Don’t bother looking for the gay district in the desert resort town of Palm Springs. That’s because LGTBQ culture is the back bone of all of Palm Springs life. From night clubs to restaurants, boutique hotels to well, boutiques, Palm Springs may be the queerest, gay-fueled resort town on the planet.
Palm Springs has the country’s highest concentration of independently owned gay boutique hotels and resorts sprinkled throughout its gorgeous valley. Many of its roughly 20 LGBTQ-friendly owned and/or operated resorts and inns are clothing-optional. In many cases, owners live on site which help make guests feel like cherished friends. And each one boasts crystal blue pools, beautifully landscaped grounds and particularly attentive staff.
Well-reviewed favorites include the award-winning Triangle Inn Palm Springs, a mid-century historic resort with a distinct flair for “Southern (California) hospitality.” It’s a prime example of steel, glass, and stone design. The hotel has eight large suites with comfortable furniture and fully-equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. Breakfast is served by the pool every morning, and in the afternoon, guests gather for mixers. The private compound is clothing optional throughout, and includes lush gardens, two sundecks, a swimming pool, in-ground Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Naked yoga retreats and other special events are offered throughout the year.
The Hacienda at Warm Sands, an upscale gay men’s resort, feels like a private sanctuary, with its lush foliage, Japanese water feature, Saltillo-tiled patios and walkways, Southwestern plants, outdoor fireplace, in-ground spa, and two large swimming pools. An expanded continental breakfast is served in the morning, followed by gourmet sandwiches, salads, and wraps at lunch. In certain areas — the swimming pools, spa, and patios — swimsuits are optional. With just 10 suites, The Hacienda has a staff to guest room ratio of 1 to 1 — ensuring that guests receive attentive service. Before travelers arrive, they can call ahead and request specific foods, beverages, and other amenities, which will be waiting in their room.
For those who dream of a quieter environment, the well-named Escape is a beautiful 1950’s mid-century resort surrounded by spectacular postcard views and tropical grounds. Its laid back, clothing optional environment is known for a relaxed, attitude-free atmosphere. All 12 well-appointed rooms have either outdoor seating areas or private patios, and the king rooms boast full kitchens with ranges, cooking equipment, and dinnerware. Because the courtyard runs east/west, it’s in full sun all day, but there’s plenty of shade for those who want to stay cool.
Built in the 1940s by Howard Hughes, El Mirasol Villas is a blend of Spanish style and bygone Hollywood. It was the first gay hotel in Palm Springs, and has been operating as such since 1975. Its owners continually improve the property, always keeping its Old Hollywood, 1940’s history in mind. With its charming bungalows and studios, the property has everything needed for a peaceful vacation. Each room has custom-designed furnishings, and a complimentary breakfast is served every morning on the patio with fireplace. There are two pools, a 10-man spa, eucalyptus steam room, and outdoor shower.
Gay to Play
Adventurers are encouraged to check with their innkeepers to find out what’s happening. Why? Because Palm Springs loves a party! And not just any party will do. Think epic extravaganzas of every stripe, including Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party, Club Skirts, Palm Springs PRIDE, a massive annual Halloween blow out on Arenas Road, and more!
Those are just a few of the places to stay and things to do in Palm Springs. Discover more when you visit www.authenticpalmsprings.com or follow us on Facebook or Instagram to explore a unique collection of over seventy independently owned small hotels.