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Ace Hotel Palm Springs for Coachella review

It may seem like my first Coachella was only yesterday, but somehow it’s that time of year again… time for music lovers to go back to the desert for one of the greatest festivals on the planet.

Where to stay can be a bit of a challenge. For my friends and I last year The Ace Hotel was the answer. But was it the right one?

After four Coachella nights at The Ace Hotel Palm Springs, I can report there are definitely pros and cons.

For those who aren’t familiar with The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, it’s 170 achingly hip rooms with two pools and a funky diner found just south of downtown Palm Springs.

I was thrilled when top chicks Sally and Athena and I managed to snap up a room during the über-busy Coachella period (booked almost as soon as they went on sale, mind you).

Stepping into the hotel for the first time was enough to make the pulse quicken with excitement…. it looks like something out of a film, or a dream, or an old Palm Springs postcard found in a battered suitcase in an attic.

Our Ace Hotel wristbands were something to covet. They’d allow us easy access into the bar and pool which were about to become extremely popular.

And yet… it turns out that wasn’t the full story.

As I mentioned, the Ace Hotel has two pools. I was confused and more than a little miffed when I realised one of those pools had been rented out to a shoe company for a party, and we would have to join the extremely long queue with non-hotel guests to get in.

A long queue in direct sunlight on concrete when the temperature is over 100 degrees?

Our rooms weren’t cheap – over $500 a night and that’s with a four night minimum – so I don’t think it’s outrageous to expect to be able to use the hotel facilities ahead of those who are staying elsewhere.

On the final night part of the bar was also closed off for a private party for Florence and the Machine. As they’d been my festival highlight, I was actually a little chuffed that they had chosen our hotel. That’s definitely one of the Pros of the Ace… seeing some of those people you love on stage in the bar or by the pool.

Mind you, for that party hotel guests were once again kept outside. Fortunately for me, we had a party at a friend’s house down the road and so by the time I got back to the Ace all I wanted to do was curl up in bed. But if I’d had more of a pulse at that stage I probably would have been annoyed that once again my Ace Hotel wristband wasn’t allowing me full access.

As for the rooms at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, they may be small but they’re full of style. The beds are low to the ground, and a little slouchy, but super comfortable (well, for me – those who prefer a firm mattress may disagree).

But while the rooms may be stylish, a few things were missing for me.

Firstly, storage space. What a girlie thing to worry about, you may think. But get three girls on a Coachella road trip in the same room, and you’re going to need more than one tiny rail.

We ended up having to call the front desk for more hangers as there was only four or five in the room when we arrived (perhaps the previous folk had run off with them? I don’t know, but the shot above is of the cupboard after we made the call).

Read: The spookiest haunted hotels and Airbnbs

We ended up pretty much living out of suitcases, which had to be piled on top of each other as there was nowhere to store them (certainly not under those comfy, slouchy beds).

And unfortunately some days we missed out on getting our room cleaned as they only did it before midday or so. Fellow Coachella goers may understand why we weren’t bouncing out of bed and out of our room early enough for that to happen

I liked the little touches, like the old cameras that you can borrow to take snaps around the room and hotel (or buy for $120 if you decide to take it on home with you).

They also had your basic alcohol groups in the room to buy… but sadly they were missing something I think every hotel should have – a kettle!

I can’t bear it when hotels don’t give me the chance to make a cup of tea (or sometimes coffee) first thing in the morning. The day should just be started with a cuppa. And I mean when you’re still in your pyjamas, not after showering and going out into public to buy one.

The bathroom was simple with just a toilet and a shower… but oh happy days, the shower is a good one. Good pressure, good temperature. Just what you need after running around in the desert to see your favourite bands.

And once you do manage to get out of bed and out of the shower, the food waiting in the restaurant is delicious. In fact, I’m craving some of those dishes now.

Yes, I was disappointed by some of the things the Ace Hotel did over Coachella. But I’ll also admit that hotel does have a hell of a lot of charm. One day I will go back, but next time I’ll pick a non festival weekend. One where I can just chill by the pool and take my time exploring that beautiful desert city.

Ace Hotel Palm Springs murals

The Ace Hotel & Swim Club is found at 701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California, 92264.

So how about you? Have you stayed at The Ace in Palm Springs, and if so, how did you find the experience?

And what’s your favourite Palm Springs hotel? What should I put on the list for next time?

Leave a Comment

  1. What a creative hotel room! I love it! Great find 😀

    • Thanks! I really must get back to the desert and settle in again… and try out a few of the other hotels there. So many great ones to choose from! But the Ace does have its charms.

  2. I haven’t stayed at an Ace hotel yet, but hope to someday.Must say I hate early maid service – but good water pressure and food would kind of make up for it. I think I would like visiting here anytime except during Coachella- I would feel unhip enough from just being at an Ace 😉

    • Isn’t it amazing how a good shower and food can make or break a hotel! I reckon you’d have a lot of fun there. Even heading into the diner or grabbing a drink at the bar can be a fun way to get a taste of The Ace.

  3. Linda Bibb says

    Palm Springs was on my list of Places To Visit, but sadly I’m not in the US anymore so I doubt I’ll make it there. I’m glad you posted this. I’d never heard of those hotels.

    I don’t blame you for being ticked about not having full access. Especially at those prices, I’d feel exactly the same. Seriously … they should have compensated you somehow.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so! It is a pretty fab hotel… but that really let them down. Would be interesting to see if they changed their tune this time round 🙂

  4. Your photos are gorgeous! I almost felt like I was there with you. I think children would very happy.

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