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Spring 2007 | P.S. Where to Stay

Spring 2007 | P.S. Where to Stay

Dorothy's Other Kansas (67-580 E. Palm Canyon Drive (at Jones Rd.), CC, 760-324-3000, $59-$89)
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." Features include a restaurant and popular cocktail bar, just off the lobby. There's also a festive bar poolside. Stay tuned, as we'll have more to say about this sprawling resort in the near future. (Rooms: 29; Nude sunbathing: no; Sexual temperature: med; Clientele: men and women; Meals: None) NOTE: Their web site is still down and I heard they haven’t reopened yet.

Queen of Hearts (435 Avenida Olancha, 760-322-5793 or 888/275-9903, $105-$160)
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)

Canyon Club Hotel (960 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-778-8042 or 877-258-2887, fax 760-778-8061, $79-149) Closed since 2003, this Art Deco resort reopened in late 2005 and is undergoing extensive renovations, with all but six rooms left to go when we visited in late 2006. The outdoor pavement and flooring was in bad need of refurbishing, which we were assured is happening next. There are also long-term plans to transform the back parking lot into a separate but adjoining complex, although that could be a ways off. The 50-foot pool has been redone and looks great, and there are misters, a 16-man Jacuzzi, a steam room, a roomy if basic gym, dry sauna and free WiFi, as well as Internet stations in the roomy and cozy lobby, complete with fireplace. The rooms look a lot nicer than the bare bathhouse-style they once had. Glass bricks showers, new windows, and fresh furniture and linens have livened the property up much. The former Canyon Boy’s Club, the property still retains a frisky attitude, with naked pool parties and bear events--and it’s one of the only gay guesthouses in town that allows day passes for non-residents. We expect to up the property’s palm ratings once renovations are complete. (Rooms: 32; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: high; Clientele: men; Meals: CB)

Cathedral City Boys Club (CCBC) (68-369 Sunair Rd., CC, 760-324-1350 or 800-472-0836, fax 760-322-4024, $110-229)
A large 3.5-acre property, this resort is marketed as a frisky, playground environment – and they mean it. RV parking, tent spaces and day privileges are available; four-channel closed-circuit adult video in lieu of VCRs. Day or night passes (12 hours) to the property, allowing use of the pool, Jacuzzi, saltwater steam room, dry sauna, dungeon barn, and "walk," a landscaped encounter maze in back of the rooms, are $12. Except for a plain lobby, the public areas and grounds are meticulously tended and replanted seasonally; in 2004 they added a waterfall with a dark cave to one of the pool areas. Ask for one of the newer rooms, which are cleaner and fresher than the older rooms, or one of the three spacious suites with full kitchens. The CCBC has a full calendar marking holiday celebrations and other events throughout the year. The clientele is social but definitely older and there for one reason--to get it on--so this may not be the choice for romantic couples or chicken hawks! Rooms: 49; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: very high bordering on bathhouse; Clientele: men; Meals: CB, ECB on weekends)

Chaps Inn (312 Camino Monte Vista, 760-327-8222 or 800-445-8916, $99-$139)
This friendly but small inn capitalizes on being the sole fetish-focused property in Palm Springs, featuring an outdoor sling, St. Andrew's Cross, human cage, slings for rent and eyehooks in the ceilings of their simple, but recently overhauled rooms. The approachable owners have made a concerted effort to upgrade the property since our last visit. The grounds are spartan, but there is a pool, spa and steam room. Most rooms have new pain and new furniture and refurbished kitchens and bathrooms. All rooms have TV/VCRs, WiFi, toasters and microwaves, and some even have roomy back patios. And of course, in-room slings are available for $15 per day! (Rooms: 10; Nude sunbathing: yes; in fact, you'll seldom see guys here wearing any clothing; Sexual temperature: very high; Clientele: men; Meals: CB)

Camp Palm Springs (1466 N. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-322-CAMP, 800-747-7969 in CA or 800-793-0063, $89-$129)
This property on the north side of downtown, which has received some significant upgrades and renovations in recent years, although it may be in need of another quite soon. It comprises a big pool; a 12-man, cloverleaf-shaped Jacuzzi; a 22-man steam room (that is at times in need of a cleaning), a small outdoor gym and a clubhouse room with grand piano and large-screen TV, Internet stations, and small kitchen. The proud piece de resistance is a dark back room complete with, glory holes and beds. Rooms are simple but basic with TV/VCRs and phones with voice mail and data ports. The grounds are well-kept, and the atmosphere here is quite fun and festive, making it popular with guys on the make; it tends to draw a lot of guys in their 20s and 30s. If you’re looking for hook ups and friendly guys, great – but if you’re looking for a spotless and elegant atmosphere, you may want to look elsewhere. There's WiFi throughout. (Rooms: 28; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: very high bordering on bathhouse; Clientele: men; Meals: CB)

The Columns (537 Grenfall Rd, 760-325-0655, 800-798-0655, $99-$145)
The Columns is a small property that is run by nice owners but that could greatly use refurbishment. Six rooms have a full kitchen; all have TV/VCR and drab furnishings. The pool and garden are pleasant and where most guests spend their time, but the pool deck furnishings could use upgrading. There's an eight-man hot tub. The resort keeps a low profile, though many clients, especially long-stay guests, loyally return year after year. There are some thoughtful touches, such as complimentary soft drinks and snacks in the rooms and cotton robes, and the owners have made plans to make some comprehensive refurbishments in summer 2006, including retiling the rooms and improving the gardening. There's WiFi throughout.(Rooms: seven; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual temperature: med-high; Clientele: men; Meals: ECB, Saturday cocktails)

Desert Bear (530 E. Mel Ave., 760-325-6767 or 877-GO-GROWL, fax 760-416-1264, $99-$139)
New owners in 2004 have spruced up this place a bit, but it's still one of the less fancy properties in town. It's also highly popular--as you might have guessed from the name--with bears and the guys who love 'em. Though it has basic amenities (pool, hot tub, continental breakfast, TV/VCR, mini-fridges and microwave ovens) and a scruffy feel to its dusty grounds, the rooms have recently been renovated with new windows, new beds, new carpeting, new tiles and counters, spruced up bathrooms, and a much fresher feel than in the past. The property is even attempting to get permission from the city to add another floor on the front of the building., A party-and-pleasure ambience pervades, and the management is welcoming, even if the condition is in transition (we expect to up its palm rating in the near future). It's north of downtown, near a handful of other gay properties. (Rooms: 11; Nude sunbathing: yes; Sexual Temperature: very high; Clientele: men; Meals: CB)

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Christopher Harrity