On our road trip through California, in between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, we made one stop in Palm Springs. The infamous lush oasis in the midst of California’s desert reflects the laid-back, cool California lifestyle that I love so much with its mid-century modern architecture to endless palm trees and the abundance of sunshine. There is a special kind of magic that surrounds Palm Springs, and it’s always worth a visit!
This time, we stayed in the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. I have been following their Instagram Profiles for ages, and we even had visited the site before, when we ate breakfast at their King’s Highway diner in 2015. Ever since then, I have always found the Ace Hotel & Swim Club to be one of those places you simply have to stay at one point. At least, if you fancy good design, a chill atmosphere, and good poolside drinks. In any way, the Ace Hotel & Swim Club seems to be the center of the party, with the extensive, retro-industrial style pool area, the relaxed vibes, and the bumming music going on through the night*. And we finally made it, funny enough, on Thanksgiving Day.
Ace Hotels are surprisingly affordable especially in comparison to other hotels from that category. However, since their location in Palm Springs is very popular and also comes with an extensive poolside area, a night still comes at its price, especially during the holidays. When we booked, they had a 30% sale going on for the Black Friday Weekend, which we happily embraced and used for our stay.
We found a neglected treasure – a mid-century desert modern former Westward Hotel with a Denny’s – dusted it off, gave it some love, and made it into Ace Hotel & Swim Club.
Ace Hotels are known for their one-off boutique interior styles that are designed by different firms depending on the location. The location in Palm Springs used to be a Westward Ho and Denny’s back in the days until they were masterminded in 2009 by Los Angeles based design firm, Commune, who are renowned for their deft weaving of vintage 20th century design into resolutely contemporary spaces. Eco-conscious renovations with recycled materials have transformed the 1960s-era hotel into a bohemian-themed resort.
The “Swim Club”
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club property includes a spa, full fitness center, and sundeck with hammocks, but the year-round outdoor pool remains the main attraction: it’s open until 2 a.m. with live music or DJs, and a bar on-site serves excellent drinks to indulge in at the pool-side.
We booked a standard king room and landed on the second floor. The rooms come in cute, eclectic, and detail-orientated designs, equipped with all you need for your party and the hangover cure: mini bar, cocktail shaker, chilled detox juice. However, I have to say I was not too impressed with the room itself, as it was a bit tiny and unfortunately not soundproof. Next time, I would ask for a patio room away from the pool area. Some of those come with cute fire pits and lounge seaters – perfect for a weekend hangout with friends.
The F&B – my favorite part
The Ace & Hotel and Swim Club comes with two bar counters (one at the poolside, one inside), a coffee shop, and a patio outdoor seating area. You can also opt to eat and drink at the pool, which we embraced when we first arrived in the hotel, as we, therefore, had some great drinks on our sunbeds.
The breakfast at King’s Highway diner is decent (comes at a price though, as everything in Palm Springs) and I personally really enjoyed sitting on the cute little patio in the early morning light and catching some first sunshine on my face while having a cuppa flat white and some chilled detox juice.
** Speaking of music, I just wanted to highlight that the Ace Hotel & Swim Club actually plays music 24/7 to create the special vibe that Ace Hotels are loved for. They will play more calm, relaxing sounds during the night, but if you are sensitive (as I am) I recommend you ask for a room that’s far away from the speakers in the pool area.