Set in a renovated 1950s hotel, Holiday House hotel has become an adults-only oasis of boho cool in the desert. Instead of mid-century modern design, the space is bright with pop art, bold textiles and more splashes of blue than a Caribbean beach. Guests arrive to welcome glasses of rosé and love beads upon check-in. The hotel keeps the holiday spirit going with well-stocked minibars or wet bars in each room, and one of the best pools in the desert, with a shuffleboard court, citrus trees and mountain views. Holidays rarely look this cool.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, and free early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
Double rooms from £209.80 ($258), including tax at 12.69 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $32.68 per room per night on check-out and an additional service charge of $2.25 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include Continental breakfast of fruit, yogurt, pastries, coffee and juice.
The hotel houses a museum-quality art collection with pieces by David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Herb Ritts and other prominent 20th- and 21st-century artists.
At the hotel
On-site parking, free WiFi throughout, shuffleboard court, cruiser bicycles for exploring the town. In rooms: Air-conditioning, minibar, coffee-maker, iPod docking station, Malin+Goetz bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Each room is bright and perky, with crisp white and blue design accents. Room 2 is especially large and in a prime location by the pool. The Best category of rooms have either a balcony or a patio with an outdoor shower, and the ground-floor Suite has a private entrance, fireplace and spacious living room.
The adults-only heated swimming pool is surrounded by shaded lounge chairs, with views of palm trees.
Retro, oversized sunglasses to suit the swinging ’60s pool vibe.
Several rooms and the public areas are wheelchair-accessible. There is also a pool lift.
Snag an outdoor table or lounge chairs in the nook off the main lobby.
Pool-ready coverups and sandals are perfect.
The Pantry offers brunch and lunch inside the lobby, and for service by the pool. The menu includes California-inspired dishes, including chilaquiles, avocado toast, robust salads and a towering burger with garlic aioli. A reservations-only fried chicken dinner is served on Fridays and books up well in advance.
The Pantry has a full bar that serves during restaurant hours, with drink options including a margarita, an Aperol spritz and crisp rosé that’s ideal for poolside sipping.
Breakfast is served from 6am to 10am, and lunch from 11am to 5pm. The reservations-only Friday dinner is served at 6.30pm.
Holiday House hotel is located on Arenas Road in downtown Palm Springs.
Palm Springs International Airport is a 10-minute drive away, with numerous 55-minute flights each day from Los Angeles. Direct flights are available from New York and Chicago, along with all major West Coast cities. Contact Smith24 for transfers.
The Palm Springs Amtrak station is a 20-minute drive from the hotel (www.amtrak.com).Service is available to Los Angeles three days a week and takes two and a half hours; there are connecting trains from San Diego.
Driving is one of the best ways to explore the desert, and the drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs is easy and iconic. Parking at the hotel is free and plentiful.
Worth getting out of bed for
Channel the retirees who flock to Palm Springs for its year-round sun and mild climate. Sleep in and embrace the slower pace of Palm Springs at Holiday House. After morning coffee, stake out a prime spot by the pool, where it isn’t hard to linger all day, settled beneath blue umbrellas with views of the nearby hills and orange trees, getting up only for lazy laps or rounds of shuffleboard at the adjacent court.
Grab cruiser bikes and head out to continue the golden-age inspiration with visits to the vintage boutiques and furniture showrooms along Palm Canyon Drive, north of the hotel. Scope out mid-century treasures, including seating and art, at Modernway and A La Mod.The Frippery is a fashion destination with caftans vibrant enough to match the bold design and Pop Art at the hotel. Don't miss the costume jewelry that completes each piece. For boldly coloured tassel-hemmed dresses that only look vintage, head for Trina Turk, which opened its first boutique of ruffled swimwear and sundresses on Palm Canyon Drive. Further afield, check out the designer discounts at Desert Hills, an outlet mall in Cabazon, 25 minutes north of the hotel. The discount shopping centre is packed with boutiques from top-of-the-line designers, including Alexander McQueen, La Perla, Balenciaga, Gucci and Brunello Cucinelli.
The desert offers plenty of outdoor adventure, too, including hikes in stark Joshua Tree National Park or around the saline Salton Sea. Get a bird’s eye view of the valley from San Jacinto Peak, accessible via a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The mountain holds restaurants, a gift shop and hiking paths.
The bright flavors and crisp vegetables at Rooster and the Pig are ideal after a day in the desert sun. The popular no-reservations restaurant serves tangy green-papaya salad, dill-topped fish and shredded chicken with cabbage. Nab a seat on the patio for Mexican dishes at El Mirasol, near the hotel (266 East Vía Altamira). The restaurant serves Mexican classics, including chicken in mole sauce, along with the spiciest plate in town, Shrimp Doña Diabla, which leaves many diners begging for margarita refills. When burger cravings strike, locals head to Tyler's, a lunch-only favourite, for house-ground meat slicked with cheddar cheese. The burgers are best paired with thick malts or shakes.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this desert hotel in California and unpacked their swimsuits and sunglasses, a full account of their poolside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Holiday House Hotel in Palm Springs...
Don’t let the hilarious neon sign off the lobby turn you off. A cheeky nod to the intellectual elitism of New York and the glamour of LA, it’s a helpful reminder that you’ve arrived in the California desert, where pasty New Yorkers retreat from brutal winters and Angelenos flock from busy traffic. (Read it for yourself at the bar.) Palm Springs is all about the laidback, sun-loving lifestyle, and when it comes to where to spend time away, holidays are the actual name of the game at Holiday House Hotel, an adults-only 28 room escape. The breezy, boho vibes start in the lobby, where bold art, club chairs and vivid blue floors are instantly transporting. Grab a welcome glass of rosé and take in the art, from Hockney, Lichtenstein and other instantly recognisable American artists. The holiday spirit continues in the guest rooms, each decorated with curated art and custom textiles in bold blues and whites that bring beachy breezes to the desert. Take a plunge into the blue at the pool, surrounded by sun loungers, palm and citrus trees for the ultimate in California cool.