I rarely devote an entire post to a specific hotel, but I’ve just discovered one that deserves this special honour: The Orbit In, in Palm Springs, California.
The Orbit In is a small boutique hotel that has been lovingly restored to its original Mid-Century modern design. The minute you walk through the entrance gate, you are transported to another era and a place of soothing calm. The 9 rooms face an inner courtyard with a gleaming saline pool, retro sun umbrellas, and outdoor bar—a haven of clean lines and minimalist style, accentuated by the towering palms and monochromatic hues of the desert hills visible above the low profile building.
This place could easily have fallen into the “kitsch” trap, and the designers of the Orbit In should be commended for their tasteful interpretation of Mid-Century modern architecture, furnishings, and decor. With names like the Leopard Lounge, Atomic Paradise, and Rat Pack, each of the comfortable studios is unique, with vintage furniture and original posters and artwork. You’ll think you stepped onto a stylish Mad Men set.
If you’re worried that earlier era design means compromising modern-day comfort and convenience, don’t be. The suites all have flat panel HDTV’s, free WiFi, and luxurious linens, towels and robes.
Beyond the great architecture and period accuracy, the Orbit In is just darn good fun. The studios come with record players and we were in nostalgic bliss listening to tunes from our youth (and earlier)— Peter Paul and Mary, Paul Simon, The BeeGees. Every evening, the congenial owners, Ginny and Kevin, host a happy hour at the pool bar. Guests mingle while sipping on “Orbitini” cocktails and wine.
The Orbit In takes hospitality a notch above most other places. Instead of a token bottle of water in the room, or expensive mini-bar, the Orbit In has a large beverage fridge in the pool area where guests help themselves to soft drinks (no extra charge). Complementary coffee, tea, orange-infused water, and snacks are available all day. Forgot your sunscreen, or sunburn remedies? There’s an assortment of skin products conveniently placed at the pool bar. Need some exercise? Grab a complementary bike, complete with helmet, lock, and map. Continental breakfast is also included: a delicious, healthy affair with “upscale fruit” (no offense to the banana and apple). There’s no skimping, or nickel and diming at this place.
And did I mention location: perfect. The Orbit In is a short walk to the shops and restaurants of old Palm Springs, but it’s tucked away on a quiet street, so noise is never a problem.
The Orbit In is ranked number one on TripAdvisor in the specialty hotels category for Palm Springs. It gets glowing reviews, and it’s usually fully booked (we got in on a last minute cancellation). My expectations for the place were sky high, and it did not disappoint. It was a great way to kick off our 20th wedding anniversary.