California Cool at the Del Marcos Hotel in Palm Springs

It’s hot (in all sorts of ways) in Palm Springs, California—but it doesn’t get much cooler than the Del Marcos Hotel 1947 Desert Oasis in this “Golden State” city. Bright mid-century modern accented furnishings are integrated masterfully into the historic resort – where the nostalgia is almost palpable—starting with Frank Sinatra on the sound system as you walk in.

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Designed by architect William F. Cody in 1947, the distinctive 17-room native stone and redwood building is a nationally recognized historic site—as noted on the plaque at its entrance. Mid-century modern buffs will love the asymmetrical lines and all the floor-to-ceiling glass that allows the glorious California sun to pour in. But even those not into this popular architectural trend will love the glimmering (salt-water) pool, blank

the complementary cruiser bikes for use, blank the friendly welcome received when checking-in, and its great location.

Situated within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs (it’s in the historic Tennis Club neighborhood), the hotel’s lobby feels like a time warp. (I think my parents had those sofa lamps.)

Check-in with Lisa was easy and fast–good thing, because the pool looked quite inviting! blank

Parking (no fee) was out front or in a side lot—and help with luggage was offered, if needed. Lisa quickly explained the free wi-fi code, the complementary continental breakfast offered in the morning, and the daily complementary poolside happy hour (sangria, wine, beer, snacks) in the afternoon.

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The part that probably took the longest at check-in was me reading a page of “hotel rules” for this “adult only” (21 and older) property. But these are rules I appreciated: ie, “Cell phone conversations in the pool area are not allowed.” “No music poolside other than that provided by the hotel.” “No unregistered guests allowed on the premises.” After I signed off on that, I received the keys to my room: the Chi-Chi room.

All of the hotel’s 17 rooms have names: “Oceans 11” “Shaken Not Stirred,” Hope & Crosby,” et al. In various sizes and shapes, they’re also outfitted with different mid-century modern furnishings and artwork. The Chi Chi room is actually a spacious two-room suite that features a large living space with flat screen tv (another flat screen tv was in the bedroom) blank

and a party-size private covered patio, complete with its own tiki bar. blank

Along with a coffee maker (a regular sized 8-cup drip coffee maker), there were coffee mugs with the Del Marcos logo, a microwave and a smaller full-size refrigerator—stocked daily with two (complementary) bottles of water. A nice touch in this city where even storekeepers advise you to stay hydrated!

Along with a beautifully outfitted king-size bed, blank

the bedroom had a stereo console, complete with a stack of vinyl albums that matched the mid-century modern theme. It looked like the record player worked inside it, but at the time, it was in need of some repair.  Still, it was great fun looking through the collection of albums. blank

My bathroom was tiled for the period and small but sweet—fitting of the mood and décor—with a beautiful new terrazzo floor. I had some issues with the outlet not working for my hairdryer –but as soon as I called the office, Anthony was quick to take care of it. blank

No restaurant is on the premise but because downtown is so close, there are many walkable options I can happily recommend; stroll over to locally popular Cheeky’s (great breakfasts and lunches) or bike over to Sherman’s Deli. For dinner: an easy walk is to Copley’s (located in part of the former Cary Grant estate). A short drive away is the Vegas-like Riviera or the iconic and historic Purple Room where Sinatra and gang used to hang out back in the day.

At night, a swim in the beautiful pool, under the (real) star-studded sky is a must.

Rates depend on the season and start at $119 to $249 in low season; and $149-169 to $279 between October and April, high season. There is a 2-night minimum stay on weekends and 7-day cancellation policy. Small dogs (under 35 pounds) are welcome in specified rooms and with a fee).

For more information, or to make reservations, check the website. You can also make your reservation through Hotels.com or Expedia.

Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was a guest of the hotel while working on a story about Palm Springs, California.

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