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Ace Hotel Palm Springs is the coolest roadside motel since the ones from Thelma and Louise. Basically, if Elvis Presley and Young Hollywood teamed up to produce a place for the hipster bohemia to spend a few nights then this hotel would be it. On the outside, the kitschy, two-level buildings look like they were cryogenically frozen in the sixties only to rise in 2009 from their Austin Powers-like slumber with a lick of white-wash and some seriously edgy interior renovations. And in reality, this isn’t too far from the truth of how this boutique hotel came to be…
The Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs is a direct result of it’s very ‘americana’ roots. A collaboration between the growing Ace Hotels US-based brand and L.A.-based design firm, Commune oversaw the conversion of an old motel into the desert-haven it is today. The hotel’s on-site Diner, King’s Highway, is also a converted Denny’s… But don’t worry, it doesn’t have Denny’s lingering fast-food odour. In fact, King’s Highway serves up upgraded yet low-key american fare with a touch of the unexpecte (for the quinoa and vegan lovers walking among us).
The bones of each building on the hotel’s premises remain intact, but then so do the facades of most buildings in the surrounding area. “Desert Modern”is the much-lauded term used to describe this unique type of Palm Springs architecture. The design, which is notable for its use of glass, clean lines, natural and manmade materials, grew out of local and visiting architects’ desire to adapt modern material and techniques to the unique requirements of arid-desert living, and to ensure the impossibly tall palm trees, distant valleys, dunes and mountains remain the dominant feature of the landscape. So if you’re on to a good facade then why change it? That’s certainly what shines through in this hotel collaboration. Except for the fact they’ve hung onto a good thing and made it better. Way better.
Time-warps aside, the hotel’s interiors are a luxe mish-mash of old and new. The rooms have modern fixtures and fittings but are decorated with kitschy wall-art, antiques and street signs– some of them quite cheeky. The music on the retro radio – old Led Zeppelin and Patsy Cline tunes – sets the vibe as you enter. This is definitely a hotel for creatives who aren’t keen on roughing-it in the middle-of-nowhere but want a sense of distinct connectedness too!
Ace Hotel Palm Springs – The Lowdown
Reviewed by Stefanie Acworth who was a guest of Ace Hotel Palm Springs in November 2014, courtesy of the Los Angeles and Palm Springs Tourism Boards.