A reliable, mid-priced option along San Lorenzo Road, Escape is the new incarnation of long-running Chestnutz, run by new owners Mark and Greg, who have added new patio furniture, remodeled some rooms with sleek Mid-Century-inspired designs, and made a number of additional improvements. Escape fills a nice niche by providing personal service, including an afternoon social hour and Continental breakfast, and creating a vibe that's equally relaxed and social - it's a good option if you're looking to meet other guys (most guests prefer to go without clothing around the grounds), but just as inviting for couples seeking seclusion. A 15-man hot tub and good-size pool round out the amenities.
Intimate, classy, and with finest personal attention of any gay resort in Palm Springs, the Hacienda at Warm Sands lies in the heart of the gay-resort district for which it is named. A well-trained, easygoing staff tends to guests every need, and the perks are many: beautiful complimentary breakfast and lunch spreads, a self-service laundry with free supplies, an extensive library with books and periodicals - there's even a pillow menu, so that you'll get a great night's sleep in your cushy room. Decor is posh yet casual enough for relaxation - think French doors with plantation shutters, Asian furniture, two-man showers (in top suites). The grounds are meticulously kept, with tile walkways, two pools, and a gurgling Spanish fountain.
The contemporary Zoso is a favorite option of many gay men and lesbians who appreciate the property's downtown location, just steps from the gay-bar and restaurant action along Arenas Road and nearby blocks. The 162-room property often hosts events during Dinah Shore and White Party. Sharply decorated rooms with bold color schemes and faux-fur accents contain such cushy amenities as huge plasma TVs, Herman Miller Aeron chairs, and Tarocco bath products - they're big, too, with standard rooms at nearly 500 square feet (and all have balconies). There's also a casual but eye-catching cafe called Eatz and a gay-popular nightspot, Z Bar & Lounge, that presents very good piano cabaret. Check out the super-fun pool weekend pool parties, too.
This steamy compound in the heart of the Warm Sands neighborhoods makes no apologies about catering heavily to guys on the make (couples, singles...groups). The 24-room INNDulge is super-cruisy, but it's also well-maintained, with a respectful and fun staff, and with a bright, clean, and sunny vibe. You could stay here without feeling any pressure to socialize, but if it's quiet you want, you might want to choose another property. Rooms here have rustic pine and wrought-iron furnishings, but guests tend to spend a lot of time sunning on the grounds and around the pool, working out in the gym, and making new friends among fellow guests. Rates are about average for gay PS resorts, a good value considering the above-average accommodations.
With a swanky Italian theme and extensive, beautiful grounds in PS, the 20-unit La Dolce Vita is a fine destination for social butterflies - there are myriad places to mingle, including two pools, two hot tubs, an outdoor gym, a steam room, and landscaped paths and walkways. Even better, La Dolce Vita has a beautiful full-service spa offering a wide range of treatments. It's in a quiet residential area, a short walk from downtown dining. There are two distinct "wings", and many rooms have French doors leading out the pool. Private patios, Aveda bath products, and high-quality robes and linens are further enhancements, and rooms recently received major upgrades, including platform beds, flat-screen HDTVs, new furnishings, and eco-friendly heating and cooling. Terrific all-around.
The only reason this terrific, wonderfully original small hotel doesn't rank higher on this list is that although it's extremely gay-friendly, it doesn't have quite a popular a gay following as many other properties in town. But if you're fine with that, or even prefer it, this is a stunning place whose vibe and decorating provide a stylish, authentic window into mid-century modernism - all 9 rooms are done with exquisite pieces designed by the likes of Eames, Noguchi, and Saarinen. Perks are many, including free use of cruiser bicycles, in-room kitchen or bars, lovely saltwater pools, and a full range of spa services.
Surprise! Bet you didn't expect to see a Travelodge on this list. But this beautifully renovated Palm Springs branch of the low-frills chain is one of the best gay-friendly bargains in the Coachella Valley. Set conveniently along East Palm Canyon Drive, nestled beneath the mountains that rise over the city, this rambling two-story compound has two attractive pools (with fire pit and hot tub) and nicely kept grounds. The 155 rooms have a smart, simple, and contemporary look - each has a fridge, coffeemaker, safe, hair dryer, and free Wi-Fi, and a light Continental breakfast is included. The money you save staying here you can set aside for dining and shopping along the swanky downtown commercial strip.
One of the two women's resorts in town, the Queen of Hearts is a bit smaller and simpler (and also less expensive) than Casitas Laquita, but it's still a lovely spread set on a peaceful residential street, hidden away from noise and traffic. Rooms, which have are individually decorated with tasteful, modern pieces, open to a mid-size pool and prosaically furnished lanai - there's also a Jacuzzi tub. Across the street, the owners also have an intimate three-suite property, the Desert Hearts Inn - perfect if you're seeking privacy. It may be that the resort's best attributes are its guests and staff: there's a genial spirit of camaraderie here, and the owners do a great job advising guests on things to see and do around town.