The Canyon Club: A Naked Oasis in the Heart of the Gayest City in America

If you are looking for a true gay adventure - the kind where you never really know what might happen next - then the Canyon Club in Palm Springs, California has to be on your list of places to consider. It is a place filled with the right kinds of quirks, for those who don’t need everything “just so,” a 52-foot, perfectly heated swimming pool, a giant hot tub, spacious and sunny garden area, pond and even a small hedge-maze. All of the space is clothing optional and sex-friendly.

The Canyon Club’s 32 guest rooms and suites enclose the pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room. A small passageway leads guests over to the extensive garden area that includes a variety of beautiful plantings, including orange, lemon and grapefruit trees. Eight of the suites include full kitchens and another eight include their own private patios. In total, there is more than 50,000 square feet of space in which you can explore and create whatever adventure you are seeking.

If all that seems too good to be true, there is actually even more, because the Canyon Club is located in the artsy heart of best part of Downtown Palm Springs, with all of the food, drink, art and culture it has to offer.

Often referred to as “the gayest city in America,” Palm Springs really got going back in the day as the vacation spot for LGBTQ+ Hollywood folks. It was the first city to ever elect a 100% LGBTQ+ City Council and it is a community rich with history, architecture, romance and culture. And, that is all right at your doorstep when you stay at the Canyon Club.

Originally built in the mid 1950’s as the Hotel La Fonda, the Canyon Club has a rich and interesting history of its own. It became a stripped-down gay bathhouse in the 1990’s. It closed in 2003. The place was reimagined and reopened in 2005. The adjacent lot, which has become the garden oasis, was purchased and added to the property a couple of years after that.

When we checked into the Canyon Club we did not know or appreciate any of that history. But, we could just feel it in the quirky bones of the place. Had we paid the rates being charged at more up-scale resorts, we would have found the quirks more annoying, like the kitchen light that would flicker, unless you turned the dimmer to just the right spot. But, the price combined with the exceptionally friendly staff made the quirks almost endearing for us.

And… did we mention that several of the rooms/suites are pet-friendly and that the entire grounds are, too? In other words, if you are traveling with your best friend you can bring him/her on-leash to the pool or gardens. This makes the Canyon Club the MOST pet-friendly property of any kind we have ever visited.

The overall vibe of the place was nice, too. It was not like a wild sex party, as we have heard some of the Palm Springs resorts can be. It also wasn’t totally laid back. It was like a perfect blend. It was an open and welcoming place where guests could create their own adventures. And, create they did. Sexual activity was around, but not in-your-face (unless you wanted it there).

The size of the property was also kind of perfect. There was a steady turnover of guests during our 2-week stay to make for fun and fascinating people-watching. It was small enough so that we could kind of get to know everyone on some level, yet large enough to experience a constant new crop of guests coming.

The Canyon Club also offered us our first opportunity to see men experiencing CockCozies for the first time live and in-person. They were, after all, developed during a pandemic. This stay was our first chance to see CockCozies out in public for the first time. THAT was a real treat!

As if to remind us that history is always marching forward, during our final week at the Canyon Club we were given the chance to move into a newly renovated (OMG to-die-for) suite, which we assume will not be available for the bargain rates currently being charged for the rest of the place. It was stunning.

If you are looking for a gay adventure, you simply must check out the Canyon Club.

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