If you’ve harbored dreams of becoming an innkeeper in a cool desert town, we’ve found your opportunity in Palm Springs, CA.
The 18-room Hotel California—in the city’s South End along East Palm Canyon Drive—just went on the market for $3.5 million. Built in 1942, the property is listed with Scott Timberlake of Realty Trust.
Spanning four buildings, the hotel boasts many conversation areas—including chaises and cabanas around the pool and hot tub—for guests to relax. Lush landscaping and a water fountain cultivate an intimate oasis. All rooms have a private bath.
Three units feature full kitchens, which make them ideal for long-term stays. Fourteen rooms are currently ready to book with four more to be added. Guests have access to a stocked kitchen and outdoor barbecue area, though a new owner could reconfigure the entire experience.
Timberlake, who has represented other hotels in Palm Springs, views this hotel as a smart investment.
“Ever since the Ace Hotel and then the Saguaro Palm Springs … boutique hotels have become really popular,” he says. “I’ve sold four or five hotels in the last year here.”
Two of those sales—Sparrow Lodge and Holiday House—are perfect examples of the intimate, high-design hotels that have arrived in the desert oasis.
A number of small hotels have landed on the market in Palm Springs over the past couple of years. So why the sudden influx?
“They were run as B&Bs for many years, but now they’re having to step up their games to compete with these boutique hotels,” says Timberlake, referring to the Kimpton Rowan Hotel and ARRIVE.
The influx of commercial opportunities is also a testament to Palm Springs’ changing demographic from retirees and snowbirds to younger crowds.
“Prior to the Ace Hotel, spring breakers were pretty much kicked out of Palm Springs. For the first time in decades, they’ve been embraced again,” says Timberlake. “It’s now OK to make noise and have music by the pool and act your age.”
The current owners have maintained this property as a hotel for a decade.
“They’re simplifying their lives,” Timberlake says of the owners. The hotel has a high (5.0) rating on TripAdvisor.
“People just tend to come back,” he adds, for the “homey feeling, lush landscaping, and conversation areas” not available at newer, modern hotels. Rates range from $149 to $269 per night, depending on the season.
What kind of work will the next owner have in store? Not much, apparently. Although the Spanish Colonial–style structure doesn’t align with the midcentury modern design Palm Springs is known for, this place is still popular with guests.
“It fills a niche,” says Timberlake. “It works really well the way it is now.”
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