The Saguaro is a large tree-like cactus, but it's also a Palm Springs landmark hotel that you must visit at least once.

The hotel opened in 2012 as The International, then became a Ramada, a Holiday Inn before becoming The Saguaro Palm Springs, inaugurated in 2018.

It stands as the most photographed hotel in the Coachella Valley, captivating visitors with its vibrant ambiance and dynamic offerings. Architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat curated a striking color scheme, utilizing 14 hues inspired by the native flowers of the desert landscape, adorning the 244-room property with a kaleidoscope of colors. I was lucky enough to stay there in 2023 and here are some photos and tips for you.

Renowned for its lively poolside atmosphere and the authentic Mexican cantina, El Jefe, the hotel has become a beloved destination for travelers. Embracing Palm Springs’ colorful spirit, The Saguaro hosts an array of events throughout the year, ranging from lively bachelorette and bachelor parties to the electrifying Splash House music festival.

If you want to take photos, my advice is to do so early in the morning. The pool, if memory serves, opens at 8:00 am, and at that hour the light changes rapidly and can quickly become harsh. So if you really want to take photos with the pool, get up early. The rest of the time, it’s a bit crowded.

All set

The hotel’s outdoor courtyard and expansive swimming pool, one of the largest in the region, serve as vibrant hubs for social gatherings and celebrations.

It may be unusual for us European tourists, but it’s possible to reserve a daybed or a cabana around the pool. In this case, the team prepares towels and sunscreen.

Recent renovations have enhanced the hotel’s appeal for weddings and special events, with the introduction of the Sago Terrace. Seamlessly connected to the Sago Ballroom, this versatile space features motorized retractable awnings, custom lighting, contemporary steel cable railings, and picturesque views of the courtyard, San Jacinto event lawn, and pool area.

When I was there, it was a pool party with DJ on Saturday afternoons, and Sunday afternoons were taken up with birthday parties.

Nestled in a richly colored city with distinctive architecture

Don’t miss the hotel’s exterior, which is just as striking: the architects have taken advantage of the bare facades by adding color, and the sad stairwells have been given a splash of color, with the color palette proudly displayed on the south facade.

When I travel a long way, I sometimes have to forget about the time of destination. This makes it possible to get up early and go to bed late, to take advantage of the most beautiful light.”

These photos were taken early in the morning to get the best light. However, we have to deal with the building’s cast shadows. It was already warm, and a beautiful day (there are 350 days of good weather in Palm Springs) was ahead. Once I’d taken my photos, I set off to scour the city’s streets in search of beautiful homes in the Desert Modernism style, and you can see the rest on my Instagram.

Address:  1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, California

GPS: Lattitude: 33.80188, Longitude : -116.527571

Phone number: +1 760-323-1711

Website: visit website

Opening hours: all year round, 24 hours a day

Rates: visit website for the best prices

My opinion of the Saguaro

The Saguaro is clearly the hotel to stay at in Palm Springs. It may not be the most luxurious or the coziest, but it’s an icon of the city and you’re bound to regret not going there. My advice is to spend two nights there (or more if you like it and if it’s convenient for you), so you can walk around it and stroll through the nearby residential areas (maybe you’ll see the pink flamingos or the Chevrolet Corvette I had the pleasure of photographing). For photographers, it’s a great base, and you can easily leave town for the desert, the Salton Sea or the cable car…


These pictures were taken during a long spring road trip accross California, Nevada, Arizona and even Texas!

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