For our most recent campaign shoot we jetted off to Palm Springs to enjoy some dry, desert heat and the capture the beauty of California's kitschiest town. We've always had a thing for pastel buildings, brightly coloured lawn furniture, flamingos and mid-century modern architecture. Stunning post and beam construction framed with palm trees and candy coloured doors is the norm in Palm Springs. We knew we had to shoot there and capture some of the magic before it got overrun for Coachella! Palm Springs has undergone a major resurgence in the last 10 years. No longer just for retirees attracted to the numerous golf courses and tennis courts, Palm Springs has become, dare we say, trendy. A bunch of new hotels catering more to the Coachella crowd than your great Aunt Myriam, Palm Springs has officially restored it's title as where California goes to vacation. We've rounded up a few of our favourite places in Palm Springs, so if you find yourself East of Los Angeles in the desert, we've gotcha covered.
The Parker Palm Springs was so incredible, we named one of our bikini tops after it. The Parker is an absolutely stunning hotel with funky retro furniture, sprawling lush grounds, and several places to refuel after being out in the sun. We adored the bouganvilia lining the entrance, and the suspended 60s fireplace in the lounge area. Their wine bar served up tasty Spanish inspired tapas and decadent red wine. We chowed down on artichoke hearts, fresh bread, salad and grilled wild mushrooms.
The Saguaro is an Instagrammer's dream hotel. Brightly coloured and boxy, this place has become the go-to for socialites, party goers, and bachelorette parties. The pool is incredible, and they were bumping catchy house music on a Friday
afternoon while everyone sipped margaritas and jammed out to the tunes. Definitely not the place to stay for a rest and relax weekend, but any hotel that has Barbie dioramas in the lobby, tacos, margaritas and is painted every colour of the rainbow is worth at least an afternoon by the pool.
Hiking the desert hills
Holidays can't be all cocktails and pool time, we also needed a little bit of wholesome nature to balance things out. Thankfully Palm Springs is surrounded by absolutely stunning hills, many of which have public access trails. On our final day we woke up early, caffeinated and headed out to climb the Lykken Trail. The ground was rocky and dry, and we saw our fair share of lizards, but thankfully didn't have any run-ins with rattle snakes. Monica tends to handle our serpent amigos better than I do, so she kept quiet when she saw the tail of a rattler basking in the sun.
We're not joking when we say that every little corner of Palm Springs is adorable. They've managed to maintain their retro vibe, and everything from the car washes to the banks look like they're out of a movie set. It was wonderful to see a little pocket of America that hasn't bulldozed their cute town centre in favour of massive glass high rises, Walmarts and chain restaurants. The gardens are well maintained and everything really did look just as picture perfect as can be.
Sugar high is the rooftop restaurant and lounge at the hotel Azucar. With stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and Frida Kahlo inspired art and textiles, this place was right right up our alley. We savoured a delicious local beer there after a day of shooting and were pleasantly surprised by the mellow bohemian vibe. Highly recommend hanging out here with a small group at sunset, and savouring the vistas of the mountains and the town below.