Oasis in the Desert

By Corey Scholibo

Originally published on Advocate.com December 09 2008 1:00 AM ET

With the weather
cooling in Los Angeles it's time to escape to our
favorite weekend destination, Palm Springs. But as the
economy dives further south those high-end hotels are
looking a little too pricey. Not to worry. A few miles
north of downtown Palm Springs sits Hope Springs, an
affordable gem for the unfussy set.

A fully restored
and modernized motel, Hope Springs is situated at the
edge of Desert Hot Springs, a rundown town that is itself
nothing to look at. But the fresh feel of Hope Springs
is worth a venture off the beaten path. The
mid-century modern experience begins on arrival as you set
your sights on a tiled pool full of floating
flowers and surrounded by pillows. You will be
personally greeted by the woman who runs the place and
escorted to one of the 10 guest room on the property. The
rooms are purposefully Spartan and feature a
deconstructed wall-free closet jutting diagonally into
the center of the room, a Japanese-style platform bed,
balloon-shaped hanging paper lamps, and a sitting chair. The
floors are polished concrete, which continues out to
the private balcony outside each room. Windows are
left open to allow the swamp coolers to keep the room
temperate -- privacy is gained by pulling back an enormous
white sheet strung from a wire across the middle of
the room. No TVs here; entertainment is a good book
read beside one of the three natural hot spring pools
in the courtyard outside your room -- the hottest of which
is housed in a tin-covered gazebo -- or on the grass patio
that looks south over the town and desert below. Some
rooms feature a kitchen space complete with authentic
mid-century dishware and a small fridge, though the
adorable classic stoves are nonfunctional.

 Hope Springs 02 x390 (courtesy) | advocate.com

You can use the
motel as a jumping-off point for Palm Springs fun, but
this venue is better suited to those who are looking for a
little decompression. Bring groceries for simple
lunches and dinners and enjoy complimentary breakfasts
each morning homemade by the proprietor, including
delicious quiches and pastries. The kitchen in the main
house is stocked with fruit-infused water, coffee,
cereal, and fresh tea. Leaving your room at night to
make a pot of tea makes you feel like a guest in a
delightful mansion. The motel also features spa services --
mainly massages -- held in a private room. I was very
impressed by the skill of the therapist. It's a great
place to get away and think, or enjoy some quiet
after a long day in Palm Springs. Either way, with
rooms starting at under $200, Hope Springs is a perfect
desert getaway for those with resort tastes who may be
operating on a motel budget.

Make reservations
online at HopeSpringsResort.com