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Descanso is Palm Springs' newest Gay resort

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Photo courtesy of Descanso Resort
Photo courtesy of Descanso Resort

The luxury property is the first to go Gay in the city in more than a decade.

Descanso is the first resort for Gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and "the response has been beyond expectations," said General Manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, although some weeknights are still available during Pride month.

Taylor said the trend among the area's Gay resorts in recent years has been to go straight, and his property was one of the first to do so. Formerly called East Canyon, it lasted as a straight resort for about four years.

Photo courtesy of Descanso Resort  

Now, however, the property has been completely renovated and has reopened with amenities "to create a special men's experience," Taylor said. Currently the resort features 14 rooms, but two more will come online once they've been refurbished to Descanso standards. Rooms feature king-size beds.

There is also a heated saltwater pool with a spa. For relief from the heat, an outdoor misting system moderates the temperature. Breakfast and "stay-and-splash poolside lunch" are included with the room rates. A cantina offers complimentary snacks and beverages. For dinner, plenty of restaurants are within walking distance.

Many guests arrive by car, and those vehicles can remain parked throughout in the off-street, overnight parking the resort provides.

For those who prefer to mix their pool time with sightseeing, there's plenty to see and do in Palm Springs, and the resort lies just two blocks from the beginning of the city's commercial area.

First on the list for anyone from the flatlands of Texas has to be the aerial tramway. Get a fantastic view of the Coachella Valley from 8,500 feet high in the sky. When you reach the top, you can enjoy the trails and hiking as well as a restaurant, bar, and cafeteria.

For zoo lovers, Taylor said, the 1,200-acre Living Desert is ranked among the top 10 in the US. Visiting in summer when the temperature in Palm Springs often soars over 100 during the day? Go for a night walk instead for a nocturnal zoo experience.

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern architecture and a variety of stores that feature furniture from that period. To tour the neighborhoods, Taylor said the best way is by bike, which Descanso offers complimentary to its guests.

The city is also known as a celebrity hangout and hideaway. Stars have lived in this desert resort since the 1920s, and others have been frequent visitors. Sonny Bono served as the city's mayor. To honor them, the Palm Springs Walk of Stars features blocks of sidewalk stars, including one for Dallas favorite Del Shores (Sordid Lives) at 538 N. Palm Canyon Drive.

If you're looking for museums, Palm Springs has one of the country's top air and space museums as well as an art museum that's quite good.

The city recently saw the 2022 version of its biggest Gay event, the White Party, the granddaddy of circuit parties. Pride weekend is held during cooler weather, though; this year it's scheduled for Nov. 3-6. Leather Pride Weekend is Oct. 27-30, and Western Exposure's Dadfest celebrates daddies on July 4; Descanso recommends the all-day pool party as the best way to enjoy the event.

Next year's Palm Springs International Film Festival takes place Jan. 4-15. It is one of the largest in North America, attracting 135,000 people.

Joshua Tree National Park is an hour's drive from town. This portion of the Mojave Desert ecosystem features the spiky Joshua trees, enormous boulders, and a surprising variety of wildlife in this desert habitat.

Many Descanso guests just remain on property during their stay, enjoying the resort experience and walking or Ubering to nearby restaurants for dinner, Taylor said. On its website, the staff's picks of favorite restaurants include something for everyone.

Fisherman's Market, located downtown, is recommended as "definitely a great place for fish and chips, grilled seafood" (in the desert!).

Al Dente and Il Corso are the staff picks for Italian food. Jake's is an American bistro. Johannes is a "local favorite" for modern European cuisine by an Austrian-born chef. The Sandwich Spot offers "fun concept sandwiches. Not your standard sub shop."

A number of Mexican offerings include La Bonita's; Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, home to Palm Springs' original drag brunch; and La Tablita in neighboring Cathedral City, which is listed as "absolutely a local favorite."

More information about Descanso can be found at https://descansoresort.com/