The colours, the architecture, the weather; a mid-century wonderland that’s less wild than Vegas, a lot warmer than San Francisco (which isn’t hard!) and more laid back than LA – Palm Springs is pretty dreamy.

This trip was a surprise getaway for my 28th birthday. Not until we boarded the plane did I know where we were headed and just an hour’s flight, we landed in the desert to 30 degree heat and made our way to the colourful Saguaro hotel for a relaxing four-night stay.

My initial preconceptions of Palm Springs were simply Coachella festival and retired, super-tanned American’s living in luxury villas so I was happy to find out that there’s more to this serene desert town than just that! Hikes, museums, galleries, shopping outlets to retro boutiques; good food and live music, plus of course guaranteed sunshine everyday – there’s definitely enough here to keep you occupied for a long weekend.

Where to Stay:

The Saguaro

This feels a bit like “If Barbie did hotels”... which to some people may sound hideous but I promise that staying at The Saguaro (more commonly known as the rainbow hotel!) was an experience and perfect if you’re looking to be amongst a younger crowd. The decor is so fun and the weekends are pretty lively- a dj around the pool, plenty of cocktails flowing it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit! During the week it’s a little quieter but such a great people watching, sun-bathing haven and good place to stay if you’re up for sleeping in a totally pink room! There’s also free bikes that the hotel lets you rent which I’d highly recommend doing. (STAY HERE!) #AllOfTheColours

Whilst we slept at The Saguaro, we did a bit of hotel hopping whilst we’re here mainly to check out what else is on offer but also because we found great dining options.

Ace Hotel A lot less colourful than The Saguaro but like most Ace Hotel’s this has a cool vibe, a couple of swimming pools to choose from and a few restaurants. #HipstersInSwimWear

The Parker Palm Springs

This hotel is beautiful. With never-ending grounds that’s home to hammocks, fire pits, lemonade stands and a croquet set; it feels like you never know what you’ll discover next. With Moroccan inspired interiors and secluded rooms, this hotel is definitely on the pricier side but would be perfect for families, couple or anyone looking to relax in peace. It’s luxury for sure.

Where to Eat:

Norma’s @ The Parker – We cycled here for lunch on my birthday, it’s a great spot and any the gives you the perfect excuse to explore the hotel’s grounds. Opt to sit outside under the red and orange canapé. #BloodyMary’s

Cheeky’s – this seems to be one of the most popular brunch spots in Palm Springs and is worth the wait. Put your name down, soak up the sun and then when your tables ready you have to order the bacon flight. #FlightBaconAndPancakes

El Jefe – located to the right -hand side in The Saguaro entrance, this Mexican is easy for a casual bite to eat at any time of the day. #Tacos #GreatMargaritas

Workshop Kitchen+Bar – Another perfect outdoor patio scenario, this is a pretty special spot. It’s quite expensive but you’re paying for amazing food, endless cocktail choices and the setting. #SteakAndRedWine

Birba – Owned by Cheeky’s, this outdoor Italian restaurant is placed right next door. It has a good atmosphere but again it’s a name-on-the-list & likely to be an hour’s wait. #TrythePizza

Tropicale retro tropical interior features, a vast outdoor patio area and an extensive menu we had a fun evening here! #GoodBirthdayDesert #FunCocktails 

Drop in:

Ernst Coffee – modern, popular coffee spot in the middle of town – good to drop in.#ColdBrew

Great Shakes – sugar rush coming. Every possible milkshake with a tiny mini donut on top! A tourist moment – but if you need something sweet then I’d give this place a go. #Calorific #AfternoonTreat

Things to Do:

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Much to my surprise this was one of my favourite parts of our trip. Whilst you can eat and sunbathe everywhere, I’d love that this was something different and active to do. The Tramway is a rotating cable car that takes you along the cliffs of the canyon and way above Palm Springs. it’s actually so much higher than I’d pictured in my head – so brace yourself and 100% avoid this if you don’t like heights! It stops 8,516 feet above sea level, takes approx. 15/20 mins to reach the top and the temperature dropped from 30 degrees to 8 degrees which gives you an indication as to just how high you are! The views are breathtaking and the air is super fresh – you’re surrounding by trees, nature and it’s so peaceful to the pre-Coachella parties happening below you!

The other thing to mention is you need to bring layers. As classic, unprepared tourists, we rocked up in summer attire and sandals. Not until I looked around at people wearing hiking boots, coats, jumpers and jeans did I realise we’d got it very wrong! So a quick jumper purchase in the gift shop (on a $30 blue thing I’ll never wear again) and we were ready! Once at the top, there’s so many different trails you can follow – you could spend all day up here just make sure you don’t miss the last cable car back down.  #BringLayersAndTrainers 

Would I go back again? 100% and next time we’re back here – Joshua Tree is on the list!

Trip in a Sentence? Birthday fun in the sun! 🌵☀️