Rocking Out at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
Opening night like whoa at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
Phantogram’s dreamy street beats blasted as the crowd cheered on, saluting them with gin and tonics in one hand, iPhones in the other. Bellies filled with comfort food, from made-to-order mac and cheese to bite-size street tacos. Cameras flashed. Drag queens gallivanted. Audrina Patridge of “The Hills” smashed a guitar into pieces. “Workaholics” star Anders Holm DJed a set of 90s soul and hip hop hits for the VIP after party. And then, there was the after-after party. No, the Hard Rock Palm Hotel Springs did not go gentle into opening night—it rocked the fuck out.
This was all part of the master plan, according to Richard Beas, director of entertainment and vibe manager (yes, this is really his title).
“I have worked at two other Hard Rock Hotel properties in Mexico, but I have to say that our grand opening party at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs was probably the coolest thing I have done,” said Beas. “As director of entertainment and vibe, you control the feeling of the hotel. It is like being a DJ and reading the crowd as they’re dancing.”
Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs bills itself as the place "where everyone is famous," and this motto is applied from the moment guests check in. The front desk can arrange for a cherry red Fender Stratocaster and an amplifier delivered right to the room or, if a guest wants to unleash his inner Calvin Harris, a Traktor S2 DJ controller and laptop with a stereo system, are only a phone call away.
Guestrooms, of which there are 163, feature music-inspired design from bedding embroidered with guitars to room numbers accentuated with classic rock albums, such as Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” or The Rolling Stones’ “Tattoo You.” Rooms also offer complimentary Wi-Fi access, 42-inch flat-screen televisions with more than 50 channels and either balconies, patios or direct pool access. The one-bedroom Rock Star Suite, which starts at $1,500 per night, promises ample room for the after parties, VIP treatment and prestige—there’s only one of these babies on property, so have your entourage book in advance.
The hotel wouldn’t be a Hard Rock if it didn’t showcase rare memorabilia, and the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs certainly pays tribute to local music culture with its bespoke collection. In tribute to Palm Springs’ Rat Pack history, read a letter penned by Frank Sinatra for his then-wife, actress Mia Farrow or gawk at a pair of teeny tiny shorty shorts worn by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1974. Recalling the region’s more recent history, the hotel pays homage to Coachella and Stagecoach with memorabilia from Weezer (Brian Bell’s Gibson Les Paul), Johnny Cash (an autographed corduroy jacket and a thank you letter) and The Hives (and autographed Epiphone guitar), among others.
To strengthen its ties with the community and earn street cred, the hotel is partnering with Coachella promoters Goldenvoice during the month of April for themed parties and events, still TBA.
“A lot of our events are top secret for now, but I can tell you it will blow peoples' minds,” said a tight-lipped Beas. “Guests with poolside views always get the best action.”
Also to come in 2014 are a live venue, a club and a signature restaurant. For now, guests can get a bite at Sessions, which serves breakfast and bloody Marys all day long as well as American classics and Southern cuisine for lunch and dinner. They can also hit the pool or the “Hello I Love You” lobby bar for handmade cocktails and loud music. After a night of partying like a VIP, head to the hotel’s full-service spa, which opened its doors last week. It’s another surefire way to massage the ego.
Visit the Hard Rock Palm Springs Hotel’s website here.
My visit to the Hard Rock Palm Springs Hotel was made possible by the hotel itself. Views expressed are my own.