The New Les Cactus in Palm Springs


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

The New Les Cactus in Palm Springs

In the 1930s and 1940s, one and two story motor hotels were built In Palm Springs offering guest rooms with a front and back door leading out to a parking area for travelers to park their car near their room. These motels were a hot spot for Hollywood stars and Rat Pack members looking for privacy and a fun escape from Los Angeles.

Many of these fading accommodations are having a resurgence in the desert, as designers refresh them into ultra-hip adult-only destinations.

Each property has a story, and the new Les Cactus used to be a clothing-optional resort. Now the clothing-required property by LA-based hotelier Matthew Kurtz in partnership with local hoteliers Richard Crisman and Jeff Brock, offers a warm pink exterior with green and white accent colors.

The benefits of staying in adult-only resorts is they quieter than larger hotels. Guests can swim laps without dodging little ones splashing, jumping and screaming nearby. The second benefit is the retro spirit and design, offering a step back in time. Warm Sands is one of the most historic and diverse neighborhoods in all of Palm Springs. The neighborhood is approximately one-half square mile and contains many Spanish-style houses from the 1920s and 30s, midcentury modern homes from the 50s and 60s, and historical resorts and hotels with large historical significance. It’s a quiet and centrally located neighborhood where guests can easily bike and walk to downtown Palm Springs. Les Cactus has a couple pink cruiser-style bicycles with wicker baskets for guests to ride into town to enjoy a leisure lunch or early sunset dinner.

Stepping inside the reception area, guests discover a tastefully designed, fun and colorful reception area. A large glass window looks out to a grassy lawn with a fire pit and tables with shade umbrellas near a sparkling pool. Guests are offered a Modelo beer, sparkling water or glass of wine with their room assignment. Instead of a room key or key cards, guest room doors are electronically programmed to a guest’s favorite four-number sequence.

Each room offers a comfortable king or queen-sized bed, flat-screen television and refreshed bathroom. Staying in room number 16, the floorpan offers a small kitchen, and back door leading out to a rock garden and parking area.

Les Cactus offers plenty of space outdoors for guests to relax, unwind and soak up the Palm Springs sunshine. There are three swinging hammocks, a heated swimming pool surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs and shade umbrellas.

Near the pool is a kidney shaped whirlpool next to a private massage room. There is also a small rooftop deck offering picturesque views of Mount San Jacinto and the surrounding neighborhood.

In the evening a fire pit is lit for guests to gather with a beverage and snack to enjoy the cool desert air before and after dinner.

In the morning from 8 to 10 a.m., a staff member sets out warm croissants, fresh fruit, coffee and tea. There is a bowl of oranges to cut and squeeze for fresh orange juice. Guests can sit in the pineapple theme dining room or take their continental breakfast outside and sit at one of the umbrella tables.

Throughout a stay, guests can open the refrigerator to grab a Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt, bottle of sparkling water or pour a glass of chocolate oat milk. Next to the refrigerator are wicker baskets holding bags of chips and popcorn, and glass jars filled with gummy bears and cookies.

Les Cactus is an ideal alternative to the larger resorts in Palm Springs. The staff is friendly and accommodating, providing guests a relaxed Spring getaway.

555 S. Warm Sands Drive, Palm Springs. (760)422-5500.

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