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Our 9 favorite points hotels in the Palm Springs area

[The Points Guy] Our 9 favorite points hotels in the Palm Springs area: Palm Springs, California, has long been an oasis for Southern Californians — and those from further afield — looking to escape the busyness of daily life with a trip to the desert.
Set in the stunning Sonoran Desert and surrounded by mountains (that often have snow at the top, even in the summer!), the Palm Springs area has something for everyone. The weather is great year-round (though it gets very hot in the summer; it is the desert after all). There’s an abundance of golf courses and tennis courts plus a plethora of cultural attractions and a vibrant dining and drinking scene.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers — and the travel industry — have realized the potential of this destination as a perfect pandemic retreat.
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The city and surrounding area have actually benefitted tremendously from the shift in travel preferences away from crowded cities and international destinations for places closer to home with lots of outdoor space. In fact, the nation’s major airlines are starting new flights to the desert city, betting that it’ll remain a popular destination for Americans looking to get away from the monotony of everyday life during the pandemic.
Predictably, as the popularity of Palm Springs has increased over the years, there are numerous top-notch resorts that cater to a wide range of people, from a solo traveler looking to get away from it all to those seeking a family-friendly spot to let the kids burn off some of that pent-up energy in the great outdoors.
The four major hotel chains — Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott — all have properties in the area, but as you’ll see in the list below, those with Marriott Bonvoy points to burn are spoiled for choice, whereas those loyal to any of the other three chains won’t be able to be as picky.
Let’s take a look at the top points hotels in the area, should you want to take advantage of all the new flight options into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and enjoy a desert vacation.
Related: How to use points to book 9 unforgettable wellness retreats
Top Hilton hotels in the Palm Springs area
Miramonte Indian Wells Resort and Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton
In the town of Indian Wells — about 30 minutes by car from both Palm Springs International Airport and downtown Palm Springs — the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort and Spa feels like a tranquil desert retreat. This sprawling desert resort has 215 rooms, suites and villas spread across 11 acres of beautifully landscaped property at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Enjoy the resort’s three pools, a renowned Well Spa, access to tennis and golf, two restaurants and more.
Best of all, the prices at this resort are reasonable. The property is accepting reservations from Dec. 1, 2020, onward, with rates as low as $160 or 35,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
La Quinta Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
In La Quinta, just over a half-hour from the airport, the La Quinta Resort and Club is spread across a whopping 45 acres and has an equally eye-popping 41 pools and 53 hot tubs across the resort. Even the base rooms are casita-style, adding even more of a sense of privacy and space to this already-gigantic property. In addition to all those pools, the resort features a fitness center and spa, 21 hard and clay tennis courts and a staggering five golf courses.
Rooms at this Waldorf Astoria property can be had for as little as $219 or 44,000 Honors points per night. If your Hilton Honors balance is lacking, consider singing up for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Related: Hilton Honors Amex Aspire card review
Top IHG hotel in the Palm Springs area
Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs
Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the relatively new Kimpton Rowan pays homage to the area’s mid-century roots with a stylish exterior and even better interior. Spacious, airy and modern, the guest rooms evoke the mid-century glamour that Palm Springs is famous for, but also remind you that you’re in a new, 21st-century property. Guests can enjoy views of the mountains from the restaurant’s outdoor dining terrace and spend a day sipping cocktails by the rooftop pool for a thoroughly Instagrammable vacation in the desert.
A room at the Kimpton Rowan can be had for around $240 or 37,500 IHG Rewards Club points per night. If you’d like to use your points for a getaway, but find yourself short, consider opening the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Related: IHG Rewards Club Premier card review
Top Hyatt hotel in the Palm Springs area
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa
If you’re traveling to the Palm Springs area with kids in tow, look no further than the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa, about a half-hour drive from PSP. The recently renovated property opened a new waterpark with dual waterslides, lazy river and splash pads, perfect to keep the kiddos entertained while the adults relax poolside with a cold beverage in hand.
Rooms at this Category 5 World of Hyatt property can be had for as little as about $200 per night or 20,000 points per night. Remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the World of Hyatt program, meaning you could earn at least four nights at this property simply from earning the bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred review
Alternatively, you could look to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points — 25,000 after spending $3,000 within the first three months and another 25,000 after spending $6,000 within the first six months of account opening.
Related: World of Hyatt card review
Top Marriott hotels in the Palm Springs area
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
About a 20-minute drive from PSP sits (very fittingly on Frank Sinatra Drive) The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. Set atop a cliff, the property affords stunning views of the Coachella Valley below and the mountains further in the distance. Base rooms are plenty spacious at 450 square feet, and many feature spectacular vistas of the area’s terrain. Enjoy two pools, two full restaurants in addition to a pool bar as well as a five-star spa with 16 private treatment rooms during your stay.
Rooms at this Category 7 Bonvoy property can be had from $270 or from 50,000?70,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay. If you’re able to find an off-peak night at this property, it would be eligible for the up to 50,000-point free-night certificate that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant? American Express® Card.
Related: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card review
Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa, Indian Wells
This newly renovated Indian Wells resort is a desert oasis, with two golf courses, multiple restaurants, a full spa and a large resort pool with a sandy entrance on one side, perfect for the kids. After a full day of fun in the sun, retire to a bright and airy room with decor that channels the area’s midcentury design aesthetic.
Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $180 or from 40,000?60,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay. If you’re to find nights with standard or off-peak availability, it would be eligible for the 50,000-point free-night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa
In nearby Palm Desert — just over 20 minutes from PSP and downtown Palm Springs — is the venerable JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa. Opened in 1987, the resort has been a fixture in the area ever since. This massive, 884-room property has nine food-and-beverage outlets, four pools (as well as one spa pool), a gym, spa, two championship golf courses, 15 hard, three clay and even two grass tennis courts and more.
Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $199 or from 40,000?60,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay. If you’re to find nights with standard or off-peak availability, it would be eligible for the 50,000-point free-night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.
Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm Springs, a member of Design Hotels
If you’re looking for a chic urban getaway, look no further than the Avalon Hotel and Bungalows in downtown Palm Springs. With just 67 rooms and suites, you’ll feel like you’re at a boutique property with plenty of space to breathe. Accommodations range from studio guest rooms to private villas and all feature a modern take on the mid-century glamour of the city. The property features three swimming pools, a restaurant helmed by Jason Moffitt, an intimate spa and more.
Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $127 or from 40,000?60,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay. If you’re to find nights with standard or off-peak availability, it would be eligible for the 50,000-point free-night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection
The Hotel Paseo in downtown Palm Desert opened to much fanfare in 2018. With the shops, galleries and restaurants of the city’s El Paseo street — known as “the Rodeo Drive of the desert” — just steps away, a stay here will have you feeling like you’re in the middle of it all until you remember that you’re in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. The vibe is unapologetically modern and playful in its design, with bright yellow umbrellas surrounding the pool and quirky artwork lining the hallways. Instead of a full golf course, you have a putting green here (in addition to the outdoor pool and lawn with a cornhole setup), but you’re not staying here to escape it all, but rather be in the middle of it all.
The hotel is currently accepting reservations from Oct. 1, 2020, onward. Rooms at this Category 6 Bonvoy property can be booked from $200 or from 40,000?60,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay. If you’re to find nights with standard or off-peak availability, it would be eligible for the 50,000-point free-night certificate that comes with the Bonvoy Brilliant card.
Featured photo by Pgiam/Getty Images.

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