Hotel Zoso Is now The Hard Rock Hotel.
Ahhh . . . Palm Springs . . . you are an exceptional romantic getaway rendezvous.
My how you have changed since the first band of Native American Indians settled in the various canyons surrounding present day Palm Springs over a thousand years ago. Moving to more modern times, Palm Springs began to take shape in the mid 1800s when Mormon pioneers traveled west and settled in the surrounding areas.
The 1920s once again began a cultural shift in Palm Springs. The Roaring 20s and the lure of the desert drew early Hollywood starlets and heartthrobs alike for a weekend of seclusion from the media flash bulbs. It became such “the” place to get away that celebrities such as Kirk Douglas, Bob Hope, and Frank Sinatra built homes in Palm Springs in mid-century 1900s and this movement began the popular migration of Palm Springs as a playground for the Hollywood crowd. Here, they spent time lounging in the sun, playing tennis and golf, and enjoying the refuge that the desert provided far from the Paparazzi.
The San Jacinto Mountains are in the distance.
Between boutique escapes, large resorts with 18 hole golf courses, mid-range accommodations, or private homes, the options of where to stay in Palm Springs are endless. I wanted a change of pace in a hotel, something not too tiny and not too grand, something “balanced” in between, so I surfed and logged onto the Hotel Zoso. Their website photos were alluring. The rooms looked modern and sleek: check! The pool looked crisp and inviting: check! The hotel was located right in the middle of downtown Palm Springs: check. And in Greek, the hotel means “Balance”. Sign me up and let’s book a room.
Upon arrival, the Hotel Zoso valet promptly greeted my travel companion and I. She whisked us immediately to the reception for check in. Most hotels in Palm Springs charge for parking. Here at the Zoso, we were informed that it would be $20 per night which based on my experience is about average.
Zoso’s balanced and modern lobby.
The lobby design had a specific personality: open and flowing and juxtaposed with angles and clean lines at the same time, but with an open architectural feel. The design of the building creates a perimeter around the pool. With an average of 265 days per year of sunshine and an average temperature of 70 degrees, isn’t it a good idea to center everything around a crystal clear refreshing pool? The desert landscaping on the property is not only eco friendly, but it also allowed for the desert feeling to radiate through the property. Hotel Zoso’s four acres are a slice of modern “Moderne” in a desert oasis.
Hotel Zoso has 165 rooms which places the hotel in the boutique category. There are several room style options. Our poolside King corner room was a great refuge from the sun and the heat. The overhang on the patio brought shade into the room. What a great design element.
Splashes of red brighten up the bedroom neutral color scheme.
Hues and tones of neutral whites, beiges, and grays were the main color palette for the furniture and the walls. The room was spacious and more like a Junior Suite. The addition of Herman Miller chairs in the guest rooms broght current and sleek design to a room that was utterly comforting. Ultra modern, but warm furnishings and the 42” plasma televisions were great amenities. The room was as balanced as the energy of the hotel.
Desert landscapes hug the pool oasis.
Our first floor room had easy access to the pool and all pool rooms have large patios. The rooms on the second and third floor have balconies as well. The advantage of being on one of upper floors is the bird’s eye view of the pool or the city, depending which way your room faces. Many of the rooms on the property also have a view of the beautiful mountains that cradle the valley. With any room you chose, I don’t think you will be disappointed. The desert landscaping on the property is not only eco friendly, but it also allowed the desert to permeate with gusto.
Hotel Zoso is reasonably priced, even on the weekends. In Palm Springs the price of rooms varied dramatically and Hotel Zoso is definitely a great value. Hotel Zoso offered us a bed and breakfast package, but other options are available on their website. For the latest specials and updates, follow Hotel Zoso on Twitter (@hotelzoso) or send them a friend request on Facebook (stayzoso). Be prepared to pay a daily resort fee as well. This is common of many hotels in Palm Springs and at the Zoso, they charge $15 per day for the resort fee which gives you access to wifi, the pool, and fitness center.
This jewel in the desert can also be a great place to host a business meeting or event. Hotel Zoso likes to consider itself a “self-contained destination”. With 22,000 square feet of space, the boardrooms and conference rooms offer the latest technologies, providing everything you need for a soiree of up to 150 people. For extra special occasions and wonderful mountain and pool views, event planners or possibly brides to be can request the oversized terrace as a gathering point.
Hotel Zoso lights up Palm Springs’ night sky.
Hotel Zoso’s location is fantastic, only a couple of miles from the Palm Springs Airport and within easy proximity to many of the sightseeing activities. The hotel Concierge can assist with Hot Air Balloon rides, trips to the local wineries (Yes, there are actually wineries out in the sun drenched desert.), or a breathtaking ride on the famous, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The Aerial Tramway is a symbol of iconic Palm Springs. The first trip up the 8,500 foot summit began on September of 1963; the tram should be taken at least once on a trip to this part of the California desert. Over 12 million people have taken the jaunt. Once you get to the top the views of the desert floor are unparalleled.
Contemporary dining at Olivz.
Hotel Zoso is conveniently located one block over from central downtown Palm Springs, a short walk from the hotel, where there are shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Casual dining is found at Las Casuelas for authentic Mexican food and delicious Margaritas; LG’s is a fine award winning steakhouse. Best of all, if your feet are too tired to walk, the Zoso will shuttle you around town. We never took them up on the offer as the center of town is so close.
Within the seclusion of Hotel Zoso their restaurant Olivz is adjacent to the pool for al fresco classic fresh cuisine. Serving classic Californian plates with a Mediterranean flair, Olivz dinner menu can please any palate Thursday – Sunday. Olivz cooks up all of the breakfast comforts seven days a week. Feel free to request a room poolside to breathe in the desert air while you dine.
42″ plasma TVs showcase Zoso’s technology.
The hotel’s Onyx lobby bar is a great place for a night cap or for fantastic happy hour appetizer specials from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Here, we met other hotel guests, mostly from Southern California, for some socializing and drinks. In fact the Onyx bar is known for its Patron Margaritas and its nice selection of wines by the glass. The pool table by the lobby bar is a fun way to shark some friends or acquaintances. It is here that I must add that I was the official winner of a pool game against my travel companion; this doesn’t happen too often, so I must have this documented.
Before we headed back to reality and the fast pace of life we tasted the tempting breakfast menu from Hotel Zoso’s In-Room Dining menu, which featured well-executed hearty American classics: omelettes, pancakes and waffles. Breakfast in bed truly started the day off relaxed.
We took a moment to reflect on how this little piece of desert with its long history has become so modern and we were thankful for places like the Hotel Zoso with its luxuries and comforts.
Hotel Zoso –
Now the Hard Rock Palm Springs.
150 S. Indian
— Feature my Michelle Schoser, San Diego Jetsetters Magazine correspondent; photos courtesy of Hotel Zoso,