Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs
THERE ARE HOTELS THAT FEEL PRETENTIOUS and there those rarer destinations that feel like home, kind of like an episode of déjà vu. After at least a dozen weekend trips to Palm Springs in as many years, the spankin’ new Ace Hotel and Swim Club ranks at the top of my list for getting nearly everything “right.”
Well Done Thing #1: The Marketing. I found their stylishly designed matte postcard at my local Rudy’s barbershop in Silverlake. That should have been my first clue that my husband and I were in for a truly “underground” treat. We were indeed, with a standard $89 room (upgraded for no additional charge by Jesse upon arrival). Cool lobby details: Fake deer antlers, the Scoutmaster handbook, and a photo booth.
Well Done Thing #2: The Rooms. Think “the W goes camping.” A huge, comfy bed. Slatted walls for hooks, bathrobes and magazine clippings. A big flatscreen TV with high speed Internet (included) and a roomy shower with an enormous rain-style can showerhead. Canvas-covered walls with grommetted canvas flaps instead of curtains. Oh and that faux-mini bear rug? Genius.
Well Done Thing #3: The Service. I’ll be damned if we didn’t phone the front desk at 3am for an extra pillow (big boys need two apiece) and they actually brought it to the room within 10 minutes. Much earlier poolside, We asked for a pour of Hendrick’s gin and the waitstaff made it happen. Then there was that seamless upgrade I mentioned earlier. And keep in mind, we were there on opening weekend, when everything’s bound to go wrong.
There were a couple hiccups. The poolside staff hadn’t stocked towels, and the steam/sauna in the Spa wasn’t up and running on our trip. The indoor restaurant wasn’t open (but the outdoor section was pretty much packed on a pretty chilly February night). But these were minor glitches in the Matrix.
The best part about the hotel was that it allowed us to really unwind and find a little peace (and love!) before returning to the sometimes frenetic, chaotic city life. That’s what a good hotel should be all about. And that’s why the Ace Hotel and Swim Club is all aces, baby.