Where to Stay in Palm Springs, California: the Arrive Hotel
Palm Springs is quite possibly the city of my dreams. I live for mid-century modern furniture and architecture (CB2 and West Elm are staples in my apartment) and Palm Springs is where I feel every discarded piece of that furniture style has ended up. It's a microcosm of fifty's style meets cacti meets bold and bright colors.
We drove from San Diego to Palm Springs in the evening. California is filled with scenic driving, even at night, passing small town after small town, going from flatter terrain to more hills and then to mountains over the course of a couple hours. Definitely not like the corn and soybean views of the Illinois driving that I'm used to. Even at night, we could faintly see the outline of the San Jacinto mountain range as we neared Palm Springs.
The Arrive Hotel, our home base for the next three days was incredibly easy to get to and near the northern edge of town. Our PS planning got very complicated a few months earlier because I couldn't decide where to stay. Each hotel in the area has it's own vibe and each really adds to the character of the city. We debated between the Ace Hotel which is super hipster and perfect for Valencia-filtered Instagram posts and the Saguaro Hotel which is covered in a rainbow of colors with crazy pool parties on the weekends that make you feel like you're back in college (if only pool parties were a thing at Illinois colleges).
As soon as we arrived at Arrive (pun intended) I knew we had made the right choice. The hotel is centered around the outdoor pool which was surrounded by mist to combat the heat. Gorgeous string lights made the outdoor area sparkle. Since the hotel is 21+ we were greeted with a free welcome cocktail at the bar (standard with all reservations!) and a relaxing atmosphere to take a break from a long day of driving.
Our room was gorgeous and felt more like an Air BNB studio apartment than a hotel. The TVs came equipped with Apple TV, Netflix and Hulu so we were able to catch up on some of our shows (shoutout to the Twin Peaks Return on Showtime). The furniture was incredibly styled and the bathroom was stocked with high-end boutique bath products. Our room even had an outdoor patio with a seating area and small fireplace which would have been perfect for the cooler nights that we didn't experience.
A nice touch was the "How to Palm Springs" guide provided by the hotel. This handy little manual was so adorable with little designs and doodles giving you pocket information about activities, restaurants, bars and an insider scoop of PS. It was a personal touch that Mike and I both really appreciated.
The best part of this hotel was the view. My internal alarm clock wakes me up at 6:30am even on vacation so I went out to get photos during the sunrise. First walking onto our patio, I realized how close we actually were to the mountains. Like crazy close. The view of our brown angled hotel against the natural mountain range behind it was stunning. These mountains are picturesque any time of day. The mornings create harsh shadows from the clouds in the sky and the bright afternoon sun brings out all the colors of the terrain.
The pool at Arrive is the main attraction. Since we were there in July, people started lounging in the water by around 11 am for some relief from the heat. By 1 or 2pm it was filled with people balancing on beach floaties (provided by the hotel) and sipping drinks while getting a tan. The pool is surrounded by beach chairs and umbrellas as well as privet cabanas with their own ceiling fans. Near the pool are ping pong tables, a hot tub, bocce ball court and cushions to lie on.
Arrive also has an evening poolside movie series open to the public. While we stayed, they showed "Pretty Woman" on a huge screen allowing people to lounge in the water as they watch. It's a great activity to chill out with when you've been overheating outside all day.
Let's talk the extra perks at the Arrive hotel, all of which make a stay at this location a little more fun.
Ice Cream and Shop(pe) - We stopped for ice cream whenever possible while we were in California. It's one of those simple treats that is vastly different whoever you go. Having a boutique ice cream shop on the premises on your hotel is CLUTCH. I swung by twice during our three day stay, both times opting for the amazing Mexican Chocolate flavor with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Attached to the ice cream shoppe is also a small Palm Springs gift shop. Different from the touristy stores further in town, this location specializes in all things Instagramable from pool floats to drink glasses to accessories and art prints, all in the bright colors Palm Springs is famous for.
Customs Coffee - Customs was our go-to breakfast while we were in Palm Springs. Every morning meant a Chai Latte and chocolate croissant. The storefront is small but the walls are covered with beautiful luggage tag designs from around the world.
Draughtsman - We didn't make our way here for dinner (opting to eat further in town) but it's a major plus having a well-rated restaurant with an impressive beer selection next door.