Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Palm Springs Weekend!!!

As I mentioned in the last post, I spent my birthday weekend in Palm Springs.  There is something so relaxing and wonderful about Palm Springs.  My two favorite local getaways are Palm Springs and Catalina Island; both spots take great pride in their rich histories, both provide enough activities to keep one from going absolutely stir crazy, but both are so uncomplicated that one (especially one who is somewhat tightly-wound with OCD tendencies) can do absolutely nothing without feeling guilty.

The Del Marcos Hotel (est. 1947)

Last year year for my birthday, my brother and sister-in-law surprised me with a gift certificate to the Del Marcos Hotel, one of Palm Springs' restored, mid-century, boutique hotels.  I had every intention of using the gift certificate in a timely manner but time seems to go faster every year and life always gets in the way.  As is always my luck, the day I went online to book the room, I looked at the gift certificate and noticed it had expired three days earlier.  After five phone calls to try and resolve the situation, I got a hold of Laura, the manager; it was quickly determined that I could still use the gift certificate and I made my reservations.  Thanks Laura!

Each of the 17 guest rooms has been thoughtfully renovated and many are themed in their decor.  There is an "Ocean's 11 Suite," an "Esquivel Room," and a "William F. Cody Room," named for the famed architect who designed the Del Marcos.  After reviewing the photo gallery of rooms featured on the website, I booked the Chi Chi Room.  Its furnishings are reminiscent of the decor of the Chic Chi Club, the world-famous night club that played host to dignitaries and entertainment legends like Lena Horne, Howard Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Jerry Lewis, and Nat King Cole.

A vintage postcard view of the Chi Chi Club.
Sadly, the Palm Springs Chi Chi closed in 1965,
but the Chi Chi on Catalina is still an active night club.

The Chi Chi Room attempts to create the feeling of its namesake night club by way of the art and furnishings.
The room was actually a two-room suite and the living room was home to some cool art and lamps.

As you are well-aware, I love lamps and light fixtures and was more than tempted to steal these figural lamps.  The shades were made of a slubby, chartreuse fabric with oversized, green, chenille trim.  I thought maybe I could wrap the bases up and put them in my suitcase and Mary could wear the shades as a hat - trust me, she's worn stranger!

The parquet-pattern, rattan, tiki bar and stools.

An oversized, repro print of a vintage
Palm Springs Villager. 
I chose the Chi Chi Room because many of the rooms are ultra spare and modern and I tend to lean towards the kitschy, corny, goofy, and cool - you know, the wacky tacky.

The bedroom was gracious but I was a bit disappointed that the color of the
room had been changed to a pale green from the rich coral depicted on the website.

The saving grace was that the art in the bedroom was even better than in the living room.

Did I mention that the room also had a private, screened patio?

The patio was furnished with even more rattan pieces, upholstered in tropical barkcloth.

The relatively-recent renovation of the hotel paid close attention to detail and there is cool stuff lurking around every corner.

My obsessions are not limited to light fixtures.
I have a thing for chairs too!

What a cool door!!

Poolside art and succulent garden

The pool played host to the swimming portion of the
First-Annual Palm Springs Fat Man Triathlon.

We made use of all of the resources at our disposal for the FAPSFMT
and took the hotel bikes for an easy cruise down Palm Canyon Drive.

We made a fortuitous, left turn and ran smack into Stewart the Pig
Stewart is somewhat of a celebrity and even has his own Facebook page.

After a quick rest and refueling, we got dressed for dinner at Lulu's California Bistro, a restaurant that looked pretty cool but was a tad too trendy for my taste.

Mary in the hotel lobby.
I am actually kind of proud of her crazy outfit.
It is sort of my interpretation of late 40's-early 50's
sophisticated/folky-ethnic look.  Her skirt and turban started
life as a tablecloth for her Spanish class fiesta.  Her halter top
is made of a deep-orange, paisley/bandana print that
 picks up on the orange stripe in her skirt.  The top has
matching shorts for a poolside playsuit.  Everybody was
questioning the fabric pairing, but I think it turned out pretty well.   

Do you think I can get the waiter to bring us more bread?

I wonder when dinner will get here...

We finished the evening with the foot-bound portion of the FAPSFMT with a walk up and down Palm Canyon Dr. for "Villagefest," an art walk/street fair.  Palm Springs at night brings out some very interesting characters - I mean, besides members of my immediate family.

I felt kind of bad for the woman singing because she 
was playing second fiddle (piano?) to this footloose fella.

I had some pretty serious questions for the rabbi including, but not
limited to, "What does a 'goyem' have to do to get good kasha
 varnishkes around here?"

Fortunately, I keep a pretty open mind.

While I was rapt in pursuits both theological and scholarly,
Mary was making friends with a big, blue dog. 

Staying at the Del Marcos was just the beginning of an amazing weekend!  Stay tuned for even more desert fun!

Del Marcos Hotel
225 West Baristo Rd.
Palm Springs, CA



Mr. Tiny


  1. Wow! This place looks AWESOME. Good for you for getting them to honor the certificate, too ;) Man, those decorations... I absolutely love them!

    Mary's outfit looks awesome! I love the mix-match of prints. It totally works!

    Looks like a wonderful weekend!

  2. Wonderful! What a place! You always visit the most interesting places. And I think her mismatched outfit looks great. It works! Those lampshades would be nice hats actually

    We're going to Monterey next week, maybe we'll run into a cute pig or possibly a whale :)

  3. Thanks guys! I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes the fabric combo.

    Trixie - Have fun in Monterey!!! Last time I was up that way I spent so much time trying to stalk Doris Day that I didn't even see an otter.

  4. Mark- mtpalmsprings@yahoo.comJune 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Hi W. T.

    Just discovered your great blog! On the same wavelength for sure...Living in Rancho Mirage, just outside of Palm Springs, we take lots of road trips. Recently went up to the high desert in Yucca Valley, to a one time drive in theater where a weekly market is held. Unique characters up there...and lots of 'found' artsy stuff...check out these pics from my FB on the link, then the first pic, and click away...