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    ptownie Guide to Gay Guesthouses in Palm Springs

    Palm Springs Gay Clothing Optional Guesthouses
    October 16, 2022

    Hmmm, what is the right Gay Guesthouse for me?

    ptownie has you (un)covered with some great (clothing) options for your stay in Palm Springs.

    Some of us here at ptownie are growing to love the desert as much as the ocean. If you haven’t been to Palm Springs recently, it’s absolutely worth the trip. It is not the same place it was 10 years ago. It is younger, more vibrant, and full of events you’re sure to enjoy, whether you’re into music, sports/tennis, architecture, and/or nightlife. 

    Most of the listings included here are central in Palm Springs. The guesthouses in Warm Sands Neighborhood are the closest to the “gay strip” of Arenas. The Triangle and Santiago are closest to popular cruise/leather bar The Tool Shed. One outlier is the Decanso, which is farther north and a definite cab ride to either Arenas or Tool Shed. CCBC is in Cathedral City and a good 15-minute ride to the bars—with the exception of the also-popular Barracks Bar. Barracks is known for its underwear night and Sunday beer bust. 

     

    Vista Grande Palm Springs Waterfall

     

    Provincetown vs. Palm Springs?  The differences.

    It’s interesting to look at the comparisons of what is going on in the gay guesthouse business in Palm Springs as it compares to Provincetown. We’ve all seen the consolidation of B&Bs bought by actual corporations instead of individuals over the past two years. The days of an individual or couple with the dream of running a B&B in Provincetown is dwindling at a fast pace. Many folks worry that this is going to change the “gay character” of the place. I am reluctant to think that way; for as far back as I can remember, folks have been complaining the that Provincetown is getting less and less queer, and it hasn’t happened yet.

    As with Provincetown, Palm Springs is SUPER gay. However, after speaking with loads of guesthouse workers, managers, and owners, there is one significant difference in what the two communities have been experiencing recently: over the past couple of years, Palm Springs has gone from about 30 gay guesthouses down to around eleven. Some of these guesthouses now have a straight/mixed clientèle. Others have turned into more of an Airbnb-type situation instead of running a guesthouse. The real estate market has boomed in the last five years in Palm Springs, and the buying and selling of properties are a strong indication. Recently closed guesthouses include The Barefoot Inn, The Canyon Club, La Dolce Vita Resort & Spa. (We haven’t been able to check out Desert Paradise and All Worlds Resort; watch here for updates.)

    Lesson #1:  BOOK EARLY

    The manager of a B&B that’s been around for decade told us that their regulars, who have been coming for 20 years, are now having difficulty getting a reservation. So if you want to take your clothes off and get naked with other gay men in your Palm Springs lodging, you’d better think about booking early! Along with availability, scarcity most likely will cause rate increases. 

    Decanso Palm Springs

    Here’s something we didn’t know: the guesthouse high season starts in Palm Springs around September 15th. We’d assumed it was later, but as the heat goes from 100 down to the 80/90s, folks start flocking to the desert. 

    Yes, there are guesthouses in which you must wear a bathing suit, but it seems most of the gay male guesthouses are clothing-optional. 
    Hacienda Palm Springs

    With all that in mind, here are some options for you:

    CCBC

    Rating: **

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mostly nude)

    Rooms: 45

    Cost: Expensive

    CCBC Resort Hotel (Cathedral City Boy’s Club) is undoubtedly the gay resort in Palm Springs for partying, cruising, and sex parties. Note: The resort is located in Cathedral City and not Palm Springs. If your goal is to check out Palm Springs, your best bet might be to do a Day Pass and check out the place. The rooms are adequate but you might expect a bit more for the rate… but is that really why you are here? 

    CCBC hosts a ton of gay events, parties, and theme weekends. It also offers a special $22 Wednesday day pass (approximately half-price). The grounds and facilities are plentiful, large, and nicely maintained, but not luxurious. The atmosphere is very friendly and not at all pretentious. The environment is best described as playful. It is what it is… and for what it is, it does a great job of it. 

    Decanso

    Rating: ****

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mixed)

    Rooms: 14

    Cost: luxury/mid-range

    This the newest guesthouse from the folks who brought you The Santiago. The resort opened in the last year and has been stylishly updated with open and clean fresh rooms. The owner started collecting vintage Speedos that add a fun touch to artwork in the bathrooms. The upstairs rooms provide great views of the mountain. There is also a complimentary “snack room” with coffee, sodas, and snacks. A complimentary lunch is provided as part of your stay.

    Hacienda

    Rating: *****

    Clothing Optional? Yes. (Mixed)

    Rooms: 10

    Cost: luxury

    Service, service, service! Attention to detail at this guesthouse is beyond amazing. It is as the name indicates—a hacienda is a traditional Spanish-style oasis. This is the perfect place for you if you seek tranquility, peace, and quiet. It’s ideal for couples, as most folks seem to stay to themselves. It’s friendly, but if you are looking for “playful,” this isn’t the place for you. Every amenity has been thought of. Lunch is provided poolside. The manager has been there for a decade and wants to make sure your stay is perfect. Individual wifi, welcome basket, your names on a throw pillow (yup, nice touch), and a very smart printout each day of everything going on in town (bar nights, movies, events, weather). If you’ve been dying to lie around the pool (there are two of them) and read a great book all day, followed by watching the sunset turn the mountains thousands of shades, this is the place for you. 

    INNdulge

    Rating:***

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mixed)

    Rooms: 31

    Cost: mid-range

    This one affords a modern Palm Springs vibe that won’t break your budget. The grounds and the rooms are well maintained. This is a great option if you are traveling solo or you are a major extrovert. The do a free Happy Hour every day at the pool which is a great way to meet fellow travelers.

    El Mirasol Villas

    Rating: ***

    Clothing Optional? Yes. (Mixed to nude)

    Rooms: 15

    Cost: budget/mid range

    You don’t stay in business for 22 years if you aren’t good at what you do. If you are on a budget, this is a great option. The grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. There are two clothing-optional swimming pools (one chlorine, one saltwater) and a 10-person jacuzzi. Originally build by Howard Hughes in the 1940s for friends to stay, the style is more Spanish than mid-century modern. The guests I met have been coming for almost 20 years. The only request I would make (and I most certainly would go back) is not to have a room on Ramon Road. This is a wonderful place at a very reasonable rate. Very low-key relaxed vibe. There are 15 rooms, with many having kitchen (minus stove) amenities.

    Santiago

    Rating: ****

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mixed to nude)

    Rooms: 23

    Cost: luxury

    I walked in the gate and realized this was the first place I stayed in Palm Springs—maybe 15 years ago. The good news is: it is still great! It has the largest pool of all the gay guesthouses and has some really fun green spaces that allow for a nice nap in a hammock. There is also a great outdoor shower and outdoor firepit. There’s also a complimentary “snack room” and complimentary lunch. Bikes are on premise if you fancy a ride around.

    Triangle Inn

    Rating: ***

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mostly nude)

    Rooms: 9

    Cost: mid-range

    Funky, laid back, and architecturally significant, the Triangle Inn is another great option if you’re looking for a more economical stay in Palm Springs. From all the reviews I read of this place, it may not be the sleekest, but it just might be the friendliest. The rooms are mid-century modern and have been updated to keep the original character and charm of the architect. Staff is super-friendly. This is more like your favorite neighborhood bar than your latest swank lounge. 

    Vista Grande Resort

    Rating:****

    Clothing Optional? Yes (mostly nude)

    Rooms: 28

    Cost: expensive

    Lush and tropical aren’t words you typically associate with the desert. However, Vista Grande has lush gardens, a totally fun tropical waterfall, and large beautifully maintained grounds. The pools, waterfall, huge hot tub, and friendly steam room give you the best of the desert as well as an island oasis feeling at the same time. We love that there is a “quiet” pool with no music or smoking and a more “active” pool with fun music and more of a playful environment. Misters are a dream during hot season.

    There are three different options for room type and all can be found on the website. Some have kitchens, which is a big bonus if you are staying for more than a couple of days. If you’re looking for frisky and a very sex-positive attitude this might be your place. Unlike the other two very playful environments (CCBC and All Worlds) Vista Grande does not allow for day passes. 

    Want information on the Best of Provincetown? 

    Santiago Palm Springs

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