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Our 8 favorite points hotels in the Palm Springs area

Feb. 05, 2022
13 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Palm Springs, California, has long been an oasis for Southern Californians — and those from farther afield — looking to escape the busyness of daily life or the cold of winter with a trip to the warm desert.

Set in the stunning Sonoran Desert and surrounded by mountains (that often have snow at the top, even in the summer), the Palm Springs area has something for everyone. The weather is great year-round (though it gets very hot in the summer; it is the desert after all). There’s an abundance of golf courses and tennis courts, plus a plethora of cultural attractions and a vibrant dining and drinking scene.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, travelers — and the travel industry — have realized the potential of this destination as a perfect escape.

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Museum visitors depart from the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

The city and surrounding area have actually benefitted tremendously from the shift in travel preferences away from crowded cities and international destinations for places closer to home with lots of outdoor space. In fact, the nation’s major airlines added new flights to the desert city, betting that it’ll remain a popular destination for Americans looking to get away from the monotony of everyday life during the pandemic.

Predictably, as the popularity of Palm Springs has increased over the years, there are numerous top-notch resorts that cater to a wide range of people, from a solo traveler looking to get away from it all to those seeking a family-friendly spot to let the kids burn off some of that pent-up energy in the great outdoors.

The four major hotel chains — Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott — all have properties in the area (along with some great independent properties), but as you’ll see in the list below, those with Marriott Bonvoy points to burn are spoiled for choice, whereas those loyal to any of the other three chains won’t be able to be as picky.

Let’s take a look at the top points hotels in the area, should you want to take advantage of all the new flight options into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and enjoy a desert vacation.

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Related: How to use points to book 9 unforgettable wellness retreats

Top Hilton hotel in the Palm Springs area

La Quinta Resort & Club

In La Quinta, just over a half-hour from the airport, the La Quinta Resort & Club is spread across a whopping 45 acres and has an equally eye-popping 41 pools and 53 hot tubs across the resort. Even the base rooms are casita style, adding even more of a sense of privacy and space to this already gigantic property. In addition to all those pools, the resort features a fitness center and spa, 21 hard and clay tennis courts and a staggering five golf courses.

(Photo courtesy of La Quinta Resort & Club)

A king casita with a mountain view at this property can be had for as little as $393 or 80,000 Honors points per night in April. There's also a $35-a-day resort fee that includes internet access, valet and self-parking, fitness and tennis club access, fitness and yoga classes; a PGA West shuttle, golf bag storage, daily in-room bottled water and local calls and long-distance access.

If your Hilton Honors balance is lacking, consider applying for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Hilton Honors Amex Aspire card review

Top IHG hotel in the Palm Springs area

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs

Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the Kimpton Rowan pays homage to the area’s midcentury roots with a stylish exterior and even better interior. Spacious, airy and modern, the guest rooms evoke the midcentury glamour that Palm Springs is famous for, but also remind you that you’re in a new, 21st-century property. Guests can enjoy views of the mountains from the restaurant’s outdoor dining terrace and spend a day sipping cocktails by the rooftop pool for a thoroughly Instagrammable vacation in the desert.

(Photo courtesy of Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs)

A room at the Category 7 Kimpton Rowan can be had for around $783 or 40,000 IHG Rewards points per night. You will pay a $40 daily resort fee that covers valet and self-parking, upgraded Wi-Fi speed in guest rooms and public spaces for up to five devices, golf bag storage and business services such as printing and faxing.

If you’d like to use your points for a getaway but find yourself short, consider opening the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 140,000 bonus points + 1 free night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Related: IHG Rewards Premier card review

Top Hyatt hotel in the Palm Springs area

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

If you’re traveling to the Palm Springs area with kids in tow, look no further than the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, about a half-hour drive from PSP. The property has a waterpark with dual waterslides, a lazy river and splash pads, perfect to keep the kiddos entertained while the adults relax poolside with a cold beverage in hand.

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa)

Rooms at this Category 5 World of Hyatt property can be had for $655 or 23,000 points per night in mid-April. A $40 daily resort fee (waived for Hyatt Globalist members) covers the following:

  • Access to the HyTides waterpark, a 450-foot lazy river and children’s splash pad.
  • In-room premium internet access and personal coffee and tea maker.
  • Two bottles of water per stay.
  • In-room safe.
  • Unlimited local telephone calls and access charges for 1-800 or 1-888 phone calls.
  • Incoming faxes.
  • Filtered water stations.
  • One hour of tennis court time per day.
  • Shuttle service to Indian Wells Golf Resort.
  • Discounted green fees at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
  • Golf bag storage, outdoor games and activities.

Remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the World of Hyatt program, meaning you could earn two nights at this property from the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is currently offering 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred review

Alternatively, you could look to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months and up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points per dollar spent on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening.

Related: World of Hyatt card review

Top Marriott hotels in the Palm Springs area

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

About a 20-minute drive from PSP sits (very fittingly on Frank Sinatra Drive) The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. Set atop a cliff, the property offers stunning views of the Coachella Valley below and the mountains in the distance. Base rooms are spacious at 450 square feet, and many feature spectacular vistas of the area’s terrain. Enjoy two pools and two full restaurants, in addition to a pool bar and a five-star spa with 16 private treatment rooms, during your stay.

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage)

Rooms at this Category 7 Bonvoy property (50,000 points off-peak, 60,000 standard and 70,000 peak) can be had from $1,013 or from 70,000 to 140,000 points per night, based on a mid-April stay. The $40-per-day resort fee covers the following:

  • Daily fitness class.
  • Hotel-guided sunrise or sunset hike (weather permitting).
  • Stargazing or sungazing experience (weather permitting).
  • Daily afternoon candy bar.
  • Golf bag storage.
  • Recreational lawn game rentals.
  • Morning outdoor stationary spin bikes.
  • 24-hour use of business center.
  • Resort art self-guided tour.

This property would be eligible for the annual up-to-85,000-point free night certificate at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (certain hotels have resort fees, including this one) with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. With this card, you'll also earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card review

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells

This renovated Indian Wells resort is a desert oasis, with two golf courses, multiple restaurants, a full spa and a large resort pool with a sandy entrance on one side, perfect for the kids. After a full day of fun in the sun, retire to a bright and airy room with decor that channels the area’s midcentury design aesthetic.

(Photo courtesy of Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells)

Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $520 or for 120,000 points per night based on a mid-April stay. If you find nights with standard or off-peak availability, they would be eligible for the up to 85,000-point free night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card. The hotel's $36 daily resort fee includes bike rental, fitness classes, golf bag storage and self-parking.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

In nearby Palm Desert — just over 20 minutes from PSP and downtown Palm Springs — is the venerable JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. Opened in 1987, the resort has been a fixture in the area ever since. This massive, 884-room property has nine food-and-beverage outlets; four pools (as well as one spa pool); a gym; spa; two championship golf courses; 15 hard, three clay and even two grass tennis courts; and more.

(Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa)

Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $675 or from 120,000 points per night, based on a mid-April stay. The hotel's daily $40 resort fee includes:

  • Pool access.
  • Fitness center access.
  • Sporting facilities or equipment.
  • Nearby fitness center access.
  • Bicycle storage.
  • Internet access.
  • Phone calls.
  • Faxes.
  • In-room safe.
  • In-room coffee.
  • Self-parking.
  • Housekeeping.

If you find nights with standard or off-peak availability, they would be eligible for the up to 85,000-point free night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.

Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs, a member of Design Hotels

If you’re looking for a chic urban getaway, look no further than the Avalon Hotel & Bungalows in downtown Palm Springs. With just 67 rooms and suites, you’ll feel like you’re at a boutique property with plenty of space to breathe. Accommodations range from studio guest rooms to private villas and all feature a modern take on the midcentury glamour of the city. The property features three swimming pools, a restaurant, an intimate spa and more.

(Photo courtesy of the Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs)

Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $998 or from 40,000-60,000 points per night, based on a mid-April stay. A daily resort amenity fee of $45 includes high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the resort, three outdoor pools (including one family pool and two adults-only tranquility pools), two large Jacuzzis and the use of Avalon bikes.

If you find availability, they would be eligible for the up to 85,000-point free night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.

Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection

The Hotel Paseo in downtown Palm Desert opened to much fanfare in 2018. With the shops, galleries and restaurants of the city’s El Paseo street — known as “the Rodeo Drive of the desert” — just steps away, a stay here will have you feeling like you’re in the middle of it all until you remember that you’re in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. The vibe is unapologetically modern and playful in its design, with bright yellow umbrellas surrounding the pool and quirky artwork lining the hallways. Instead of a full golf course, you have a putting green here (in addition to the outdoor pool and lawn with a cornhole setup), but you’re not staying here to escape it all, but rather be in the middle of it all.

(Photo courtesy of Hotel Paseo)

Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $426 or from 120,000 points per night, based on a mid-April stay. The property's $36-a-day resort fee includes the following:

  • Valet parking for one car, with handicapped parking and spots for accessible vehicles.
  • Daily morning yoga.
  • Mercedes shuttle rides to golf and shopping.
  • Up to 30% off Desert Willow Golf Resort.
  • Bike rentals.
  • 24/7 fitness center.
  • Two bottles of water in your room each day.
  • Putting green and backyard games.
  • High-speed Wi-Fi.

If you’re able to find nights with standard or off-peak availability, they would be eligible for the up to 85,000-point free night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.

Bottom line

TPG looked at these hotels based on mid-April dates. It's always best to go directly to the hotel's website to find the best prices. Enjoy all the amenities that Palm Springs has to offer.

Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023