Blog

SANTIAGO GOES SOLAR

With clear blue skies and sunshine 350 days a year, Palm Springs is an ideal spot for making solar power. This past December, with the help of our solar partner Renova Energy, Santiago Resort installed 164 rooftop solar panels. Since then we’ve been converting sunshine directly into the electricity that powers our lights, refrigeration and air conditioning. We’re excited to have made our desert oasis even greener and we’re looking forward to making more sustainable efforts in the future.


http://renovaenergy.com

With clear blue skies and sunshine 350 days a year, Palm Springs is an ideal spot for making solar power. This past December, with the help of our solar partner Renova Energy,... Read More »


BEST NEW RESTAURANTS

Lately, Palm Springs has been nothing but abuzz with news of so many new restaurant openings. We’re eager, and hungry, to spread the word. If your tastes lean toward Italian, Asian, Deli, Hawaiian, Tapas, Mediterranean or just good old-fashioned comfort food, there’ll be something for you at one of these great new places. Check out our blog for a list of must try new spots. Your hardest choice will be which one to try first!

Wilma & Frieda’s

This is a terrific breakfast and lunch spot serving “comfort food with a twist” (it’s rumored to be working on serving dinner as well!)  From a 2nd story location overlooking Palm Canyon Dr, this place is not to be missed.  https://wilmafrieda.com

House of Poke

What is Poke you ask?  Marinated fresh fish, with citrus, herbs and spices all leaning toward the Hawaiian side of life.  While new to Palm Springs, but not to the Coachella Valley, this casual Poke spot allows you to custom build your own Poke experience! 
https://www.hausofpoke.com/

Wexler’s

The famous Los Angeles Deli, known for its traditional Jewish deli favorites including pastrami, lox and corned beef (cured and smoked in-house) now has a Palm Springs location, serving breakfast and lunch daily.  https://wexlersdeli.com/wexlers-arrive-palm-springs


Grand Central

A much-anticipated new comfort restaurant, located right on the Downtown Plaza, and serving new renditions of some classic favorites.  While most popular during breakfast and lunch, with the recent addition of a dinner menu, dinners are getting busy too!  https://www.grandcentralpalmsprings.com/


Antigua Kitchen and Bar

Mark my words, this new hot spot will be one of the most popular downtown patios on a warm night!  Serving locally sourced ingredients with a casual dining vibe, it’s a beautifully designed space in a magnificent setting with an elegant yet unpretentious atmosphere.  https://antiguapalmsprings.com/

Takishin

Traditional sashimi, nigiri, and tempura is the name of the game. The fish is fresh, the prices are reasonable, and the place has been packed since day one. Be prepared to wait at peak dining hours!  https://www.yelp.com/biz/takashin-palm-springs-3

Daniel’s Table

Even though the restaurant is brand new, Chef Daniel already has earned a solid reputation in Palm Springs. Working with farmers throughout Southern California, Chef Daniel creates some exquisite Mediterranean inspired dishes. In an unexpected location, and a bit on the pricier side, but definitely worth the trip!  https://danielstable.com/

Del Rey

A beautiful and intimate, paneled room in the newly renovated Villa Royale Hotel, the Del Rey is quickly becoming a popular place to enjoy craft cocktails and delicious food.  The whimsical tapas inspired menu offers three plate sizes:  small, medium, or large.
http://delreypalmsprings.com/

Il Corso

Palm Spring’s Newest Hot Spot!

Having served some of the Coachella Valley’s finest Italian food from its El Paseo Drive location, Chef Mario Marfia has opened a second spot in downtown Palm Springs.  Born in Sicily, Chef Marfia offers genuine Italian hospitality serving a wonderful variety of authentic Italian dishes. 
https://ilcorsocv.com/

Juniper’s Table

Located on the ground level of the new Rowen Hotel, this spot has a wonderful little patio and serves local farm foods inspired by Mediterranean flavors.  Great place that is not super busy…. yet!  https://www.junipertable.com/

Lately, Palm Springs has been nothing but abuzz with news of so many new restaurant openings. We’re eager, and hungry, to spread the word. If your tastes lean toward Italian, Asian, Deli,... Read More »


TOUR de PALM SPRINGS

The 21st Annual Tour de Palm Springs rides into Palm Springs on February 9th. This exciting charity event includes over 10,000 cyclists riding 10, 25, 50 and 100 mile routes, raising money for more than 100 local organizations. If you love cycling, (or maybe you just love cyclists) book your room at Santiago now. We’ve got space to store your bike —and a bubbling, soothing hot tub ready for your quads. So grab your bike, slap on a helmet, and head our way.

For more infromation, visit https://tourdepalmsprings.com.

The 21st Annual Tour de Palm Springs rides into Palm Springs on February 9th. This exciting charity event includes over 10,000 cyclists riding 10, 25, 50 and 100 mile routes, raising money... Read More »


DESERT X

Desert X burst onto the Coachella Valley art scene in 2017 wowing viewers with Doug Aitkens’ Mirage – a mirrored ranch house absorbing and reflecting the desert landscape around it.  The valley wide, site specific biennial returns for round two this coming February 9 through April 21.  International artists will be creating their personal installations, engaging viewers and focusing attention on the valley’s environment. Desert X is vibrant, curious and exciting.  A must see for contemporary art lovers.

You can view one of the Desert X installations here www.dougaitkenmirage.com.

To learn more, visit https://desertx.org.

Desert X burst onto the Coachella Valley art scene in 2017 wowing viewers with Doug Aitkens’ Mirage – a mirrored ranch house absorbing and reflecting the desert landscape around it.  The valley... Read More »


30th Annual Film Festival

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Each January something really special happens and we’re always excited to talk about it.  Beginning January 4th, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, one of the largest in North America, celebrates its 30th anniversary. One of the desert’s premiere annual events, it’s ten days of non-stop previews of some of the best films yet to be released. If you’re a film buff, you won’t want to miss it.

2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival

JANUARY 3-14, 2019

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming over 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries.  The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents.  Produced by the Palm Springs International Film Society, the Festival offers 12 days of events and film screenings featuring over 180 films.  We welcome you to join us at our venues in Palm Springs and Cathedral City.  See you at the movies!

The screening portion of the festival will run Friday, January 4 through Monday, January 14.  On January 4, the festival will run screenings all day with the official Opening Night screening taking place that evening at Richards Center for the Arts with a party to follow – location TBD.

The festival will close on Sunday, January 13, with Best of the Fest screenings taking place Monday, January 14.

Each January something really special happens and we’re always excited to talk about it.  Beginning January 4th, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, one of the largest in North America, celebrates its... Read More »


Tiki Drinks Palm Springs

TIKI IN THE DESERT?

You may not have heard, but Desert Polynesian Culture is alive and well in Palm Springs. This month we’re sharing some of our favorite drinks at some of our favorite Palm Springs’ Tiki bars. Sure, you can order a Mai Tai, but why not a Hot Hula Hibiscus? Or a Nutty Chi Chi? Check out our guide to some of the Desert’s coolest tropical hideaways right here!

Here’s a selection for you to savor:

The Reef Palm Springs

Set in the historic Caliente Tropics Resort, The Reef Palm Springs is the latest creation from Tiki Caliente and Mod Palm Springs Founder and Host, Rory Snyder.  In its original incarnation, The Reef was once the location of Palm Springs’ infamous Conga Room restaurant.

Rory Snyder’s connection between cocktails and Tiki culture goes back to his early days manning some of Southern California’s notable bars, including Woody’s Wharf and Taco Surf in Orange County, California.  Proudly hailing from Chicago (but being an intelligent man) Rory moved to Palm Springs, California in 2006 and became a popular bartender at Wangs In The Desert and Trio, creating craft cocktails before that was even considered “a thing”.  One of his signature cocktails (and most requested) is Palm Springs’ official libation, the “Palm Springs Punch”.

In 2008, Rory decided to share his love of all things Tiki by hosting the annual “Tiki Caliente”, taking place every May.  In 2013, he created his second annual event, “Mod Palm Springs”, celebrating Mid-Century style with a Tiki twist.

Some favorites from The Reef Palm Springs –

The Elegant Bastard

Gin, Don Q Anjeo Rum, Spicy-Sweet Ginger Beer and Fresh Lime Juice

Hot Hula Hibiscus

Sino Tequila with Hibiscus Syrup and a lively kick of Jalapeno.

The Navy Grog

A potent tiki classic, made with various rums, grapefruit juice and honey.

The Reef Daiquiri

Elderflower liquor and Don Q. Rum

 

Bootlegger Tiki

The Bootlegger Tiki opened in September 2014 in the space once housing Don the Beachcomber. It also features a coffee shop called Ernest Coffee Co., named after Don the Beachcomber’s real first name.

In 1926, a young Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt left home to travel the South Pacific, Caribbean and beyond. After returning to America, (and after a stint as a Prohibition era bootlegger) Ernest opened the first tiki bar. Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood became such a success that Ernest legally adopted the moniker.  By the 1940s, he had moved to Hawaii turning over the business to his ex-wife, Cora Irene (“Sunny”). Over the next few decades, Sunny opened more than a dozen additional locations including Don the Beachcomber Palm Springs.   Opened in 1953, the Palm Springs location attracted many famous faces (and voices) like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Some favorites from Bootlegger Tiki –

Holy Mole

Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Honeydew, Tamarind, Lemon, Lime, Mole Bitters.

Boaty McBoatface AKA Lil Yatchy

Agricole Rhum, Demerara Rum, Mezcal, Lime, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Orgeat, Banana, Bitters.

Whose Man is This?

Aged Agricole, Amburana Cachaca, Swedish Pumch, Lime Absinthe, Bitters.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Navy Strength Jamaican Rum, Pineapple Rum, Falernum Amaro, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Absinthe, Bitters.

Tres Puntos

Mezcal, Michoacan Rum, Falernum, Ancho Chile, Lime Magno Bitters.

Valkyrie on Vacay

Aquavit, Pear Brandy, Aperol, Blackberry, Passionfruit, Lemon Ginger, Soda.

Flightless Bird

Amburana, Cachaca, Multi-Island Rum, Amaro, Lime Guava, Vanilla.

 

Tonga Hut

Los Angeles’ oldest continually operating tiki bar has expanded with a Palm Springs location boasting delicious cocktails, a full dinner menu at The Hideaway and a “secret” tiki room.  With a prime second-floor location on Palm Canyon Drive (right across the street from the Hyatt Hotel), the Tonga Hut is a great perch to watch all the happenings on the busy street below.

The Hideaway’s booths display photos and memorabilia from Palm Springs’ rich Tiki past (South Pacific Room at the El Mirador, Romanoff’s and more.) The Tonga Hut celebrates the Desert Polynesia renaissance wave of local Tiki art and culture festivals, as well as a newfound scholarly appreciation for this often-derided mid-century style of fabulous architecture and design.

Some favorites from the Tonga Hut –

Shrub Old Fashioned

Tin Cup Whisky, house made tangerine shrub and cranberry bitters

Nutty Chi Chi

Vodka, macadamia nut liqueur, coconut cream

Cucumber Caliente

Tequila, lime, fresh cucmber and habanero

Mojave Punch

House made hibiscus syrup, rums, juice and passion fruit

 

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge

A perennial favorite, Toucan’s is on every one’s list of best gay bars in Palm Springs.  Sunday night drag shows and weekly theme nights are always popular.  Specializing in strong Tiki drinks, you can’t go wrong with one of their Mai Tais, Hurricanes, Rum Runners, Scorpions, or our favorite, the Bahama Mama!

Recently purchased by Palm Springs’ F10 Group (Birba, Cheeky’s and Mr. Lyons) we’re eager to watch what happens in the next year.  We’re guessing even more tiki fabulous is on the way.

 

Tiki Caliente (May 16-19, 2019)

Tiki Caliente is an annual event creating the aura of island living transported to Palm Springs! Bringing together music, art, cocktails and people, Tiki Caliente creates a celebration dedicated to Tiki culture. It’s a combination of sights, sounds, scents and tastes, all in one memorable weekend.  From music to art, shopping and socializing, Tiki Caliente will immerse you into the colorful and escapist Polynesian-Pop world. And since Tiki culture is partially focused on crafted cocktails, you’ll be enticed with delicious concoctions made from exotic rums, juices and spices.

On the main stage and in our late-night lounge shows, Tiki Caliente features some of the best live entertainment on the Tiki scene. In between live performances, DJs spin Tiki vinyl, so the air is always filled with well-themed music. If shopping is your thing, vendors selling Vintage aloha wear, Tiki-inspired art, Tiki mugs, trinkets and other fine baubles are plentiful, so you can take home your own personal souvenir of desert tropical paradise.

You may not have heard, but Desert Polynesian Culture is alive and well in Palm Springs. This month we’re sharing some of our favorite drinks at some of our favorite Palm Springs’... Read More »


Big Wheel Tours Palm Springs

CHECK OUT THE BIG ONE

It’s one of the best known, and most menacing geological features in North America.  The San Andreas Fault is the oft-blamed continental rift responsible for plenty of earthquakes in California.  While the science of this tear in the earth’s crust is fascinating, did you know you can actually get up close with this amazing force of nature, just a few miles away from Palm Springs?

Visiting the San Andreas Fault line

Visiting the San Andreas Fault is easy. All it takes is a decent car. 4WD is not necessary unless you want to get to a few difficult places, and most of those are just a short hike from a public road. In some places like the Morongo Indian Reservation or the San Bernardino Mountains, you are not permitted entry or there simply are no public roads (but you can back pack in or day hike). Otherwise, access is a breeze. Many sections of the fault are in National Parks, National Forests or on BLM land. With hundreds of miles of mostly quiet, scenic roads, you’ll see dramatic land forms, horribly twisted rock, and lots of wildlife and flowers.

Finding the fault is relatively easy. Seeing the fault is another matter. The SAF has not had a major ground-rupturing earthquake since 1906. Learn more from the USGS here. Much of the “giant crack in the ground” people imagine has been erased. The surface trace of the fault is subtle. What one has to look for are the land forms the plate motion has created. This is why we recommend taking a guided tour.  Guides familiar with the fault know the best areas to view it from.  Most tours are 2-4 hours and many include lunch.  Pricing varies from $139-$169 per person.

Below are a few of the more popular tours available:

Big Wheel Tours

https://bwbtours.com/tours/

760.548.0500

Come see where earthquakes are born! You will see first hand what geologists have called “the most tortured landscape on earth” as you visit the backcountry trails of a Bureau of Land Management Wilderness zone.
Clients will also get an up close look at the Coachella Valley’s $500 million+ agriculture industry on the drive to and from the backcountry. Sheer canyon walls, fascinating geology, and abundant native desert plant and animal life are highlights of this tour. This is the most colorful portion of the San Andreas Fault in all of California. The spectrum of layers and colors will dazzle you. We try to cater the hiking and nature walking to each group. If clients want to hike more, we will. If clients want to keep it a strictly driving tour we will.

Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours

https://red-jeep.com/

760-324-5337

Extraordinary scenery abounds as your Big Red Jeep winds its way through the labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone as your naturalist guide entertains you with stories about the plants, animals, geology, and history of the California desert. On this exciting 4WD adventure to our private Metate Ranch preserve on the San Andreas Fault you will: Experience the twisted and tortured landscape of an active earthquake fault system as your guide describes the geology of the area and you explore the skeleton of the earth. Walk between the steep walls of deep canyons created by the powerful forces of plate tectonics, water, wind, and time. Explore a natural palm oasis where crystal clear water bubbles up from the underground aquifer. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. Learn about the plants and animals of the California desert. Discover the fascinating history of the Coachella Valley. Enjoy spectacular views as your guide describes the geologic forces and local history that shaped the Coachella Valley.

Private Tours – Private tours are sold by the vehicle. Each Jeep holds up to 7 guests.

Adventure Hummer Tours

https://www.adventurehummer.com/

760-285-0876

Start your 3-hour tour by making your way to the meeting point in Palm Desert, or request hotel pickup in Palm Springs. Jump in the open-air Hummer and enjoy the dry desert wind in your face.
After arriving at the San Andreas Fault, walk right over it on a bridge that spans the ravine. Your expert guide will regale you with amazing geological facts about the fault and speak of its interesting history. Some of the oldest canyons in the planet are here. Gawk at the strange rock formations and keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, particularly when the tour moves on to Berdoo Canyon, also known as the Big Game Corridor.
Visit Thousand Palms Oasis, the third-largest oasis in the world. Expect to be dazzled by the sight, as you take a 30-minute eco walk here. Learn the fascinating history of the local Cahuilla Indians and visit the cabin of the first settler who resided in the area.
For more information, check out these sites:

 

 

It’s one of the best known, and most menacing geological features in North America.  The San Andreas Fault is the oft-blamed continental rift responsible for plenty of earthquakes in California.  While the... Read More »


Art in the Desert

ART IN THE HIGH DESERT

Art is often viewed in isolated settings:  museums or the walls of our homes and offices. But if viewed within the context of the creative process, there is potential for a deeper understanding.  This is precisely what the yearly, self-guided Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours allows viewers to do.

Now in its 17th year, the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours, is a one-of-a-kind experience for art lovers to self-guide through 90 plus studios.  There you can meet directly with over 150 artists, speaking about their work and creative endeavors’ in the intimacy of their private studios.  And you’ll have the opportunity to purchase works directly from the artist that created them.

Presented over two weekends, the studio tour is often referred to as a “desert treasure hunt!” The “East End Weekend” covers studios in TwentyNine Palms, Wonder Valley, and East Joshua Tree.  The “West End Weekend” tour covers studios in Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Pioneertown, Landers and West Joshua Tree.

Catalogs and maps for the Hwy 62 Art Tours are available at area galleries, Chambers of Commerce, the TwentyNine Palms Visitor Center, and the MBCAC.  You’ll want to be sure to bring water and be prepared to drive on desert dirt roads to some studios.

The annual Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours is sponsored by the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council (MBCAC).

And while you’re exploring, be sure to check out the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s new Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center presenting Desert Icons – a collection of works from 36 esteemed and renowned Hi-Desert artists spanning many mediums and a broad spectrum – from direct representation, to abstraction, and everything in-between.  Desert Icons closes October 21st.

More information can be found on the Palm Springs Life Blog and High Desert Test Sites.

Check out this Hwy 62 Art Tours Video and Follow them on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Art is often viewed in isolated settings:  museums or the walls of our homes and offices. But if viewed within the context of the creative process, there is potential for a deeper... Read More »


Palm Springs Modernism Week

FALL MODERNISM WEEK

Mid Century Art and Architecture fans take note: one of Palm Springs’ most popular winter events has expanded to include an October preview week.  Without the crowds and long lines, Fall Modernism Week is the perfect time to see some of those architectural gems Palm Springs is famous for.  Check out the stellar lineup of events and attractions here.

Modernism Week Fall Preview 2018 will feature a selection of the most popular events from the February festival, including the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, architectural walking tours, festive cocktail parties, home tours, stimulating lectures, the not-to-be-missed Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, tours of Sunnylands, and more! Returning this year is the popular Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale – Fall Edition Preview Reception, an exclusive sneak peek of the Modernism Show & Sale before it opens to the public. Attendees will be the first to shop from the 40 world-class exhibitors. This special event is a benefit for Modernism Week, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Fall Preview Events are added frequently and there are always events accessible up to and during the weekend.

Visit https://tickets.modernismweek.com/e/fall-preview for a full list of events and to purchase tickets.

Mid Century Art and Architecture fans take note: one of Palm Springs’ most popular winter events has expanded to include an October preview week.  Without the crowds and long lines, Fall Modernism... Read More »


Best Drinks in Palm Springs

SHAKEN OR STIRRED?

Cocktail culture has long been a Palm Springs trademark but the current craft cocktail wave is taking it to a whole new level.  Will you choose a Mountaineer, a Bad Hombre or a Black Manhattan?  Each of these creations are current concoctions made by some hot new talent behind the bars of some great Palm Springs’ establishments.  Check out our very subjective list of the five best bars offering truly amazing craft cocktails.

Seymour’s

A part of Palm Spring’s iconic F10 Creative group (Cheekies, Birba, Mr Lyons and now owners of Toucan’s!) Seymour’s is an intimate speakeasy located alongside Mr. Lyons. The décor harkens back to an older era with vintage furnishings and plush chairs. While their mixologists excel at the classics their original cocktails are anything but old style. Stop by and check out the Chamo Car (Chamomile Infused Cognac, Fresh Lemon Juice & Black Pepper Honey) or the Wait…what? Avocado? (Fords Gin, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Avocado & Mint).

http://www.seymoursps.com/


Mini Bar at The Parker

True to its name, Mini Bar is a small, tucked away spot in the lobby of the Parker Hotel. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a unique cocktail and the eclectic surroundings of the Parker.  Be sure and try the Saffron Sky (Clase Azul Blanco, Grilled Pineapple, Campari, Lime, & Saffron Bitters).

https://www.parkerpalmsprings.com/food-and-drink

 

Workshop Kitchen + Bar

One of the first bars in Palm Springs to have true mixologists, Workshop is not to be missed. Walk through the architecturally award winning restaurant to find the bar. Their signature cocktails change seasonally but the bartenders are very accommodating. If one of the four Classics (like the French 75 or the Brown Derby) or the four Originals (Ancho Libre is our favorite) doesn’t fit your style – just throw them a theme and they will whip up a new creation.

https://workshoppalmsprings.com/

 

Truss and Twine

You can’t go wrong at this centrally located Uptown/Design District cocktail bar. Our waiter Johnny was quick with suggestions – and always on the mark. Cocktails are categorized by time period (including Gimlets from the “Golden Age” and a Surfer on Acid from the “Dark Ages,” otherwise known as the end of the 20th century) along with some interesting originals like the Game Changer mixed up with gin, onion brine, and celery bitters.

https://trussandtwine.com/

 

Paul Bar

Just opening this Summer, Paul Bar is sure to become a mainstay. What appears to be a hole in the wall will surprise you. Enter into what feels like a speakeasy in Manhattan of yester year, featuring a beautiful “old timey” bar and buttoned up mixologists ready to awaken your spirit senses.  The bar is always under the supervision of Paul – a New York transplant with a lot of talent and a lot to say. From the bourbon based Frozen Sidecar to the herbaceous and gin based Horticultural we found all the cocktails refreshing and satisfying. Now it’s time for you to find yours!

http://paulbarps.com/home/

Cocktail culture has long been a Palm Springs trademark but the current craft cocktail wave is taking it to a whole new level.  Will you choose a Mountaineer, a Bad Hombre or... Read More »