Ace Hotel & Swim Club
701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California
It’s one of the chicest evolution’s made by the hands of man, somewhere out in the desert. Once a mid-century modern Westward Ho with a humdrum Denny’s, the structure is now the beloved bohemian paradise that is the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.
When Sarah Gallagher, the Studio Manager of Readyluck turned 30, she wanted to barrel into her new era of life as gleefully spirited as she was upon entering her 20s. This meant inviting 20 of her closest friends for a long weekend of sunbathing, cocktail-downing, and desert partying. Among those friends, photographer Lindsay Hite stood ready to capture the weekend.
King’s Highway, the beloved restaurant of the Ace, is driven by Jud Mongell and Ken Addington, the team behind Brooklyn’s renowned Five Leaves.
It’s a retro diner for a wild, wild west escape with a well-crafted menu that features fresh ingredients from local sources. It’s the perfect spot to gulp blood marys and scarf hash browns come the door-kick-in of post-party morning sunlight.
Built upon a welcome-mat attitude, the hotel invites everyone to say: family, pets, and free spirits.
For lodgers, rooms alternate their offerings, but they’re always good: garden patio, fireplace, and/or record player, complete with old vinyls.
There’s also a minibar that comes with damn tasty caramel popcorn.
To work of all the good food and drink, guests can ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for a solid hike with exceptional views of the Coachella Valley.
If you’re looking for more, Joshua Tree National Park is up for grabs and it’s just an hour by car.
Even when it seems like you’ve exhausted all the slick cool of the Ace and its lively town, more pops up. Don’t forget about the free bike rentals, vintage downtown shopping, and the on-site Feel Good Spa.
Be sure to take advantage of the outdoor food and drink delivery when you’re out tanning in the lounge chairs. Their servers are constantly available. A popular order is a burger and spicy margarita (try the Speedy Gonzalez).
Staying at the Ace was a luxurious, nearly all-inclusive experience for Gallagher and her friends. Her crew figured, “Why leave when you can rotate between swimming in the salt water pool, eating tasty snacks poolside, drinking fresh smoothies and cocktails, and lounging in your beautifully decorated room?”
Once guests rolled and romped into the man-made oasis, she and her husband threw a Saturday night dinner and dance party at The Clubhouse.
The madcap festivities came with plenty of appetizers, followed by salads and barbecued burgers.
It was more than enough good food and fun, especially with Gallagher’s husband shredding tunes as DJ Shortcake. The party ended with everyone eating birthday cake in the saltwater hot tub.
Unsurprisingly, the birthday bash received raved reviews from every person who ate well and shook it off accordingly.
The Clubhouse has seen everything—birthday parties, wedding receptions, business meetings. It’s a two-story desert dream space with a partially covered balcony and more than 4,000 square feet to go wild.
The flexible double-decker function room comes with the latest audio/visual setups, so if there’s anything you’re looking to add, it can easily join the party.
The hotel ensures killer tunes and righteous drinks at the pool until 2 a.m.
The hotel bar, aptly named The Amigo Room, does up 21 craft beers along with a smorgasbord of artisanal cocktails right alongside. Nearly every night, there’s something to be had in the cool, cavernous space, whether it’s a DJ, band, or comedian.
Communal fireplaces are laid about the hotel, allowing anyone to take a load off and catch up with friends or soon-to-be friends. And with the lone bar and restaurant, it’s not hard to run into old and new friends alike.
Once all was said and done, the Gallaghers and crew are already planning their next party at the Ace.
Venue: Ace Hotel & Swim Club | Photos byLindsay Hite | Event Coordinator - Alex Goldy | Catering - Kings Highway
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT
Sarah Tiedeman Gallagher
Sarah is the studio manager at READYLUCK, a collective of photographers whose passions lie in creative, articulate storytelling told through a diversity of talents. Her favorite destinations include South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, and Nepal. Other favorites include Ukraine, French Polynesia, Switzerland, and Puerto Rico (though Marfa, Texas remains a crown jewel). Sarah lives in Northern California wine country with her husband, Ryan. - Website