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The Alt Summit peeps knocked it out of the park by choosing Palm Springs, California as the most recent location to host the conference. The type of people that Alt attracts are drawn to at least one thing about Palm Springs, whether it’s the sunshine, the bright colors, the Mid-Century Modern vibes, the incredible vintage shopping, or its general proximity to both the desert and the coastline. For me it was all of the above, so I’m stoked that Alt is returning to Palm Springs in March 2020!
2019 marked the tenth anniversary of Alt Summit, so they went bigger by spreading the conference across four hotels and quadrupled the amount of tickets available. While there were pros and cons to this (pros: more people could attend; there were more classes to appeal to a greater number of people; we got to experience multiple hotel vibes // cons: in some cases shuttling between the hotels took longer than expected; two of the hotels didn’t offer parking for those of us who rented a car; it was difficult to make it to back-to-back sessions at different locations), I think they will be able to work out the kinks for 2020 and make the experience run a bit smoother for all.
Arguably the Riviera seemed to be the main hotel for the event. It’s where the opening pool party, registration, keynotes, pop-up shops, and roundtables took place, thanks to the presence of their ballroom/conference center. It may have been easiest to stay here, however while the lobby and restaurants definitely killed it with the mid-century vibes, the rooms and grounds seemed like your typical conference hotel, albeit kicked up a notch. In other words, not quirky enough for my tastes, but still very nice.
The second-most utilised hotel for the conference was definitely the Saguaro. Alt Summit rented out the entire hotel room for attendees, so anyone you ran into was there for Alt. Beryl and I chose to stay at the Saguaro because hello?! Have you seen the color?! It practically screams Alicia. My expectations were set ahead of time when a friend told me the Saguaro is fun and adorable, but the rooms aren’t the best, and that it attracts more of a party crowd on weekends (which I can attest to, because after the conference crowd left and I had two more days to stay, the bachelorette parties arrived and they were annoying as shit), so I wasn’t too disappointed when I saw how basic the accommodations were. The rooms aren’t bad, they are just definitely budget and no-frills. That said, I was pleasantly happy with the comfortably beds, the size of the rooms (they’re huge!), the mini fridge, and the colorful bathroom. Oh, and the mountain view rooms actually have a view of the mountains… with the parking lot just below. But still – better than what I expected! The public areas of the hotel are definitely the highlight, so if you end up going to PS and aren’t on a budget, just stay elsewhere and pop by the Saguaro to visit or use the pool for an afternoon.
Home to the Maker Space, the Ace was the cool, hipster kid of the hotels in terms of decor and aesthetic. Lots of mid-century desert vibes which I loved. Definitely a photogenic hotel in terms of neutrals with random pops of interest, like orange doors or a custom mural. If you’re one of the crafty people, prepare to spend a lot of time at the AceMaker Space this year!
Alt Summit 2019 utilized one more hotel that Alt Summit 2020 isn’t, and that’s the Parker. The bougiest of the four hotels, we were actually required to remove our Alt badges upon entering the grounds. I love the Aesthetics of the Parker and while I’m not trying to spend the money to stay there, if you have a chance to grab a meal and scope out the grounds (they do limit the grounds to guests but you might be able to peek around) there I highly recommend it.
Looking for a photo session at Alt Summit 2020? Click here!
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I make whimsical art for color-lovers and California dreamers. I'm based in Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. where there are most decidedly no palm trees in sight.