Most guides to Palm Springs mention Ace Hotel so we went to investigate what all the fuss is about…

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The laid back lobby area…

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The popular pool area is the main draw for hipsters to soak up the rays, people watch and down cocktails…

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No time for a dip…we were there to fill our tums before exploring more of Palm Springs! We satisfied Hubby's diner cravings at the King's Highway diner…

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The adjoining Amigo Room is a cavernous bar that had a touch of Robert Rodriguez about it.

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The banquet tables are covered with (real?) Mexican bank notes…

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It's fitting that Palm Springs should host the 3 storey high Forever Marilyn statue for what would have been her 85th birthday this year, as Marilyn Monroe was a frequent visitor and was "discovered" here.

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Palm Springs has the largest concentration of Mid-Century modern architecture. Since the 1920s, visionary architects have designed sleek, modern homes that incorporated the desert landscape. The dramatic geographic surroundings of the Coachella Valley inspired a design aesthetic in the middle of the 20th Century now called Desert Modernism. Noted for using glass, clean lines, natural and manufactured resources, modern construction techniques and indoor/outdoor spaces, Desert Modernism evoked a lifestyle of simple elegance.

Allow me to take you on a little architecture tour…

The Palm Springs Official Visitors Centre, which was once the Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers…

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Architect Donald Wexler helped define Palm Springs as a centre for Mid-Century modernism. He also experimented in homes built with prefabricated steel parts. However, the high cost of the prefabricated building parts made the homes highly impractical. Only seven were actually built.

Hubby and I couldn't believe that this beautiful Wexler steel home on Sunny View Drive was abandoned…

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I've seen photographs of the Kaufmann House (aka Kaufmann Desert House) in books and was eager to see it up close and real. The house is set away from the gates and obscured by walls and boulders. Well…if you owned this beauty, wouldn't you want some privacy and do the same?

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Another architectual gem…

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The mountains serve as a grand backdrop in Palm Springs…

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This spaceship-esque house built by Robert Alexander is known as Elvis' Honeymoon Getaway – Elvis And Priscilla Presley honeymooned and lived here in 1967.

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Check out the musical clefs on the side gates…

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These are just some of the buildings we sighted on our architecture pilgrimage and I would recommend anyone going to Palm Springs to take a little time out to check out the Desert Modernist homes and Mid-Century designer furniture.

Viva Palm Springs!

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