As an avid traveler, it’s rare for a hotel to knock my socks (much less heels) off. The Sands Hotel & Spa Palm Desert though? Completely blew away my expectations, and yes my espadrilles, too! From the moment we checked in, we were transported to another world.
Over the years, we’ve spent our fair share of time in the California desert, including several stays at the Parker Palm Springs, Holiday House, La Serena Villas and the Saguaro (also seen here). Each entity has its own unique charm, but Sands Hotel & Spa felt different. Refreshing.
Looking for a sunny spot and a dose of desert glam? Add this destination to your must-see, must-stay domestic hotels list.
Where is the Sands Hotel & Spa?
The Sands Hotel & Spa Palm Desert is located off of State Route 111 in Indian Wells, which is a short drive from Palm Springs. We had a rental car for the weekend and drove it all the way from Los Angeles, which takes about two to three hours (depending on traffic).
Thankfully, Bob did all of the driving (thanks B!). Me on the other hand? Dead asleep in the passenger seat. Whoops! After getting to the hotel, he mentioned the hilly roads from LA to Palm Desert weren’t for the faint of heart, especially since we drove at night. From what I saw on the drive back to LA, the roads are quite curvy with mountains on both sides. Be forewarned if you’ve never been on the Moreno Valley Highway at night!
About the Sands Hotel & Spa Palm Desert
The adults-only hotel officially opened in the spring of 2018, so the interior design feels fresh, modern, and completely brand new. In fact, after checking into our room, Bob asked, “are we the first people to stay in this suite?” Everything felt SO clean (and even smelled new). Win!
The hotel is comprised of 46 total rooms, including two suites and one Presidential Suite, and caters exclusively to hotel guests 18 years or older. While the hotel is set-up a bit like a traditional motel (like most Palm Springs hotels), the design and interiors are anything but.
A word to the wise (especially for bloggers and lookie-loos): the Sands Hotel & Spa is not open for non-hotel guests to roam around the property. The entrance is locked, and it requires a key card to get access. Therefore, I highly recommend making a reservation for lunch or cocktails at the Pink Cabana if you want to snap a few pics. Seriously, the staff asks for your room number at every turn, so don’t expect to lounge at the pool unnoticed, lol.
The Interior Design of Sands Hotel & Spa Palm Desert
While the service and food are incredible (more on that later), what really makes the Sands Hotel & Spa shine are the interiors. Martyn Lawrence Bullard, one of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 designers, was tapped to dream up the most gorgeous interior design throughout the hotel. You may know Bullard from BRAVO’s Million Dollar Decorator or from his recent Architectural Digest cover featuring Kylie Jenner’s home. So talented!
Outfit details here
From the entrance to the spa, every space features Moroccan-inspired décor with mid-century modern accents throughout. I couldn’t get enough of the desert rose hues paired perfectly with pops of black and white stripes.
The Pink Cabana Restaurant
The on-site restaurant, The Pink Cabana, officially opened in May 2018 and is an ingredient-driven menu focused on Mediterranean cuisine with a Moroccan influence. The award-winning Chef, Jason Niederkorn, works with his team to deliver an exceptional array of dishes for lunch and dinner.
For lunch, we ordered the hummus platter and tacos, In fact, while we were sitting and eating lunch, Martyn Lawrence Bullard was sitting at the table next to us having a business meeting. As you know, I’m a huge fan of his work, so it was fun to see him staying on property.
Best of all, after the lunch, he got up and toured the entire restaurant with one of his team members and/or managers. I wasn’t trying to spy (okay, maybe a little), but he was making mental notes of everything from the art to the chairs and even one of the plants. Seriously. A PLANT. He stood looking at the structure of a plant for 5 minutes making comments about how it should possibly be cut/altered for a better look. That’s commitment.
It’s one thing to have an interior designer who’s designed a place, and another to have him/her actually on the property making sure their design standards are up to par.
The Spa at Sands Hotel & Spa
One of the new additions to the hotel is a full-service spa with three treatment rooms. While we didn’t have a chance to try any of the services, we certainly will on our next visit! The menu features a great array of options, including a Royal Massage and Moroccan Radiance Facial and even a Royal Rhassoul Body Treatment. Prices for treatments currently range from $150-$250.
The spa’s lobby lounge area is the perfect spot to rest and relax – think metallic tile, lush seating and Moroccan-inspired blankets and pillows.
Photo Tip: The team at the spa couldn’t have been nicer. I thought we’d get some pushback to capture photos inside the space, but thankfully, they were extremely kind and welcoming. That said, I’d highly recommend visiting very early in the morning if you want photos. They didn’t mind us capturing content because we arrived first thing and a treatment wasn’t taking place. If you happen to visit later in the day, be incredibly polite and QUIET while taking photos. Also, if a treatment is taking place, I’d recommend leaving and coming back. It’s a small space!
Our Room at the Sands Hotel & Spa
We stayed in a room 16, a Junior Suite, which features two private patios, an outdoor tub, living room and wet bar. Junior Suites are the largest guest rooms on the property (400 square feet). Bob and I absolutely LOVED this room, and even turned to one another to say “can we design our master bedroom like this?”
I don’t think there’s a bad room in the entire place, but I highly recommend a Junior Suite where possible. All of the rooms face the pool, so noise can be a small issue. Our suite was far enough removed that we didn’t hear a thing (which was fabulous). The bathroom is also quite big, and features a double sink, large shower and luxury bath amenities (Aqua di Parma).
To sum it up, RUN do not walk to the Sands Hotel & Spa. To book your reservation and/or to find more information about the hotel, visit the Sands Hotel & Spa website.
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