One of our pre-planned destinations on our December California road trip was Palm Springs. My friend Jim had booked a room at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club months in advance, and I was excited because I'd always had good experiences staying in Ace Hotels (in New York, before I moved, and New Orleans). The Palm Springs location has everything you'd expect from the Ace brand including nice linens, good-smelling bath products and a photo booth in the lobby. But it also had something we didn't anticipate: a very loud party that kept us consistently annoyed for most of the night.
When we checked in, we were told that one of the pools would be "closed for an event." We were annoyed by the noise level—but to be fair, we had been warned—so we distracted ourselves by watching Pee-Wee's Big Adventure on Jim's phone. He hadn't seen it in years but it's one of my all-time favorite movies and we'd just visited the Cabazon Dinosaurs earlier the in the day.
However, once the party ended it got even louder when some guests decided to continue the music and yelling right under our room. Unless you're physically in danger or at a concert, I see no reason to yell. Ever. This was my first time in Palm Springs, and I've since heard that loud parties are not uncommon for a Sunday (or any day of the week) night, but it did sour me on this particular Ace Hotel.
I will say that the pool was very lovely (and blissfully empty in the morning), but even that couldn't make up for the additional surprise that our room bill was $100 more than our reservation amount when the taxes and resort fee were added in. Pearl-clutching aside, luckily the rest of Palm Springs was every bit as beautiful as I expected, and perhaps even more so.
Our stay was brief, but before we left we drove through some of the residential streets filled with beautiful, mid-century modern homes. I loved all of the colorful accents, metal screens and geometric shapes. It's not exactly my personal style, but I appreciate the immaculate attention to detail and design—and we made sure to fulfill our millennial duty by posing in front of a mural and visiting #thatpinkdoor.
Palm Springs is set against a backdrop of mountains so picturesque they look as if they've been cut out of cardboard and constructed for a movie set. I don't see myself jetting off to Palm Springs on the regular, but now I totally understand the Internet's infatuation with this magically-lit desert oasis.