Three more reasons to love Palm Springs

Monday, 15 April 2013 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Palm Springs is becoming my go-to haven for some R & R. The weather is reliable, it's a relatively quick jaunt from Vancouver, and it's got the whole mid-century modern vibe that I love. After spending almost a week there, I have three must-stops to recommend:

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Colony Palms Hotel – street view


From the road, the Colony Palms Hotel on Indian Canyon is not much to look at.  But once you pass through the arched doorway, this boutique hotel is a chic desert retreat. 

The hotel has an intriguing backstory.  In the 30s, it was owned by a Purple Gang mobster.  He also used it to run an underground speakeasy, brothel and gambling house.

Today, the renovated hotel has 56 Moroccan-inspired rooms, a pool, a restaurant, a spa, and some lush grounds full of fragrant honeysuckle, bougainvilleas, and hummingbirds. 

The rooms are spacious, comfortable and quiet.  One exception: don’t stay in room #4. The air-con units outside are pretty noisy. We had to move.

The pool area isn’t huge, but I loved the chill vibe. The music is mellow (think Thievery Corporation) and the drinks, while not cheap ($13 for a lime margarita), are definitely stiff.

The clientele is predominantly made up of stylish couples.  I spent half my time reading and the other half taking notes on poolside fashions.  The hotel literature says it’s a desert hideaway for many of Hollywood’s music and movie industry elite. I saw Veep’s Reed Scott catching a few rays. 

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The pool at the Colony Palms Hotel


About half a block away, next to the always busy Cheeky’s restaurant, is Birba (look for the big red B), serving what is perhaps one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.  Gluten-free no less!*  I also had a bite of their regular thin crust pizza and it was divine.  Try the homemade sausage, mushroom and onion.  The pie is so good, I had to go back twice in the space of five days!

*I found that PS does a great job of catering to the gluten-free crowd.  Lulu’s on Palm Canyon has a whole section of the menu devoted to GF foods.

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Thumbs up for the gluten-free pizza at Birba


On a return trip to Birba’s big red B for more delicious GF pizza!


I also made two trips to the Desert Premium outlet mall in Cabazon.  (It’s a 20 minute drive from the hotel.)  OMG, it’s a shopper’s treasure trove.  Gucci, Prada, Versace, Tory Burch, DVF, Vince, Nike, Ugg, J Crew…SO MANY STORES!!!  Give yourself a good three hours to navigate it all.  In addition to packing a credit card, bring a jacket or sweater.  There’s a mean wind that blows through the mall (hence all the windmill farms you see on the way) and whenever I’ve been there, it’s always much chillier than PS. 

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Soaking up the desert sun, enjoying some quintessential Palm Springs scenery

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  • Tim Edwards

    Looks like you had a great trip Kristina. Good weather always helps. Are you two getting tired of Vancouver weather. Your seem to be always looking to get away. 😉