Palm Springs, where desert meets design, is buzzier than ever. This Mecca of midcentury modernism is teeming with new hotels and hotel revamps along with design-driven restaurants, art, home shops, festivals, and more.
The talk of the town at this legendary design destination is the recent purchase of iconic properties by billionaire investor Ron Burkle, the majority owner of private members club Soho House. The deal included the Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn and the grande dame French restaurant Le Vallauris, which has just reopened after a thoughtful remodel. Although not midcentury modern, the properties are beloved landmarks located in the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood. To complete the trio, Burkle also recently purchased the Bob Hope house in south Palm Springs. Thus far, no design changes to any of the properties have been announced.
This southern California desert town abounds with preserved midcentury-modern architecture, as well as timeless tales of Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra and his crowd who owned homes here. The new guard includes Leonardo DiCaprio, who acquired Dinah Shore’s Donald Wexler–designed house, and he once rented it for $4,500 per night.
Though many folks prefer to simply sit in the sun, a Palm Springs getaway can actually be far more active than anticipated. Whisk up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the 10,834-feet summit of Mt. San Jacinto to get the lay of the land. Learn the names of neighborhoods and see homes by the city’s Desert Modernists on the Architecture Tours by Modernism Week—which presents its annual design fête this year February 17–27. In partnership with the PS Architecture Tours, these fun tours, by minicoach or bicycle, provide the backstory as you view structures by luminaries like Richard Neutra, William F. Cody, Albert Frey, William Krisel, among others.