affordable once again, you have to imagine it’s Ace.

4.
Sands Hotel & Spa

When you think of palm-fringed SoCal desert oases, the words “Palm Springs” naturally come to mind. But it’s actually the whole Coachella Valley you’re picturing, from Palm Springs proper to Indio, and everywhere in between. This includes the upscale resort town of Indian Wells, which is perhaps most famous for its annual tennis tournament, but which, it turns out, is a worthy destination year-round. And thanks in part to the newly rejuvenated Sands Hotel and Spa, it’s got a luxury boutique hotel that’s on a level, both aesthetically and in terms of comfort, with the best in the region.

Sands Hotel & Spa – Boutique Hotel in Palm Springs

It’s a thorough reimagining of the original 1950s-era Sands, updated by designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard into something very contemporary, whose mid-century references are conscious rather than inherited and whose Moroccan influence gives it a visual identity all its own. The rooms, just 46 of them, are given plenty of space to spread out, and many come with private patios or balconies. The spa, naturally, plays up the Moroccan angle, and the pool, with its cabanas, is a delight. And the restaurant, the Pink Cabana, will serve Mediterranean-inspired fare — perfect for the hot days and cool desert nights of the Coachella Valley.

3.
Hope Springs Resort

Hope Springs references two aspects of classic Californiana at once — on the one hand, the mid-century modernist roadside motel (whose resurgence we just can’t get enough of), and on the other, the natural hot springs that are the hotel’s main attraction. It’s the sort of thing that maybe should go without saying, but these days is too easily overlooked: the “springs” in Palm Springs is there for a reason. Nowadays it’s mostly a mecca for golfers, and mid-century architecture obsessives, but once upon a time this corner of the desert — specifically Desert Hot Springs, twenty minutes outside Palm Springs proper — was known for its geothermal waters.

Hope Springs Resort – Boutique Hotel in Palm Springs

After extensive renovations it’s down to just ten pared-down minimalist-chic rooms, which adds to the private-retreat aspect of the place — it’s on a whole different scale from the typical Palm Springs resort. Each comes with king bed, CD player, and little else; there’s wireless internet access, if you simply must stay connected, but no TV or phone, and laptops and cell phones by the pools are gently discouraged, which goes a long way to underline the emphasis on tranquil seclusion.

2.
Holiday House Palm Springs

At Holiday House, a 28-room boutique hotel in downtown Palm Springs, there’s no messing about with superior, deluxe, and the like: the room categories are Good, Better, and Best. And the good is pretty good, indeed. Good means bright and cheerful, with original artwork, bath hardware by Waterworks, and custom textiles by Mark D. Sikes, the same Hollywood-based designer who reimagined the hotel’s interiors during recent restorations. Better means bigger, in this case, with a wet bar for good measure. And Best means mountain views, plus a private balcony or patio where you can properly enjoy them. (If the Best isn’t quite good enough, look into one of Holiday House’s top-of-the-line options, the aptly named Big Room or The Suite.)

Holiday House Hotel Palm Springs – Boutique Hotel in Palm Springs

The tongue-in-cheek room categories are a new addition, but Holiday House has been around for decades. The hotel first opened its doors in 1951, during the resort town’s golden age — original amenities included a shuffleboard court and English bicycles for guests. Much of its midcentury character remains. But now, thanks to the design overhaul, it caters to the whims of modern travelers. Cozy communal spaces where you can catch up on work, check. A cool tile-lined bar serving classic cocktails all day, check. A healthy continental breakfast and the requisite swimming pool to lounge around in your vintage-inspired swimwear: double-check.

1.
Sparrows Lodge

Take a hint from the word-of-mouth publicity, the quiet poolside crowd in retro swimwear, and the understated logo — a minimalist illustration of two little birds perched on a branch. Sparrows Lodge is not aiming for the mainstream. Recycled from the Fifties and refreshed for a style-conscious clientele, this woodsy hideaway is the kind of place where people play horseshoes, swing wooden tennis rackets and read books by their private campfires. At night, the property’s original red barn opens for dinner and drinks. It’s like a dreamy hipster version of the summer camp of your childhood — complete with artisan cocktails and deep, luxurious bathtubs fashioned out of old horse troughs.

Sparrows Lodge – Boutique Hotel in Palm Springs

Considering the mini-Renaissance of Palm Springs as a weekend getaway for cool LA kids working in design and fashion, there’s certainly a place for a rustic-chic ranch in this corner of the desert. And unlike many of Palm Springs’s revamped boutique hotels, the twenty-room Sparrows Lodge has a distinctly outdoorsy vibe: think built-in redwood furniture, tin roofs, patio fireplaces, stone floors, earth tones, exposed beams. There are four categories of rooms and suites: the most luxurious is the spacious Fireplace Room, named for its cozy gas-burning fireplace.

View our entire selection of Palm Springs Boutique Hotels

Popular Questions

Which Palm Springs boutique hotels are best for families?

Many of the best Palm Springs boutique hotels are family friendly. Especially the ones below. Please contact our Travel Specialists for information on specific amenities and activities.
Ace Hotel & Swim Club
The Saguaro Palm Springs
Alcazar Palm Springs

Which of the best Palm Springs boutique hotels allow pets?

For anyone with a pet by their side, you have plenty of choices among the best Palm Springs boutique hotels. Here’s a sample of those that welcome pets (charges may apply):
Sands Hotel & Spa
Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm Springs
Villa Royale

Which of the best Palm Springs hotels have pools?

When it comes to Palm Springs boutique hotels, it’s the rare hotel that doesn’t have at least one swimming pool. The following have multiple pools.
The Parker Palm Springs
Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm Springs

Which hotels in Palm Springs have an electric car charging station?

Many of the Palm Springs boutique hotels on Tablet have charging stations for electric cars. Here’s a sample.
Holiday House Palm Springs
Sparrows Lodge
La Serena Villas

Which Palm Springs boutique hotels offer free parking?

Palm Springs is in driving distance of Los Angeles, so if you find yourself driving, know that plenty of the Palm Springs boutique hotels on Tablet offer free parking. Here are a few.
Sands Hotel & Spa
The Saguaro Palm Springs
Ace Hotel & Swim Club

Which Palm Springs boutique hotels have bungalows?

If you’re looking for the experience of staying in a bungalow instead of a traditional hotel room, you have plenty of options in Palm Springs. Please contact our Travel Specialists for questions about any specific accommodations.
Villa Royale
La Serena Villas
Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm Springs
The Parker Palm Springs

Are MICHELIN and Tablet Hotels the same?

Tablet Hotels merged with MICHELIN in 2018 and is the hotels component of the MICHELIN Guide. For more information visit our About Tablet section.