The luxury property is the first to go gay in the city in over a decade
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Writer
Descanso is the first resort for gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and “the response has been beyond expectation,” said general manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, although some weeknights are still available during Pride Month.
Taylor said the trend among gay resorts in the area in recent years has been to go straight, and his property was one of the first to do so. Formerly called East Canyon, it lasted as a resort town for about four years.
Now, however, the property has been completely renovated and reopened with amenities “to create a special experience for men,” Taylor said. Currently, the resort has 14 rooms, but two more will come online once they have been refurbished to Descanso standards.
The bedrooms have king-size beds. There is a heated salt water swimming pool with spa. To relieve the heat, an outdoor misting system moderates the temperature. Breakfast and “stay and lunch by the pool” are included in the price of the rooms. A canteen offers free snacks and drinks. For dinner, many restaurants are within walking distance.
Many guests arrive by car, and these vehicles can remain parked throughout their stay in the off-street overnight parking provided by the resort.
For those who prefer to mix their pool time with sightseeing, there’s plenty to see and do in Palm Springs, and the resort is just two blocks from the start of the city’s commercial area.
First on the list for anyone coming from the plains of Texas has to be the Aerial Tramway. Get fantastic views of the Coachella Valley from 8,500 feet high in the sky. When you reach the top, you can enjoy the trails and hikes as well as a restaurant, bar and cafeteria.
For zoo enthusiasts, Taylor said, the 1,200-acre living wilderness is ranked among the top 10 in the United States. Visiting in the summer when the temperature in Palm Springs often exceeds 100 during the day? Visit the living desert for a night walk for a nocturnal zoo experience.
Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern architecture and variety of stores offering furniture from that period.
To tour the neighborhoods, Taylor said the best way is by bicycle, which Descanso offers free to customers.
Palm Springs is known as a hangout and haven for celebrities. Stars have lived in this desert resort town, and others have been frequent visitors since the 1920s. Sonny Bono served as mayor of the town. To honor them, the Palm Springs Walk of Stars features blocks of sidewalk stars, including one for Dallas favorite Del Shores (Sordid Lives) at 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive.
Joshua Tree National Park is an hour’s drive from Palm Springs. This part of the Mojave Desert ecosystem includes thorny Joshua trees, rocks, and a surprising variety of wildlife in this desert habitat.
If you are looking for museums, Palm Springs has one of the best air and space museums in the country as well as an art museum which is quite good.
Palm Springs recently saw the 2022 version of its biggest gay event, The White Party, the grandfather of circuit parties and winner of “Best Out Of Town Party” at Dallas Voice’s 2022 Readers Voice Awards. Palm Springs Pride weekend takes place in cooler weather; this year it is scheduled for November 3-6. Leather Pride Weekend runs October 27-30, and Western Exposure’s Dadfest celebrates dads on July 4. Descanso recommends the all-day pool party as the best way to enjoy the event.
Next year, the Palm Springs International Film Festival will take place from January 4-15. It is one of the largest in North America, attracting 135,000 people.
Many Descanso guests stay onsite during their stay, enjoying the resort experience and walking or Ubering to nearby restaurants for dinner, Taylor said. On its website, the staff’s favorite restaurant picks include something for everyone.
The Fisherman’s Market, located downtown, is recommended as “Definitely a great place for fish and chips, grilled seafood”. In the desert.
Al Dente and Il Corso are the staff’s picks for Italian food. Jake’s is an American bistro. Johannes is a “local favourite” for modern European cuisine from an Austrian-born chef.
The Sandwich Spot offers “fun concept sandwiches. Not your standard sub-store.
A number of Mexican offerings include La Bonita’s, Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, home to the original Palm Springs brunch, and La Tablita in nearby Cathedral City, which is listed as “absolutely a local favorite.”