How to Be Cool in Palm Springs

21 January 2013

A house DJ, cocktail sno-cones, organic Cali cuisine. Yes, in Palm Springs, it doesn’t get much cooler than the vibe at the Ace Hotel. Here’s how to play with the hip crowd.

Story by: 

Waheeda Harris


It’s not hard to be cool—one just has to follow the rules. But what are the rules?

In the desert city of Palm Springs, the rules will have you checking in at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club—one of the hippest places to stay, and with a unique environment for those who like to be in with the cool kids.

How to Be Cool in Palm Springs

Follow these 10 tips to fit in while spending time at The Ace, and you’ll keep the cool factor dialled up to high.

1. Don’t arrive in a limo or SUV; be eco with a hybrid or bicycle or go retro with an old convertible or classic car. And for those without local transport, bikes and scooters can be rented for neighbourhood exploration.

How to Be Cool in Palm Springs

2. No suits, sweater sets or being style-challenged. Get funky, go vintage, embrace a unique view of clothing. Wandering the public areas of this hotel is a like walking a runway, so strut your stuff.

3. Be sure to bring your vinyl collection. Most rooms have turntables with a selection of albums, but if travel doesn’t allow this addition, be sure to peruse the house collection at check-in or hang out with the house DJ in the afternoon.

4. Pool etiquette requires you to leave the workout to the hotel gym. At this pool be prepared to float and watch the occasional clouds in the sky—it’s about lounging and conversation.

5. Take advantage of some “me” chill time by hanging outside your room by the fireplace or listening to the afternoon DJ playlist from a poolside hammock perch.

6. The sno-cones are only for adults from the Short Bus bar—and are a necessary icy cocktail treat when lounging during chill time.

7. Know your letters. Bingo is a daily happening at the Short Bus bar, so be prepared to play.

8. Have a canine sidekick? Pooches are welcome here, although they’re better off hanging on your patio and not by the hot tub.

How to Be Cool in Palm Springs

9. Embrace the Cali-style à la Ace Hotel by wearing the provided Moroccan robe and de rigeur flip-flops.

10. Eat at the King’s Highway. A former home of Denny’s, it’s now the in-house diner featuring local and organic Cali cuisine. Or have a late night snack at the Amigo Room bar.

And for a bonus tip? Use the photo booth—and contribute to the ongoing photo display of rejects.

Waheeda Harris

A prolific writer since the beginning of the millennium, Waheeda Harris covers travel, design, style and business for a number of newspapers, magazines and websites. Previously working in the book publishing industry in public relations and marketing, Waheeda is also the co-author of the Night + Day Guide to Toronto (Pulse Guides 2008). She indulges regularly in her love for books, pop culture, photography, textiles, music, spicy food - and anything to do with the 1970s. Her favourite travel quote? "I haven't been everywhere, but its on my list" by Susan Sontag.