What's New in Palm Springs for Post-Awards Season Getaways

Ryan Manning/Courtesy of subject
The new Les Cactus hotel in Palm Springs.

With Modernism Week set to take over P.S. for 11 days, Hollywood insiders including Kelly  Lynch and manager Will  Ward give their picks for best tours and talks along with new hotels and restaurants to seek out.

Yes, the shortened Oscars season has left film folks exhausted, but now that it's over, industry execs and talent alike can finally enjoy February's three-day President's Day weekend (four days if you're throwing in Friday's Valentine's Day). And what better place to rest and relax than Palm Springs as it showcases the best of its modernist art, design and architecture during Modernism Week (Feb. 13-23)?

The annual gathering offers about 350 events, including a tour of the former estate of Kirk and Anne Douglas; Oscar-nominated production designer Jeannine Oppewall discussing how she's brought worlds alive in films such as L.A. Confidential; and Paula Benson, founder of the website Film and Furniture, joining KCRW radio host Frances Anderton to pick their favorite furnishings in movies. (Tickets at modernismweek.com.)

For Palm Springs residents P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes — directors of the fashion documentary House of Cardin, which opens the Architecture Design Art Film Festival on Feb. 21 — Modernism Week is their opportunity to find some unique experiences, such as a Q&A with Nancy Sinatra at the Plaza Theatre and a lecture on the View-Master stereoscope. Says Ebersole, "Where else would there be an in-depth talk on those high-tech postcards of our collective youth?"

Actress Kelly Lynch is looking forward to discussing the renovation of architect John Lautner's 1950 Harvey House in L.A., which she owns with her husband, writer-producer Mitch Glazer. It's part of a series of talks by Lautner homeowners at the Lautner Compound. "As a child of the '60s, midcentury modernism really influenced me," says Lynch. "I see our role as caretakers of this kind of architecture."

NEW PLACES TO STAY

Named after a 1967 Jacques Dutronc song, Les Cactus (555 S. Warm Sands Drive, rooms from $150 a night) is a newly opened 27-room oasis of pale pink walls offset by cacti with interiors filled with rattan chairs, bamboo shelves and pops of neon wall art. … Or there's the more intimate, adults-only, 11-room boutique hotel Dive (1586 E. Palm Canyon Drive, rooms from $164), offering a taste of French Riviera aesthetics in the heart of Palm Springs.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Ebersole and Hughes found their favorite new sushi spot, Hamachi Sushi (31855 Date Palm Drive), in a Cathedral City mini-mall. "This family-owned joint has some of the best classic salmon and tuna sushi," Hughes says. … With its Scandi interiors and Japanese menu, Sandfish (1556 Palm Canyon Drive) offers an upscale sushi and whiskey experience that's found a fan in Fourward CEO Will Ward. … Tequila lovers can find a new spot to sip at Tac/Quila (415 N. Palm Canyon Drive), which brings the cuisine of Jalisco to the desert. … Roly China Fusion (1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive) serves a variety of dim sum on Palm Springs' main drag. … For a taste of Italy, Ward recommends the "really good" Il Corso (111 N. Palm Canyon Drive) in Palm Springs, with a menu crafted by Sicilian chef Mario Marfia. … After dinner, Ward suggests popping next door to The Rowan Hotel's High Bar (100 N. Tahquitz Canyon Way) for a nightcap, surrounded by panoramic views of the Coachella Valley's starlit sky. … For a low-key vibe, Palm Desert's Little Bar (73560 Highway 111), owned by former Goldenvoice COO Skip Paige, features red vinyl booths and black walls printed with images of concert tickets.

 

This story first appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.