At night, guests gather for drinks and conversation at one of the seven communal outdoor living rooms with fireplaces. Community and interaction are big at Ace, as is greenness.
My favorite rooms are the 27 with lovely walled patios with igloo-shaped gas fireplaces in spaces that formerly were carports. Rates start at $199 a night. Planned perks include do-it-yourself barbecues in the patios and at the communal fireplaces. "We'll have the chef bring the food and instructions" with the grill "and we'll give you an apron and tongs," Heath said.
The biggest disappointment at the Ace was the spa. The very basic locker area and showers are shared by those using the 24-hour gym and the pool, which is open to the public for a fee. The one-hour massage ($90 plus added-on 20% tip) was short on pampering -- no soft music, flickering candles or aromatic teas.
Guest perks include free bikes. Coming soon: a shuttle bus, a '60s hippie van to take guests from the hotel in South Palm Springs to the city center.
How is all this -- and room service too -- possible at $89 a night?
In truth, there are only nine rooms -- four simple kings and five simple doubles -- starting at $89. Room rates vary by season and day of the week. Guests schlep their own bags and must belly up to the bar to order drinks. For short stays, towels and sheets are changed only on request.
Palm Springs panacheGo online for more photos
of the Ace Hotel.