The Blue Door, is a beautiful 3-bedroom and 3-bathroom villa located in Palm Springs, California, which accommodates 6 people. On this occasion, I travelled with my husband, his daughter and my friend Trudi – making this the perfect-sized holiday home for us. We stayed for 5 nights.
We booked the property via a vacation rental website, and it was done in minutes. We had excellent communication with the owner of the property, Mike, even despite the time difference of 8 hours.
Extra costs such as housekeeping ($250 + tax), daily pool charge ($50 + tax) and a $1500 security deposit, were clear on the website and confirmed by the owner. Once the payment went through, we received a welcome email which included very detailed information about the area, ideas for restaurants and things to do, as well as the house manual. I was very impressed and really grateful for all the information.
We were in touch with Mike since we left LA (we had flown in from London to LA and drove to Palm Springs), and had to delay our arrival as traffic was quite horrible. The drive usually takes 2 hours, but it took us almost 4. He was excellent about it (I felt terrible as I was ruining his evening plans) and was there when we finally arrived at around 7pm.
After a 10-hour flight and a long drive, getting to the house was all we wanted. We were quite surprised to be welcomed by a choice of champagne or wine – we chose the latter which helped break the ice (and was a great excuse to find out where essentials were kept in the kitchen). Mike then showed us around the house (for the record, this is a rental house, a professional operation – i.e. no one lives there), and I have to say, it was stunning. Do you know when you see photos of a place and they are not quite the same when you actually get there? We had the exact opposite experience. The house was even better than advertised.
I had also done some online shopping and some parcels had arrived for me.
The bedrooms & bathrooms
As stated earlier, The Blue Door has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms – 2 of them are en suite (master and the blue room), and the green room has its own bathroom next door. That meant we all had our privacy and was exactly what we wanted.
All bedrooms were super spacious, in top condition, and all had closet space with proper hangers. Hotel-grade linens and towels were provided – and I have to say, the beds and pillows and everything were of outstanding quality. Worth noting that each bedroom has its own hairdryer.
Our bedroom was huge and beautifully decorated – although I wasn’t quite sure about the bull head above the bed. It did not bother us in the slightest and we were very comfortable. This room had direct patio access to the pool area, which was quite handy during the day.
We had a huge walk-in closet which we loved – I will admit that we had 7 suitcases (mostly empty at this stage, worry not), and were able to get unpacked quickly and organised.
Our bathroom was also fantastic – I loved small details like the Jonathan Adler soap and the beautiful orchids. But I adored the 2-head shower, which was excellent (and saved us a lot of time). The towels were of excellent quality and we washed these daily.
The second bedroom was called (well, I called it) the Blue room, and as you can see from the photos, it was really quite cool.
Half the wardrobe was locked, but the other half obviously wasn’t. There were great decor details and the bathroom was excellent. This room also had direct access to the pool area.
The Green bedroom was the only room without an en suite bathroom (although it was located right next door), and faced the front side of the house – that meant it had the most beautiful sunrise views of the mountains.
Shampoo and shower gel were provided in each bathroom (we had brought our own), and they were from different brands.
The living room
The living room was the heart of the house and as you can see by the photos, it was stunning. I know I am using this word a lot – but you can see what I am talking about. The house was of course interior designed and it actually gave us a great sense of place. It said ‘Palm Springs’ left, right and centre.
We had a comfortable seating area, and an easy to use TV and entertainment system (which we were shown how to use). Whilst we didn’t actually watch much TV, we used some of its radio channels to play music around the house and outside, where we spent most of our time.
The dining room
We didn’t cook any meals in the house (except for the odd breakfast or lunch, which we enjoyed outside by the pool), so this room actually became our shopping room. I did most of my shopping online before leaving for California, and every day it was like Christmas. Worth noting one thing – the door bell also rang by the pool area, which was something that we were briefly worried about.
The dining room was also home to the ‘bar’, which featured only plastic glasses – I must confess I did miss drinking wine in proper wine glasses, and this would be one of the things that I would change going forward. The glasses were good, but it isn’t the same (although I understand the concern that some guests could take them to the pool and accidents could happen). But some of the glasses were excellent for some proper European-sized Gin & Tonics, I must say!
The kitchen was spotless (as was the rest of the house), and we loved finding out where things were. The set up is so professional, there are even labels with things like ‘Bar Accessories’.
It had everything from cutlery, to plates, lots of serving plates and pots and pans. In the cleaning front, we also had dishwashing tablets, washing up liquid, plenty of kitchen towels and the lot.
I have to confess I was very impressed with the ‘welcome hamper’. There were peanut M&Ms and nuts and nibbles, and we had white wine, a bottle of (USA-made) Chandon, lemonade and orange juice, water bottles and milk. I thought it was so nice of the owners.
There were also some long-life previously used items like sauces, spices, olive oil etc in the pantry and fridge.
There was a coffee maker (which we did not use as we are weird Europeans and we did not want to attempt to break the machine), microwave, oven, any baking device you could ever need, a dishwasher and a fantastic fridge (I have a thing for American super sized fridges).
There was also a separate utility room, with a washing machine and dryer. We had no idea how to operate it, but we eventually figured it out – so different from the European front load machines) – and we used it a lot. Everyday we washed our bath and pool towels, so they were nice and fresh daily. There was also a cupboard with extra linens and towels. Washing products (i.e. detergent pods and conditioner) were provided. There was also an ironing board and an iron – which I personally did not use, but my friends have and worked very well.
On a more domestic note, we emptied our rubbish daily and placed them in the large bins located outside the utility room. Not a problem there.
The Pool and Outdoor Area
The outdoor area was also very well conceived – the plot wasn’t huge, but felt very comfortable and spacious.
We had a pool and a jacuzzi (which we learned how to operate on check-in and used a few times), which was actually cleaned by someone during our stay (we were out but noticed that when we returned). The patio area had 4 sun loungers, and 4 different areas – 2 seating areas, and 2 eating areas featuring a bar and a dining table. Spoiled for choice, huh?
We spent most of our time actually inside the pool – as it was so hot outside (it was over 40c!). We loved the floaties and used them a lot! Obviously we did not heat the pool – if anything, we would have done the opposite.
We had 8 pool towels, which were in good condition and we washed daily.
We used the bar for the odd lunch we had at home and for pre-dinner gin & tonics, of course and in the evenings, after we came back for dinner, we sat either at the dining table (which had very comfortable chairs), or by the fire pit. I think we moved around every day just for variety. Everything was in excellent condition and super comfortable.
There were things like a covered ice-bucket that we used daily to get out water bottles cold, the night lights and lanterns were also used each evening.
There was also a ping-pong table, which we did not use, and in the garage, there are 6 bicycles, which I personally did not use, but everyone else did – to get coffee each morning. I think they cycled each morning, but then drove the other days. 😉
There was also a top of the range BBQ (and all the utensils), but we did not use during our stay.
The Blue Door has a parking garage for 2 cars, and there is also off street parking. No problems whatsoever in this department.
It took me a while to figure it out as it was so modern and different from what we are used to, but eventually we got it. My only complaint was that it was loud at night, but not having it on wasn’t an option. There were also ceiling fans in each room which we used.
We paid $250 (+ tax) for our ‘end of stay’ clean, and managed quite well during our stay (which was 5 days). Were we staying for longer, we would have had a clean every 3-4 days. The house was spotless and we kept it that way. A quick clean would cost $50, and a change of sheets etc would cost $150.
Was of course provided and worked well during our stay.
We were in touch with Mike during our stay (mostly to ask about local recommendations as all the ones we had given us were spot on). For the record, we have been coming to this area for almost 10 years, but we do not actually stay in Palm Springs, hence why everything was quite new. We did not have any problems or issues during our stay.
We left at around 11am (we actually had a late check out until 2pm), and had an email from the owner asking us not to touch anything (i.e. to leave towels etc where they were) except to take our rubbish out, which of course we did.
Whilst we were driving to LA, we got our security deposit refund with a note thanking us for looking after The Blue Door as well as our own home. I thought it was a lovely touch and all very straightforward.
Location and nearby amenities
We were located in a very quiet upmarket residential area, and within 2-3 minutes drive, we had various retail areas with supermarkets, dry cleaning etc. We were located 5-10 minutes from Downtown Palm Springs. We also used Uber on some nights and never had to wait for more than 5 minutes.
Rates vary between $600-750 depending on the time of the year, with some exceptions like Coachella. There are also Summer specials with a free midweek night during July and August, which we benefited from. Minimum stay: 3 nights.
My thoughts and impressions
There is no other way I can word this – we adored The Blue Door. We were travelling with friends and family and the set up was perfect for us. The house was beautiful, had everything we needed and we loved the privacy of having our own pool. We loved the house so much, we had our Flytographer shoot in there – it was that perfect. We also got a lot of inspiration in terms of decor, and have brought lots of things from the Blue Door home – and by that, I mean that we went to West Elm and Jonathan Adler and bought quite a few things!
And I am pretty sure we will go back in the future.
Disclaimer and fact box: I paid a discounted rate on some nights during our stay, but opinions are, as always my own. The house is off the rental market for the time being as the owners are living there. I would too.