Last weekend we took a little road trip to Palm Springs. Emma, our daughter, is at sleep away camp for the first time and WE MISS HER! Is that silly? Are parents supposed to revel in all their free time while the kids are away? I don’t know, maybe we’re nerdy but that’s not us. We needed a distraction, and hanging out in 110 degree weather while slurping down cocktails and floating in the pool sounded… um, perfect.

So we booked two nights at the historic Ingleside Inn. I threw my favorite pool dress, bathing suits, and a couple of outfits for tooling around this sweet dessert town into a bag, and we hit the road!

Packing for Palm Springs

Key items to pack for a hot summer weekend getaway.

We had stayed at the Ingleside Inn maybe three times before and loved it for its beautiful pool grounds (the pool is saltwater) set in a big grassy yard where you can lounge, dip, order a Caesar salad and Mai Tai for lunch and never need to get dressed to eat until the sun goes down.

The Ingleside Inn

Derek and I arriving at Ingleside Inn

Derek and I arriving at the Ingleside Inn.

The Ingleside was built in 1925 and then sold to a woman named Ruth Hardy in 1935. Ruth ran the Inn as her own personal club, with rules like you can only stay by invitation and all dinner guests had to be approved by Ruth herself. There’s nothing like the scent of exclusivity to rev some folks up, so it became the place to be. Guests included Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Clark Gable, Salvador Dali and Elizabeth Taylor. Eventually, in 1975, it was purchased by Melvyn Haber who refurbished the place and added a restaurant “Melvyn’s”, and until he passed away in 2016 (at the age of 80), he ran this swanky but low key dessert oasis with a kickin’ piano bar and restaurant.

It’s clear they’re currently attempting to update the amenities in order to compete with the younger hip set of Palm Springs boutique hotels. Some of the improvements are nice, bikes added for complimentary use and a morning buffet for enjoying in your room or on the veranda of freshly baked pastries, yogurt, homemade granola and boiled eggs. In other ways they miss the mark though. A dj party at the pool on Saturday (luckily it wasn’t scheduled to start until 4pm). It’s not our style to venture to a classic old school hotel for a dj party. That said, the dj party was tastefully done, for hotel guests only, and many were enjoying it.

Palm Springs Day 1 – Friday
  • 4 pm: arrive for check in
  • 5 pm: it’s still 105 degrees out.. let’s hit the pool!
make delish cocktails in insulated to-go mugs

Hot tip – secret stash – make delish cocktails in insulated to-go mugs to bring out to the pool. Rooms have a small refrigerator.

Palm Springs Pool Side Evening

Poolside as the sun sets and it’s still 105 degrees!

  • 6 pm: go in, take showers and get ready to go out to dinner
  • 8 pm: dinner, drinks and live music at Melvyn’s 

The piano player started at 8pm playing classics from the 50’s through the 70’s Frank Sinatra, the Beatles…We split a Caesar salad and a Melvyn’s Burger With the world’s strongest gin gimlet.

Melvyns Cocktails and Piano Man

Strong cocktails and good food in a classic piano bar setting at Melvyn’s, which is located at the Ingleside.

  • 9:30 pm: take a Lyft downtown (only 5 minute drive) to Tonga Hut for some amazing Mai Tai’s and coconut shrimp. They also have loads of old-school games out so you can get competitive over Connect Four.
Drinks and Connect Four at Tonga Hut

Tonga Hut has a lively atmosphere, good food and drinks., and a fun selection of games, including connect four!

Palm Springs Day 2 – Saturday
  • 8 am: Start the morning with breakfast snacks from the complimentary buffet for enjoying in your room or on the veranda: freshly baked pastries, yogurt, homemade granola and hard-boiled eggs.
  • 9:30 am -2:30 pm: Go to the pool – swim, laze, read, order food, order drinks repeat.
    *at 10:30 am we briefly relocate to the air conditioned room because the pool guy arrived and needed to chlorinate the pool with the instruction to “wait at least 30 min before going in”… Are you kidding me? At peak swim time they discover the pool needs treatment? The air conditioning did feel good though 😉
Palm Springs Poolside Lounge Chairs, Towels, Hot Tub

Beautiful view of the pool-side and gardens, with a touch of the hot tub (rarely used in the summer) to the far right.

Floating in the Pool

Floating in the (now) crystal clear and refreshing pool.

Dinner, Drinks and Menu at Tropicale

Tasty food & beverages, and wonderful staff & atmosphere make Tropicale our favorite restaurant in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs Day 3 – Sunday
  • 7:30 am: early morning bike ride, while the weather is still cool enough, over to breakfast at Elmer’s for their amazing omelettes, biscuits and pancakes. Elmer’s is popular so going early, if you can, is a good idea. A bike ride through the neighborhoods of Palm springs is a great way to experience some of the beautiful and iconic mid-century architecture. 
Palm Springs Early Morning Bike Ride

A beautiful early morning bike ride to breakfast using free hotel bikes.

  • 12 pm: Check out of hotel and start the 2 hour road trip (without traffic) home.
Checking out of Hotel with Baggage

Bye bye Palm Springs! We look forward to the next time!

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