The STANDARD H Travel pages are our version of city guides presented by our founder, Wesley Smith. These are places he's traveled, enjoyed, and recommends, so they're all vetted and what we refer to as STANDARD H verified. These lists will evolve, so check back often and travel safe!
"When you've lived in California for a while, and you approach 40 years old, those road trips to Vegas turn into road trips to Palm Springs, and I'm not sure I'd change a thing." - Wesley
Cartel Coffee Lab
1551 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
I first came across Cartel in downtown Phoenix where they have a really great space with a very modern architectural aesthetic. The location here in front of The Arrive Hotel is no different. Cool space, great coffee/espresso.
Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
1556 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Hands down my favorite place to eat dinner in Palm Springs. The chef/owner, Engin Onural, is of Turkish descent and has created an inventive fusion menu of Scandanavian & Japanese dishes. The selection of whiskeys is fantastic, and their "omakase" cocktail offering is always exciting. I'll leave this here and simply request you do yourself the favor of dining at Sandfish. You won't be sorry.
622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
My go-to for Neapolitan-style pizza in the desert. The Birba and the Homemade Classic are my two favorites. The atmosphere is lively, though because it's outside, it never gets too loud. The bartenders are great, and the spirits on-hand are some of the best quality regardless of your poison. I usually get a Negroni, however, they usually have some solid beer options, as well.
Norma's / Parker Palm Springs
4200 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
An absolute staple in the desert, the Parker has no doubt been featured on your Instagram feed in some way, shape or form. It has all that you need, especially if you want to go to Palm Springs and never leave your hotel. Tennis, multiple pools, multiple restaurants, a spa, a gym...it's all there. Regardless if you stay at the Parker, however, know that Norma's is my favorite place for brunch in all of Palm Springs. Sitting outside on the patio with the generous portions alongside a mimosa or screwdriver is the ideal spot to be on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The Crunchy French Toast is my favorite french toast of all time, but you better be hungry. The service is top notch as you should expect from the Parker. To me, I imagine having a billionaire friend, and we're eating outside their 1950s-built Bel Air mansion.
La Serena Villas
339 S Belardo Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262
This has become my favorite hotel in Palm Springs. The Parker is nice, but it's remote if you enjoy walking to dinner like my wife and I do. The 19 villas here at La Serena are great for a few reasons: 1. It's a 21 and older hotel. 2. When behind its walls, it feels like you're somewhere else entirely even though it's a block off the main drag. 3. The pool is obviously not overrun with kids and given how small the hotel is, the minimal number of people present just feels exclusive, minus the pretense. The chips and salsa are a must poolside, and the ahi bruschetta is a delicious start when dining at the restaurant, Azucar, in the evenings.
Del Marcos Hotel
225 W Baristo Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262
"Retro adult-only lodging with a pool" is what comes up on Google, and really (for those traveling without children) is there anything else you need? Located next to La Serena Villas, Del Marcos is a an adventure back in time in a really great Palm Springs way. Midcentury furniture fills the rooms, and all have full size refrigerators in the kitchens. It's an amazingly affordable place, and since there isn't an in-house restaurant, they offer the menu from La Serena Villas' Azucar restaurant.
Colony Palms Hotel
572 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Originally built in the 1930s, Colony Palms has an incredibly storied history. Actors and mobsters alike have stayed here over the decades, and it's certainly an oasis within the oasis that is Palm Springs. The hotel's bungalows are the move for room choice, and the pool is such a pleasant scene. The restaurant is conveniently located poolside, as well. I haven't stayed here since it was taken over by Steve Hermann, but I'm excited to check it out sometime soon.