The Rowan is right in the thick of downtown’s bustle. It’s convenient when you want to step out and have a big range of dinner options—though one of the best meals in town is right here at its restaurant, 4 Saints. Small plates with a Mediterranean bent are the work of chef Stephen Wambach and include gorgeously plated dishes like Fish in the Forest (kampachi, wild juniper, matsutake mushrooms, and baby leeks). And the rooms are nothing to sneeze at either: they all offer sweeping views of the San Jacinto Mountains thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows.
By Karen Feld
Imagine traveling back in time to mid-century, the days when the Hollywood studio system still reigned. It was Hollywood’s playground. Homes were mostly second or third ones with generous outdoor space to party. Regulars included Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Nat King Cole, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, Dinah Shore, The Rat Pack and other superstars.
Later, as golfers and tennis players moved to newer residential club communities on the outskirts, the downtown fell on hard times. Fast forward to 2018 and some modern touches to bring it back to life and appeal to a younger generation of travelers. This is Palm Springs today.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
• Extended weekend visits are getting longer and longer as Palm Springs attracts more visitors. Hiking and cycling are popular. Joshua Tree National Park is worth exploring if only to view the brilliant sunset at Keys View, at 6,200 feet; it feels like you’re on top of the world.
• Ditch your hotel pool and head to Salton Sea, located on the San Andreas Fault. It’s at the lowest elevation—some 200 feet below sea level—where you can have a day of birding, boating, and exploring this incredibly scenic area.
• Palm Springs is a shopping destination for antiques and collectibles including unusual items from the sixties, seventies, and eighties. “Vintage clothing and original movie posters sell in a market diluted with reproductions,” said collector/dealer Mike Rivkin of Antique Galleries of Palm Springs. “It’s a destination for high-end art, antiques, and consumables.” A vintage market the first Sunday of each month attracts buyers as well as lookers.
• Shopping and culture abound in the Palm Springs area. For haute couture, stop in at the elite consignment shops on El Paseo in nearby Palm Desert. Savory Spice offers tastes of some 400 herbs and spices. A visit to the nearby historic non-profit McCallum Theatre, which turns 30 this year, is a must regardless of the performance. The A-list line-up includes a variety of big names in music, theatre, and dance.
• History buffs and nature lovers can walk in the footsteps of our ancestors in the Indian Canyons. Search for artifacts and rock art on a self-guided or ranger-led hike. Or tour the Movie Colony where the studio heads had their homes and spend time in the adjacent Ruth Hardy Park. Catch a glimpse of Barbra Streisand’s compound high on a hill and Liberace’s church across from his old house.
• The ever-changing VillageFest is a Thursday evening happening. Many locals credit Sonny Bono for this as well as the revival of the town he represented. Palm Canyon is closed to automobile traffic for blocks as locals and visitors roam the streets with musicians in the background. Vendors sell date shakes and sweet local dates of all varieties, artisan handcrafts including jewelry, clothing, and pottery.
WHERE TO STAY
The striking new Kimpton Rowan Hotel sits one block from the Palm Springs Art Museum and its state-of-the-art Annenberg Theater at the center of the busy old Palm Springs. The hotel’s rooftop pool and 4 Saints bar attract a youngish party crowd of locals and visitors.
For extended stays, why not rent a home with a pool and outdoor fire pit to experience the true outdoor desert lifestyle. Neighborhoods are known by the architects who designed the homes. Any structure built before 1969 automatically falls under Historic Preservation. Many of these quintessential traditional mid-century homes have been modernized with extended outdoor spaces.
THE BEST EATS
There’s no shortage of restaurants to fit any taste. Lines form throughout the day at Farm in the Plaza to relax on the patio and satisfy hunger pangs with a Belgian waffle topped with chicken, bacon, and sausage simmered in a creamy butter sauce. If you insist on “clean” food, try the new A La MOD Café or the very trendy Workshop Kitchen & Bar in the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon. The food is sourced from local farms and prepared creatively— think shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Apple. Your best bet is a table on the garden patio.
The old school restaurants are still my favorites. Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn, the legendary Hollywood hotspot has been refreshed and the patio revamped. They still offer Steak Diane, and Spinach Salad prepared tableside by a server dressed in a tux and white gloves. The ghosts of its famous guests live on— Sinatra’s wedding reception was held there. Stay late enough, and they’ll happily share old stories. In fact, stop by solo and indulge in a huge Chicken Pot Pie while listening to the pianist. Check out the photos of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Jerry Lewis among others. Spencer’s Restaurant set in the San Jacinto Mountains is still famous and a popular favorite for its upscale American fare and Hollywood banter too.
Bruce Fessier, Palm Springs Desert Sun
One is a desert oasis. The other is an "island of romance."
Both Palm Springs and Avalon, Catalina, are Southern California hideaways distinguished by their distinctiveness. But they also share so many parallels, it’s almost as if they exist in twin universes where images from the past live on in the present.
I’ve been exploring the symbiotic relationship between Palm Springs and Catalina since I was a kid. And my grown sons have enjoyed the 29-mile sea crossing from Long Beach since they were kids. So, in early June, we shoved off to celebrate an unusual month of milestones — including three birthdays, a wedding anniversary, a college graduation, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, my mother’s birthday and my wife’s annual children’s theater show. It was still considered Catalina's pre-season, so the island wasn't crowded and temperatures were ideal, hovering in the low 70s.
My only regret is that the Catalina Express stopped giving free birthday ferry rides last December. With all of our birthdays, it cost us a $73.50 round trip for sure.
Last year, we visited Catalina as a reward for attending a timeshare presentation. This year, we thought it wise to elevate the experience a bit. We traversed the coast in a motor boat instead of pedaling through the harbor. We rented a house that came with a golf cart instead of taking a bus to where its driver wanted to go. And we rented a cabana on Descanso Beach because, well, my L.A.-based son said that’s the way you’re supposed to enjoy Catalina.
We had our first parallel universe crossover on that beach. I rented some skin-diving equipment to check out the fish that gravitate to you like moths to an underwater flame, and a woman at the counter recognized me from my Desert Sun photo. Teri Alexander told me she had moved to Catalina full time six years ago, but she had run a business in the desert called Two Moms Window Cleaning. And her partner was the mother of the family friend we had just asked to watch our dogs on this vacation!
That wasn't the only odd coincidence. The company that booked our Catalina house, Oranj Palm Vacation Homes, also books vacation rentals in my neighborhood. Catalina Island Vacation Rentals merged with the Palm Springs Rental Agency in 2016. So, go to PalmSpringsRentals.com and you’ll find a choice of vacation homes in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Catalina.
The featured entertainment at the Catalina Casino that Sunday was Charles Phoenix, author of the book, “Addicted to Americana: Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style.” Four months earlier, I had sat next to him on a double-decker bus as he led a Modernism Week tour throughout Palm Springs.
Interview by: Whitney Wolff
Edited by: Isabelle Braun
An Exclusive Interview with Grit Development’s Michael Braun and Hohmann Fine Art Gallery’s Christian Hohmann
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE VALUE OF BRINGING THIS INTERNATIONAL ARTIST/ PERSPECTIVE TO PALM SPRINGS?
MB: I wanted to bring another attraction other than Retailers and Restaurants to Downtown Palm Springs; Christian Hohmann has the knowledge about great art pieces and understood right away what I was looking for.
CH: Great art has the power to transform. It’s fascinating on so many levels and it draws people. More people visit museums than major sport events (http:// www.rangerrik.com/2017/02/museum-facts.html) and public art or sculpture has transformed many cities (for example Chicago – Anish Kapoor, Bilbao – Guggenheim Museum). Art tourism is very much a thing, and when visitors are faced with numerous travel opportunities they tend to choose the destinations that look the most interesting. And an installation by a world renown artist can tip the scale when all else is equal.
ARE THE SCULPTURES PERMANENT? IF NOT, HOW LONG WITH THEY BE THERE?
MB: Christian and David Černý committed to a minimum of 20 months; I was very grateful for their generosity
CH: Unfortunately, Černý’s sculptures are very expensive and there was no way of funding a purchase. Through the great relationship with the artist and his love for Palm Springs we were able to convince him to lend this installation at no cost for the time being. This way we can compete – even if just temporarily – with major cities that have lots of spending power. Even though everybody involved worked for free, the logistics of getting the Babies from Prague to Palm Springs were expensive and Michael Braun funded the project completely and with no help from the city or use of taxpayer’s money.
CAN YOU TELL US A QUICK BACK HISTORY ON WHERE THE SCULPTURES CAME FROM?
MB: I will leave the original reason of their creation to Christian to explain; despite their historic significance 30 years ago; I was drawn to them because of my three children and all their friends; Technology for better or worse is transforming our societies
CH: Černý first came up with the concept of the baby with the imprint of a barcode instead of a face in the early 90s for an exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. From there it was developed further and then the Babies multiplied. They were exhibited in London, the Netherlands, Germany, basically all over Europe and one installation even sold to Australia into a private collection. In 2000, the city of Prague approached Černý to come up with an idea for a major public installation to be on display during the year 2001, when Prague would be the cultural capital of Europe. The idea of placing 10 babies onto the TV Tower, a 300 feet tall building towering over the city, was met with skepticism, but was ultimately realized. After a bureaucratic battle of permits and code restrictions, Černý was able to finish the installation in time. By the time, the installation was supposed to be taken down, the people of Prague had fallen in love with the “Tower Babies” and voted to keep the installation permanently, so the company who owns the TV Towers purchased them. Most recently it was decided to rebuild the babies with new materials due to concerns of increased wind loads in the city, so Černý received the original set back. It was at that time that we had talked to Michael Braun about ideas for the empty building site and it was serendipitous that Černý had visited just weeks before and had met Braun and visited the Palm Springs Art Museum. Černý had fallen in love with Palm Springs and everything it stands for and consequently agreed to lend the installation at no cost.
WHAT DO THE BARCODES ON THE FACE REPRESENT?
MB: While the initial message was referencing Russia and the Iron curtain between East and West, I view them as an example of today’s technology driven world and impact on the next generation.
CH: Černý’s original inspiration was the barcode. Invented in 1974, it didn’t get widely used in Europe, especially Eastern Europe until the late 1980s. Černý was concerned about the tendencies to slap a number on everything, wondering if society would stop at products or would start putting barcodes on people. He also saw that people were incredibly indifferent, if not enthusiastic about the technology and he wanted to create a wake-up call. By taking the most precious thing to humankind, a baby, and placing an imprint of a barcode where the face should be, Černý didn’t just take away the individuality, he symbolized the loss of our humanity. Had he done that with an adult person sculpture, people would have barely noticed, but using the baby stirred raw emotions. Interestingly enough, 30 years after he had this original idea, the fear or threat remains as just as valid as it was then, if not more. Today, we see young adults with barcode tattoos, who it’s cool, not knowing or not remembering that just 80 years ago the Holocaust victims were marked with numbers, the equivalent to a barcode. To battle ignorance and indifference, mere words do not suffice. Černý’s strong visuals stir controversy and emotions, and that is why he creates – to make a point, a “wake up” call, so to speak.
WHY DO YOU FEEL ART IS IMPORTANT TO PALM SPRINGS?
MB: Art is part of our culture experience; it’s a snapshot of today’s world events
CH: Art is important anywhere, but especially in a city like Palm Springs, art can serve as a catalyst. Palm Springs is a city that prides itself with tolerance, acceptance and expression of freedom in almost every way. But there is also an unspoken code of political correctness. An art installation allows for a hypothetical conversation, a discourse where all opinions are allowed. Everybody can be a critic, one doesn’t have to be qualified to have an opinion, and in the resulting discussion we learn a lot about ourselves and others, because we are free to discuss without consequence or hurting anyone’s feelings.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO BRING ART TO DOWNTOWN PALM SPRINGS?
MB: Art and business normally do not mix well, than I met Christian Hohmann . A lot of invested dollars later .....Isabelle and the Babies came to Downtown and I am very very happy to have listened to Christian and Ann Sheffer, Chair of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission.
CH: I have been in the art business my entire life and giving artists an audience has always been my passion. Michael Braun’s courage, vision and generosity allowed us to take that concept to another level. The audience we were able to reach with the projects Isabelle and the Babies is beyond our wildest dreams. It makes all the hard work worth it.
WHAT CAN ADULTS LEARN FROM THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF TODAY AND VICE VERSA?
MB: Baby Boomers and Millennials complement each other - both together determine the latest consumer trends.
CH: I believe that there has always been a generational cross-pollination, but today more than ever, the young generation has the advantage of having grown up with technology to the degree where it is second nature, good or bad, while older generations face a steep learning curve. Information used to be scarce and valuable, now we have to deal with the overload of information. Again, I believe that we only learn by listening to each other, young and old, straight and gay, republican and democrats, one race to another, etc. In the end we will find that there is more that unites us than divides us, but it requires a conversation.
HOHMANN FINE ART?
MB: My wife and I were introduced to Christian at a dinner party in 2005 and we became friends. Then in 2016, the City of Palm Springs asked me to build a fountain in front of the Kimpton Hotel. I reached out to Christian to do something more extraordinary than a fountain, knowing that only something special would work. We then both worked with the Palm Springs Art Commission and the City Council to bring Isabelle and later the Černý Babies to Downtown.
CH: I met Michael and Wendy Braun years ago through a wonderful mutual friend, another German, who has since moved away. One day I received a phone call from Michael and he asked me if I could come to see the construction site. Apparently everybody was pushing for a fountain in a very prominent space, but Michael had a different vision and he wanted some out-of-the-box thinking. To be asked to be a part of his vision of reshaping downtown is such a privilege. It was hard to keep up with Michael’s pace, passion and dedication, but my team and our artists worked tirelessly to make this come together.
WHY IS CONTEMPORARY ART AT THE EPICENTRE OF THE ART MARKET TODAY?
MB: I know what I love and I love the contemporary time period. It reflects my time and it is created by my peers. I understand the value, both monetary and historically, of old masters, but it’s a time that has come and gone. I live in the now and I like art that reflects that. I believe that I am not alone in that sentiment, judging by the price development in recent years. But more importantly, contemporary artists aren’t afraid to push boundaries and be controversial. Controversy is the one thing in today’s world that always brings attention, and I wanted to bring attention to this artist, this work, and this city.
CH: The way contemporary art is received, we have a first in art history. Usually artists had to pass away before a major public breakthrough. This is the first time in art history that living artist fetch higher prices than old masters. There are many factors that are at work, but one of them is that human knowledge grows at a rapid pace (http://www.industrytap.com/knowledge-doubling-every-12-months-soon-to-be-every-12-hours/3950) . Up until 1900 human knowledge doubles every hundred years, today it is already doubling every year. The fact that we can access this knowledge quite literally with our fingertips has multiplied the desire to find the next big thing. Art is no exception. Contemporary is the art of today, of tomorrow.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON OTHER ART INSTALLATIONS DOWNTOWN? WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM A PUBLIC ART STANDPOINT?
MB: Christian inspired me as a Developer to look at Art; it is up to him to convince me again to work with him to fund one of his next ideas. Let me put it this way, he understands where I am coming from and knows how to convince me to do the right thing for this great destination
CH: The wonderful thing is that there are many public art projects underway, not just what we did. The next edition of Desert X is coming and more and more people are getting on board with the idea that Palm Springs has the potential to be an art destination in addition to everything else that draws people already. We will continue to work hard to come up with great ideas and we look forward to many more projects with Michael Braun and Grit Development. It was a great effort to finalize these two recent projects in such a short time so close together, but the new season is around the corner and Michael is not known to sit still for long.
These large baby sculptures by artist David Cerny will be on display in an undeveloped lot in downtown Palm Springs. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)
Michael Braun, President of Grit Development Shares his Annual Recap on this Year's ICSC Conference in Las Vegas May 20-23.
The Conference is the world’s largest global gathering of retail real estate professionals with 37,000 industry professionals & 1,200 exhibitors.
BUZZ WORDS - BRICK and MORTAR TO STAY, UNIQUE EXPERIENCES, SHORT TERM LEASES, VOICE
Experiential retail remains one of the hottest trends in real estate development
Today’s consumer does not want to get bored; they travel everywhere and when they come back home they want to have the same experience.
A sophisticated Consumer wants a sophisticated retail Experience
Facebook and Instagram connect people, they want to meet at great locations to be social = Placemaking
The macro retail story has been negative the last 2 years, however, retailers in great
properties in great locations thrive. America has 1,200 malls, we are over-retailed.
About 700-800 Centers will be repurposed and or demolished in the next 15-20
years, 300 Centers will control 80% of all sales - Todays best properties will
become even better, others will disappear.
We live now in a world of transparent pricing - in order to compete you need to
provide customization and a unique experience. The old copy and paste no longer
We no longer have 4 seasons, the consumers want 52 seasons. A consumer will always pay for NEW and SPECIAL - see Gucci’s revival last 24 months.
Nobody falls in Love with their Computer screen; you fall in Love with a store experience; including the important transaction experience. Everyone overestimates the coming changes in the next 2 years and underestimates the big changes occurring over the next 10 years.
The speed of change driven by technology will further accelerate
Mixed Use Redefined
Landlords need to create new draws and activities other than just shopping -
Hotels, Office, Food, Gym
The new Anchor stores are Food and Fitness versus the old Department Store Model
Department Stores used to transact 75% of Sales, today a mere 25%
We need people to come to the location- Office, Hotels
Marriott is teaming up with major shopping center Retail REIT’s to add Hotels as
new drivers to the site
Short Term Leases are here to stay
Every center needs unique concepts and with them come other problems
A startup that is in business for 3 years will and can not sign a 10 years lease
Municipalities the roadblock for change- short-term leases for new fresh concepts
die in the expensive and lengthy city administrative process.
Approval Process must be streamlined; today it prevents fresh and exciting tenant
concepts to test markets.
Unique retailers require unique Leases and a unique approval process
Store Rent = Showroom versus expensive marketing on Instagram and Facebook
The Future is combining both; showroom as the sales driver and delivery platform.
Neither can exist alone. Nobody falls in love with a computer screen.
Data is everything to make good decisions
Capital is the key ingredient for a great project, however, lenders are wary of unique leases and concepts, so is the municipality approval process.
The Power of Voice
Amazon, Google and Apple - what brand will be the suggested by your trusted AI
Today’s retailers want to be at the top of the google search, in 10 years VOICE devices control Everything
The One that controls the VOICE will control Retail
How to become greater than yourself
Amazon invests in everything
Will Amazon become the Everything Store or the Platform to buy from any place?
To remain relevant we all need to deliver an experience beyond products
Travelers craving a social scene—like most Kimpton hotels, the Rowan hosts nightly happy hours in the lobby. Both guests and visitors crowd the Window Bar in the lobby, and the High Bar, on the rooftop.
100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, California 92262, United States
How did it strike you on arrival?
At seven stories, The Rowan is the tallest building in downtown Palm Springs, so you truly can't miss it. Though built from the ground up, the property's mid-century aesthetic feels very old-school. The sprawling lobby boasts a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and a two-story, picture window looking out on the San Jacinto mountains.
Nice. What’s the crowd like?
Travelers craving a social scene—like most Kimpton hotels, the Rowan hosts nightly happy hours in the lobby. Both guests and visitors crowd the Window Bar in the lobby, and the High Bar, on the rooftop.
The good stuff: Tell us about your room.
We stayed in one of the Spa Suites, which was spacious, and in keeping with the mid-century vibe. The balcony had a beautiful view of the mountains, and we found a yoga mat in the closet, in addition to the usual robe and slippers. The luxurious bathroom had a huge spa-style shower, and Malin and Goetz bath products.
What about the mini bar and the shower goodies? Anything find its way into your suitcase?
I loved that each nightstand had both a USB plug and an actual outlet (and yes, the free wi-fi worked perfectly). I would definitely steal one of the white PUBLIC bicycles that are available for guests.
Bottom line: worth it, and why?
It's all about the view from the rooftop, either while dining at the restaurant, 4 Saints, or having a poolside cocktail. Don't leave without trying the Jasmine cheesecake with matcha. Breakfast at sun-drenched Juniper Table was fantastic, I had the vanilla-bourbon french toast two days in a row.
Palm Springs is one of my favorite places for a fun weekend getaway from LA. I just love the vibe there, all the bougainvillea, good food and the weather is the BEST! If you haven’t been there before (or in a few years), downtown is really changing! I always love checking out new hotels and when I discovered that a brand new Kimpton hotel opened, it was off to the desert to check it out!
If you’re not familiar with the Kimpton brand, they are one of my favorite hotel brands (The Goodland in Santa Barbara is a personal fave!). I love that each hotel has a different design (each hotel is designed to fit the vibe of the city), so you discover something new each time – plus their design + decor is ALWAYS on point as well as their food! My two fave things when traveling – great food + inspiring design :)
The Rowan Palm Springs opened about 4 months ago and it’s SUCH a great addition to downtown Palm Springs. I love that we were right in the middle of the action and lots of shopping and dining was walkable – no need to get in our car all weekend! And the best part? It has the only rooftop pool in Palm Springs!
So, let’s talk food!
The Rowan Palm Springs has 2 restaurants – 4 Saints and Juniper Table. We didn’t get a chance to dine at 4 Saints (but I did visit the restaurant – it is on the rooftop with amazing views and great design!) The menu looks amazing but not very kid friendly and we were there with our girls. I would totally recommend it for a date night though!
We did dine at Juniper Table for both breakfast and dinner. I loved the vibe + decor here (see below!), plus so nice + easy when you are staying at the hotel. :) The food is described as “Rustic Mediterranean” and I really loved it. My picks for dinner (seen above): Avocado Flatbread (SOOO good – and pretty!), Ricotta Cavatelli and Roasted Cauliflower. All so good as well as cocktails.
For me, a weekend in PS, means pool side lounging + cocktails. Which we of course did. :) Another fun idea is the Palm Springs Art Museum which is just a block away. They currently have a great exhibit on Warhol (ends May 28th) which we really enjoyed. And of course, shopping. Next time I plan to also go to the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium – ran out of time this trip! – but it looks crazy rad if you are a cactus fan like I am! :)
A few other things to note…. I got a lot of DMs on Instagram (I currently have a Highlight there with our weekend if you want to see more) asking if I thought the hotel was kid friendly. It definitely is! We brought our 2 young daughters (ages 5 and almost 2) and they had a blast. I think the hotel would also be great if you are planning a wedding in Palm Springs at a location that isn’t a hotel and you need to do a room block – this one would be SUCH a fun one for your wedding guests. And yes, they do also hosts weddings there, but it’s a bit tricky right now since the ceremony location is the pool so they recommend weddings there on weekdays….they do have an amazing suite on the rooftop that would be great to rent for a rehearsal dinner or engagement party if you are looking for something like that. :)
Until next time Palm Springs!!
To read entire blog post: Check out her blog at Green Wedding Shoes
By: Jeff Stahl | KESQ
Many new businesses set to open soon
PALM SPRINGS, Calif.- - Work continues to open new businesses in downtown Palm Springs following December's grand openings of the new Kimpton the Rowan Hotel and Starbucks.
Shoppers are already enjoying the new H&M clothing and fashion, MAC cosmetics stores open, also a new Kiehl's offering high-end skin, hair, scrubs, face masks and moisturizers.
In a rare interview opportunity, Developer Michael Braun took News Channel 3 on a tour of the project he leads, and gave us an update on the downtown development's 'fresh beginning.'
"We have not made the decision as a company yet, which tenants we'll give the last spaces," said Braun. "It's very important to get the right mix here."
STACEY LEASCA , FEBRUARY 13, 2018 | Travel + Leisure
While much of the nation (and the world) is in the midst of a cold, harsh winter, the desert oasis of Palm Springs, California is sitting pretty with an average daily temperature hovering right around 75 degrees and sunny.
Yes, the palm trees, warm desert breeze, and poolside cocktails are indeed calling your name this winter, beckoning you to come for a long weekend from Los Angeles, or an even longer stay from far off places. But once you land in paradise, hold off on sliding onto a lounge chair, because the Greater Palm Springs area, which includes Coachella, Indio, Palm Springs, and more, has much to offer beyond the pool.
Take a Jeep Tour Through the Desert
Palm Springs may look like an arid desert landscape, but there’s more to this view than meets the eye. Sit back in an open air jeep tour with Desert Adventures and learn a thing or two about Palm Springs. Things like: After tourism, its second largest industry is agriculture. (Where do you think all those yummy dates you eat come from?) And did you know that Palm Springs sits right along the San Andreas Fault? Desert Adventures will take you right up to the fault line so you can see it for yourself. Along the way you’ll learn about the different flora and fauna in the area and maybe run into a cute rabbit, owl, or field mouse sitting along your route. Just keep an eye out for rattlesnakes while you’re there as they too call the desert home.
Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which has been in operation since Sept. 12, 1963, is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for good reason: It’s super freaking cool.
According to the Tramway, an estimated 18 million people have traveled up the 10-minute, 2.5-mile ride since its opening. Each guest begins at at the Valley Station at the base (elevation 2,643 feet) and ends at the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet). There, they are met with breathtaking views of all nine of Greater Palm Springs’ cities. Of course, beyond the views the top also offers guests the chance to eat at two restaurants, grab a drink at the cocktail lounge, or head out for more than 50 miles of nature trails surrounding the tram.
If you choose to add this to your Palm Springs adventure it may be best to reserve your tickets ahead of time so you can ensure you make it up and down during the timeframe you want. Roundtrip tickets are $25.95, or you can grab an annual pass for $160.
Check Out the Palm Springs Art Museum
The desert is home to many excellent artists, all of whom are worth checking out at the Palm Springs Art Museum. There, you’ll find a plethora of worthwhile permanent exhibits like their modern art room with items from around the globe and Native American art from around the American West. The museum also has some excellent rotating exhibits including their current showing of “Having a Ball” by Michael Childers. The exhibit showcases Childers’ photographs from Andy Warhols’ Interview Magazine and include Childers’ personal photographs of Warhol from the 1970s. So when you’re done with the sun, or need a little culture before cocktail hour, swing through, check out the art, and gather a little inspiration for dinner conversations.
NALANI HERNANDEZ FEBRUARY 6, 2018 SOCIAL SCENE
Good vibes and fun energy filled the rooftop terrace at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs at the recent Grand Opening Celebration.
With over 350 guests in attendance, Executive Chef Stephen Wambauch and the “4 Saints” team made sure the delicious fare kept flowing throughout the evening. From the mouth-watering pork loin with chimichurri sauce and baked sea bass to the full table length cheese board, no one was left hungry.
Among the guests were Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon, developer Michael Braun, Agua Caliente Tribal Council member Reid Milanovich and Kimpton Hotel executive team members James Baugh, Andy Nelson, Jim Hollister, Nick Gillio, Tim Laughton, Robert Ramirez and Abe Liao.
Topping off the night was a fashion runway show over the rooftop pool, presenting a selection of the latest collections of Trina Turk & Mr. Turk; and served as a sneak preview to one of the designers to be part of Fashion Week El Paseo 2018.
And throughout the evening, guests enjoyed taking in the gorgeous desert views all while sipping on signature cocktails and wine from both of the rooftop bars.
Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs
100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Written by: Michael Braun, Grit Development
Remember when we “strolled” through the newspaper looking for that written treasure in the midst of beautiful pictures advertising brands and events? Memorizing the content to use in conversations at home or at work. Being upset, if we could not recollect key sections. The introduction of the “iPhone” (smartphone), e-mail, and social media changed all that overnight. Everything can now be organized on one small device to be shared immediately and pulled up anytime. But do we understand the content anymore or is it just fleeting as we get bombarded with Internet ads, new e-mail content and more articles we constantly save but never read?
Sitting in a cafe in Europe on a family vacation enjoying a coffee and reading a newspaper in print made me realize what I have been missing these past few years; Taking time to read and absorb. While I enjoy reading the New York Times, my three teenagers are jailed in their Snapchat, Instagram or other social media apps experiencing enhanced pictures or short videos giving them a glimpse of what they might miss back home. Who has the more meaningful experience? The couple in the latest iPhone ad sharing their favorite song streamed via iPhone and wireless headphones into their brains or the couple at the Staples Center, COACHELLA festival or theater enjoying “live” music in a beautiful setting. An experience the Internet or any technology device will never be able to offer.
Technology gives us more time, extends our memory and the iPhone acts as our new “companion” to help with daily tasks. The “companion” organizes us, reminds us and gives us the feeling of “belonging” as random people like our posts or congratulate us on posted articles we found strolling through the Internet. But did they really even read it?
Life is about experiencing things, feeling them, and creating memorable events. Our brains are built for chemical reactions triggered by visual and live experiences, touching humans or products. There is no doubt technology is here to stay, however, there is also no doubt brick and mortar, printed books, newspapers, music events and other experiences are enjoying an unexpected Renaissance. Newspapers especially will benefit from a sudden recognition that “truth” is a thing again. I call it regression to the mean.
Touring Versailles in Paris with my daughter, I witnessed visitors willing to stand 3 hours in line to enjoy a 25-minute walk through the palace using their smartphones to create selfie memories of rooms and statues, pictures they could have downloaded for free on the internet.
Real Estate Developers must reinvent themselves to bring engaging and memorable experiences to their properties. Efficiencies are now the new 'norm', booking a restaurant on OpenTable in a few seconds, review and book a hotel via Expedia and of course the proclaimed Retail future “Alexa” from Amazon, however, the actual experience will never be replaced by technology. Amazon and Walmart will become the sole stores for everything we think we need in one place at one “Prime” click. The meaningful social experience of restaurants, bars, customized boutique stores simply connecting with qualified sales staff, enjoying life with family and friends or touring culture will only be found in the real and not virtual or augmented world we are learning to live in.
Michael Braun - www.gritpalmsprings.com
By Kathy A. McDonald | Vareity
The retro-chic charm of Palm Springs never gets old. The natural beauty of the Coachella Valley, pleasant winter weather and slow pace are a welcome anti-
dote to urban life. Hence Palm Springs’ appeal to New Yorkers (who can now fly daily from JFK direct via Jet Blue through May 1) and Southern Californians who can now sit back in a Tesla (via Tesloop) for shared rides to select desert destinations. Here are some new restaurants, hotels and updated oldies designed to entice and entertain stressed out city dwellers.
Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
The five-story, 153-room Kimpton Rowan brings verticality and urbanity to the mostly horizontal city. There’s a rooftop bar and pool with extensive mountain views Coachella Valley and San Jacinto, a Mediterranean café and 4 Saints, the hotel’s upscale eatery, also on the roof. The look is desert modern, cool and contemporary with custom art and colorful tiles throughout — even as bed headboards. Located at Tahquitz Canyon Way and S. Palm Canyon Drive, the hotel is directly across from the Palm Springs Art Museum (a PSIFF venue) and anchors a new shopping area. There’s a 2,500 sq.-ft. top floor presidential suite with wraparound balconies for those who want to splurge. Pets are welcome and guests can make use of the hotel’s loaner bikes.
100 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, 760-904-5015, kimptonhotels.com
KIMPTON THE ROWAN PALM SPRINGS
Overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains, this 153-room hotel—which opens in November and is just a stone's throw from the Palm Springs Art Museum—combines Palm Springs minimalism with neutral décor and pops of refreshing blue. Mingle over drinks in the lobby living room, sample Mediterranean-inspired plates at Juniper Table, or take your cocktails alfresco at the 4 Saints bar, located next to Palm Spring's only rooftop pool.
Will Speros • November 20, 2017 | HospitalityDesign.com
Kimpton, the Rowan Palm Springs has debuted in the Southern California desert, overlooking the vistas of the Coachella Valley. Crafted by Los Angeles-based practices Powerstrip Studio and DesignARC in collaboration with San Diego-based ACRM Architects + Interiors and Kimpton’s in-house design team, the seven-story urban oasis plays a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Palm Springs.
Through a contemporary lens, the property conveys a colorful homage to midcentury modernism. Concrete blocks in the exterior are punctuated with pop-out boxes and balconies for added dimension, while perforated metal sunshades and filigree screens subtly transform the texture of shadows. The minimalist interior merges the modern-desert sensibility with urban-inspired notes, like cleanly lined furniture and custom art installations. Boasting mountain views or private outdoor terraces, all 153 guestrooms layer textures and geometric patterns across a tranquil palette of blue and green with natural wood, neutral tones, and cool white hues. Spanning the length of the top floor, the 2,500-square-foot Arlo presidential suite is appointed with a pool table, soaking tub, and two private wraparound balconies.
Designed by Chris Pardo of Elemental Architecture, a private rooftop venue crowns the building. The space is also home to the High Bar, the intimate hideaway 4 Saints, and the city’s sole rooftop pool. A casual Mediterranean café and the Window bar are also featured onsite, in addition to more than 16,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor multipurpose space.
By Rosemary McClure | LA TIMES
Remember the old Palm Springs? A sunny desert town where Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and many other Hollywood types partied in the '50s and '60s?
It crashed and burned when new communities developed nearby. Stores closed. Restaurants died. Builders abandoned construction sites.
But a funny thing happened as the decades rolled by: The city discovered a way to turn back the clock.
Everything old is new. Once again, this town is hot, hot, hot. Once again, it's the capital of cool.
The proof is in the clubs, restaurants and hotels that are popping up and in the hipsters who are flying in from San Francisco and New York City.
They marvel at the Midcentury Modern architecture, shop in vintage stores, spend the rest of the day lazing around the city's sparkling blue pools, then cap the night drinking single-barrel bourbon and craft beer in bars such as the Truss & Twine and the Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel.
There's also proof in a younger generation of celebs who are buying property here. Forty-two-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, took over actress Dinah Shore's former home.
You can also find evidence in the evolving city, which is trying to preserve its Midcentury Modern heritage while catering to new visitors and longtime residents.
I spent some time in Palm Springs last month, talking with city officials, hoteliers and visitors about the changes.
The biggest turnaround is in the heart of downtown, where a seven-block patch of dirt used to remind visitors that an enclosed mall called the Desert Fashion Plaza failed here in 2002.
A lot of the dirt is gone now. In its place is a $450-million redevelopment project that includes restaurants, shops and hotels. Some of these are scheduled to open this fall, including the seven-story hotel anchor, Kimpton the Rowan Palm Springs.
I dodged workmen and piles of construction material on a hard-hat tour with general manager Abe Liao, who showed me some of the 153 guestrooms, plus the public spaces.
I found a sunny mix of minimalist design and contemporary colors. Nice.
But then we moved to the top-floor conference rooms, and I caught a glimpse of the panorama visible from the seventh floor. Amazing.
Spread before me was the entire desert valley, the craggy San Jacinto Mountains and Palm Springs glinting in the afternoon sunlight.
“This is going to be a popular place,” Liao said. “Wait until you see the rooftop pool.”
We moved outside. The pool was every bit as impressive as he indicated, with luxury cabanas, fire pits, lounge areas and a bar.
“It's the only rooftop pool in Palm Springs,” he said.
The opening date is listed as mid-November, but I tried to make a reservation and couldn't do so until December, so perhaps the hotel is hedging its bets.
JUDITH SALKINOCTOBER 12, 2017VISION
Over the past decade the City of Palm Springs has worked diligently to do the impossible — retain the small-town, village atmosphere from the 1920s and still be a 21st century hotspot.
With involved leaders, residents, and businesses, that blend is becoming a reality.
The Downtown Project has been the key to revitalizing the city with its mix of retail, restaurants, office space, and hotels with a fresh face that plays on the city’s pristine midcentury architectural past. The Palm Springs International Film Festival entices industry executives and film lovers in January and the multi-generational Tour de Palm Springs adds thousands of cyclists from all over the country in February.
More events like the Splash House summer concerts in June and August and Comic Con brings 20-somethings, hipsters and SciFi/Fantasy lovers of all ages to the desert to enjoy the August heat.
These events, along with Modernism Week in February and its preview weekend in October have changed the perception of the Coachella Valley’s gateway city around the world.
For City Manager David Ready, the past 17 years have been crucial in defining the city’s goals, including a downtown that meets the needs of visitors and residents.
The Downtown Project, he says, plays a key role when it comes to giving visitors and residents the experience both are looking for.
We have the best of both worlds with the Downtown and Uptown districts on Palm Canyon,” Ready says. “The new hotels, retail, and restaurants, add a new demographic to the mix we are seeing.”
Summer events geared to a younger audience have seen Palm Springs bloom as a year-round destination for snowbirds from Canada and across the country to the SoCal drive market who come out for midweek or weekend visits when hotel rates are less expensive.
The number of hotels in the city has grown, and there is added interest from luxury chains that might have passed on Palm Springs in earlier years. Kimpton’s The Rowan Palm Springs, which anchors the Downtown Project on Tahquitz Canyon Way is set to open by early December 2017, according to Michael Braun, President of Grit Development. The Virgin Hotel, while slightly delayed, is expected to break ground in Summer 2018 and open for business in 2020.
Video by: Visit Greater Palm Springs
With the new Downtown Development opening this fall, PALM SPRINGS is now offering all the ingredients for any brand to THRIVE. With 365 days of sunshine in the midst of a Mid-Century architectural wonderland, Victoria Secret voted Palm Springs the sexiest city in America this year. Known for its reoccurring celebrities and playground for tourists alike, Downtown Palm Springs is now the center of an iconic trending tourism destination year round. A diverse local and visitor demographic is making Palm Springs now the most important location for ANY BRAND to CONNECT with its CUSTOMER. Downtown Palm Springs is a place where consumers escape from their daily worries, relax and are able to take time for a deeper understanding of brands and products who call this location home.
Our very own Kimpton Rowan in Downtown Palm Springs was just named Top 10 hottest hotels in the world. We think it's true and can't wait for you to experience the new revitalized experience right in the heart of in Palm Springs.
Julietta Jameson | Traveller AU
KIMPTON ROWAN, PALM SPRINGS
This much-anticipated seven-story, 153-room Kimpton brand hotel will be the tallest building in California's desert city and will feature the location's first rooftop pool. There, you'll be competing for one of six luxury cabanas.
The property will be home to two restaurants and two bars, taking American food and giving it a French flair.
It will be open in time for Christmas and is part of a downtown revitalization program that has not been without controversy. But Kimpton is confident the hotel will be loved for its embracing of progress while respecting the past.