We headed to Palm Springs to provide you with an inside look at the best and brightest of the desert.
The new Saquaro Palm Springs took a foreclosed Holiday Inn and brought it back to life in full living colour, adding an Iron Chef for good measure. With wide-open mountain views (request third floor facing the pool), daily yoga on the lawn, cruiser bikes, ping pong and boules, the place was built for good times. But if you prefer to doze by the pool listening to French pop songs, gazing up at the palm trees and sipping bubbly, we'll meet you there. 1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr., 877-808-2439, Saquaro Palm Springs.
At the recently opened Mr Cox vintage couture (named for the owner's late dapper dad) we spied a gorgeous Yves Saint Lauren cape with Gwyneth Paltrow written all over it, 1970s caftans for the pool, and a gold-and-ecru Pierre Cardin wet bar that we really need for the cabana. 457 N Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 760-898-6443, Mr Cox.
The Sunnylands 200-acre estate in nearby Rancho Mirage is a sight to behold, with its golf course, stunning Visitor's Center (with Rodin's "Eternal Spring" sitting casually in the corner), and of course, the estate itself, built by publishing magnate Walter Annenberg, the founder of Seventeen magazine. Go for lunch and peruse the multi-media exhibits that take you back to the height of the Mad Men era. 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA, 760-328-2829, The Sunnylands.
The new Tinto restaurant, helmed by celebrity chef Jose Garces, is named for red wine (in Spanish), and looks to the Basque region for culinary inspiration. And inspired we were by standout dishes like Suquet ($11), a sublime tomato-saffron soup with mussels, shrimp, escarole and potato (so much so we ordered it three times). The arugula salad with Serrano ham and perfect spheres of deep fried goat's cheese was an excellent pre-flight snack. At dinner, be sure to finish with the date ice cream (even if you are dateless). 1800 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA, 760-322-1900, Tinto.