2 Palm Springs Hotels Look Back, Forward


The hopping Palm Springs hotel scene goes both retro and cutting-edge this month with the opening of another renovated mid-century hotel, plus a new resort aimed at gay men and lesbians with children.

The Orbit In, five blocks off Palm Canyon Drive at 562 W. Arenas Road, is a 10-room hotel in a 1957-vintage building refashioned from the former Village Manor B&B.; Owners Christy Eugenis and Stan Amy, who bought the B&B; in 1999, have redecorated it with a mix of commissioned and original furniture, including designs by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Isamu Noguchi, while retaining such ‘50s touches as white-enamel kitchenettes (in five units) and pink-tiled bathrooms.

There’s a pool, of course, plus some very un-retro technology, such as data ports and CD players.


The Boomerang Bar will serve “Arnold Palmers” (lemonade and iced tea), and rooms include the Rat Pack Suite.

The hotel is scheduled to open Saturday; confirm with hotel. Introductory rates are $189 to $249. Telephone (760) 323-3585, Internet

Catching a contemporary wave, Jerry Lowell and Mitchell Block next Sunday plan to open the 14-room Viola’s Resort, converted from an apartment complex at 1200 S. Palm Canyon Drive. It is designed for “gays and lesbians, their children, extended families and friends,” the owners say, although “others are always welcome,” Block adds.

Palm Springs already has more than 30 gay and lesbian hotels, according to Block, but he and his partner wanted to open a place catering to the growing number of gays raising children. The resort has a pool, strollers, cribs, children’s toys, safety covers for electrical outlets and other child-friendly features. Rates are $140 to $165; up to four per room. Tel. (800) 843-6908,