What Was it REALLY Like at the Taco Bell Hotel?
The rooms sold out in under two minutes. Twitter was freaking out. Everybody was talking about it: The Taco Bell Hotel. But what was the experience REALLY like for those few who managed to snag a spot at THE BELL? Well, we went! And I’m here to spill the tea on what it was like on the inside!
If you’re just finding out now, a few months ago, Taco Bell announced its plans to debut a pop-up (temporary) hotel and resort in Palm Springs this summer. For four nights in August, guest would be able to book at room at The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort. It was the first time the chain had done anything like this. So, needless to say, everybody was anxious to see what exactly they would come up with.
“The Bell” (the official name for the hotel) was installed at and took over the V Hotel in Palm Springs. The V is a boutique style property with approximately 70 rooms. The Taco Bell blog teased with digital mock-ups of what guests might see…but we were still not prepared…
Welcome to The Bell
Upon arrival, in lobby, a bartender was set up to offer you a custom Taco Bell welcome drink: Baja Blast with a Watermelon Popsicle. It was INCREDIBLE. If I could find out where they got those popsicles, I would literally buy them.
The lobby had a concierge desk where you could ask questions, get local info, basically your typical hotel services, PLUS book salon appointments and rent bikes.
Upon checking in, and verifying we were 21+, we were given wristbands that allowed us to roam freely and return to the property as we wished. We also got some swag bags in an exclusive canvas reusable tote with the hotel logo on it. Inside was:
- Sauce packet design beach towel (super luxury quality, btw)
- “Mild” flavor taco bell chips
- Mini sunscreen
- Welcome Book
- Taco Bell printed cooling towel
The lobby of the Taco Bell Hotel also had a display of some of the merchandise that was available in the “Taco Shop”. Sunglasses, towels, t shirts, and more!
They gave us the keys (custom Taco Bell designed, of course), plus a BONUS key (more on that later), and we were off to check out the room!
The rooms were amazing! There were too many details for me to include here in photos, so if you want to see EVERYTHING that the room had to offer, I would suggest checking out the YouTube video my husband made.
The rooms proved to be even BETTER than the mock up photos they leaked before the hotel opened. Every detail had been transformed. The mini-bar (FREE, BTW) had Taco Bell chips, and cans of Baja Blast. The walls, room keys, art and more were all decked out in Taco Bell style.
Now if we could just get all hotels on the same page with this kind of service (did I mention the snacks and drinks were FREE), we would be made in the shade!
Poolside at the Taco Bell Hotel
We took our hot sauce packet towels to the pool as soon as we had settled in, since it was just over 100f. The pool was poppin’ and they had trasnformed the bar into the “Baja Bar”. You could order food and drinks, including special cocktails made for the hotel. The Watermelon Crush was super refreshing, and really pretty!
Every hour or so, the Taco ‘Bell’ would ring and servers would appear like magic, bringing you new and unexpected versions of your Taco Bell favorites. These deliveries were all complimentary. The hotel was essentially designed so that you NEVER had to buy food or drinks if you didn’t want to. Alcohol wasn’t included, but there were coolers around the pool with unlimited cold Propel, Gatorade, Life Waters and Bubly.
One of the best food treats? Nacho fries with four sauces! We also tried a toasted cheddar Chalupa, and strawberry twists (re-imaginings of classics).
Remember that *special* bonus card I mentioned us getting when we got our room keys during check-in? Well it granted us access to Room 15….
Aka the Freeze Lounge. Room 15 had been transformed into a super fun ‘arctic’ disco vibe where you could get frozen drinks to celebrate Baja Blast’s 15th birthday!
They also had a Cherry Sunset option, so we tried one of each! If you get a chance to snag one at your local Taco Bell, definitely do it! They were both SO SO GOOD.
All the Small Things
There were so many little perks and details and I am sure I am going to forget to mention some of them, but they really did go all out. Instead of traditional turn down service, with chocolates on our pillows, they brought taco shaped cookies to the room. They had poolside ‘games’ in the evening where we played TACOS (aka Bingo). People won Taco Bell gift cards, merch and several won limited edition Taco Bell XBoxes.
At 9 pm there was a ‘dive-in’ movie night at the pool where we watched Demolition Man. It was picked thanks to its Taco Bell references in the film. Throughout the movie they brought around food, food and more food.
Mini popcorn boxes of chile verde and chipotle butter popcorn, black bean Crunchwraps, Doritos Locos tacos, nachos and more.
Before we went to bed we were able to fill out a door hanger with our breakfast request for them to collect. The room service breakfast was COMPLIMENTARY and there was only one option: a build your own breakfast taco kit.
In the morning we knew we would want to try a few more of the exclusive breakfast menu items, so I went and hung out at the pool while we waited for room service to arrive. I ordered us the Fire Sauce Chilequiles and the Corn Pancakes with pistachios, Meyer lemon glaze and strawberries.
HOLY MOLY YOU GUYS. Everything was amazing. The previous day our food had been incredible also (shoutout to the toasted cheddar crispy chicken club) but I just wasn’t expecting such excellence from Taco Bell for BREAKFAST.
The taco kit was great (potatoes, bacon, eggs, salsa, etc). The chilequiles (one of my favorite Mexican breakfast dishes, and one I usually order with green sauce), was IMPECCABLE. And the pancakes were something I would expect to see on a boujee brunch menu in LA.
We sat by the pool and ate our breakfast before we checked out and headed home, and it was such a perfect way to wrap up our trip!
Overall Review and Final Thoughts on the Taco Bell Hotel
Well if you’ve made it this far and read the whole thing, you aren’t going to be surprised with my final thoughts. This pop-up was so brilliantly executed it was unreal. I literally warned major luxury hotel chains that Taco Bell was ‘coming for your girl’ with how great the food, service, and experiences were.
They knew their audience *cough, millennials, cough* and played to them PERFECTLY. From the merch collaborations (Chubbies, DIFF, L*Space) to the food and drinks, to the movie choices, they hit a home run.
Ryan and I agreed that the experience and service overall were actually very reminiscent of stays at five star all-inclusive properties we had been to. For roughly $200 a night, that made it a bargain.
I would love to see Taco Bell re-open the pop-up or take the show on the road so more people can experience it. It would be equally cool to see other brands come to play and try their hand at a similar experience. But be warned, Taco Bell set the bar HIGH.