The classic image of a Palm Springs hotel experience includes impossibly blue California skies, San Jacinto Mountains in the distance, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and (of course) a cabana-lined pool beside which you can enjoy all of the above. Well, it’s not just fantasy – you can be splash-happy at any one of these outstanding hotels near Coachella Valley, with glistening pools, waterslides, lazy rivers, whirlpool baths, and hot tubs.
Triada Palm Springs, Autograph Collection
Courtesy of Triada Palm Springs, Autograph Collection / Expedia
In the centre of the Movie Colony district famed for its old Hollywood connections, this luxury hotel has three wings – Mente, Corazon, and Alma, each with its own aesthetic, and some spacious suites available. There are plenty of options for taking a dip, with the Mente pool and spa, Alma pool, and additional whirlpool to choose from. The Iluminara restaurant and lounge features poolside seating and outdoor dining with fabulous mountain views.
The pool at Palm Mountain Resort and Spa is surrounded by palm trees (naturally) and complemented by an array of bright orange parasols to keep the Southern California sun off the loungers. There’s a fire pit and a new hot tub – great spots to enjoy the incandescent sunsets when things cool down in the evenings. When the sun is high in the sky, misters keep you cool. This resort is just off Palm Canyon Drive, the tree-lined thoroughfare of downtown Palm Springs – so be sure to stop off at Sherman’s Deli, an NYC-style counter serving kosher fare all day long.
The pool at Hyatt Palm Springs is heated, so taking a dip in the winter is no problem, and there’s also a whirlpool hot tub. This large resort hotel on the edge of downtown features rooms with mini fridges, tubs, marble bathroom countertops, and coffeemakers. The Share small plate bistro and HooDoo patio restaurant and bar are great on-site eating options – the latter offers a range of newly-sourced pilsners and ales for the cold beer connoisseur.
The pool at this boutique hotel is saltwater purified; a perfect spot for soaking or floating while taking in the contrast between the blue sky and the Spanish mission-style whitewashed buildings of the Alcazar. The views of San Jacinto beyond aren’t bad either. The communal courtyard here is perfect for a glass of wine under the stars come evening, when you can gather round the outdoor fire pit or indoor fireplaces. Check out the pizza at Birba, the attached restaurant with tree-filled patio; the house classic comes topped with fennel sausage, mushroom, sweet onion, and San Marzano tomato.
Kimpton Rowan has the standout hotel pool in Palm Springs which, in a town not short of gorgeous ones, is saying something. You’ll find it on the rooftop of this seven-story purpose-built hotel in downtown, a contemporary take on Palm Springs modernism – all angular lines, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wide overhangs. Of course there are great mountain views from the pool, and you can get fresh ceviche and themed cocktails at High Bar by the water – try the humorously-named Flight Cancelled made with vodka, Campari, lime, orange, and almond-flavored orgeat.
The manicured grounds of Avalon positively ooze Hollywood glamor, which makes sense when you consider this boutique hotel has a sister resort in Beverly Hills. Al fresco food is available by the water, and you can take your pick from three different pools: the mountain-view Regency, sociable Chi Chi with fire pit and dining lounges, and gated Presidio – the most secluded pool with private cabanas and hedges all round. Avalon offers all this a mere block from the chic uptown design district.
This oasis resort in the Coachella Valley, a short drive southeast of Palm Springs, has so much to keep the family entertained you may not want to go anywhere else. With 27 holes of championship golf, a spa, and five eateries including Blu Ember serving California New American cuisine, Palms Cafe (try the brick-oven pizzas), and Splash Grill. The latter will bring plates directly to your poolside chair at Splashtopia, a waterpark with two 100ft (30m) waterslides surrounded by a lazy river.
With views of the Desert Princess golf course and San Jacinto Mountains, this DoubleTree by Hilton hotel is just 10 minutes from downtown Palm Springs. The Olympic-sized outdoor pool is ringed by loungers, cabanas, and two hot tubs. There’s also direct access to a 27-hole golf course and spa. Check out the sunset at Mira Bar and Cafe with its floor-to-ceiling windows, or the Mexican-inspired fish tacos at Polanco Kitchen; beer battered or grilled mahi-mahi, corn tortillas, house slaw, chipotle lime aioli, salsa rojo, and flour tortilla chips – muy rico!