Palm Springs, United States

L'Horizon Resort & Spa

Rates from (ex tax)$257.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD291.70), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Bygone bombshell

Setting

Scorching hot Mojave

Lights! Camera! Relaxation… L’Horizon Resort & Spa’s lavish, retro-cool bungalows (designed by mid-century modern master William F Cody) have hosted Hollywood legends, including Marilyn Monroe – and a few presidents. Built by Jack Wrather (big-time 1950s movie producer and owner of the original Disney hotel – as a holiday home, the resort’s retained its exclusivity; designer Steve Hermann has fitted rooms with must-have gadgetry, a new restaurant serves an artistic tasting menu, and guests will be fawned over as if they had a string of credits to their name.  

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

$25 a day towards food and beverages; GoldSmiths get an extra room upgrade and cheese platter on arrival

Facilities

Photos L'Horizon Resort & Spa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Twenty-five bungalows.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $257.00, excluding tax at 13.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $35.00 per room per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD291.70), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast. The á la carte menu is an all-American feast (waffles, biscuits, pancakes, French toast) with dishes starting from US$10.

Also

There’s nothing so pedestrian as a door number here; much like a legendary star’s dressing room, guests names are engraved into door plaques.

At the hotel

Gardens, terrace, sunlounger pavilion. In rooms: 40” Smart TV, Apple TV, free WiFi, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, 600-thread-count Frette linens, and Le Labo bath products. The Premier Bungalow and Premier Pool suite each have a terrarium, and the Residence has a full kitchen and private pool.

Our favourite rooms

Aspiring big-wigs should check in to the Residence, where original owner Jack Wrather stayed with his family – naturally, it’s the best. Unlike Wrather, you may not own the Disneyland hotel or the rights to Lassie, but the private pool and Fifties-fabulous surroundings will put a swagger in your step. The starriest stay is the Fireplace Junior Suite Bungalow –despite its unromantic name, it has VIP pedigree (a certain Ms Monroe once stayed here as Wrather’s guest).

Poolside

The main swimming pool is the heart of the hotel, surrounded by trim and tidy lawns – you won’t have to wander far for a cooling dip. The peaceful, sky-reflecting spot is flanked by white pavilions shading banks of sunloungers.

Spa

Treatments are carried out in four air-conditioned outdoor cabanas. Therapists will bring you freshly squeezed juices and ready you for your close up with a range of facials, body scrubs and massages, using gentle Naturopathica products.

Packing tips

Bring your favourite face mist to combat the blue-sky-high temperatures.

Also

On request, a personal trainer can put you through your paces in the elegant grounds. Bungalows are spacious and are all on one level.

Pet‐friendly

Dogs can stay for $150 a night (all rooms are pet friendly), and they get a little gift – a basket, water bowl, toy, snazzy bandana and doggy treats – on arrival. Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Palm Springs.

Children

No child stars; the hotel is strictly for over 18s.

Eco‐friendly

Eco-friendly cleaning products, use of natural gas, and LED lights show a healthy concern for the environment.

Food and Drink

Photos L'Horizon Resort & Spa food and drink

Top Table

Romance seekers, sit under the trees by the fire pit near the back of SO.PA’s courtyard. Or, mingle with fellow guests at the communal perch.

Dress Code

Marilyn-style pin-up by day, Gilda after dark.

Hotel restaurant

SO.PA restaurant’s alfresco tables are arranged around fire pits and fountains in a tree-dotted courtyard, lit by Lindsey Adelman’s  chandeliers: globular lights and metal rods fused into chemical-compound-mimicking shapes. Its centrepoint is a tree-pierced walnut table set for communal dining amid the more intimate spots. Chef Chris Andersen has devised a seasonal pick-and-mix tasting menu, and the à la carte has foraged vegetables from the Coachella Valley, wagyu beef, Maine lobsters and more, all zhuzhed up with gels, purées and a sprinkling of Kaluga caviar. Breakfast – a menu of comforting US favourites – and lunch are served here too. 

Hotel bar

The rustic wooden bar pavilion at SO.PA has tables laid out under chandeliers, but you can take your craft cocktail or glass of Napa Valley wine away, to drink in a pool cabana or on your terrace.

Last orders

Breakfast and lunch are served from 7.30am–2pm; dinner is from 5pm–9pm, Monday to Thursday, and till 10pm, Friday to Sunday.

Room service

SO.PA’s inventive dishes can be whisked over to your room anytime, day or night.

Location

Photos L'Horizon Resort & Spa location
Address
L'Horizon Resort & Spa
1050 E Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs
92264
Palm Springs
United States

Planes

If arriving from Canada or within the US, fly to Palm Springs International Airport with American Airlines, just a 10-minute drive from the hotel. San Diego International and LAX are both around a two-and-a-half-hour drive; British Airways, American Airlines or Iberia all fly direct to both; Virgin Atlantic runs a direct service to Los Angeles.

Trains

Amtrak trains stop at Palm Springs Station, a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Board the Sunset Limited route from New Orleans to LA, or the Texas Eagle from Chicago to LA.

Automobiles

You absolutely need a set of wheels (or a limitless Uber budget) for exploring America’s very great outdoors – expansive national parks, highways to the horizon, desert vistas aren’t made for walking. Hire a car at San Diego, LAX or Palm Springs airports. The drive from Los Angeles is about two hours via Route 60, and it’s two-and-a-half from San Diego via Interstate 15. Want something befitting the hotel’s old-school glamour? Roll up in a classic Caddy, Chevy or T-Bird from Regency Car Rentals in Beverly Hills. There’s free valet parking onsite.

Worth getting out of bed for

Palm Springs’ innate cheeriness gives the resort town a kitschy Pleasant Valley Sunday feel – its mid-centry-modern houses evoke the Fifties American Dream but, beyond the artifice, a wild desert beauty lends a magical air, with perfumed breezes, cacti clusters and mountain vistas bathed in blush-tinted light. Day trips require sunscreen and a tolerance for high temperatures – laze around starlet style by the pool or play a gentle game of petanque on site if it’s sweltering. Putt about on the Cathedral Canyon golf course (+1 760 328 6571, US$39 for non-residents), a 10-minute drive away, or saddle up and ride into the Santa Rosa Mountains at Smoke Tree Stables (+1 760 327 1372), just a five-minute drive away, where a one-hour trail rides are US$50 a person (leaving on the hour from 8am–3pm). The hotel is just one of the iconic architectural wonders in the area – take Michael Stern’s two-and-a-half-hour The Modern Tour (+1 760 904 0904) to see the city’s best (US$150 a person); or time your trip to coincide with Modernism Week (11–21 February each year), a celebration of retro design with talks and exhibitions. Then, furnish your home in similar style: Hedge Palm Springs (+1 760 770 0090) and notNeutral (+1 760 464 2982) sell old-school statement pieces, and the Uptown Design District has cool contemporary wares. Culture comes in the form of Palm Springs Art Museum (+1 760 322 4800); however, the artwork can’t quite compare to the natural panoramas seen from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the top of Mount San Jacinto (check the weather – it snows up there). Each spring, cutting-edge music and pseudo-hippie hedonism can be found at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, around a 30-minute drive from the hotel.   

Local restaurants

It’s not just the heat that drives Palm Springs’ residents indoors – a superb range of restaurants covers global cuisines and offers hearty portions. Dish Creative Cuisine (+1 760 322 7171) isn’t just tooting its own horn: each dish is delicately composed and guests can get interactive with pipettes of sauce, brioche ‘eggy’ dippers with caviar, and pudding pops – the ‘bacon flight’ is frankly genius. Set in an old movie theatre, recast as a slick industrial-chic eatery, Workshop Kitchen and Bar (+1 760 459 3451) serves high-quality farm-to-table fare, with excellent steaks. Las Casuelas (+1 760 325 2794), a casual Mexican diner has south-of-the-border signature dishes (ceviche, carne asada) and a lengthy maragrita menu. The Purple Palm’s (+1 760 969 1818) tempting menu – with applewood- and hibiscus-roasted salmon, short ribs and spiced lamb – is dished up in coolly colourful surroundings. For the town’s best french toast (no exxageration) pull up to Avalon Palm Springs hotel; its Chi Chi restaurant – all sleek yellows and golds with a glamorous garden area – also does a superb cochinita pibil (a slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península).

Local cafés

Duck-confit hash; ‘red, white and blue’ waffles; squash blossom, corn and pepperjack scramble: Cheeky’s (+1 760 327 7595) arguably serves the best brunch in Palm Springs. It’s something of a delayed pleasure: queues are intolerably long. Lulu California Bistro’s (+1 760 327 5858) breakfast menu could keep you going all day, with sections for crêpes, omelettes, Belgian waffles and variations on eggs Benedict. Ernest Coffee (+1 760 318 4154) is a cool independent café with a row of cherry-red stools in a bright open space – alongside a buzz-generating brew, their pastries, wines and craft beers are worth checking out too. 

Local bars

Keep good company at elegant old-school restaurant and bar Melvyn’s (+1 760 325 2323) – Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable’s favoured drinking den. Bar (+1 760 537 7337) , on 340 Palm Canyon Drive, brings things up to date with a sultrily lit wood and leather clad space, decorated with graffiti murals. The Tropicale Lounge (+1 760 866 1952) isn’t subtle, but it’s good fun with unnaturally hued drinks in a kitschy laid-back setting.

Reviews

Photos L'Horizon Resort & Spa reviews
Ivy Ackerman

Anonymous review

When was the last time I sat around the campfire roasting marshmallows? Around 20 years ago? 15? When was my last year at sleepaway camp? This lapse in memory was nagging me as I sandwiched my perfectly-toasted trophy between two Graham crackers, but it too was soon forgotten as I bit into my s’more.

I looked up at the desert’s night sky, my favourite childhood dessert in hand, and marvelled at my luck. Here I was, reliving my summer-camp days, but this time – instead of log cabins and lopsided fires – I was at the luxurious L’Horizon Resort & Spa in Palm Springs.

The analogy isn’t surprising when you think back to L’Horizon’s start. Built in 1952 as a private residence, L’Horizon was intended as a desert escape for owner, movie producer and oil tycoon Jack Wrather, and all his friends. With 20 bungalows situated around a centerpiece pool, you get the sense that what Wrather really commissioned was his own glamourous summer camp, with guesthouses serving as ‘camp cabins’ and a zero-edge pool posing as a ‘lake’. Perhaps the truest definition of ‘glamping’.

The magic of L’Horizon then, and what still captivates today, is its sense of intimacy. Every morning, as the early Palm Springs sun spilled through my bungalow curtains, I’d open my sliding door, gaze in wonderment at the magnificent mountain view and smile at my fellow guests who are doing exactly the same thing. Our shared morning ritual.

Within a few minutes, we’d all begin streaming towards the poolside bar, where we’d casually congregate to order our coffees and juices. We’d then settle into either one of the pool cabanas and plush lounges or head back to our personal patio and wait for our trays of beautifully plated, home-made pumpkin-cranberry granola, omelette croissant-sandwich and gigantic pancakes to arrive at our open-air, palm-dotted ‘dining hall’.

While one could easily opt to lounge by the pool for the entire day – there’s no hurrying around at L’Horizon – my mornings were usually reserved for getting active. A hike through the Indian Canyons. A journey through the Coachella Valley, chasing the Desert X large-scale art installations. Perhaps the most cherished of all mornings was Saturday, which I spent at the yoga class held on L’Horizon’s manicured lawn. The neighbouring cacti and palms made it a calming practice space.

No matter how far I’d venture off-property, warm afternoons always seemed to call me back to the pool, where I’d find most of my fellow guests camped out. Refreshing tequila- and grapefruit-laced Paloma cocktails and free massages from the hotel therapists kept us there until the sun moved behind the mountains. Then our formation would break for more quiet indulgences – some hit the hot tub, others the outdoor spa. My preferred move was flitting from an aperitivo – a glass of rosé accompanied by labneh and grilled naan – taken in a poolside cabana, and napping in a shaded hammock. Again, life is hurry-free at L’Horizon.

Heading back to my bungalow, to relax before dinner, I revelled in the simple pleasures: Le Labo bath products, branded wooden toothbrushes, a plate of freshly-baked blondie cookies… L’Horizon’s approach to hospitality is that of someone hosting you in own their home, rather than hotel. My bungalow even had an inscribed bronze door plate with my name on it. Mi casa es su casa.

It would be tempting to stay in my guesthouse for the night, if not for the best restaurant in Palm Springs only a few feet away. SO•PA, L’Horizon’s award-winning alfresco eatery is a culinary oasis with lush trees and twinkling hanging lights to complementing the dishes made using carefully considered ingredients.

Once dessert menus arrived, I didn’t even need to look. I had known what I wanted for dessert from the moment I arrived at L’Horizon and laid eyes on the fire pit. I asked if they had s’mores on the menu. Sadly, they did not, but as I was preparing to leave, the SO•PA manager approached holding a white tray heaped with marshmallows, dark chocolate and graham crackers. Oh, and two long sticks.

A desert mirage appeared before me. L’Horizon had made a request for my most ridiculous childhood craving come true. We moved over to the property’s private campfire and began skewering marshmallows. The light from the fire, the heated pool and stars above made everything around us glow. L’Horizon is certainly not a summer camp; it is, in fact, one of the most luxurious and uniquely designed resorts I’ve ever been to. But the feelings it inspires: the intimacy, the sense of community, and yes, the s’mores evoke the summer camps of my youth. It rekindles the same magic, which – alongside some wonderful memories – will undoubtedly, hopefully call me back to visit every year.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in L'Horizon Resort & Spa’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The inner courtyard layout. Workshop Restaurant in downtown Palm Springs is worth a visit.

Don’t expect

Good lighting, especially in the bathroom. Pet-free environment or fast service. The hotel feels understaffed.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Sep 2016

You’ll also find L'Horizon Resort & Spa in: