Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Pulling a Don Draper." Getting Lost in Palm Springs at the Hyatt Palm Springs.

By Laura Medina

Memorial Day Weekend is coming upon us, right on the heels of "Mad Men" finale, setting us into a mood for a "lost weekend."

Otherwise known as "Pulling a Don Draper," where the lead protagonist escapes, without a moment's notice in the last-minute, when the pressure is on, the head is cluttered, or there is something out there that needs exploring and experiencing epiphanies.  Your co-workers will forgive you for returning with a clear head, fresh with ideas...or a new point of view.

One of the epiphanies this scribe had experienced recently is a subtle, under-current resurgence of Downtown Palm Springs.  The same surge this scribe felt twenty-six years ago, the bubbling renaissance of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, in the wake of Hurricane Hugo.

The locals agree...Coachella Music Festival was an economic boon to Palm Springs, injecting a new wave of interest among a desired demographic group, Gen-Xers becoming the new establishment.  Especially, the Gen-Xers who started the Coachella wave but are evolving into Mid-Century connoisseurs (thanks to "Mad Men") who developed a taste for "Rat Pack" Modern decor, architecture, fashion, and lifestyle.

This scribe's suggestion is...when you first pull into town...drop by into Trina Turk's/Mr. Turk flagship boutique for a quick Palm Springs makeover resort.  Turk's contemporary resortwear in swimsuit fabric makes you appropriate for falling into the pool drunk, just like the Rat Pack but better suited coming out.

The revamped Hyatt Palm Springs is ready for them.

Smack dabbed and can't miss in the heart of Downtown Palm Springs, the Hyatt Palm Springs is outfitted with a new sign, a new mural, a desert-appropriate fountain, and an outdoor bistro lounge with a firepit, the HooDoo Outdoor Cocktail Garden... &

Facing the main street, anyone can join in and have tapas and Buzz Bar for dessert.

In fact, the Hyatt's HooDoo Cocktail Garden is one of the few locations to be serving this "adult" alcoholic ice cream popsicles and bars.  They're like childhood treats with a splash of liquor or wine for the chilling "buzz,"

Once "buzzed," it's time to check-in into your room.  Luckily, this scribe got upgraded to a suite...

A semi-apartment where the TV doubles as a computer and the desk has lamp with chargers and outlets for your smartphone and tablets.

In keeping with Mid-Century Modern aesthetics that form follows function (the aesthetic that Palm Springs is built on), the living room is split between media center/work station and the lounge couch with an ottoman, a side table holding another lamp with chargers....done in a "Mad Men" color motif of grey and orange.

In-between in the hallway leading up to the bedroom, every nook and cranny is used.  The mirrored hallway slides into the closet, next to is the coffee nook...

Right above the mini-refrigator is the coffee/tea nook where you can brew your own coffee and tea.

Just because you maximize your space never means you sacrifice luxury, especially in the Hyatt Palm Springs' case...

This scribe loves how this sleek, Modernist bathroom is done all in pink marble and they built a vanity table into the nook of a corner, with three-ways mirrors to fix yourself in 360 degrees which leads up to...

The bedroom which has....

A patio balcony where you can sip your beverage overlooking...

The private golf course, too bad hotel guests can't tee off there but what a view of the mountain range above and the course below.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of good restaurants in Palm Springs and thank god, the Hyatt has a fitness center to burn off the calories.

Strolling up and down main street Palm Springs, you'll encounter a Modernist Diner with a bustling crowd and a eclectic menu.  That's Lulu California Bistro For lunch, this Southern scribe lunched on Seafood Chowder, dotted with bay scallops and a generous portion of fried oysters.  Who would had known there will be some decent seafood in a desert oasis?  Very assured and glad to know.

Okay, time to return for dinner at SHARE Restaurant at the Hyatt...

Sure, the HooDoo Cocktail Garden is the new addition to the Hyatt but don't overlook its main restaurant, SHARE Restaurant.

The Giant Prawn & Noodle Salad started off the dinner. This would be make a great lunch.
The middle entree was the Smoked Duck with tortellini but this scribe's favorite is a classic, Angus Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes and Spinach.  Can't go wrong with that.

The bartender at SHARE Restaurant was kind enough to whip up these "dessert Coladas," Raspberry-Strawberry Colada then the special "Orange Creamsicle" Colada.  You can take them to chill at...

the pool and the cabanas.  The pool area also has its own lounge and poolside cafe if you want to throw an outdoor event.

When this scribe was checking out and about to return to reality, the Snow Crab Omelet with Roasted Potatoes and Sourdough Toast, washed down with orange juice was a great wake-up call.

Their berry smoothie was something any wise traveler should hit the road with.  It'll help ease the hangover, alongside the omelet.

The Buzz Bar program at the Hyatt Palm Springs is running right now, perfect for Memorial Day and will last until the end of May.

Regardless, if there's a Buzz Bar program or not, the Hyatt Palm Springs is riding the wave of Palm Springs resurgence.  There's construction of an upscale mall next door to the hotel.  The connecting walkway will link up where the lobby artium is located, providing a direct passage to and from the mall.

Speaking of artium...

The airy and spacious lobby has an atrium with these lovely curtain tents/booths where weddings have been held and big event parties thrown.  These would be ideal for a gifting suite.

Across from the atrium lobby is a piano lounge, great for visiting Coachella musicians.

But for the rest of the year, the Hyatt Palm Springs is a great place to stay while soaking up Palm Springs' Mid-Century, Modernist history and heritage.  Again, a great place to "pull a Don Draper" and pretend you're living "Mad Men" Episode 211, "The Jet-Set."

The Hyatt Palm Springs is located at 285 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California, USA92262, (760) 322-9000 and

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