THREE PALMS -- RECOMMENDED
All Worlds Resort (526 Warm Sands Drive; 760-323-7505 or 800-798-8781; $89+) This property has combined the former Inntrigue, Inntimate, and 550 Resort to create a sprawling complex dedicated to porn actors and their admirers. Management has put the property through massive renovations; as a result, many of the rooms are quite lovely, with warm, masculine appointments -- just be sure to ask for a newly redone room. The nicest section (with somewhat higher rates), called Another World, sports names and decorative motifs inspired by famous former luminaries, including Cher, Marilyn Monroe and Dirk Yates. Dirk's room is the, ahem, biggest and has a full kitchen, plasma TV and fireplace. The former 550 retains a strong cowboy motif and d?cor and is especially popular with bears and leather guys (you?ll know by the stuffed bear hung up on a pole for all of Warm Sands to see), although the whole property is quite bear- and leather-friendly. Another courtyard complex has a Greek theme to it, complete with classical columns Poseidon statue overlooking a small pool. And a whole section of the property is named Another World, which is gated and more subdued and can only be accessed by guests staying there, although anyone staying at Another World has access to the entire grounds. A small gym, a grotto hot tub with waterfall, an outdoor sling and horse saddle, and a glory hole area with mirrors and pornos running on TVs complete the XXX atmosphere. There are three swimming pools and three Jacuzzis. Rooms feature refrigerator, microwave, TV/VCR, adult-video channels and safes; some have fireplaces. Guests receive a porn video (and, curiously, chocolate) upon arrival, compliments of All Worlds Entertainment. Call in advance to find out when All Worlds porn movies are being filmed on location.
Rooms: 44; Nude sunbathing: hell, yes; Sexual temperature: off the charts; Clientele: men; Meals: CB/evening wine & cheese, occasional BBQs
Desert Moon (2150 N. Palm Canyon Drive; 760-325-8038 or 800-506-1899; $79+). On the north side of town, right next to the longtime favorite gay bar Toucans, you'll find Palm Springs' newest gay resort, which opened in January 2006. The owners were still making some decor changes to the property as of this writing, but this hotel has loads of potential and already looked nice the day it opened. Its 24 large rooms and suites have Saltillo-tile floors and private patios, and a long lanai lined with towering palm trees leading down to an Olympic-size pool and 10-person hot tub. This pet-friendly property is far from the other gay resorts in town but still within easy striking distance of downtown restaurants, and it's the first gay accommodation you'll come to as you enter Palm Springs from the north.
Rooms: 24; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: low-med; Clientele: men; Meals: CB
Dorothy's Other Kansas (67580 E. Palm Canyon Drive (at Jones Rd.), CC; 760-324-3000). As of our most recent visit, the former Desert Palms Inn had changed hands and was in the process of being transformed into this new property. This long-running full-service resort had been shut down a couple of years ago following a fire in the restaurant, then had become the Desert Palms Inn, and now is undergoing a significant refurbishment. Built in the early '60s, this landmark property was featured in the Troy Donahue and Connie Stevens flick "Palm Springs Weekend." Stay tuned, as we'll have more to say about this sprawling resort in the near future.
Inn Exile (545 Warm Sands Drive; 760-327-6413 or 800-962-0186; ; $100+) With spacious and modern, if bland, accommodations and good gym facilities on site, this is a fun, clothing-optional resort that's especially popular with beefy guys, gym bunnies, and other young and humpy types. The labyrinthine layout, the steam room, pool table, outdoor mattress, four pools and two hot tubs facilitate close interactions. The lack of foliage and modern, desert design of the property feels stark to some guests, as do the rooms' spartan furnishings and slim amenities. Rooms have their own answering machines, personal safes, irons and ironing boards in addition to TV/VCR and mini-fridges. On-site Skivvies Caf? serves pizza, snacks and coffee drinks nightly. It is one of the best values in the Warm Sands area, however.
Rooms: 31; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: high-very high; Clientele: men; Meals: CB/L
Mirage/Vista Grande/Avalon/Atrium (574 Warm Sands Drive; 760-322-2404 or 800-669-1069; $89+) Basically, this is a sex club with kitchenettes, even on the slowest off-season days. The Avalon serves as the common breakfast area and features great mountain views and an inviting grassy area that attracts local friends of the management who work on their tans by the pool. The Mirage features a large rock grotto with walk-through waterfall, decorated with 20-ton boulders and a penis god, gym facilities, a huge and recently renovated steam room, and spacious, surprisingly tastefully furnished rooms with full kitchens and a barbecue area. It is connected to the Vista Grande, whose ordinary but clean rooms surround an unremarkable courtyard and pool with a view of the mountains. The Avalon has probably the most basic of all the rooms, with retro '70s art and furniture that looks like it hasn?t been changed since the '70s. The Atrium is a quieter property across the street. The rooms are cheery, and the diminutive grounds well-maintained. The Vista Grande pool and adjacent Mirage waterfall area are the center of activity, 24 hours a day, and the steamroom and new dry sauna sees plenty of action, too. Guests staying at the Atrium prefer to have the action away from their windows, but some may find it an inconvenience to have to walk across the street. Three-night minimum on weekends.
Rooms: 40; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: off the charts; Clientele: men; Meals: CB
Queen of Hearts (435 Avenida Olancha; 760-322-5793 or 888-275-9903; $105+) Rooms at this all-women guesthouse, furnished in a contemporary and simple style, are clean, cheerfully colored and well-appointed, and most feature full kitchens. All include TV/VCR, portable phone/answering machine, stereo and hair dryer. Rooms have been furnished with tasteful overstuffed chairs and love seats and Mission-style tables. The pool area, though unexciting, boasts mature fruit trees, lots of bougainvillea and morning glories and full-on mountain views. A three-unit property across the street, the Desert Hearts Inn, is even more secluded and has three large suites with kitchens or kitchenettes, it also has its own pool and excellent views, and guests here can use the grounds of the main resort. Management has declined to allow us to inspect this property, so we're unable to confirm the current condition of the resort. However, it has long had a very good reputation.
Rooms: nine, plus three suites at Desert Hearts Inn; Nude sunbathing: topless; Sexual temperature: low; Clientele: women; Meals: CB
Meals: B = breakfast; CB = continental breakfast; ECB= expanded continental breakfast; L= lunch; C= cocktail hour or hors d'oeuvres of some sort.