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Cheeky in Palm SpringsCheeky in Palm Springs

Stanley Moss checks out the newly opened Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, Calif., and finds that it’s spot on for the modern traveller who doesn’t mind a bit of irreverence
photographed by the author

Set on a backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains, the hotel makes the most of its arid palm-lined location. Some ground-floor rooms have their own private patios, which once were parking spots for the motor inn of yore.

Minimalism and rusticity, with indigenous vegetation.

Bikes parked outside the reception area, free for the use of guests.

Salt water pool, one of the few in Palm Springs.

Ace’s restaurant used to be a Denny’s, and the architects have restored the original details, like the terrazzo floor. You can get a perfect espresso, and inspired nouveau diner cuisine—served anywhere on the property.

Chilaquiles for breakfast anyone?



Super-comfy beds, reading lights that work, and contemporary photography attached to the wall by clips.

Not your usual mini-bar, with serious liquor brands in generous quantities. Try not to pig out on the eclectic munchies.

Not your usual stuffy, hard-to-read card key here. Ace’s sense of fun and style is all in the details.

Aero Saarinen, are you listening? Typical room chair.

Poolside chair. Looks dangerous, but actually quite comfortable.


LUCIRE RECENTLY HAD the opportunity to visit the newly-opened Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, Calif. The latest offering from the cool four-property Seattle-based chain, Ace caters to the young at heart, with a value-driven ultra-friendly brand persona, grounded in modernist design, balanced with hip, cheeky irreverence. You can’t help but love the concept, which endeavours to embrace everyone, while addressing the shift in the changing profile of the leisure traveller.
   For openers, this property is both family and pet-friendly, but you encounter everyone from singles toting backpacks, pierced and tattooed style-hounds, grey hairs and twenty-something families with kids in chest carriers.
   Set at the foot of the dramatic San Jacinto Mountains, the property seamlessly regenerated from the classic Westward Ho Motel designed in the 1960s, which was a fixture of Palm Springs for over two decades. The property later became a Holiday Inn, but any resemblance which remains is purely unintentional. Parking spots which once girdled the minimalist buildings have been transformed into private patios, some with working fire pits. Upstairs rooms feature sundecks with giant canvas-covered cushions. Ace’s singular design style is present everywhere in spacious lodgings, from slatted wall treatments and woven hemp wall-coverings, reminsicent of rustic camps, and funky furniture choices like the formed-wood seats which might have walked out of a Danish Modern catalog. Even the Rudy’s No. 3 body wash is up-to-the-minute groovy. It’s a feast designed to tantalize all the senses.

   Best of all, there’s a spirit of fun, and a love of the outdoors evident here. Though the property only opened its doors four weeks ago, you can already sense the active, naturalistic lifestyle it promotes, set to a great soundtrack, casual, comfy and devoted to letting the good times roll. •


Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 East Palm Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Telephone 1 760 325-9900


Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.



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