Sands Hotel and Spa

By Shivana Maharaj
November 21, 2018

City Style and Living Magazine Winter 2018 Travel Greater Palm Springs California Sands Hotel and Spa Sunset Pool and inside room

/ The central pool at sunset; Inside the room, chic decor abounds; K&S Media

City Style and Living Magazine Winter 2018 Travel Greater Palm Springs California Sands Hotel and Spa Moroccan Lobby

/ Moroccan touches inside the hotel lobby; K&S Media

Step into a kaleidoscope of vintage Hollywood glamour, sleek mid-century modern design, with a nod to exotic Marrakech, and a healthy dose of millennial pink thanks to an A-list interior decorator at this newly opened boutique hotel.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s eclectic combination of exotic-meets-retro is anything but formulaic.  Against its bright exterior, a black arched door leads to the hotel lobby, a study in graphic black and white and gold.  An oversize ceiling-to-floor black framed Moorish-style mirror hangs on one wall, while a central octagonal table holds a tray of delicate golden trinkets and a bright floral arrangement.

City Style and Living Magazine Winter 2018 Travel Greater Palm Springs California Sands Hotel and Spa Palm tree door and inside bathroom

/ K&S Media

The Moroccan them continues at the spa, where feminine hammam décor rules. Think, with filigree Moroccan lamp chandelier, silver sequin embroidered pillows and small gold side tables, evoking a slice of Fez in Indian Wells.

Rooms are arranged on two levels, in a horseshoe, centered on the large pool, where shiny palm trees emblazon doors. Inside, there is a well-stocked white mirrored bar, king sized bed with plush blue flourished headboards and framed portraits of female film stars hang on walls.  The black and white checkerboard tiled floor echoed in the enclosed shower elegantly plays against the pink walls, marble sink with gold hardware and yellow packaging of luxurious Acqua Di Parma amenities.

City Style and Living Magazine Winter 2018 Travel Greater Palm Springs California Sands Spa and Pink Cabana barman Ari

/ Moroccan flourishes at The Sands hotel & Spa; Barman Ari at Sands Hotel and Spa serves up a cocktail; K&S Media

It’s at the hotel’s restaurant The Pink Cabana, though, where the heart of the property lies. Paying homage to tennis clubs of the 1950s, executive chef Jason Niederkorn’s French training and the influence of Morocco and the Mediterranean (Jerez vinaigrette, chicken tagine batbout sandwich), results in a succinct, well composed menu with truly memorable results. Golden fried calamari and crisp red crab beignets with harissa aioli, make ideal shareable bites, while at the bar, spice-route influenced cocktails take centre stage. 

City Style and Living Magazine Winter 2018 Travel Greater Palm Springs California Pink Cabana waiter greg and calamari

/ Waiter Greg sits near the bar at The Sands hotel & Spa; Mediterranean meets North African fare served alongside stellar cocktails at The Pink Cabana at Sands Hotel and Spa; K&S Media

It’s here too that a palpable sense of staff camaraderie truly makes a mark. Waiter Greg’s elegant manner and soft spoken warmth make the afternoon pass by with a renewed sense of optimism, barman Ari proudly details the collaboration between the chef and waiters here, while another waiter Jose, unknowingly summarizes my experience this way, “I remember making cocktails by the pool with Ari when Pink Cabana was just being built.  We have an amazing group, and we’re just so proud to be here and want to make sure everyone has the best experience.”  Job, done.


Want More Palm Springs?  This original hotel article first appeared in the Winter 2018/19 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

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