Surrounded by four scenic mountain ranges and long sought-after by travellers for its glamorous history, wellness offerings, and those with a sense of adventure, Greater Palm Springs is an inspiring Southern Californian oasis made up of nine distinct resort cities. Despite the challenges experienced across the destination as a result of the pandemic, the past year has seen significant developments across the Coachella Valley. Greater Palm Springs is adding to its existing offering of natural wonders, cultural experiences and the reinstatement of signature events as it to welcome back visitors.

 

New and increased domestic airlift

Southwest Airlines is now offering new nonstop service between Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Connecting the two desert destinations whilst offering two uniquely different experiences, the year-round service will initially operate four times weekly before increasing to daily in June. Southwest also has daily nonstop between PSP and Oakland, Phoenix and Denver. For more information on the new service, please visit here.

PSP is undergoing a $31 million renovation including the entire ticket lobby and a new outbound baggage system.  The entire project should be complete in July 2021. In 2021-2022 the airport will begin to replace all jet bridges in the Bono Concourse.

New food options beyond the security checkpoint at PSP include:

  • PSP Coffee House, serving coffee, pastries and sandwiches
  • The Wine Bar, adjacent to PSP Coffee House
  • Santa Rosa Kitchen & Spirits, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus of hot and made to order items for dining in or take-out

 

Accommodation – new and renovated

The Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort & Day Oasis opened in Desert Hot Springs in April 2021.  Renowned for its natural geothermal heated mineral spring water, the new luxury spa resort offers guests 40 rooms and suites, most offering fresh-flowing in-room mineral spring tubs, cleansing, juicing and fasting options. Health Programs offering yoga and juice fasting retreats are available for up to 5nights/6days starting June 13th, 2021.

In Indian Wells, the highly anticipated waterpark opening at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, now offers guests a 450ft lazy river, 30ft dualing waterslides and seven expansive new swimming pools. The four-star resort, set against the backdrop of palm trees and scenic mountain views, now features outdoor fun, under 300 days of sunshine for all the family at the waterpark including HyTides Plunge Waterpark, Desert Twist Lazy River and family splash area with interactive water features and a smaller slide for young children. Renovations can be seen throughout the resort specializing in reimagined dining spaces and an updated lobby to allow for social distancing, and an increase in safety measures with contactless check-in, a cap on capacity and frequent cleaning on high-touch surfaces.

In April, Palm Springs’ oldest operating hotel located in the Racquet Club Estates neighbourhood reopened. Named after pioneer Harriet Cody and situated in front of the San Jacinto Mountains, Casa Cody comprises historic structures, including the Adobe House, California Ranch Home (known as Winters House) and the Olympic Cottage, a home once used to house athletes during the Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics. With just 29 rooms available, the hotel offers space and tranquillity but within walking distance to many attractions downtown.

The Riviera Palm Springs rebranded to the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs following a substantial renovation in 2020 and is the brand’s first resort on the West Coast. Combining chic, midcentury Palm Springs aesthetic with a casual-luxe island feel, the resort is minutes from downtown Palm Springs and key cultural attractions, including the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Art Museum and Air Museum. With 398 rooms, the resort also offers several Margaritaville-inspired indoor/outdoor dining options, the city's largest resort spa - St. Somewhere Spa and an all-new family-oriented programme of activities.

The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa opened the new JW Entertainment Zone where guests can play of their favorite new and classic arcade games and win prizes. The Spa at Deserts Springs was also newly renovated as part of a $90 million ‘reinvention’ which included new guest rooms, new suites and a new meeting space. Each of the 884 guest rooms has been re-envisioned with new furnishings, carpet, wallpaper and expanded bathrooms. The lobby - with boats that pull up to the atrium - has also been redone.

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa is currently undergoing renovations of all 512 rooms at the resort. Rooms will receive new carpet, couch, chair, feature wall, refinishing tile in the washroom as well as the addition of a backlit mirror. The project will be complete in July.  More recently, the lobby, lounge, courtyard seating areas were updated with the addition of a duck pin bowling alley and coffee shop. Meeting space has been refreshed with new carpet and fixtures.

The Miramonte Resort & Spa is undergoing an $8 million renovation of guest rooms including a reimagination of the food & beverage and outdoor spaces. Work is slated to begin in July and will be completed by the end of October 2021.

Fleur Noire Hotel is a boldly re-imagined historic boutique Palm Springs hotel in the city’s Uptown Design District opens in early summer 2021.  Its 21 uniquely-designed casitas and suites have had their exteriors transformed with giant-sized California flower murals hand-painted by Detroit-based muralist Louise Jones (@ouizi) and interiors feature floral wallpaper from wallpaper artist Ellie Cashman (@elliecashmandesign). Interior design by Chris Pardo (@chrispardodesign), a founder and designer of ARRIVE hotels and Palm Springs’ Ernest Coffee, Bootlegger Tiki bar, and other notable retail and restaurant projects.  This is a perfect desert getaway for couples or a terrific location for weddings and special events.

 

DineGPS

Take advantage of summer dining savings to eat, drink and chill in Greater Palm Springs. Summer Eats  Pass is a free restaurant savings program available to diners on an easy-to-access mobile-exclusive platform.  Offers from participating Greater Palm Springs restaurants range from Prix fixe menus to BOGO deals and even Happy Hour. Diners can “check-in” at one of the participating Summer Eats restaurants to become eligible to win prizes from the Greater Palm Springs CVB. Summer Eats Pass launches June 4 and runs through August 2021. For more information visit www.summereatsgps.com

Bar Cecil pays homage to 20th century bon vivant, artist and designer, Cecil Beaton. The bar will be a love letter to Beaton’s vision of life and art: a celebration of what’s good, of eliminating that which is only pomp, and in the process creating memories through food, drink and hospitality. The bistro menu honors local provisioners and the finest seasonal produce with a nod to the great American and European bistro experiences. The 75-seat jewel box dining room and bar is a modern take on English wallpapers, warm woods and brass finishes, complete with intimate patio dining.

Boozehounds is a pet-friendly dining, care and bar concept featuring a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs.  Boozehounds offers globally-inspired and locally influenced dishes including classics with a twist and daily fresh fish selections, with gluten-free and vegan options.  Inspired by the restaurant’s proximity to the San Jacinto Mountains and the city’s access to the great outdoors, Boozehounds combines desert influences and midcentury design with a laid-back California Atmosphere.

Newly opened Oceana Restaurant in Palm Desert offers a menu with vibrant and bold flavors from land and sea and serving curated cocktails.

More Dining News: Following the major trend developed during the pandemic, the newly renovated Renaissance Esmerelda in Indian Wells has created a new ghost kitchen restaurant concept, G&G Burgers and Lemonades. Created by the hotel’s talented kitchen team, the restaurant is serving handcrafted burgers and freshly squeezed lemonades to locals through Uber Eats and Doordash. The restaurant is also serving in-house guests via room service. Additionally, 1501 Uptown Gastropub, a collaboration between Chad Gardner (Roly China Fusion and 533 Viet Fusion) and Willie Rhine (Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge), is a modern gastropub serving a range of seasonal freshly prepared food and a comprehensive drinks selection.

 

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

A Latin-influenced modern coffee house, Cafe La Jefa features delicious, healthy and sustainable specialty coffee and gourmet take-out food. A great place to hang out with a quality cup of Sisters brand coffee in downtown Palm Springs.

Started as a coffee cart in 2019, Everbloom Coffee recently opened a permanent location on Hwy 111 in Indio. In addition to your cup of “coffee for the people” you can stock up at home with a half-gallon “batch” of latte, cold brew or chai.

Enjoy your favorite java drink with breakfast and lunch fare served at the newly opened RM Coffee, on Hwy 111 in Rancho Mirage.

Don’t just drink, but rather experience a cup of coffee at Sixth Street Coffee where their specialty of preparing your brew is “performed in front of you by a talented team of baristas.” Serving quality coffee, tea, and food in Coachella.

 

Coming Attractions 2022

The Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza featuring an art gallery celebrating the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and a luxury spa with tranquil garden and outdoor mineral pool is slated to open in 2022. The Spa at Séc-he celebrates the ancient healing waters of the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring estimated to be upwards of 12,000 years old and is truly unique to Greater Palm Springs as the mineral make-up cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The new $250 million Greater Palm Springs Arena is slated to be completed fourth quarter 2022.  Located on 43.35 acres of land at I-10 and Cook Street, in Riverside County, the new arena will be more than 300,000 square feet and feature 10,000-plus seats and include modern suites and premium hospitality clubs. It will be the home of the Seattle Kraken's American Hockey League (AHL) team and will include an adjoining facility that will serve as a year-round community gathering space and the training center for the AHL Palm Springs team. Live Nation Entertainment, the world's leading live entertainment company, will continue to work as a strategic partner and supply the new arena with its large stable of top touring artists and premium live events.

Making waves in the surf scene, in 2022 Palm Springs will welcome the Palm Springs Surf Club. Designed for surfers, by surfers, the attraction will feature a wave pool and include private cabanas, a restaurant, spa and gym. Two additional surf properties are proposed - DSRT SURF in Palm Desert and Coral Mountain in La Quinta - making Greater Palm Springs the mecca for seasoned surfers and keen learners, providing ocean-like waves in the middle of the desert.

XPark is a city owned skate park for skateboard and BMX enthusiasts in the City of La Quinta slated to open December 2021. Open to the public the park features a concrete pump track, a modern street course with a variety of stairs, rails and ledges with three distinct bowls that cover the full spectrum of skill levels. The skatepark terrain will be supported by a variety of modern amenities including a state-of-the-art lighting system, restrooms, drinking fountains, a parking lot and a 2-story pro shop.

 

Places to Meet

Located at the southeast corner of Avenue 52 and SilverRock Way, the City of La Quinta opened the SilverRock Event Site. This is a new recreational facility that is part of an extensive development plan.  The new park and event site features approximately 14 acres of walking paths, turf areas, a sloped event lawn, water features and a sustainable prefab event building. The site also includes a meandering stream with a lake, a stage area, pads for future art installations, a restroom building which will feature an art mural and ample parking. The meeting space incorporates a modern design and will be used to house small conference groups or events with 60 attendees or less.

The Sonoran Palm Springs is 38,000 square feet of an outdoor event space which includes a pool, cabanas, pool bar, fire pits, and an expansive lawn. The Sonoran Palm Springs offers monumental views of the San Jacinto Mountains and dramatic starlit evenings for unforgettable events. The Sonoran is located in South Palm Springs and is an ideal outdoor venue for weddings, corporate, red carpet and charity events, galas, film festivals and outdoor screenings, video and photo shoots, fashion shows, art and wine festivals, product and brand launches, limited pool parties, birthdays, bridal showers, conferences, conventions and more.

 

Fall Events in GPS

  • The Dinah takes place September 29- October 3, 2021.
  • Fall Modernism Week will take place October 14-17, 2021.
  • The BNP Paribas Open will be held in October 2021.
  • Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade will take place on El Paseo Shopping Avenue on October 31, 2021.
  • Greater Palm Springs Pride will kick off on Monday November 1 and end with the Palm Springs Pride Parade on November 7, 2021.
  • World TeamTennis will host its 2021 season at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden November 13-28, 2021. Five teams will participate in the league’s 46th season, contesting a total of 31 matches over 16 days in the venue’s Stadium 2.
  • The Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival and Food Truck Fiesta in its 7th year will take place November 19-21, 2021.
  • International Tamale Festival will be held in Indio December 4-5, 2021.
  • The Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships Presented by Pickleball Central, will be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from December 6-14, 2021.

 

For more information on travel in Greater Palm Springs, visit visitgreaterpalmsprings.com.