We at Los Angeles, I’m Yours are on the constant hunt for more places to stay out in the desert. We’re always anxious to find and share new spots that you may not have heard of that could help to make your next desert trip a little sweeter and put a few more coins in your pocket. There are plenty of trendy places and plenty of ways for you to spend, spend, spend when you are out on a little vacation. But if you just want a low frills treat with a simultaneously modern and vintage twist, where’s a good place to go? Let us recommend the Del Marcos Hotel.
The Del Marcos is a Downtown Palm Springs adjacent hotel that takes pride in its being a little, hidden architectural beauty in the desert. The hotel was built in 1947 by architect William F. Cody and was intended to be a post-WWII resort refuge. It features very angled rooftops and a mixture of glassy façades with stone and wooden walls. You could envision a smaller version of this lodging tucked underneath a few palm trees in the hills of Los Feliz. Instead, the U-shaped building faces the San Jacinto Mountains and creates an intimate space for you to rest in between blue skies and a seemingly climate controlled saltwater pool.
The seventeen room hotel is known for its having unique rooms too. Perusing their accomodations, you’ll notice most of the options have quaint themes like the Juan García Esquivel dedicated Esquivel Deluxe Room and martini adorned Shaken Not Stirred Room. We stayed in an interior West corner room called the Chi Chi Room, a large pet friendly room that includes a large living, a large private patio, and a large bedroom. This room is huge and feels like you could invite four more people to sleep on the couch and out on the patio: it is that big. There are a lot of cute fifties and sixties items like a working record player with swing and big band records available for you to play in addition to tiki lamps that feature a hula man and woman who both have the same very feminine face.
There’s a bit of a disparity happening here. While you have Modernica approved shell seating and bubble lamps to assert you that, yes, the hotel was recently remodeled there are also items like a very Miró printed mini-sofa and wall art potentially made out of kitty litter (which is both adorable and hysterical). 2013 manifests itself in many ways—remote control operated air conditioning, a flatscreen television in every room, a bathroom floor so polished that you are warned how slippery it can be post-shower—as does the past from age worn tables and somewhat funny plastic stemware. It’s nice! And it is in no way pretentious or ostentatious. It is both attempting to keep its Modernist ghosts alive while quietly bringing in a few new spirits.
Quietness is a big part of the Del Marcos. You won’t hear anyone while in your room and you won’t hear anyone while by the pool. There are even televisions stationed at a poolside covered patio in case you want to turn them on—but there is a silent rule: you are not allowed to turn them on. Instead, wade around and tan and enjoy your plastic cup contained self-purchased booze. Subtle fifties music play in the background and there are no booming DJs or loud vehicles bellowing from the Downtown area: it’s just you and the pool and the mountains. It’s very easy to find yourself spending an entire day here only getting up to take a dip in the pool or grab another cocktail. Unlike other hotels (Ahem, The Ace.), you aren’t under a constant barrage of distractions. You are completely uninterrupted.
This is because the Del Marcos is very adult, another area where disparity manifests itself. Couples present—and there were only couples present and, if not, they were duos of friends—were either in their late fifties and early sixties and donned l.a.Eyeworks while tanning or were semi-fit looking early thirtysomethings taking a break from Los Angeles. It’s a mature refuge, regardless of your age—but you will feel that gap, that you’ve maybe snuck in on a secret place cool parents escape to.
So why go to the Del Marcos? Because of this strange disparity of new and old. As you exit, you’ll notice there are several now defunct residences that make it feel a little ghostly—which is fine. The Del Marcos is quietly bustling and you don’t want any more bustle than what they have. If you do, they are a hop North of the Viceroy and a bit longer hop to places like Workshop and Birba. It’s in the city enough where nothing is a schlep but is just far enough out of the way that you won’t bump into anyone you know unless you want to.
That’s why the Del Marcos is so special: it’s a place you can go to in Palm Springs without anyone noticing that you are there. The people there are friendly and they are definitely not loud. The pool is warm and it is possible that you can sit by it for hours unbothered. It’s a nice, small, very low-key, very independent lodging in Palm Springs that you should add to your short list of places to go. We think it’s definitely a new—but old—Palm Springs destination to consider.