Where to stay in Palm Springs

This week, ML is in sunny Palm Springs, California, where we’ve spent the past few days searching out the town’s best places to stay, shop, eat and, most importantly, gawk at spectacular Midcentury-Modern design, and we thought we’d share a few highlights. First up, four hotels with great style and service:

1. Orbit In, orbitin.com

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This little piece of paradise (our home away from home during our visit) consists of two properties, located just two blocks apart, in the Historic Tennis Club District at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The Orbit In (1957; 9 rooms) was completed in 2001 and the Hideaway (1947; 9 rooms) opened in 2002. Both feature that classic midcentury courtyard style, and both were built by Herb Burns, the first designer/builder to introduce Palm Springs to the “ultra modern motor court inn.”

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Our room is called Bertoia’s Denâpictured above and following, it was a favorite of the famous architectural photographer Julius Shulmanâand features Bertoia’s “bird” chair in the sitting area, along with other furnishings and art by Bertoia, Saarinen and Herman Miller.

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There’s a very pink bathroom…

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…and an original 1950s kitchen that opens onto a private, sun-filled patio.

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2. The Horizon Hotel, thehorizonhotel.com

Designed by William Cody in 1952, this adult-only hotel features low-slung, angular architecture. Spare and stylish guest rooms are all about the views, which are captured by floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and perfectly positioned clerestory windows.

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Some rooms take the indoor-outdoor connection even further, with private outdoor showers.

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Each room has its own patio; have your breakfast served there, in your room, or poolside.

For the ultimate getaway, book the spectacular 1,000-square-foot residence, complete with a private pool and cool sunken bar.

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Celebrity stauts: John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe stayed hereâpossibly at the same time…

3. Desert Star Hotel, desertstarhotel.com

In a word: cool. This hip Midcentury-Modern property (designed by architect Howard Lapham in 1954) may be small, but its six bungalows are anything but. Each light-filled room is 572 square feet, furnished with modern designs from Eames, Nelson, and Bertoia, and includes a full, well-appointed kitchen, king-size bed, lounge area, full bathroom and private patio that offers space for relaxing and dining.

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A central courtyard offers more great living space, complete with a heated saltwater pool, stylish lounge furniture and mountain views. (Notice in the photo above how the eaves were designed to overhang just enough to prevent the sun from shining directly into the rooms.)

4. The Viceroy Palm Springs, viceroypalmsprings.com

Exploring this stylish resort feels a lot like strolling through a private Montecito estate. Charming white bungalows with persimmon doors are clustered around a series of secluded courtyards landscaped with topiaries, citrus trees and manicured lawnsâand three sparkling pools.

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Inside, Kelly Wearstler’s signature Hollywood Regency style is on display: a mix of clean lines and Hollywood glam, sparkle and shine, and a bold palette of citron, black and white.

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Celebrity status: Actor Clark Gable took brideâtoâbe actress Carole Lombard to the property, actress Ann Miller loved room #106 and, more recently, Kanye West was seen lounging poolside in his signature white shades.

For more stylish Palm Springs finds, check back here soonâand find even more in the January 2012 issue.

Categories: Mountain Travel