The Ace Hotel Palm Springs

Not terribly long after The Bucket List came out, I learned of The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. Until this point I didn’t know there was anything cool in Palm Springs, and I had certainly never heard of a young person spending any time there. After looking into it, staying at The Ace was now on my newly-forming “bucket list.” Fast forward what, like 5+ years? Thanks to a coupon code, we made it happen for July 2015.

Ace Palm Springs

There are people out there who don’t understand staying in cool/nice hotels “just ’cause” when they could book a Super 8 for half the price. I don’t think that type of person has ever laid poolside at The Ace for two days with zero responsibilities and no itinerary. I really do like doing things on vacation (gimme the Freedom Trail in Boston or the whole slew of Smithsonian museums in DC any day), but after a very crazy spring semester at work and action-packed summer (so many weekend trips!) it was nice to have a little getaway and no obligations.

A few years ago we got a good online rate for The Saguaro which we really liked, and I was curious to see what The Ace would be like since those two are the most popular “hipster” hotels in Palm Springs. We really liked The Ace in Portland so my expectations were pretty high.

Ace Palm Springs

Ace Palm Springs

Luckily, my expectations were met, nay, exceeded. The bed? comfortable. The room, a welcome cool retreat from the unrelenting July-in-Palm-Springs heat. Next let’s talk amenities. Not that we cracked into anything on the minibar (something like $5 for a bag of chips? $8 for water? and up & up & up), I like a place that gives you quality options. Also, the hooded caftan-style robes provided were the most addicting things to wear ever and had me contemplating buying one, but alas, they cost almost the price of the room. There was also a record player on the bedside table with a pretty robust little speaker system and records to play! I planned ahead and brought along some favorite LPs as well.

The room’s interior was so inspiring! I liked the industrial-chic glossy sealed concrete floor, and the wood & white color combinations. Someday we’d like to get a little bit more in-depth with redoing the inside of our condo and I definitely want to draw a lot of inspiration from The Ace’s clean and crisp vibe (including the Portland Ace, too).

Ace Palm Springs

Ace Palm Springs

We had originally planned on bringing Mosey along, so we got one of the dog-friendly rooms with a patio and fireplace. After looking at the forecast for that weekend, (highs in the 110s!), we left him at my parents’ house. Even sans pooch it was nice to have the large patio with locking gate. The afternoon we arrived with our friends, we shared lunch that we’d brought in a cooler (a really great way to save money). We could hang up our swimsuits and towels to dry– almost instantly in that heat! The fireplace was easy to operate, a simple light switch, but not needed. If staying at The Ace in the fall or winter, I think the fireplace in the evening would be very nice indeed.

Ace Palm Springs

Ace Palm Springs

The pools: When we arrived Sunday afternoon, the main pool was packed and loud. The house DJ had things bumping. Locals can buy a pool day pass so it’s kind of a place to see and be seen, I think. There were no available chairs so we went to the other, smaller pool where it was nice and quiet. They have these awesome, huge, circular padded poofs and my pals and I were able to snag one. The next day, Monday, the large pool was much quieter and the music they played was perfect for lazing in a pool chair, snoozing in that gray area between awake and asleep. And getting a killer sunburn (ouch).

Ace Palm Springs

Ace Palm Springs

The cool sunshades are what you’ll see a gazillion instagrams of… I wasn’t sure how they’d compare to a standard umbrella but let me tell you… game changer!! You can pivot them in any direction for ultimate sun blockage! Solid endorsement from me. Now I want one for my condo patio… The chairs are really cool, too. Not sure if you can see in the photo, but the backrest part of each chair had its own little canvas tent piece for ultimate sun protection.

Ace Palm Springs

Well, 700+ words later I guess you could say I enjoyed myself! I didn’t even get to touch on the brunch at King’s Highway, the on-site restaurant. Anyway, what a nice getaway not too far from home. Definitely more expensive than The Saguaro but if you can get a coupon, or if it’s a special occasion, I say The Ace is hard to beat!

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I’m Around

Well, it is hard to blog without a photo editing software. Photoshop had been making my mac run like quicksand, so I updated the RAM and now it is having some visual component problems. Calling in some friend favors to tinker with it… but for now I am more or less photo-less. I’m not hiding in a cave though– iPhone to the rescue! Follow me on instagram to see what I am up to.

In the meantime, I am…

Soda & Swine

eating at the new Soda & Swine in Liberty Station. Eager to support such a delicious eatery much closer to home than North Park (where most of the good food is). Mmmmm… meatball sub….

drinking Pope’s Blend coffee from Reverie Roasters in Wichita. Was gifted a bag and some mugs and am thoroughly enjoying both.

cooking a lot! Doug and I took a Sur La Table cooking class last week and the food was phenomenal. I am eager to recreate the recipes at home. However, last Saturday we had friends over and I made choripan and pebre which was an all-around hit.

stressing out about our refinance. It’s been a little over a year since we bought our home and already we have made money! But I can’t wait for the phone calls, e-mails, and hurriedly faxed documents to come to a close (and have a little more money in pocket each month, too).

Balboa Park

viewing the Coney Island exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art. With art museums, I tend to be easy to impress. I love art! That said, this Coney Island exhibit not only impressed me but blew me away! The combination of paintings, photos, original ride components, postcards and ephemera, and videos dating from 1900-today was very, very well curated and encompassed the whole feel of Coney Island. Even though I have never been there, I now feel that I have! Psst: The art museum is only $5 on Fridays 5pm ’til close.

watching How I Met Your Mother, the last season. When you know what is coming at the end, and then re-watch, it is all very obvious and much less outrageous. Unpopular opinion: I loved the ending the first time I saw it! And even more so now!

So… what’s new with you?

The Madonna Inn

madonna inn 3

Madonna Inn

Our friends got married at the Madonna, in San Luis Obispo, a month ago. Wow, The Madonna Inn is a hard place to photograph. I think it lends to its specialness… The whole inn is so sprawling, twisting, multi-tiered, that it’s impossible to get a photo of the whole thing at once, unless taken from the air!

madonnainn2

Madonna Inn

We left work on Friday at noon and made our way up to San Luis Obispo. There was a bit of traffic in Santa Barbara (which I hear is normal) but overall we made good time, especially considering the first night of a three-day weekend. We checked in while it was still light out and met up with a few friends in town for dinner and then made our way back to the hotel. One of the most fun and inspiring parts of the wedding weekend was the Friday night tour of rooms! Viewing the rooms on the Madonna Inn website is fun, but being inside them is so much different and awesome.

Madonna Inn

I am so glad that we were part of a large event because we got to see inside probably 10 or more rooms! Above, one of my favorites, the beautifully kitschy “Oriental Fantasy.” Many rooms had rough, dark rock walls and some even had rock showers! Below, the blue room is the famous circular “Voux” room.

Madonna Inn

We chose, in my opinion, the most striking (out of the cheap rooms), the Chestnut Foal. The paint was certainly green, the wallpaper- funny, and the light fixture was a show stopper! Oh yeah, and the bed was very comfy. An important factor in hotel choice, but here it pretty much becomes “a plus.”

Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn

Overall, the Inn seemed like a strange alternative universe. Sort of like a grown-up Disneyland. The exterior and interior were adorned with gingerbread trim and carved wood– details upon details! I didn’t have a chance to visit the pool or spa, but the breakfast cafe was underwhelming (yet packed full of guests). It’s worth noting that the wedding dinner was very delicious, much better than the on-site breakfast. It seems like the hotel is straddling the line between tourist-chic, luxury-aspirational, and nostalgic kitsch. It’s truly a one of a kind place, absolutely worth visiting.

I am so happy and grateful that our friends decided to have their special day at such a fun and unique place. There are so many cool places in California, let alone the whole US, that sometimes it takes a special event to bring you somewhere you otherwise wouldn’t know about. I would never have visited The Madonna otherwise, and now I am so glad I had the chance to do so!

Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn

Need a recommendation for where to stay? Check out my Your Turn section.