Explore a Desert Island in Palm Springs - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Explore a Desert Island in Palm Springs

tiki hotel

Welcome to the Tiki Hotel

When you travel, you crave a sense of discovery. Every restaurant, shop and landmark adds to your mental scrapbook, fleshing out a life well lived. But when you find a special spot or style, it’s more than just a neat happenstance; it feels like part of you.

Case in point: Tiki Hotel. The word tiki conjures images of dayglow floral shirts and laid back sensibilities, but it is firmly rooted in ancient Polynesian lore. Tiki was the name of the first man in Maori mythology, much like Adam and Eve symbolize the inaugural Christian beings. So, when you connect with tiki iconography, you are aligning with aesthetics that date back to the very formation of humanity.

tiki hotel pool

Meet Tiki Hotel Owner Tracy Turco

That same spirit of discovery is galvanized into the foundations of the Tiki Hotel. “Tiki culture is right up my alley,” beams the resort’s Owner and Designer, Tracy Turco.

“It’s a full on theme, not just what you wear,” she explains. “From the decorations to the table settings. It’s very tropical, but not just the Polynesian style I like. I like the vintage throwback style that they celebrate in Palm Springs, so I thought, ‘That’s so unique.’ It reminded me of all the pin-up girls and all the hula girls. When I was in I think it was in second grade, I was in a hula skirt for I don’t know what school performance. My mom said I never took that skirt off. I’d want to wear it every day for the rest of my life.  Now I’m a full grown hula girl.”

Tracy’s proverbial grass skirt has covered some major ground. Hailing from New York City, she gravitated to the otherworldly vistas in Joshua Tree, where she bought a geodesic dome. From there, her love of the desert began to bloom.

“I would always fly into Palm Springs,” recounts Tracy. “I love all the architecture in the mid-century architecture, and as a designer, I just love it.”

Her husband has shared Tracy’s passion for throwback fashion ever since their wedding day.

tiki hotel pool

Tiki House

“On our honeymoon, we were looking for property. So then we actually put offers in to a couple of spots, and then ended up with what we call the Tiki House, which is Little Tuscany. We still have that space. That’s in Atomic Ranch magazine. They put it in 13 pages. They put it in Dwell magazine, a lot of coverage. Then we even got on TV, on NBC Open House. So I got to give a tour of everything that I did to restore that property.”

tracy turco home

Kiki Tea

Preservation and presentation are wonderful endeavors, but Tracy soon yearned for a more active way to engage in her tiki tendencies. “I love to entertain,” Tracy declares. “I’ve written two books on entertaining: Tea For You and Tea Party.”

Everything Tiki

Merging her mastery of party planning and design, Tracy is launching the Tiki Hotel in September of 2021. “We’re not a full service hotel,” she says. “We make it more like it’s your home, and we provide most beautiful rooms that are decorated. I did entire wall graphics of tiki gods inside the rooms. We restored the popcorn ceilings in all the rooms. Then we mix it with all modern luxuries. We have new fans, new lighting, all mid-century new lighting. We put grass walls up, bamboo accents, and then modern furniture. It’s such a mix. It’s just beautiful. The colors are vibrant. You have the 1961 original pool. My husband and I just put up a tiki hut with a bamboo bar in the back. So if you have all your friends or family together, you can also create your own entertaining space.”

Ever the hostess, Tracy advises, “I think the place is the best for bridal shower and bachelorette parties, wedding parties. They can have a wedding luau at our hotel, and all the guests can stay there. It’s really private.”

As visitors feast on discretion, they can pair it with delectable morsels from Palm Springs’ latest pop-up sensation, Biscuit & Counter. “We gave them that space in the front so they can service all our hotel guests. So in the morning hot biscuits will be brought to everyone’s door and room if they want it. They’ll have coffee!”

biscuit & counter at tiki hotel

And if your social cup spilleth over, Tracy and her staff can handle the deluge.

Art Hotel

“Our sister hotel that’s right next door is called the Art Hotel, and we own that one as well. So they’re both back to back. You can even rent both of them together. They connect. It’s a totally different theme. They’re both built in 1961. We bought them both together at the same time from a family that had them from inception.”

art hotel pool

Truly, Tracy’s enthusiasm for South Pacific grandeur can’t be contained in just one location. “I also have a tiki boutique inside The Tiki Hotel with all things tiki, and vintage, and all my designs. So you could buy my tiki dresses, and hats, and all the prints and pillows, outdoor furniture. I have everything tiki style and tropical. I have cocktail stirrers that say ‘The Tiki Hotel’ and ‘The Art Hotel.’ It’s like a bananas gift shop!”

tiki hotel room

The allure of these twin destinations goes beyond the superficial; Tracy Turco genuinely loves to greet adventurous travelers. “I just think it’s more than a hotel. It’s an experience, and then we make it theirs. So it’s not even about us the hotel and our service. We make it more about the customer staying. They’re our guests, yes, we’re welcoming them in our home, but it’s actually their home for the weekend.”

As another famous dreamer once chanted, there’s no place like home. Follow your yellow brick road to the Tiki Hotel and enjoy a magical stay.

Tiki Hotel – 1333 N Indian Canyon

Art Hotel – 1339 N Indian Canyon

Note: Both properties do not make reservations for individual room. You must reserve the entire property.

By Kevin Perry

The Hippest Tiki Hangouts

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