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…

Ace Hotel Desert Modern

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).

Ace Hotel Diner

Ace Hotel Palm Springs Diner

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.

ace-hotel-pool-side

Ace Hotel Facade

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

Ace Hotel Palm Springs – The Lowdown

Vibe vibe Hipster Desert Commune
Think think Thelma and Louise Meets Young Hollywood.
Sound sound Led Zeppelin and Ratatat
Crowd crowd Creatives, Celebrities, Hipsters, Young-Couples
Highlights highlights 1 Kitschy-room touches such as retro speakers, witty wall-art. Dog’s allowed ($25US extra). Too-Hip-It-Hurts staff. Tuesday night Karaoke at the Hotel Bar (Natalia Imbruglia – Torn, my personal fav).
Lowlights lowlights Over-stocked mini-Bar incites many-a-debauchery. Pool can be very crowded at times. Open-air parties within the hotel confines can be noisy into the wee-hours.
Opened In opened-by 2009
Amenities amenities Free and Fast Wifi throughout. Room Service. Air-con. 24-hour reception. Parking on-site for free. Guest services. Outdoor courtyards with fireplaces (some rooms). Vinyl record library. Spa with poolside treatments. Barbershop. Gym. In rooms: flatscreen TV. Rudy’s Barbershop Bath Products. iPod and MP3 docks. Mini-bar like a well-stocked pantry. 
Price price  From $120USD/night

Ace Hotel Fire Pit Courtyard

Ace Hotel Room

Ace Hotel Mini Bar

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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.