There’s no better antidote to the desert heat than a swimming pool, which, at the end of the day (or more likely during it), is the focal point of the classic Palm Springs escape. Sun worship is not relegated by record-setting temperatures, especially when it is the commodity that attracts gay travelers to the desert from around the globe.
“Some people look at it as a challenge,” says Mark Hunter, co-owner of Escape Resort in Palm Springs. “Last year we didn’t have a single day over the slower summer months that we were empty. So yes, there are many people around — even during the heat!”
For all those would-be sun-roasters out there, here are five bare-it-all gay inn recommendations — for this or any season.
It’s not exactly shaped like a triangle, nor is it a mirage: In fact this small clothing-optional compound is a perennial favorite of those who favor a quieter location away from the heart of the higher-profile Warm Sands district.
The pool is not large, but a majority of the rooms featuring full kitchens and dining room are a nice touch. The grounds are lush and quiet, creating an intimate, insider kind of ambiance.
Triangle Inn, 555. E. Lorenzo Road, Palm Springs. 800-732-7555; triangle-inn.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIANGLE INN
An intimate hideaway surrounded by lush grounds where boys are bound to have fun.
Desert Paradise Resort
This is one of the clothing-optional classics of the Warm Sands area and always a good bet in terms of location and offerings. A dozen guest rooms surround the pool and Jacuzzi and they are named after gay icons like Judy Garland and Lucille Ball. If you need a little more room to roam following your poolside chill-out, consider the Marilyn Monroe/Monica Lewinsky Presidential Suite. There’s also a steam room, dry sauna, and a cool misting system to stay refreshed in summer.
Desert Paradise Resort Hotel, 615 S. Warm Sands Drive, Palm Springs. 760-320-5650; desertparadise.com
Behind the entrance door of the Desert Paradise Resort are 19 fountains, and 2 fish and turtle ponds.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DESERT PARADISE RESORT
PHOTO COURTESY OF LA DOLCE VITA RESORT
There are two swimming pools you can lounge next to.
La Dolce Vita Resort
The neighborhood around La Dolce Vita is not the “gayborhood” of Warm Sands, but that’s not a bad thing. And despite or because of the fact that the location is slightly obscure, it adds to the appeal of the almost Key West–style torpor you’ll find behind its gates. Room décor is definitely a bit dated, but no need to linger inside when there are two swimming pools you can lounge next to (or in) sans bathing suit, plus a steam room (save that for winter) and professional men’s spa. There are 20 rooms and the weekend vibe can be frisky.
La Dolce Vita Resort, 1491 Via Soledad, Palm Springs. 760-325-2686; ladolcevitaresort.com
at Warm Sands
If you think that many of the clothing-optional resorts have a hint of kitsch, you’d be right. But the camp factor is conspicuously absent at this luxe retreat, where distinct Southwestern details surround two swimming pools.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HACIENDA AT WARM SANDS
This patio suite is situated away from the resort’s two swimming pools.
With just a handful of guest rooms and suites, the Hacienda is more suited to traveling couples (Vista Grande next door has a more convivial vibe), so it’s a great place to kick back and get your zen on in style.
The Hacienda at Warm Sands, 586 S. Warm Sands Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-8111; thehacienda.com