Earlier this Spring we celebrated our one year anniversary of living in California. We’re continuing to spend more and more time getting to know our new home state. There’s just so much to do and explore out here. The only thing we’re short on is the time to do and see everything on our long list.
Mid-last month my husband, Mark, and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary and the 11th anniversary of our first date. We wanted to do something special, so we decided a quick trip to Palm Springs would be the perfect romantic getaway. As a girl from the East coast that now lives less than 1 mile from the ocean, I am surprised to say there is something about the desert that leaves you feeling recharged and inspired. It’s an amazing escape from the reality of daily life, replaced by feelings of solitude. Yes, even when sitting in a hotel pool surrounded by other people.
After hearing so many wonderful things about The Ace Hotel and Swim Club from many of our Southern Californian friends, I decided to check them out online. The photos were gorgeous, but more than that, I was really impressed with their sustainable practices. They even had a restaurant called The Kings Highway which served locally-sourced food! All things considered, we knew this was the place for us. It seemed like the perfect place to escape life for a bit. Plus, we could take our dog, Seri, with us, which really sealed the deal.
The Ace Hotel and Swim Club caters to a very distinct crowd – the youngish, design-driven professional who has a taste for all things trendy. This meant that every detail was perfectly curated and sincere creative thought was put into even the smallest, nearly missable, finer points of each room. Nothing was left un-thought of and undesigned, yet it never felt overdone or like too much. Think bohemian camping meets Mad Men. It literally is a vintage meets modern, mid-century oasis that on one hand feels totally untouched and on the other, it feels like a place created to be the most perfect display of everything that is “it” right now.
In addition to beautiful accommodations of the hotel, I was quite impressed with the on-site restaurant, The Kings Highway. An old Denny’s turned into an upscale roadside diner, the food at the Kings Highway was all amazing. They source local, organic and artisanal products whenever possible and it is apparent with each dish I had the pleasure of eating. The staff’s knowledge of the menu and ingredients meant that ordering gluten-free was a breeze and whenever the server was unsure they went back to the kitchen to get a detailed answer. Something I can always respect.
Since the food was delicious, and I was able to order a gluten-free meal both safely and easily, we decided to eat every single one of our meals at Kings Highway. We ate there for three days straight and I was impressed with everything I ordered. Even after we checked out, and we were headed home, I snagged a freshly made Kale, Pineapple and Strawberry Smoothie for the road! This place really got me, right till the minute I walked out the door.
On the night of our anniversary we had an epic feast! Not only was the food great, but Bella da Ball was hosting really fun games of bingo. For dessert, gluten-free flourless chocolate cake (that tasted just like an Almond Joy) was served in the cutest little jars. Don’t you guys worry. I’m already working on recreating this dessert for Tasty Yummies. It was that good.
Most of our time at the The Ace Hotel was spent at the amazing pools and the hot tub. We also really loved sitting on our private patio and enjoying its outdoor fireplace. This was exactly the break we needed from the daily grind, and felt like the perfect way to celebrate our 11 years together.
The only negative thing that I experienced on our vacation was the relatively lax and under enforced no-smoking policy. This was quite surprising to me, due to their commitment to sustainability and healthy living. Even though the rooms are designated to be either smoking or non-smoking rooms, the hotel seems to allow smoking on the open patios of each room regardless of their designation. This proved to be frustrating, as the people staying next to us (in the non-smoking section of the hotel) were clearly smokers. The smoke from their patio would spill over onto ours, consequently filling our room. There were also many signs that clearly marked the pool to be a no smoking zone, yet no one seemed to actually enforce these rules. This was bothersome, and after getting tangled up in someones cloud of smoke, I decided to speak up and ask them to move. It didn’t feel great to have to be the one enforcing the hotel rules on my vacation.
I understand that catering to a young and hip crowd might mean having to accommodate smoking somewhere in the hotel. I just wish that there was a designated area, away from those of us that choose not to smoke where the smokers could do their thing and not bother the rest of us.
All in all the The Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs gave us a relaxing and beautiful 3 day escape, there were plenty of activities and things to get into if we wanted, but also lots of ways to relax and enjoy some much needed down time.
We will certainly be back, dog in tow.
Disclosure: I was offered a media rate discount at the Ace Hotel in exchange for a review, but was under no obligation to offer favorable thoughts in my review. All thoughts and opinions above are my own. All photos above, except the photo strips of us and the bingo photo, are courtesy of the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, D. L. THOMPSON & JON JOHNSON.