Travel | October 25, 2022 6:00 am

The Stylish Azure Sky Hotel Is Our New Favorite Adults-Only Desert Escape

This mid-century modern paradise is a 1950s boutique gem

Azure Sky lobby courtyard
Azure Sky lobby courtyard
Azure Sky

South Palm Springs is already chock full of luxury boutique hideaways, but with the so-far durable flexibility in remote work policies, everyone’s favorite desert town can hardly keep up with a renewed demand for weekday visits from restless Angelenos. That means more new properties are popping up every day and becoming even more specialized than before. Enter Azure Sky, a truly tiny, design-forward guesthouse with just 14 rooms and an adult-only policy that guarantees a certain kind of serenity on the grounds. Though there are only a few rooms, each is incredibly spacious, skewing more toward apartment size than a typical hotel, and many come with their own kitchenettes, another boon for a longer visit.

Santa Barbara-based Acme Hospitality teamed up with owners, Eastern Real Estate, to create this desert haven, with designers John Janulis and Anne L’Esperance tapped to mold the retro property into a peaceful oasis. Along with Cioffi Architect, the pair transformed Azure into the polished retreat it has become over the course of two years. Their palette puts the modern in “mid-century modern” with lots of creams, blacks and neutrals, and thoughtful finishing touches like linen robes and patio hammocks. 

With crystal-clear views of the San Jacinto Mountains, three separate room sizes and a brand new pool, this hotel is designed to be a refuge for all kinds of travelers — as long as they’re over 21. Check out some of the highlights of Palm Spring’s newest luxury escape.

With just 14 rooms and a 21-and-older policy firmly in place, this desert hotel is as serene as they come

Plenty of smaller guesthouses in the luxury realm have opted to skip the issue of kids altogether, and it seems both single travelers and parents thank them. Whether it’s a weekend away with children stowed elsewhere, a longer “workcation” in the middle of the week, or even just a one-night splurge, this hotel is the ultimate quiet spot with beautiful aesthetics to match. To further build on the serene feel, the pool is in a separate area, off the main courtyard where the bulk of the rooms are. Instead, this grassy area — complete with a fire pit and views of the mountains — is a great place to gather for a drink or an outdoor work session at one of the outdoor tables assigned to each suite. If you’re feeling frisky, the grassy meadow in the middle could easily host a yoga class, or a blanket for a late-night stargazing session.

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A brand-new pool is set away from the main block of rooms, offering a spacious patio that older properties rarely have, while preserving a vintage feel

Since there are only 14 rooms on-site, even if the hotel was completely booked, there would be plenty of space for guests to lounge on the enclosed grounds, which includes two firepits, a full bar right off the lobby and check-in area, and an enormous amount of lounge space around that pool. Originally, the pool was located in the main courtyard, but during renovations the designers opted to fill in the old one and construct a brand new water feature in a secondary courtyard that had more space. Unfortunately for pickleball lovers, they scrapped a couple courts to install the new swimming hole, but its throwback tile details and oversized lounges make it better bet for beating the sometimes oppressive desert weather in the end. With more available chairs than possible guests, this pool has the kind of space to spread out that’s not often available at smaller resorts — and that bar just off the lobby is only a few steps away if libations are a necessary upgrade during your stay.

Pool at Azure Sky
Pool at Azure Sky
Azure Sky

Walk over to sister property Villa Royale, which is just a block away, for a dinner at their on-site restaurant, Del Rey

Though Azure Sky’s bar is easily accessible, and the lobby space quickly flips to offer guests continental breakfast and coffee every morning, there is no formal restaurant on the grounds. Instead, visitors are encouraged to walk one block over and visit the hotel’s sister property, Villa Royale, where their Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Del Rey, serves up stiff drinks and hearty tapas every night of the week — a rare, consistent schedule in Palm Springs’ weekend-oriented dining scene. Grab a table in the outdoor courtyard, or head into the dark but romantic speakeasy for a Spanish martini served with olive oil, chorizo and olives. For plates, the patatas bravas and short rib empanadas showcase Del Rey’s shareable, snackable style — get two or three dishes per person for the best experience.

Gorgeous suites with light wood, painted brick walls and custom finish carpentry are apartment-size havens for a weekend escape or a week-long stint

Though the name might have you assuming blues will dominate, at Azure Sky every room door is painted a deep red-orange color, to mimic the color of the sunrise. The rooms themselves are filled with custom woodwork, including built-in beds, and mosaic tiles in the walk-in showers make even the smaller bathrooms feel roomy. The room decor highlights the desert sunlight without any of the glaring, kitschy colors that sometimes come along with mid-century updates, and enclosed back patios are a great place to relax or soak up some sun with plenty of privacy. Guests can choose between Agave suites, which are one bedroom and larger; the Olive suite, which translates most closely to a junior suite and Fig, a studio room — there’s only two of those here. The rest all include mini kitchenettes in addition to a living area.

Close proximity to downtown Palm Springs means local cafes and shopping are incredibly close

Though South Palm Springs manages to feel removed from the crowds that can descend on downtown, it’s only about a five-minute drive from the central shopping and dining area. If you’re looking for a heartier breakfast than croissants and bananas, drive the five minutes to Farm, a Provencal-style restaurant that feels like being transported to the French countryside. Nothing goes better with a desert staycation than crepes and croque madames. Or, if you need one last splurge on the way out of town, hit up the 1501 Gastropub in uptown for classic lunch fare — salads and sandwiches served in a spacious brewery styled dining room. It might be the last great Palm Springs restaurant before getting back on the freeway, or the first place to welcome you back on the next visit.