Jim Franco

As you pull up to this once-rickety fifties-era motel, the first thing you see is the original illuminated cactus springs sign, a holdover from its former days. Now the sign serves as a beacon to seekers of mid-century nostalgia, who descend on the Palm Springs area in droves. The interior is the handiwork of owners Mick Haggerty and Steve Samiof, two L.A. graphic designers who acquired the languishing 10-room property last year. By replacing decades' worth of accumulated kitsch with Eames and Saarinen furnishings, minimalist Japanese platform beds, and exposed concrete floors, they've transformed the motel into a stylish refuge. A fire pit in the lobby (sorry, no marshmallow-toasting allowed) adds a bit of sizzle, while three spring-fed swimming pools cool the courtyard. Hope Springs, 68075 Club Circle Dr., Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; 760/329-4003; doubles from $135.

—Kristine Ziwica