Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

V Palm Springs 4x3Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • Palm Springs is a desert oasis that's popular year-round, but if you're visiting in high season, the V Palm Springs hotel can regularly be found at an excellent price point.
  • The boutique property provides the same highly-styled design and lively pool scene as many other much more expensive counterparts.
  • Rates start at just $99 even when occupancy rates are high. I stayed over two recent busy weekends and wouldn't hesitate to book again.

With Palm Springs' calendar of world-class festivals and sporting events, the desert oasis' hotel scene has flourished to include an impressive portfolio ranging from sprawling resorts to boutique charmers.

But price points during high-occupancy periods can prove daunting, even prohibitive. Travelers are sometimes forced into the $500 range for an ordinary room at an unmemorable property - and that doesn't even include the resort fee.

However, there are exceptions. I travel frequently to Palm Springs and the V Palm Springs has emerged as a top boutique property that offers exceptional value year-round. Even during popular periods, the hotel delivers excellent service in a design-forward, comfortable environment. Travelers range from those simply in search of a good deal, to discriminating Instagram influencer types willing to sacrifice neither cachet nor style.

I landed great deals on two recent occasions. I booked a last-minute weekend stay at the V for, of all times, over Coachella weekend last year. I paid a nightly rate of just $250 plus a $37 resort fee for a Pool View Room with Balcony - an almost unimaginable bargain during what is likely the most inflated Palm Springs travel weekend of the year.

And it was no fluke. For Labor Day weekend this year, I paid (wait for it) just $79.20 plus the resort fee for a last-minute Pool View Room with a semiprivate terrace.

I've pulled these moves on other high-occupancy occasions and had good luck with the Saguaro and the Riviera, but, my experiences have not been as consistently positive as at the V Palm Springs.

Whether a planned getaway, last-minute stay, or holiday weekend, the V Palm Springs is my go-to for a desert hotel that's cheap, chic, and clean.

Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by the V Palm Springs.

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Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday
Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

Rolling up to the V Palm Springs is a study in understatement: enter a small but stylish one-story lobby, dotted with spare, mod furnishings with a vintage feel.

My check-in experiences were all positive, even on high-occupancy weekends. There was ever only one or two people ahead of me in line, a hint to the fact that the hotel always seemed adequately staffed, even for the price.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

The lobby offers a glimpse through huge picture windows at what is perhaps the hotel's most attractive offering, the main pool. Framed by views of the desert's striking San Jacinto Mountains, and backed by the Elixir bar and restaurant, I couldn't wait to claim a lounge chair there.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday
Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

On my most recent trip for Labor Day Weekend, my booking was for a Pool View Room with King bed. A DJ spun daily during the holiday weekend, and I could glimpse the action from a cute, but small and hardly private, terrace. It had limited seating and really only functioned to step out for a bit of air.

My bed was backed by a chevron-etched mirrored headboard, and the bedside lamp base took the form of snakes. There was plenty of room to spread out; I found my room to be surprisingly spacious and far more generous than I expected for how little I paid.

The bathroom was also particularly impressive. It featured a sprawling space with a graphic Aztec-inspired black-and-white tiled floor for added wow factor. I considered it the highlight of the first-floor room.

Additionally, the sleep quality was good. I didn't hear anyone walking upstairs and the bed was comfortable.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

By contrast, the Pool View Room with Private Balcony I booked over Coachella felt more private (and quiet) because it was on the second floor and slightly removed from the pool scene. The balcony came with an Instagram-friendly swinging chair, woven in the style of dream catchers. Aside from that difference, the rooms were quite similar.

During the day, both rooms I stayed in were fairly noisy, with music from the pool DJ. However, the scene quieted down at night, and as the balcony room was higher and farther away, it was somewhat quieter overall.

Compare room prices for the V Palm Springs
Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday
Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

The main attraction at the V Palm Springs is certainly the iconic V-shaped pool. There's also a second, quieter pool, which I've enjoyed when I want to get away from the scene and listen to my own music rather than the DJ.

Elixir Pool Bar & Grill nominally focuses on tiki cocktails and Asian-fusion fare, but I've been most impressed by its American-style vegetarian dishes. The $16 Beyond Meat veggie burger was satisfying and delicious, served on a potato bun with matchstick fries.

There is a small gym on-site as well. It's not the most inspiring of all fitness facilities but will do the trick if you want to workout.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

The V is close to another popular, and expensive, hotel: the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. Stop by for a drink at the Amigos Room bar, or a meal at its retro restaurant, King's Highway, which was formerly a Denny's.

Also a short walk away is the coffee shop Koffi, which is Starbucks for Palm Springs locals. Or, walk in the opposite direction for an outstanding dinner at Mediterranean-inspired Miro's Restaurant.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

Surprisingly, the under-the-radar V Palm Springs has fewer than 300 reviews on TripAdvisor, especially given the fact that it served as the temporary location for Taco Bell's extremely buzzy pop-up resort this summer (for which rooms sold out in two minutes).

Reviews are favorable overall for a score of four out of five stars, however, negative reviews cited issues with cleanliness and suggested spending a few dollars more to stay at the Ace. In my experience, the V is clean and tidy, especially in contrast to some (frankly, almost unspeakable) hygiene complaints I've had elsewhere. And in reality, the Ace will run hundreds — not "a few" — dollars more, and likely attract a rowdier set.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

Who stays here: Style-minded travelers with a need for budget accommodations.

We like: The vegetarian fare (don't miss the Beyond Burger at Elixir) and the highly-design rooms.

We love (don't miss this feature!): The picturesque pool and its lively scene, including DJs during events and holidays.

We think you should know: Kids are fine here, but the atmosphere can get boozy — use your judgment.

We'd do this differently next time: I didn't mind the pool noise on a holiday weekend, but I might ask for a room farther away from the pool next time for a more relaxed retreat.

Hotel review: The V Palm Springs is a design-forward boutique hotel you can book for under $100 a night - even on a holiday

The V Palm Springs strikes the right balance between stylish, clean, and comfortable, without the high price tag commonly associated with other Palm Springs properties. Fortunately for budget-minded travelers, the masses don't seem to know about it yet, so get in while you can for under $100 for this plenty satisfying desert getaway.

Book the V Palm Springs starting at $99 per night
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