Doris Dayin’ it at the Holiday House

Palm Springs

A Hotel To Put On Repeat

I love staycations. They are the reason we need to press reset and explore a little more creative calm in our everyday lives. Luckily for us Southern Californians, there’s a bountiful array of places to pack that cute weekender bag and hit the road.

As a true lover of chic design and no pretension, there is a gem of a hotel—boutique in every way–that harkened my inner Doris Day and made me feel right at home: The Holiday House. Built in 1951 (it even says so on the sign), this cobalt blue and white, design-centric, mid-century modern, basking-in-pop-art-that-will-have-you-doing-somersaults-with-glee, is a hotel that embodies everything I love about travel.

I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile and I want to make people laugh. And that’s all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.

— Doris Day

It can’t be said enough that the 1950s was an era that had more style than should be legal. Sure, it was oppressive to the female gender and it had a lot to learn about ethics, morality, and equality, but in terms of visual appeal, design, aesthetics of fashion, home décor and branding, the ’50s seriously knew what it was doing. The Holiday House is a place that stayed true to the architects vision of Palm Springs: unobstructed views, simple and environmentally conscious layouts, cultural and artistic awareness, and understated elegance that lends itself to feelings of escapism and relaxation. Those feelings begin the second you pull into their tiny parking lot adorned with campy scribed signs that remind me of the Bewitched font.

Holiday House | 200 W Arenas Rd. | Palm Springs, Ca 92262

First Impressions

The Holiday House is a place that inevitably leaves a lasting first impression. Young millennials greet you in casual attire with a proper glass of rosé in hand, and their warm smiles and calm demeanor make you feel like you’re staying with friends. In the lobby, you’ll find some of the most substantial art pieces around, including an original Basquiat painted onto 3 skateboards (less the wheels) which is cleverly and playfully hanging at the edge of the bar top. It’s so unsuspecting, you might not even realize the relevance of the piece. In the bathroom of the main lounge, you’ll stumble upon art by Modern Toss that will make your visit to the loo very entertaining. Every part of the living room, kitchen, bar, lounge, and reading den (aka public areas) have been positioned and decorated in such a way, you can’t explain why it feels so homey and elegant, but you do know it feels 100% right.

I Might Never Leave

The rooms! Oh … the rooms. As you are handed the key to your abode, you walk on through the outdoor community dining area with a large table that houses succulents, a mini mosaic Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture, water and sunscreen stations, and an honor pantry filled with wines, cheeses, crackers, art, pool extras, and a few local fashion brands. Once out on the green, three oversized poppies by artist Donald Sultan round the way towards the pool, cabana, shuffleboard, bicylces available to use around town, and the rooms.

Staying in the “Best” room, we walked into a throwback of the most fabulous design-centric room a girl like me could ask for. A bar cart fit for Jon Hamm, a kitchen stocked with bottled water, a movie-night snack basket stocked with candy and popcorn, a kitchen nook with a hanging rattan accented ceiling lamp, and tufted nautical cushions on the angled kitchen table bench. In the room itself sits a cozy bed, a dresser with books and art, reading area with chaise, a cylinder-type closet that spins for that modern ooh-and-ahh appeal, and the bathroom. The bathroom should be its own write-up so to stay in true form of going off on a tangent, let’s just say the bath tub was my favorite place. It’s an invitation to pour in some salt and an obscene amount of bubbles, pour a glass of wine, grab a book, a bath pillow and breathe in tranquility. Designed with Mark D. Sikes custom textiles, signature oversized shower, beehive tiles line the floors with an insignia “HH” to remind you of where you are. Malin + Goetz products wait for you by the happy monkey jewelry-dish, fresh towels, and an overall sense of leaving the world behind. Did I mention there is no TV in the room? Yah, they really mean business here—and by business I mean they want you to drink, create, eat, and learn how to detox from technology. It’s kind of nice. 

Bites, Drinks, and Strolling Around.

Waking up to the peace of Palm Springs, breakfast is served in the main lobby on the same table where a bow of Legos wait to be played with. Hard boiled eggs with the cutest egg servers you’ve ever seen, granola, freshly churned peanut butter, grapefruit and orange juice, and my fuel—coffee. It’s filling, refreshing, and made with conversation in mind.

When hunger hits around lunch time, the Americana fare that comes out of their kitchen, aka “The Pantry” is surprising. The burger is cooked to utter perfection, their gem salad is crisp and full of flavor, and when you feel like an afternoon cocktail? Saunter to their bar, take a seat, and stay awhile. They make a mean Bloody Mary. We ordered ours with Mezcal and extra spice and it was like a chile-infused chunky tomato took up residence in our mouths. Ask for a margarita or whatever they’re crafting that afternoon, and you won’t want to leave. It’s worth mentioning that when you are in your room, they have a handy guide with museums, eateries around town (that happen to deliver), and ideas of things to do.

As night rolls in though, consider a stroll in downtown Palm Springs to discover some of the incredible shops, art galleries, historic buildings, and the culinary and cocktail options you have. From vegan to high-class gastronomy to seafood to pubs, you won’t be hungry or thirsty for long. Once you’re ready to come back, I encourage you to take an evening swim, sit out on the deck, and really flourish in the simplicity of it all. When it came time to check out, it was like asking me to hand over a limb. I wasn’t ready to go, and it seems neither were the other guests because three different guests asked to extend their stays. I think we all felt a little like we found our “place”.

Let’s just say I’m going back and next time, I’m staying a week! 

For the best rates, check out their site at www.HolidayHousePS.com