Southern California

10 Palm Springs Family Resorts and Hotels Full of Desert Delights

Local writer Melissa Klurman takes you through the top 10 Palm Springs family resorts and hotels for family fun under the sun.

Every day starts the same on my Palm Springs family vacations. My son jumps out of bed, throws on his swimming trunks, and makes a beeline to the shimmering pool. No need to look at the sky or check the weather report since the sun is always gloriously shining in the Coachella Valley desert (360 days a year, according to the local tourist board). Anywhere else I might complain about all the early morning splashing, but honestly, I’m delighted to have an excuse to sit under the brilliant blue skies, looking at the towering San Jacinto Mountains and sipping my coffee while planning our day.

Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley may be best known for its swinging Rat Pack history and destination music festival, but it’s also a fantastic getaway for families with plenty to entertain kids and adults alike. I’ve been visiting the Coachella Valley for more than a decade, and from the rotating Palm Spring Aerial Tramway (the tallest in the world) to the otherworldly landscape of the San Andreas fault, the Seussian world of Joshua Tree National Park to the fascinating animals at the Living Desert Zoo, I’ve discovered a myriad of outdoor wonders that can entertain kids for days.

Best of all, there are design-savvy hotels right in the heart of downtown that offer family-friendly pools and spacious rooms. And in Greater Palm Springs, you’ll find amenity-filled resorts that feel like luxurious desert oases. Regardless of which you choose, everyone in the family can spend time enjoying the desert sun and scenery in style and comfort at one of these Palm Springs family resorts and hotels.

Welcome To Splashtopia


Be prepared to spend at least a day trying out the resort’s massive Splashtopia water park when you stay at the expansive Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage. There’s a lazy river, water slides, sand beach, and water play area with fountains and sprinklers, not to mention a snack bar and several pools just to swim and cool off in as well.

Poolside rooms provide furnished patios and ground floor access to all the water fun so you don’t need to drip through the hotel on your way back from the pool. Another perk: The Omni Kids Crew provides a backpack full of fun diversions for kids when they check-in, including activity books, stickers, crayons, binoculars, cards and games, and they also send up cookies and milk to young guests the first night of their stay.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

Top rated
Rancho Mirage
8.6 Excellent (2536 reviews)

Get Your Banana Pancakes


A former Holiday Inn painted in a rainbow palette of popsicle-bright colors, The Saguaro is sure to get your brood’s attention. Every room here has a private balcony or patio so the kids can get some fresh air without having to get out of their PJs. The large pool is adjacent to a great outdoor restaurant that serves up breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks where your little ones can eat their banana pancakes with their toes almost in the pool.

El Jefe restaurant serves all-day Mexican street food with $4 tacos on Tuesday and Thursday, another kid pleaser. Bikes are available to borrow to explore the central Palm Springs neighborhood, and the Moorten Botanical Garden is right down the street.

The Saguaro Palm Springs

Palm Springs
7.6 Good (3633 reviews)

Between Wet n' Wild Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway


Perfectly located in between the water antics of the Wet n’ Wild Palm Springs and the rotating Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Hilton Palm Springs offers a full array of comforts for families, including kids menus and highchairs in restaurants and full-size cribs for use in any of the accommodations, including the family-friendly suites and poolside rooms.

The lushly landscaped pool is completely climate-controlled, which means it’s heated in the winter months and chilled during the warmer season, making any day a great day for a swim. And there’s no need to leave the pool area when hunger strikes. Poolside snacks are served at the Al Fresco bar, plus there’s casual all-day dining at the open-air Terrace restaurant.

Hilton Palm Springs

Palm Springs
8.4 Very good (2202 reviews)

Funk and Fun Luxury


Funky and fun, this luxury hotel decorated by design star Jonathon Adler spreads across 13 lush acres with three pools, clay tennis courts, petanque, and croquet. A definite highlight of Le Parker M for kids is Norma’s, the Willy Wonka of breakfast restaurants, with highlights like Chocolate Decadence French Toast and Irresistible Macadamia Banana Flap Jacks under the “Mom Can’t Make This” menu heading (there are even sky-high piles of pancakes for dinner).

Rooms offer the same charm as the restaurant, with “Hammock” Rooms that have private patios with swinging hammocks and Lanai Rooms that lead directly to the pool. These stand-alone, one-bedroom villas are another great family option.

Le Parker M

Top rated
Palm Springs
8.6 Excellent (652 reviews)

A Retreat in the Desert


This four-acre, beautifully manicured retreat feels like it’s in a secluded corner of the desert, but the Avalon Palm Springs only two short blocks from plenty of kid-friendly dining (such as Taqueria Tlaquepaque for tacos and fajitas or Woody’s Palm House for burgers and fries) and the drool-worthy shops, including the stylish bathing suits at Canyon Beachwear. The luxe Spanish stunner mixes classic Palm Springs history with modern interiors created by celebrity designer Kelly Wearstler for a chic retreat that stills feel welcoming to families.

Dip into one of the three pools, all surrounded by palm trees and green lawns, play some corn hole or croquet, and lounge out with views of the San Jacinto Mountains. The big draw here for families are the bungalows, all of which are chicly styled and have full kitchens, private patios, complimentary cribs, and of course lots of room to stretch out.

Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs, a Member of Design Hotels

Palm Springs
8.2 Very good (2193 reviews)

A Hotel with Rat Pack History


Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin once lounged at the pool here, and The Riviera is still infused with the ring-a-ding-ding Rat Pack history, but a recent renovation has turned these 24 acres at the base of the spectacular San Jacinto Mountains into a modern resort, including updated amenities and services. Rooms are bright, modern, and most importantly for families, spacious, and there’s a range of suites with separate bedrooms and pullout couches to fit the whole crew.

There are two pools with plenty of space to spread out and poolside snack and drinks service from the Soleil Pool Bar. For dinner, the kids can get chicken tenders on the patio Café Palmetto while the adults order up a proper cocktail and California cuisine with a stunning view of the mountain.

Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs

Palm Springs
7.2(416 reviews)

A True Desert Oasis


You’ll feel like you’ve arrived at a true desert oasis when you pull into the JW Marriott where water is all around, including five massive pools connected by waterways traversed by gondolas. Another watery highlight: an island filled with live flamingos.

It’s tough to pull kids away from all the fun outside, but they’ll want to come in to try the Mikado Japanese Steak House, where dinner comes with a show as the chefs twirl their knives and cook in front of you. The Marriott golf club lets kids play for free with a paying adult so the whole family can hit the links together. The resort is also less than a 10-minute drive from the captivating Children’s Discovery Center, which offers hands-on activities for toddlers through grade-schoolers, and The Living Desert Zoo where you can feed a giraffe and visit with desert-adapted animals big and small.

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Top rated
Palm Desert
8.6 Excellent (5039 reviews)

On-Site Babysitter


This massive 360-acre resort in Rancho Mirage has plenty of space to offer activities for every interest, including three resort-size pools, two championship golf courses, bike trails, volleyball courts, miniature golf, and a kids club. The Westin Mission Hills is also conveniently located near I-10, which makes it easy to explore the hiking trails and fascinating foliage of Joshua Tree National Park.

The resort also offers to babysit, so you can enjoy a grown-up night of tapas at the Fireside Lounge (don’t worry, there are plenty of kid-friendly dining options here, too, including poolside Las Brisas Café for burgers). Spacious rooms have two queen beds or a king and a pull-out couch (a rarity).

The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa

Rancho Mirage
8.0 Very good (4477 reviews)

41 Pools!


Yes, you read that right. There are 41 pools on site at La Quinta Resort, a Waldorf Astoria resort, including a kid-friendly resort pool, lap pools, private suite pools, and tucked away casitas pools. Basically, there’s a watery option for every mood and day of your stay.

Lodging options include spacious casitas, villas, and suites. Many of the latter have private pools and yards while resort casitas have gas fireplaces. Poolside options offer close access to many of the myriad of small swimming pool options.

No need to leave the resort when it’s time to eat. Al fresco Courtside Café offers up burgers and light kids bites or take advantage of the babysitting services to try the resort’s romantic Morgan’s in the Desert.

La Quinta Resort & Club, Curio Collection

Top rated
La Quinta
8.7 Excellent (2300 reviews)

Water Slides and S'mores


The seven pools, 60-foot spiral water slide, and the Desert Pipe endless wave will probably catch your kids’ eyes at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa (there’s also wading pool for tots), but there’s plenty more going on here for families.

There are bikes to borrow, two golf courses to practice your swing and family movie nights and s’more making, plus Camp Hyatt has programs for kids 5 to 12 with a fun combo of outdoor scavenger hunts and nature walks and indoor arts and crafts and games. When it’s time for a break, the Roadrunner Café is a kid favorite for their smoothies, burgers, hot dogs, and fries served poolside.

A mix of traditional rooms (with connecting options), suites, and villas give families a variety of options at different price points to plan their stay in Indian Wells.

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

Top rated
Indian Wells
8.6 Excellent (2373 reviews)

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