3. The Chase

Walk into the lobby of the Chase and you'll notice the pluses right away: home-baked chocolate chip cookies at the front desk, '50s decor worthy of HGTV, and an eye-catching landscaped courtyard and pool just outside the picture window. This retro two-story hotel, in the historic Tennis Club District of Palm Springs, has spacious rooms, most with kitchenettes, and is polished in a Sinatra/Rat Pack sort of way. Free continental breakfast served each morning in the lobby. Kids and pets allowed (pet fee $10).

200 W. Arenas Road, Palm Springs; (888) 320-8867 or (760) 320-8866, http://www.chasehotelpalmsprings.com,

High-season doubles from $119 ($139 with kitchen), no additional charge for weekends; off-season doubles from $79.

4. Del Marcos Hotel

Retro fans will love the Del Marcos Hotel, where the Midcentury Modern design features vintage furniture, not knockoffs. "We cater to people who know and love the design," said Laura Ramstead, the manager. Designed in 1947 by desert architect William F. Cody, Del Marcos Hotel has a long list of amenities, including continental breakfast, complimentary bicycles, welcome drink, robes, saltwater pool, private patio or balcony and poolside cabanas with TV. No kids, but pets allowed in some rooms. (Pet fee $25)

225 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs; (800) 676-1214 or (760) 325-6902, http://www.delmarcoshotel.com

Winter rates for doubles from $139, weekends $149; off-season doubles from $79.

5. Desert Riviera

Don't confuse this mellow boutique hotel on the eastern edge of town, built in 1951, with the contemporary (and pricey) Riviera on the north end of the city. Desert Riviera's attractively landscaped courtyard looks as though it could have been the subject of Sunset magazine's cover story, circa 1965. The hotel's lowest rate, $149, barely makes our survey, but its fun style and many extras add value. Going shopping? Call the stretch limo for a free ride. Want to dine in? Prepare dinner in your own kitchenette. A bike ride, perhaps? Check out the tandem cruiser. Hungry when you arrive? Dig into the goodie basket you get on arrival. No children or pets.

610 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (866) 270-8322 or (760) 327-5314, http://www.desertrivierahotel.com

High-season rates for doubles from $149, no additional charge for weekends; off-season from $109.

6. Hotel California

Hotel California, also new to the Palm Springs scene, has only 13 rooms. But its diminutive size gives it intimacy. This classic California Mission-style hotel was built in 1940 and updated before its reopening last year. Rooms are stylish, and amenities are interesting, including a large kitchen guests can share. As a sister property to Desert Riviera, the Hotel California also offers the stretch limo to guests needing a ride to dinner or the airport.

424 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (800) 642-7079 or (760) 322-8855, http://www.palmspringshotelcalifornia.com

High-season doubles from $149, no additional charge for weekends; off-season rates from $109.

7. Los Arboles Hotel

Looking for a romantic hideaway? This recently renovated hotel hides behind high walls and seems insulated from the outside world. It has an old California feel with dark woods, tile floors and sunny colors on the bedspreads and drapes. There's a courtyard pool and an adjacent El Mirasol Mexican restaurant. No pets.

784 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; (760) 459-3605, http://www.losarboleshotel.com.

High-season doubles from $138 weekdays, $168 weekends; off-season rates from $108.