Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where to Stay: The Alcazar Palm Springs

Prior to my trip to Palm Springs last month, my most recent memories of the city involved catching glimpses of spinning windmills as my dad sped through on the way to Los Angeles. Well, that and my awkward teenage years. I think I was still sporting braces and a nappy curl at that time. Hm.

Any way! When I got the opportunity to visit in my not-quite-as-awkward adult years, I was thrilled. Especially when I found out we'd be touring some of the best boutique hotels in Palm Springs. I chose to stay at The Alcazar because it is the newest boutique hotel in the Uptown Design District.

Entrance to Alcazar Palm Springs

Before its rebirth as a chic desert hideaway, The Alcazar went by the name of the Pepper Tree Inn when it opened in the 1950s. (Before that, it was a medical clinic.) Like so many inns from the time, it was a Spanish Colonial that basked in the spotlight until travelers' desire for whimsical romance faded into a demand for edgy, postmodern design characteristic of the 1990s.

Lobby of Alcazar Palm Springs
For a long time, the property went practically unnoticed and served as little more than a backdrop to two of Palm Springs' most popular restaurants, Cheeky's and Birba. Ironically, it's the owners of these two spots - Marco Rossetti and Tara Lazar - that purchased the crumbling Pepper Tree Inn and turned it into the 33-room Alcazar hotel.

A room at Alcazar Palm Springs
The Alcazar re-opened just a few weeks before I visited so there were still a few things left on their To-Do list, including adding amenities like plush bath robes and furniture to round out the all-white courtyard. I loved my stay, though. I'm a sucker for the small touches and Alcazar does them well.

Paintings from a local artist that hang throughout the property, artistic room keys and a bed that's as comfortable as it is cool - it's all part of the package. The pool area is nice and unfussy, too. At night, the twinkly lights give it a dreamy and fun feel.

A room at Alcazar Palm Springs

Prices for a one-night stay range from $79 for a standard room to $249 for a two-bedroom suite. Eventually, The Alcazar plans to add an extended food & beverage program and complimentary bikes for hotel guests to tour surrounding sites. Keep your eye on The Alcazar. I think it'll climb the Palm Springs boutique hotel ranks quickly.

Other highlights:
  • Walking distance from some of Palm Springs' best boutiques, including Trina Turk
  • Breakfast at Cheeky's, especially the huevos rancheros
  • While there's no spa onsite,  you can make arrangements for in-room treatments
Huevos Rancheros at Cheeky's
 I couldn't not share this picture. And I can also not explain enough how much I loved this.

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