Palm Springs, you may have noticed, has started to make a regular appearance on these pages, with something approaching an annual visit.
Whether it’s the guaranteed winter sun in the gloomy depths of December or proper desert heat in the scorching summer months – Palm Springs always offers a welcome change of climate.
PS is known as a Mecca of mid-Century modern design, tucked away in the desert. And from the desert floor it offers awesome trail climbing up to 8,000ft-plus peaks in the San Jacinto Mountains. For me this affords perfect mornings full of training runs and lazy afternoons by a pool.
The town itself feels effortless. Big wide roads. Easy parking. Surprisingly good food for provincial America.
A perfect candidate then, you might think for a direct flight from London. This, I fear, would be a mistake.
Palm Springs deserves to be approached properly. That requires a flight into LAX – followed by a roof-down, wind-in-your hair dash along Interstate 10 in a Mustang Cabriolet. It’s a sure fire way to reset your jet lag. And incidentally am I the only one who finds that despite the extra time zones, the longer West Coast flights to and from Europe are much easier on the system than the punishingly shortly red-eyes back from New York, Boston and Philly?
Everyone has their favorite hotel in their favorite town. Perhaps it’s a quiet, undiscovered place you’d rather not tell anyone about for fear of it being discovered.
For me, dear reader, it’s the Parker in Palm Springs. Confidently and yet understatedly cool, it used to feel both undiscovered and underpriced. It’s the only hotel I know with a tongue-in-cheek manifesto.
I can tell you this now because it is alas, no longer under- anything.
When I went to book the Parker this Easter it had become both over-priced and over-discovered. It was fully booked.
So we moved down the road to the Ace Hotel. And it was… well, you get the picture.