SWANK STAY: While the new Saguaro Palm Springs doesn't have much in common with an actual saguaro cactus, we can probably find a few parallels without making too much of a stretch. The first one? Both the colorful hotel, which is located in a refurbished 177 inn on the corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Sunrise, and the towering succulent, which can be found dotting the Sonoran desert, are eye-catching. But while the saguaro cactus is mostly green, and sometimes a beautiful blue-gray after a rain, the Saguaro Palm Springs boasts several bright primary colors. This will likely be its main calling card, the fact that it looks very much like one of those paper paint strips you find at the hardware store (said in highly complimentary fashion, of course). It's pretty wowza.
ALSO WOWZA? The local plantlife that lends the property its "only in Palm Springs" air. The centrally located pool (plan on a convivial sunshine scene). And Iron Chef's own Jose Garces, who will be overseeing the menus. We do have one question, though, about the Joie de Vivre property; will guests begin to request certain color balconies? Say, if someone is in a deep pink mood, will they ask for a room on the pink row? The rooms'll start at $189 for weeknights during the P.S. peak season, more for weekends. The opening date is Wednesday, Feb. 1. That's pretty "only in Palm Springs," too; a hotel opening in the heart of winter. But you've heard about the saguaro, right? They live for a very long time and they're able to weather a lot. Little birds nest in 'em, too, cactus wrens. And right there is our last parallel: A saguaro can make a find place to bed down for the night.