Written by Beth Fhaner
The popular desert playground promises a glamorous—and event-filled—getaway
With its lush palm trees, endless sunshine, sparkling pools and sophisticated vibe, Palm Springs is especially alluring this time of year. The winter months present an ideal time to visit the Coachella Valley, not only for relaxation and renewal, but also for the area’s marquee events, including the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival, Modernism Week and the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, among others.
Visitors who book a stay at L’Horizon Resort and Spa will find a boutique property that evokes the romance of Hollywood’s golden age. Set upon three acres of manicured desert grounds, backdropped by the stunning San Jacinto Mountains, the resort’s accommodations emulate luxurious private residences with hand-selected finishes. Additionally, guests can revel in an extraordinary culinary experience at SO.PA (short for South Palm), an al fresco restaurant sporting a new menu that features the tantalizing creations of Michelin-starred executive chef, Chris Anderson.
At the Jonathan Adler-designed Parker Palm Springs, guests can enjoy extreme privacy at this secluded property, featuring eclectic furnishings, hammocks hanging from palm trees, red-clay tennis courts, petanque courts, a croquet lawn and three saline pools. For those seeking to completely de-stress, a visit to the Parker’s lush spa is highly recommended, followed by refreshing beverages at the on-site lemonade bar, indulgent comfort food at five-star diner Norma’s, or elegant bistro fare at Mister Parker’s.
For travelers who wish to stay further outside of Palm Springs proper, posh resorts like La Quinta Resort & Club and The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, respectively, offer unforgettable escapes. Since 1926, legendary La Quinta Resort has served as a retreat for Hollywood’s elite with its Spanish-style casitas, suites and villas located on 45 beautifully maintained acres; the property also includes 41 pools and five unique golf courses. Perched atop a 650-foot bluff within the Santa Rosa Mountain range, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers sweeping views of the valley and an ultra-luxurious desert experience—an infinity adult pool, the Club Lounge, and the ultimate in pampering at the serene, stand-alone spa, where guests can create their own custom-made body scrubs and body butter. For fine dining, the swanky Edge Steakhouse features a classic steakhouse menu with modern twists, complemented by a first-rate wine list.
The desert’s vibrant culinary scene offers endless options for noshing in a trendy locale. Palm Springs boasts an array of buzz-worthy spots to grab a bite, including Workshop Kitchen + Bar in the heart of the city’s Uptown Design District. Located in a retrofitted 90-year-old movie theater, Workshop features a James Beard Award-winning restaurant design, farm-to-table New American cuisine and a classic cocktail bar. The ultra-popular Cheeky’s is the place for a casual breakfast (don’t miss the five-piece bacon flight), and Birba, its sister restaurant next door, is a modern Italian spot that serves delicious pizza and small plates. Last autumn, the team behind Cheeky’s and Birba also opened Mr. Lyons, a contemporary steakhouse catering to sophisticated foodies with its dark woods, green velvet, classic Manhattans, and martinis. Eight4Nine, dish-Creative Cuisine and Spencer’s Restaurant are among other favorite eateries in Palm Springs.
With a multitude of signature events held year-round in the Coachella Valley, the winter season draws crowds for a diverse range of activities. Approximately 135,000 cineastes will flock to the desert for the 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 2-16), one of the largest and most esteemed film festivals in North America. Enthusiasts of midcentury modern design will revel in the era’s best at the popular Modernism Week (February 16-26), and avid tennis fans will cheer on their favorite players at the BNP Paribas Open (March 6-19). While Palm Springs provides a casually elegant escape during any season, this stylish desert destination shines as a wonderland… all winter long. VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com