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A Spotlight on Palm Springs

Our Director, David Heron shares his musings on a recent trip to Palm Springs.

For some, including myself, Palm Springs has for the most part been an enigma – I’d heard about it, but never really been able to put my finger on what exactly it offers. That is perhaps its greatest charm. A hazy promise of a Californian welcome punctuated with headline events and incredible landscapes.   

Having just returned from my first-ever visit in December (low season in Palm Springs) the mystery is answered, and I am left inspired, informed, and most definitely eager for more.   

There is polish to Palm Springs that I think is lacking in LA, a charm and old-school quality that is lacking in Vegas, and an outdoor scene that most definitely takes full advantage of the region’s incredible climate. Let me share a few highlights. 

Brilliant Basics: Travel & Accommodation

Access is a breeze. Fly direct to LA or San Diego and traverse overland. Or fly into Palm Springs International, via multiple US hubs, for one of the most impressive airport experiences in the world. 

When seeking a base from which to explore, you really are spoilt for choice. Personally, I would head downtown and check myself into one of the stunning historic bungalow properties such as L’Horizon or The Colony Palms. As beautiful as the rooms are, the focus of these properties is poolside, lose a few hours people watching, with a good book and an even better, a cocktail or two. 

For others, there are plenty of great resorts and town hotels to choose from, ranging from the more economic solutions such as the Ace Hotel or the Kimpton Hotel to the established global luxury properties such as Ritz Carlton. If money is no object, then look no further than the new Sensei Porcupine Creek, an intimate wellness retreat featuring luxurious accommodations, lush spa gardens, and Sensei by Nobu dining exclusively for resort guests. 

Experiences for all

But beyond the ease of access and the great accommodation options, the headline of Palm Springs is most definitely the incredible experiences on offer. And this is certainly not a one size fits all destination. 

For a more active group I would recommend getting out and experiencing Joshua Tree or the San Andeas Fault. Take your pick of your preferred transport – car, jeep, bike, horse or hike. 

Or why not take to the waves (yes you read that right) – with the development of no less than four artificial wave parks in the Palm Springs Valley between now and the end of 2024. 

For the more adrenalin-seeking group, why not spend a day ‘Top Gear’ style with a takeover of the impressive BMW Performance Centre.  

Palm Springs is perhaps most famous for hosting a number of internationally renowned headline-grabbing events (although you may not be aware of the geographical marriage). Coachella Music Festival is perhaps at the top of the list, but Stage-Coach and Indian Wells Tennis Tournament are not far behind.  But these should not eclipse the incredible opportunities for groups to experiences some of the lesser-known events such as the amazing Palm Springs Film Awards – a true A-Lister event that very much flies under the radar.  

As if this all was not enough – there is one last highlight that for me sums up the best of Palm Springs. If I was to bring a group to Palm Springs and I wanted to do it ‘my way’, we would have to spend our final evening enjoying a pool party in the home of the legend himself, Frank Sinatra. Celebrating the best of the mid-century design that is so prevalent in the area – this property really transports you back to the Old Hollywood era and will give ever guest a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

Having flown under the radar for some time now, I predict Palm Springs is on the cusp of exploding onto the international MICE scene.  Yellow Fish would love to help you be a part of that journey and experience the best this incredible location has to offer. Be it hosting your very own Coachella Festival, rubbing shoulders with A listers, celebrating with the Rat Pack or curating a soul freeing Joshua Tree retreat, we would love to work with you to make the most of everything this incredible destination has to offer. 

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