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Ace Hotel and Swim Club
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Reviewed April 28, 2009

It seems that the really popular Palm Springs hotels "welcome adult guests" i.e. don't bring your kids here. It made me kind of anxious to find a place where we would be comfortable and not be worrying about our 7-year-old loud son disturbing other guests. There were all those large resorts, but they all seemed kind of bland. When I read about the newly opened Ace, it sounded like the sort of styling but low-key place that I wanted to check out. I called though to make sure that kids were welcome. It turned out to be the perfect place for our spring break.

We booked 5 nights and got the fourth night free, so I sprang for the king lounge. We brought one of my son's friend with us. His dad joined us on the third night, as well as 2 other families who had been camping in Joshua Tree. My sister and preteen daughter came for the weekend as well. We were 5 families all told -- we were all pretty happy with Ace.

A couple of things of note: one of the families didn't get their room until 5:30 because it wasn't ready. Check-in was pretty smooth. I was worried about traffic noise as our room was across the driveway from the front office on the main drag. But, I was reassured that there really wasn't much traffic noise after dark, and it turned out to be true. Our room had a king and two twins in a curtained alcove which was perfect for the boys. I did have to ask them for bedding for the twins, which they said was in the trunk, but there were no sheets there. They said they would have the sheets brought up. Then later they asked if I wanted the twin beds made up. It was done pretty much immediately which was great.

My biggest complaint with our room is that our glass balcony doors faced east and the canvas curtains didn't block out that early morning sun. In fact, it didn't block out the parking lot lights well enough either. So, we put the bedspread up as a second layer of curtains which really made a big difference.

The rooms with the private patios and fireplaces looked pretty sweet. It's the old motel style so the regular rooms have windows facing the walkway, so not very private.

The main pool is pretty decent sized. We never did get over to the other pool. The water was perfect temperature. The water was saline rather than chlorinated. The water did seem to be extra drying on the skin - so watch out for that. It seemed to make kids' skin extra sensitive to sunscreen and lotions. All the kids really had a great time. Towards the weekend, when it was pretty packed, there were lots of kids.

Poolside service was great. We had lunches and breakfasts out there by the pool as well as drinks of course. We had several meals at the King's Highway, which were really very good. They didn't have a kid's menu, but they were very accommodating about splitting sandwiches and burgers.

Several of us had spa treatments that we were all very happy with. Bodyworker Diane was great. The spa desk seemed a little disorganized. After I was shown into the locker to change into the robe, I didn't know where I was supposed to go or who was going to be treating me.

We got season passes to the water park which is just a couple miles away and went for several short trips there.

I would definitely recommend the Ace for families and groups. Overall the hotel and restaurant staff was really great, very eager to please. It is true that like another reviewer commented, that it was hard to tell sometimes which people were staff and which were guests. But, that is kind of a good thing in a way.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank oaklandmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 23, 2009

I believe I upgraded to a better room, because I was driving down from Napa, and just wanted to chill out and relax for a few days. The room was bedouin like, with lots of canvas & a bit dark. The hotel has an interesting take on living arrangements, it's more like a long term/steamer trunk stay arrangements - where the rooms are only cleaned on request.

There was a lot of pool activity & the bar was packed at night. Having never been to Palm Springs, I was unsure of the location with regard to the rest of town....though it did seem to be around the rest of the other motor lodges which have all been gentrified.

There was a mixed population of spring breakers, families & singles. There's a spa & 24 hour gym on site.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled solo
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Thank g0ne-walkab0ut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2009

My husband and I spent the last three days at the Ace and had an amazing experience. Our friends staying at other hotels (everyone was out in PS for Coachella) ended up hanging out at the Ace the entire time with us. Though staff was busy, everyone was so friendly and did a very good job of staying on top of things; of particular note are Moni (sp?) doing poolside service (absolutely adorable and completely on top of my Coors - water - Diet Coke alternating routine), Charlie the manager at the bar (totally friendly and really damn cute), everyone working the front desk, and one of the outdoor bartenders whose name I cannot remember but he used to work at the also awesome Horizon Hotel (where we used to go until meeting the Ace) who is, truly, the best bartender I have ever gotten a drink from. My whole group felt by the end that we were almost friends with the people working there. The rooms are simple, funky, and clean with nice products, comfy beds, and a great mini-fridge stash. The hotel is geared towards a younger crowd - Cat Power and the Velvet Underground are piped in poolside (that's a good thing!) and I saw few people over 40, although that very likely might be a result of the fact that it was Coachella weekend. That said, I am not sure my fairly traditonal parents in their 60s would be down with the place, although they would certainly be treated well. If you are looking for ritzy and formal, this is not your place. If you are looking for fun and interesting, it is. Another really nice thing is that the food and drinks are really good; we cancelled dinner at the restaurant at the Parker so that we could have the stinky grilled cheese sandwich and beet and manchego salad for the second night in a row. The kiwi capirinha is an amazing drink, and their mojitos are to die for. The best part is that it's really affordable. Last night, six of us had dinner (including appetizers, desserts, and cocktails) for $150. Cocktails run $6-10 which after having had a $14 drink at the Viceroy one night was really refreshing. Rooms normally go for about $89 a night which is a steal. All weekend long they had great live music, DJs from KCRW playing sets, late night ping pong tournaments, photobooths, and beach cruisers to borrow for free. I cannot recommend this place enough. Loved that they take dogs and the free wireless. My only gripe is that you have to pay for parking. As much as I love a few other hotels in the area, I can't imagine that we will ever stay anywhere besides the Ace again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank lapcas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 11, 2009

I have been to the original Ace in Seattle and liked it -- but it is a different breed altogether. The PS Ace is not able to achieve what it wants to be.

The room was small and bunker-like... there was a very small amount of natural light from a dirty, tiny walled in "patio," but no other windows. The patio itself was tiny, noisy and unappealing.

The bathroom was so tiny you basically had to step in the shower to get around the door to the toilet. If we were in Manhattan, I'd say fine. But this is Palm Springs, and not even "downtown" Palm Springs. A $300 hotel room should not have a microscopic bathroom and lack windows.

It appears the conversion they did on the old HoJo's was mostly cosmetic, meaning no structural changes to the rooms. So this really was the bones of a HoJo room with an ironic, 70s low tech feel.

There's a "roughing it" kind of aesthetic at work in the room -- canvas covered walls and a denim couch. Amenities are sparse. There was no table in our room, making room service inconvenient, and the shiny new flat screen tv gets local cable only -- 10 channels or so. The designer clock radio did not have an MP3 plug (though their website says rooms come with this) and it did not get any stations, maybe because we were inside a concrete bunker, thus rendering it useless.

At the pool, the management had set aside an empty guest room to use as a pool-side bathroom. The room was only partially furnished, with pieces of wrappers and linens thrown around the room, and the mattress was bare. The toilet paper sat on the floor next to the toilet. I guess this part was a "hey dude I just moved into my new place with pool but it's not set up yet" aethetic.

All of this would have been fine if the rooms were cheaper... but that wasn't what we were looking for. Maybe they will pull it to together but the basic rooms will still be unappealing and very, very basic.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank repop68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 10, 2009

I just returned from a three day midweek stay at the new Ace in Palm Springs and gotta say I was sad to leave. I was a little leery going in after reading some reviews here (that didn't match my experience of the Portland Ace at all) and having a hard time confirming my reservation by phone. The front desk just seems to be the part they haven't worked out yet. They are understaffed and burdened with hinky computers. On arrival, they booked us into a room that hadn't been vacated yet, but quickly corrected the situation, and that was the only snag we hit. From there on, it was all positive.

We had a simple double and the room was smallish, but very well tricked out with a good TV, a nifty little sound system, a cowhide rug in the room, a flokati rug at the sink, a decent minibar, a minimalist tile bath with a rainshower head, oversized towels, and the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in. (Take THAT Kimpton and Starwood!)

On weekends, the place seems to be a real scene, but during our stay it was mostly young families on their Easter vacation, a smattering of gays, European tourists, and assorted others, all pretty well behaved and very laid back. The kids tended to dominate the large, weirdly shaped pool by day, but there's another, kidney shaped pool on the grounds that was hardly used at all. The main pool and soaking pool are open 24 hours, but hardly used at night on our stay. The pool area is very well appointed - great adjustable lounge chairs with shades, towels, hammocks under a pergola, tables for dining - and not competitive at all midweek. There's also a handy bar during the day. (My only complain is that if you sit on the west side of the pool, the music can be a bit loud and distracting if you're trying to read, but there's an underused sort of loft area that removes you from it all and gives you a bird's eye view.)

My friend used the gym and found it all in working order. Neither of us used the spa, so can't really comment on it, but checked it out and it looked spiffy and clean, and the staff was characteristically nice.

We took almost all our meals at the restaurant and thought the food was really top-notch, and the service quite good. During our stay we heard some griping and complaints from other guests about the overall service and disorganization, but we had no problems at all. The staff had a great attitude and were working very hard to please everyone. Even the poor overburdened people at the front desk, where there often seemed to be a line, never lost their cool, and our check-out was a breeze.

We also overheard a couple of complaints about the eight dollar parking fee, but we didn't even rent a car for our stay. The 111 bus stops a block away and takes you downtown for a dollar, if you're so inclined, and the hotel has 3-speed bikes you can use for free. We rode them all the way to Indian Canyon one day, and went for a gorgeous hike. Otherwise, we spent all of our time reading by the pool, swimming and soaking, or napping in those glorious beds. For $89 a night, how could we complain?

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank stchris59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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