Palm Springs Modern Hotels

by Morgan Rush

Visitors to Palm Springs still find glitzy relics from the desert oasis’s glory days as a Rat Pack sunshine temple meant for animal-print bikinis, tropical cocktails, golf course meanderings and day-long tanning sessions on plastic-webbed lounge chairs by the swimming pool. Hotels featuring shag rugs, stone facades and ticky-tacky schmaltz abound. But plenty of hotels shrugged off the kitsch in favor of modern digs appealing to the area’s new singles, retirees and family visitors. Staples of Palm Springs’ modern hotels include glam pools, sleek furnishings and family-friendly amenities.


Deserts, considered spiritual places by cultures around the world, inspire visitors to meditate and relax. The Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs offers an on-site spa with hour-long group yoga sessions as well as private yoga classes. Wellness packages include calorie-monitored meals; daily health lectures; and spa treatments including herbal exfoliation, volcanic clay masks and Cleopatra-inspired milk baths. Less-spiritually inclined guests can enjoy the oversize swimming pool with floating beanbags, shaded cabanas and live entertainment. Black-crystal chandeliers, oversize armchairs and an ornate lobby pool table provide additional modern touches.

All Mod

The Orbit In hotel directs guests to modernism-themed events around Palm Springs, including meetings of the Palm Springs Modern architectural committee, M Modern Gallery art shows, Palm Springs Convention Center modernism theatrical performances, and architectural day tours around Palm Springs focusing on mod-style buildings. Rooms, known as “the pads,” feature bathrobes, continental breakfast,and free poolside “Orbitini” happy hour cocktails. Saltwater pool, poolside fire pits and desert-themed landscaping round out the hotel's offerings.


The four-acre Hotel Zoso offers packages for Palm Springs visitors interested in cruising around town in style. Available cars include a Bentley Continental GTC convertible, Mercedes SL550, Corvette and Boxster roadster. Modern conveniences include wireless Internet access, high-definition flat-screen TVs, and “rainshower” bathroom facilities. Guests can purchase extras including cheese platters, chilled champagne, cabana rentals equipped with mini-fridges, and poolside massages. Activities booked through the hotel include desert hot air balloon rides, wine tasting in nearby Temecula, and tours of the region’s iconic windmill plantations.


The Movie Colony Hotel features modern, sleek lines with enough activities to stir guests from their poolside slumber. Visitors desiring extra room and privacy can forgo hotel rooms in favor of townhouses equipped with living rooms, patios, upstairs bedroom suites, DVD players, stainless steel fridges and wireless Internet access. The hotel offers free continental breakfast, sunset happy hours featuring California wines, and beach cruiser bicycles. Downtown Palm Springs lies within walking distance,