A few days before my 27th birthday I received an email ad from Jetsetters with last minute hotel deal - one of them being for Palm Springs. The room was advertised for $98 a night, so I hopped on it. I had some anxiety with purchasing from a 3rd party, especially since it's pretty much non refundable if you had any hiccups in your plans, but I purchased anyway. I'd never been to Palm Springs, and promised myself that I'd have more experiences this year - I was going. I initially intended on going alone, but invited by best friend Kiara to come celebrate with me - and I'm so happy I did.
Kiara picked me up around 8 AM the morning of the 3rd, and we headed straight to the desert. First stop was to the Cabazon Outlets - which are about 20 mi outside of Palm Srings - to grab some bathing suits for our relaxation by the pool. We couldn't believe that the outlet didn't have a specialty swimwear store, or that none of the department stores had a swimsuit section to peruse. After about an hour of unsuccessfully searching each store, we ended up buying the most ratchet of ratchet bathing suits from F21.
When entering the city, we stopped at Palm Greens Organic Cafe for some breakfast. We ordered the vegan biscuits and gravy, avocado toast, and vegan huevos rancheros to share. We weren't fans of the biscuits and gravy, but enjoyed everything else. I had a Green Goddess, filled with savory, glorious greens to help clear your mind uplift your mood. Delicious.
We went straight to The Saguaro right after breakfast. At first glance, the outside of the hotel matched the pictures online - pleasant colors with a beautiful, mountainous backdrop. The inside of the hotel, however - very dim and uninviting. The furniture was dated, but seeing as it's more of a "green" hotel, it wasn't a surprise. I found it to be more cute and eclectic than anything. The staff were super young and nice, and were the brightest part of the lobby. The Saguaro definitely isn't a place for older guests.
Checkin wasn't until 4 pm, so Kiara and I left to get a mani and pedi while we waited for the front desk to call us once our room was ready. 2 hours and $35 later, our room was cleaned so we headed back to get dressed for the pool. Parking was horrendous, but we were informed by the front desk it's on a "first come, first serve" basis, and spots would open up around 6 pm once the locals headed home. (We just created a parking spot in front of our room until.)
The hotel was hosting a pool party for the 4th, so it was a little more packed than usual. I saw an ad for the pool party on the hotel's website before booking, but assumed that it would be on the 4th and not the 3rd. It didn't phase us, we just wanted to chill and drink margaritas anyway. The more the merrier! Right? Wrong.
Tragedy occurred just as we were heading down to join the party guests. Someone was drunk and drowned (died) in the pool, and they closed it down. Kiara and I had to find something else to do, so we decided to grab a pitcher of margarita and some nachos from the hotel restaurant, El Jeffe. We ended up buying a tequila-less pitcher of margarita and crazy spicy nachos for $103. $103! We like nachos, but not for $103. The vegan nachos we had from Veggie Grill the week prior for a smooth $10 were sooooo much better, and less expensive. Needless to say, we left sober and extremely underwhelmed.
I also need to point out that Jetsetters advertised the hotel to be "close to downtown." This made me believe that it was like a 5 min walk, or something similar... It was more like a 10 min drive, so we ended up taking the Buzz, free shuttle, to get there. The little trolley was really cute and dropped us off right in front of the Hardrock, but when it was time to catch the Buzz back to The Saguaro around 12 am, we couldn't find the bus stop. We, by the grace of God Himself, found an Uber driver on the side of the road, and paid him $5 cash to take us back.
The bed was uber comfy, and Kiara and I slept in til about 9 AM. We checked out and went back to Palm Greens Organic Cafe for breakfast before we headed back to LA. I had the vegan French toast, and Kiara had the avocado toast and scrambled eggs. We shared a side of breakfast potatoes and vegan apple sausage - freaking delicious.
To recap - Palm Greens Organic Cafe was, by far, one of the best parts about our trip - next up being the fantastic view and desert heat.
The Saguaro wasn't a complete disaster, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking to relax. I won't be staying there again.
El Jefe was the most underwhelming restaurant I've ever been to - don't eat there.
Next time we come to Palm Springs we want to try ATV'ing and other cool, touristy things. Let me know if you have any vendor recs or hotel suggestions!