Like almost everyone my husband and I love to travel and take vacations. Since having the little one travel plans have become a little harder to organize financially and time wise. Trips haven’t been as spontaneous; we happen to spend more time researching and planning trips then we have in the past. We like to have options in case a planned event changes or goes wrong.
We were itching for a weekend away and decided on a road trip to Palm Springs. Not too far since it’s 2 hours outside of LA. Part of my research was finding family friendly hotels since a large number of visitors are singles, couples or retirees. We’ve done the “look for the best deal route” but always got stuck in the same type of chain hotel/motels. Sometimes that meant scratchy bath towels, that cleaning smell masking years of when it was OK to smoke in rooms, uncomfortable beds and rooms placed nowhere near the ice machine!
We decided to look for something different even if it cost a few more bucks. What was the contrast between the best deal and best place? We haven’t splurged in awhile especially in this economy. We ended up choosing the ACE Hotel and Swim Club. Their Web site looked cool and stylish. But was it too cool for a toddler and a mommy and daddy? I mailed the manager and asked questions regarding it being family friendly and he assured that many mommies have been to their establishment.
Unfortunately, we were met with rain the weekend we traveled to Palm Springs (end of January) but we definitely enjoyed our short stay. The ACE Hotel is close to the downtown area and our impression driving onto the property was that it is a really hip place! They offer 2 swimming pools. One of the pools is open to the public for a fee and the other pool has a side bar built into the pool and they’re open until 3am. We were lucky to have the public pool all to ourselves that evening. Teagan and daddy went for a swim in the rain and Teagan had the time of her life!
The ACE Hotel also offers a 24-hour fitness room, a Spa, and AWESOME fire pits. We were offered a great rate for their “King Lounge” room. The room was something out of a cool, vintage beach flavored catalog. Not your typical room design. The room had a shower, flat screen TV, super comfortable bed, robes and the most amazing towels! We had a small private patio, which we didn’t use due to the weather. Guests can order food prepared food or DIY on the grill at your room. The hotel was quiet and there were mostly couples the weekend we were there. The rooms were only filled at 30% capacity. Not typical for this hotel. The staff was young, upbeat and very helpful. They also offer free bikes and you can rent scooters.
We don’t usually sleep too late (toddler) but the only issue was that the drapes in the room didn’t block all the sun from coming in early that morning.
The Kings Highway restaurant, located at the hotel offered organic products and vegetarian choices. We had pickled veggies for apps! The food was decent but don’t expect kid’s menus here. We tried sharing food with Teagan but I think the spicing was a little too much for Teagan. She did enjoy the atmosphere and cool lamps!
We definitely spent a lot more for the coolness factor. And after resort fees and taxes it did come out to be pricey. Sometimes you pay for what you get. This would also be a great place for pet owners. They are extremely pet friendly and have a small dog park. Overall, it was one of the coolest places we’ve stayed. I’d definitely love to have a girl’s weekend here! My family would love to visit ACE Hotel and Swim Club again and maybe stay a few more days and this time soak up some Palm Springs sunshine! Visit their site for more info: http://www.acehotel.com/palmsprings
Palm Springs Ariel Tram
We ventured out to the Aerial Tram and played in snow 8500 feet above the Coachella Valley. We went from desert climate to Arctic Wilderness in about 20 minutes.
The Aerial Tram is one of a kind in Western Hemisphere. Actually designed and built by my husband’s distant relatives from Austria (Doppelmayr). I’m not sure if there’s still snow up now but there were families sledding, cross-country skiing and having snowball fights. Make sure to pack some extra layers. The temperature dropped fast and got really chilly once the sun went down.
The Tram ride is fun. People “ohhing” and “ahhing” over scenery and cheers as tram rotated and rocked as we passed by towers. The Palm Springs Ariel Tram is truly a historical civil engineering landmark. Check out their story: (http://www.pstramway.com/history-tech/history-detail.asp)
Be prepared for a wait for the tram. This is a popular tourist stop. When you buy tickets you are assigned a time to head up. Trams leave every 10 minutes. We had to wait 1 hour for our turn. Not so bad as we got a snack at their café and spent some time outside enjoying the scenery and climbing the rocks. There are also restaurants at the top of the mountain.
The view is unbelievable! You have to take the ride to really experience the altitude, visibility and change of climate. Super photo ops. It was so much fun to be wearing desert summer clothes in the a.m. and have to bundle up for the arctic winter in the p.m.
The rest of our plans for the weekend were rained out.We talked about visiting the Living Desert and possibly stopping by the children’s museum but instead stopped at the Cabazon Outlets outside just Palm Springs on Sunday.
We hope to head back to Palm Springs over the next couple of months. Maybe hit up ACE Hotel again. It’s definitely a chilled atmosphere compared to the hustle and bustle of LA life. Just remember that sometimes things don’t plan out as planned. For example, the battery in my car remote went out and we were locked out of the car! Nobody seemed to have or know where to get or a 12volt battery. Most places are closed on Sunday in Palm Springs. Hubby finally found a 12volt at Auto Zone. Had to pay $45 for $5 batteries after taking a cab to Auto Zone! The staff at ACE were sympathetic and helped as much as they could (no 12 volt battery) but weren’t able to solve this dilemma. I don’t think you can even plan for that one since the remote has been fine for the past 5 years! Something you do not keep at the top of your list. Maybe I should change it when we change out fire detector batteries.
That’s IT Mommy & Daddy – Tee, Sean and Teagan