Finding the Right Place to Stay for a Palm Springs Summer Getaway

by Jim Gladstone

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday April 28, 2022
Originally published on April 23, 2022

Finding the Right Place to Stay for a Palm Springs Summer Getaway

Palm Springs is a fabulous destination for gay getaways all year round. Many queer travelers love the mellow vibe, sunny skies, and balmy 50 to 70-degree temperatures from December through mid-March, but others love nothing more than heading for the desert in the spring and summer months, when the heat is on and their clothes can come off.

Palm Springs Preferred Hotels, a curated collection of boutique properties each with less than 50 rooms, has long hosted the desert oasis' most desirable stays. And among their portfolio's gems are magnificent specialty properties that are clothing optional and proudly cater to gay men.

In the private seclusion of the Triangle Inn Palm Springs' discretely walled property, guests enjoy an intimate enclave of lush tropical plantings and only eight suites, each of which features a full kitchen or kitchenette, making the Triangle Inn an ideal home away from home for longer stays. Hosts Stephen and Michael live on the property, lending stays a touch of personal hospitality and helping every guest make the most of their visit to Palm Springs.

On the resort's ample sundecks, guests can take in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains — and their fellow travelers — before taking a dip in the pool or a soak in the jacuzzi. The complimentary breakfast buffets and afternoon cocktail gatherings offer an opportunity to meet other guests and make new friends.


INNdulge, located in the popular gay neighborhood of Warm Springs, matches its cheeky name with plenty of cheeky nude sunbathers around its freeform swimming pool, the centerpiece of this mid-century modern playground originally built in 1958. Lovingly fine-tuned over the past decade by owner Jon Jackson, the resort boasts a 24-hour 12-man jacuzzi, an in-house gym, and even on-site laundry facilities for guests.

Beyond complimentary daily breakfast, guests enjoy Thursday night pizza feasts and weekend pool parties on the house. Gay YouTube favorite Davey Wavey and choreographer Ryan James Yezak are among the many queer show business personalities who have enjoyed — and posted videos of — their stays at INNdulge.

The El Mirasol Villas resort, Palm Springs' first-ever gay hotel, opened in 1975 on an estate originally built by Howard Hughes in the 1940s. With its Mexican hacienda-meets-Old Hollywood style, it offers a dashingly different environment amidst Palm Springs' more typical mid-century motifs. Owners Paul Pressman and Bruce Wishnefsky have continually upgraded the compound since taking over in 2000. With two swimming pools amidst sprawling citrus gardens, there's plenty of room to relax au naturel.

Guests enjoy the relaxing trickle of ornamental fountains as they amble along the resort's pathways, cooled by misting systems, making their way to make new acquaintances in the 10-man spa and eucalyptus steam room.

The Descanso
The Descanso  

The newest gay men's resort in town is the upscale Descanso, which opened just this year. General Manager Kent Taylor and his staff are eager to help each guest meet their vacation aspirations, and are always at the ready to recommend activities and attractions around town. Encouraging exploration, a fleet of bicycles is available to guests at no charge.

That said, one might never choose to leave this altogether engaging environment, with its modern décor in greens and blues, comfortable king size beds and ample amenities: Not only is breakfast on the house, but a first-rate selection of salads and sandwiches are served at lunch each day, and wine flows freely at Happy Hour. There's even an on-site vehicle charger, should you happen to arrive in your Tesla.

Two meals a day are also part of every package at The Hacienda at Warm Sands, a deluxe resort with only ten guest suites on its 10,000 square foot property, which boasts two swimming pools and an in-ground. spa dramatically lit at night by a stunning outdoor fireplace. Guest suites also feature fireplaces, luxurious showers with multiple heads, horizontal sprays, and products by L'Occitane.

The pampering continues with a menu of pillow options, an invitation to call ahead before your stay to have your mini-fridge stocked with favorite libations, and concierge service to help arrange outings, restaurant reservations, and tickets to cultural events in town.

Built in 1957, the storied Canyon Club boasts a can't-be-beat location, in walking distance from downtown Palm Springs' most popular shopping and dining. But when guests choose to spend time on property, there's all the privacy one needs for sunbathing and socializing in the buff.

The pet-friendly resort's 32 rooms surround a 52' pool area and enjoy round-the-clock access to a dry sauna, steam room, 16-man jacuzzi and, unique among local gay properties, a park-like lawn area, complete with a hedge maze. Just give a shout if you get lost — no doubt someone will be happy to come find you!

The Santiago Resort
The Santiago Resort  

In a stunning setting at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, The Santiago Resort complements the natural earth tones of the desert environment with bright stripes of color on cushions, umbrellas, and rugs to create an undeniably warm and friendly environment.

A sister property to the Descanso, it offers the same slate of amenities — free breakfast and lunch, complimentary bikes to borrow, accommodating staff — along with two-man hammocks, a handsome cactus garden, and a help-yourself cantina for snacks, coffee, and cold drinks at all times. The outdoor shower and friendly fire pit area tempt guests to spend endless hours poolside before retreating to rooms with invitingly masculine décor

Priding itself on an international clientele, the Desert Paradise Resort draws discerning gay singles and couples from around the world for unforgettable Palm Springs frolics. Beyond the spacious swimming pool, guests can avail themselves of facilities including both a dry sauna and a steam room. Continental breakfast and snacks are available at no charge, and every room includes a Keurig coffeemaker and microwave oven, in addition to a mini-fridge.

And if you're interested in taking your eyes off the naked men to check out some other critters,
you'll get a kick out of the garden pond, aswim with koi fish and turtles!

Whichever clothing-optional option you choose among Palm Springs Preferred Hotels, you'll find a queer friendly, body positive environment where you can let go of every day inhibitions and celebrate feeling comfortable in your skin.

Jim Gladstone is a San Francisco-based writer and creative strategist.