Does the very notion of Mid Century modern rouse illicit thoughts? No? Well perhaps a visit to Palm Springs will change your mind – a place which isn’t all about Coachella and the Ace Hotel – although both are undeniably inextricably linked with the desert resort city.
Many have tried, but most have failed to recreate the look and feel of a genuine Mid Century modern hotel, and The Horizon Hotel just happens to be a true original. Built in 1952 for a Hollywood producer, today the twenty-two minimal guest rooms are situated in separate bungalows surrounded by patios and swaying palms. They feature platform beds, plenty of windows and funky carpets and if you’re staying in the two thousand square foot “residence”, you also get your own private pool. Best of all the property is only for those over twenty-one, has a main pool with salt water (good for the skin) and gets room service from Elmer’s Diner next door.
The Workshop Kitchen is the latest addition to the local food scene and makes for a truly striking dining venue. More Brutalist Modern than Mid Century, its twenty-seven foot high interiors are made almost entirely from poured concrete, tables and chairs included. The menu focuses primarily on seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs and then creates dishes with accompanying protein such as grilled yellowtail with artichoke salad or the lobster, brussels sprout and fennel bowl. The outdoor dining patio and vegetarian friendly, Mexican inspired menu that changes weekly, make Cheeky’s a popular place for brunch. Everything in this casual and colorful twenty seat space is prepared fresh on the spot; try the yam or persimmon sandwiches, mouth watering cinnamon rolls and killer pomegranate mimosas. But if you’re fed up of the fancy food and design then head to The Cowboy Way BBQ for an authentic meat lovers feast. Rancher turned restaurateur Daniel Placencia dishes up unfussy pulled pork, baby back ribs and an array of burgers with the usual sides for very reasonable prices.
If your feeling like exploring the great outdoors then the Andreas, Palm and Murray Canyons which make up the Indian Canyon hiking trails are the ideal activity. The trails, some of which stretch up to fifteen miles, meander though barren desert landscape and rocky gorges with interspersed canyon streams which are ideal for picnicking at. Practically on The Horizon Hotels doorstep lies the Indian Canyons Golf Resort, a favorite 1960’s haunt of Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope, where you can spend many hours perfecting your swing.
The best purchases to be made in Palm Springs are of course furniture related and there is no shortage of places for vintage furniture hunting, the best of which is probably Modernway. If lacking in inspiration the rent a scooter from Eagle Rider and venture around to see some of the cities most iconic architectural masterpieces, most of which are unfortunately private residences – but that shouldn’t prevent you from taking a quick look; from John Lautner’s Elrod House, to Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House and other works by Albert Frey and Donald Wexler.