Editors' Picks

Colony Palms Hotel

Social, Laid Back, Snazzy

572 North Indian Canyon, Palm Springs 92262


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At a Glance

Hotelier Steve Hermann’s snazzy 2021 update has transformed the 57-room Colony Palms into a desert version of the Beverly Hills Hotel, but more serene. It’s a cloistered idyll set around a turquoise-blue pool and full of green-striped umbrellas and lush landscaping all just a five-minute walk from downtown Palm Springs.

Indagare Loves

  • The vertiginous in-pool views of the San Jacinto Mountains
  • The Delta asparagus salad with smoked chicken from Chef Michael Hung’s lunch menu
  • The grass-green claw foot tub in the Verandah Suite
  • Review

    The Colony Palms Hotel comes with a history considered fabled or notorious depending on the decade. It began life in 1936 as a club operated by reputed mobster Al Wertheimer. (The two-story property, named “Colonial House,” was alleged to contain a bar, brothel and casino). Its reputation was much improved by the 1950s when the rebranded “Howard Manor” began attracting Hollywood stars like Ronald Reagan and Zsa Zsa Gabor. In 2007 the three-acre property, by then officially called the Colony Palms, became a souk-ed up, Moroccan-themed retreat. In 2020 Hermann purchased the property and began a major design revamp transforming the hotel and its 41 rooms, 14 bungalows and two grand suites into an oasis shaded by banana fronds and nostalgia evoking a 1940s Palm Beach-and-Pan Am glamour.

    Rooms in the adult-only property have no desks. That’s deliberate. The Palms want guests mingling—not working—and in a lowkey fashion that suits its country clubby atmosphere. The pool, with the Colony Club restaurant open to it, is the hotel’s social locus. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner under the tutelage of Chef Michael Wang, the Colony features local produce, seasonal American and European cuisine, and de Gournay gold-gilded wallpaper (rumored to cost $100,000) featuring flocks of flying cranes.

    Guest rooms are just beyond the pool and sport Art Deco-inspired furnishings and playful tropical wallpaper. Details include Frette sheets and robes, and oversized bathrooms featuring Kallista faucets and Le Labo bath products. Consider booking the second-floor Verandah Suite with its private porch, or the two-story one-bedroom Hermann residence with a living room, kitchen and its own pool table. Bungalows just beyond it have their own private patios; #46, an insider’s favorite, has a soaking tub.

    On-property amenities include the pool and a small spa (the treatment list isn’t extensive, offering only facials and massages) along with bicycles and yoga programs. Those looking for a lot of busy programming, tennis courts, and a larger array of spa services should probably look elsewhere. You do you. We’ll be at the Colony pool.

    Who Should Stay

    Adults only. Couples or friend groups looking for a quiet, luxurious hideaway will find the Colony Palms a weekend escape.

    (Seasonal rates from $300 - $4,000)

    Written by Andrew Nelson

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