Tag Archive | "palm springs"

Korakia Pensione – Palm Springs


room5Voted as “one of the sexiest hotels in America” by the New York Times, it’s easy to see why this tucked away little retreat in the desert lives up to its title. Not only does Korakia Pensione live up to its prestigious title, they also work tirelessly to maintain it. The property is run with deft precision … all of the fineries and small touches one would expect in a 5 star hotel, but delivered as though you were the only person staying at the property. Services such as complimentary yoga while gazing at the San Jacinto Mountains, as well as movie nights under the stars while propped up on Moroccan pillows, in addition to complimentary breakfast serving delicious culinary delights already put the Korakia in a class of its own.

Everything about Korakia is unique…beginning with check-in, which is a casual affair to be enjoyed while being served a Moroccan mint tea and given a quick tour of the property. Korakia is divided two wings, the Moroccan wing which houses suites with names such as Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier… each room more exquisite than the last.

Directly across a small residential street is the Mediterranean wing. Although both wings have gorgeous swimming pools, the Mediterranean one seems to have a bit more of the “it” factor. The lovely staff periodically drops by with much needed complimentary refreshments such as freshly blended mini smoothies. Any request is met with a resounding yes! such as a request for an ice bucket to chill poolside drinks… the service is attentive but not overbearing. They understand that you are there relax and for the most part to be left to your own devices, however, they somehow anticipate every need, before you’re even aware that you needed anything. This is what truly sets Korakia Pensione apart from the rest. Voted the sexiest hotel in America, but I would easily classify it as one of the best hotels in America.. bar none!

257 S Patencio Rd,
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Alcazar Resort – Palm Springs


As far as having every conceivable hotel luxury and amenity available under one roof….Alcazar in Palm Springs has got you covered from A to Z, or rather, in this case…it’s got you covered A, B, and C! Alcazar (A), Birba (B) and Cheeky’s (C), are three of the most coveted destinations in such a short radius. You quite literally have your every holiday desire accommodated and fulfilled within a few steps from each other. The tone is set as soon as you walk through the inviting reception doors. A friendly and hospitable check-in will have you on your way to your awaiting poolside or mountain-view room in no time at all.

“A” – Alcazar is a boutique hotel located in Palm Springs’ uber-desirable and trendy design district. After a complete redesign and renovation from its former incarnation as the Pepper Tree Inn, every surface of this desert beauty is impeccable and beautifully appointed. Serene white walls, luxurious and heavenly high thread-count Italian linens, and flat screen TVs are just a few of the amenities enticing you to remain in your room for the duration of your stay, however with so much to explore on the gorgeously groomed grounds, you would be remiss not to take advantage of all it has to offer. A refreshing and glimmering saltwater pool with relaxing lounge chairs, and a Zen “wall of water” fountain, gently cascading just beyond the pool perimeter, are nothing short of sheer bliss, and a perfect way to unwind. However, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, complimentary bicycles are available at your disposal for a quick jaunt around town, or a longer ride along the mountain trail to satisfy your wanderlust. In addition, and certainly not to be overlooked, are complimentary beverages and pastries, which are available as a light snack in the relaxed guest services area. All this and we haven’t even gotten to the B and C of this amazing playground!

“B”- Birba is the sophisticated restaurant/bar on the Alcazar property. It is a destination driven place to “see and be seen”, yet one would feel equally comfortable lingering over a cocktail on the comfortable and cozy couches with a flickering fire pit as a seductive backdrop. Birba’s designer pizzas are strong highlights of its menu… unique combinations, such as the potato, Gorgonzola, ricotta and rosemary pizza, are a lively contrast to the classic, yet mouthwateringly delicious Margherita pizza…. The fare is mostly light yet undeniably flavorful, and as such, a perfect companion to the true heroes of this night spot… the cocktails! A seat at the stunning marble bar will have you face to face with expert mixologists, whipping up such delights as the “Heated Snake’, a sinful concoction of Tequila, fresh lime, lemon, triple sec and Habenero oil. If you find yourself swept away enjoying one too many cocktails, you will be comforted by the hearty breakfast offerings provided by the cornerstone of this trifecta…Cheeky’s!

“C’ – Cheeky’s – Scrumptious, delicious and full of mischief would be an accurate way to sum up the phenomenon that is Cheeky’s. Often described as the best breakfast in the desert, its highlights include decadent dishes such as buttermilk waffles with homemade butter pecan caramel and bananas or less indulgent, but equally satisfying dishes such as their signature frittatas. Don’t miss the a la carte bacon bar featuring bacon done 5 ways…the jalapeno version is addictive!!
The menu features many organic sustainable items, and with a menu that changes weekly, you are always in for a pleasant surprise!

So now you know your ABC’s…Next time come and enjoy ALL three!!

622 North Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA

Park Yourself at the Parker in Palm Springs


By Jennifer O’Neill

Quirky is the only way to describe the Parker Palm Springs Hotel located in the heart of the Desert. With interior design by Jonathan Adler, the décor is not for the faint of heart. The ambiance is reminiscent of a 70’s inspired psychedelic acid trip, with its topsy-turvy lamps and a sign emblazoned with the word “DRUGS” in the lounge area. Somehow this all feels perfectly normal juxtaposed with the pink-suit clad doormen and valet attendants.

Once outside the main lobby area you feel transplanted out of the 70’s and into a whole new era, this time to the Rat Pack days of yesteryear where you might image Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra strolling the manicured lawns of the maze-like property. The grounds boast two swimming pools (one open 24 hours), an outdoor fire pit, tennis courts, spa and croquet.

I had the added advantage of my room opening to the second pool and a Jacuzzi, which generally closes at 10pm, but is accessible around the clock for guests whose rooms open to this area. The effect is that of having your own huge, private, bougainvillea lined backyard.

The room itself was regal, with its four poster bed, yet it still stayed true to the cheeky 70’s vibe with shag rugs, embroidered pincushions and artwork depicting celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and Diane Von Furstenberg hanging out in the Studio 54 glory days. It was a special treat to luxuriate in the buttery soft high thread count linens and nibble on the complimentary fruit platter. The bathroom was loaded with generous travel sizes of posh toiletries including luxury, brands such as Molton Brown, Hermes, Peter Thomas Roth and Penhaligon’s.

One of the highlights of The Parker Palm Springs was Norma’s, the cozy diner with indoor/outdoor seating. I had eaten there last year and was excited to try some of the items on the menu that I had been lusting over since my last visit. Breakfast began with a complimentary shot of the smoothie of the day. I opted for a delicious omelette served with fingerling potatoes. Pretty standard fare considering the menu contains offbeat items such as the “PB &C Waffle ‘Wich” (a chocolate waffle with a peanut butter and toffee crunch filling) and the “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata”, the ‘Regular’, served with 1oz Sevruga Caviar ($100) or the ‘Super Size’, served with 10oz Sevruga Caviar ($1000!!!)

I definitely wasn’t going to sample either of those items after having just finished an intense workout in the hotel gym. Normally I use a holiday as an excuse not to workout but the gym lured me in with its light and airy nautical theme, high-end equipment and a pilates machine to boot. There was no time to take advantage of the spa, PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club), but a quick tour convinced me that booking a treatment on my next stay would be mandatory.

I advise you to enter this playground for the rich and famous and enjoy a relaxed stay without the snooty attitude of most upscale hotels. Don’t leave without enjoying a raspberry mojito from the bar, sipped by one of the cozy fire pits, in either the lounge area, or al fresco on the beautiful grounds.

4200 East Palm Canyon Drive,
Palm Springs, CA, 92264

Colony Palms Hotel – A Moroccan Oasis In The Desert


By Jennifer O’Neill

After undergoing extensive renovations, the Colony Palms Hotel has re-invented itself as a colonial Moroccan-inspired 4 star boutique property. Designed by Los Angeles based Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, no detail was overlooked. As soon as you enter the property you immediately feel as if you’ve entered an enchanted garden. The view of the pool and the legendary Purple Palms Restaurant with its outdoor dining is the first thing that strikes you. You can sense immediately that you are in for a good time. Whether you fancy laying poolside with a cocktail while you listen to the dj-spun tunes, or, whether you’d like to dress up a bit and enjoy the menu of the 5-star restaurant, you needn’t leave the property to feel as though you are living the good life.

I was booked into one of the eight prestigious Casitas, which are hidden away in the garden section of the property. Not only was the increased privacy an added bonus, in addition, the beautifully appointed room came with a fully equipped large private patio. This sunny lanai area was replete with a lounge sofa, oversized canopy umbrella, as well as a two-person hot tub, a perfect setting to enjoy a romantic moonlight glass of champagne.

The most unique aspect of the room from a design point of view was the majestic Moroccan headboard, which in my opinion was the piece de resistance. It was ornately embellished with vibrant hues of red, gold and deep browns in a starfish-like pattern. The bed itself was otherworldly. It was all I could do to drag myself out of it in the morning. The sheets were as soft as silk and the down-filled pillows were plump yet comfortable. I had meant to ask the hotel manager what type of linens were used as they were that memorable. The glass walled shower was immense and was stocked with Essential Elements products, all of which were sampled and thoroughly enjoyed. Although I didn’t partake in the mini bar, I was happy to see that it was filled with top shelf liquors and snacks. There was even an “intimacy kit” from famed lingerie store Kiki de Montparnasse that contained “grown up” treats for two.

I was determined to get a dinner reservation at the much-hyped Purple Palm restaurant. I had heard reports that it was the hottest ticket in town and that it was next to impossible to get a table, so I was pleasantly surprised that my dinner companion and I were practically the only two people in the restaurant. Granted it was an early reservation on a Tuesday night, but I wasn’t complaining, the extra attention from the staff only enhanced the experience. The best part of the meal was the soup du jour, tomato basil bisque, topped with a soufflé-like pastry that could be cut into pieces and dipped into the soup. The rest of the meal was a delectable blur of cous cous, grilled pacific prawns, amazing wine and fantastic conversation.

In the theme of a luxury weekend, I indulged in a 50 minute Swedish massage at the hotel spa. My masseuse Shauna, knew all of my trigger points and gave me what I believe was quite possibly one of the best massages I’ve ever had. She expertly manipulated all my tired muscles after an intense workout in the small but well-equipped gym. I walked out of there in a blissful daze, determined to book another session on my next stay.

My experience at the Colony Palms was everything I had hoped for and more. If you dare to venture outside of the walls of this luxurious oasis, you will be pleasantly surprised by its central location to the downtown area. I highly recommend a stay here on your next visit to Palm Springs.

572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA, 92262