Though Palm Springs is a mere two hours from the crowded freeways of Los Angeles, the landscape, climate, and pace of this popular destination make it feel worlds away. After touching down late in the evening at LAX with my friend and favorite road trip buddy, Kris, we picked up our brand new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox and began our journey to find new roads into the desert.
Though the sun had already set, we watched as the city lights became less frequent, and eventually bled into sandy, moonlit hills, covered only by windmills and the occasional gas station. As we drove into Palm Springs, the silhouettes became cacti, palm trees, and single story structures.
Roadtrippin’ – Entering the getaway mindset
As we pulled into our home-away-from-home, L’Horizon Resort, we were instantly greeted with a glass of champagne. Laughing, we toasted each other. Our vacation had begun and the phrase “we have arrived” had never felt more true.
Within minutes, we knew that the resort was flawless–from the landscaping to the lobby, no detail had been overlooked. It was midnight as we walked to our room, but still 90 degrees in this desert oasis. The bellhop pointed out the gorgeous cabana lined pool saying, “It’s open all night.” Kris and I exchanged a knowing glance that we would be back for that later.
A nostalgic Los Angeles escape
In the late 1930s, Palm Springs became a place of respite for the Hollywood Elite. Stars the likes of Frank Sinatra would retreat to the desert to relax and play. Today the same applies to the A-listers, and as a result Palm Springs boasts incredibly lavish resorts, restaurants, and shopping. It’s hard to imagine building a city of this luxury in the middle of a desert that hits temperatures up to 125 degrees fahrenheit, but it’s incredible to witness.
Location, location, location
L’Horizon is nestled below Mount San Jacinto, a 8,516-foot beauty that juts straight up from the 2,643-foot desert floor. For the overachievers out there, it is an intense hike of switchbacks to the top, but Kris and I opted to take the scenic route. An engineer named Francis Crocker built a tram that ascends the rugged Chino Canyon and drops you off at the aptly named Peaks Restaurant. From there you can hike, backpack, camp, or simply grab a glass of wine while check out the dizzying views of the desert floor.
A little bit of R&R
All freshened up and bikini clad, Kris and I headed to The Residence for some pool time. The Residence is the largest suite at L’Horizon and has its own private swimming pool. Walking down the path to The Residence we pass a hammock perfectly tucked into the shade of the tall hedges, and more of the same gorgeous landscaping of cacti and yucca plants. Every new view felt like an invitation to relax. Opening the gate into The Residence, our eyes met the pool, where we spent the afternoon floating through the summer heat on flamingo floaties.
In the evening, we were escorted to a private home where chef Tai Spendley, the owner and chef of the must-eat-at Palm Springs restaurant Rooster and the Pig, had prepared a beautiful Starlit Vietnamese-California meal in the spirit of finding new roads and the Equinox. We enjoyed specialty cocktails while dusk settled in, before we meandered to our seats for dinner. Kris and I, as well as several other guests of L’Horizon, gathered at a beautifully adorned table, which had been set adjacent to the pool and lit by candles. We spent the evening enjoying incredible food and great conversation under the stars, insects humming in the distant background.
Capturing the last moments
The next morning I woke up early to catch a few last photographs of the beautiful resort, and to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast sandwich at the poolside bar. Our last activity of the trip was a guided group meditation. People grabbed iced coffees to-go and headed to The Residence, where our guide had created a perfectly tranquil setting. Lying on my mat, deep in the guided meditation, I found a space of incredible relaxation and gratitude for my time at L’Horizon. It was the ultimate way to end a gorgeous three day getaway and I can’t wait for my next visit to recharge.