Taco Bell, the chain that dared to dream up both fourth meal and the taco with a fried chicken shell, has an oddball stunt in the works that will either be a massive hit or a Fyre Fest-esque disaster. Later this summer, the chain will open the Bell, a hotel and resort in Palm Springs, California that will appeal to only the most-devoted Nachos Bellgrande lovers out there. Here’s everything you need to know about the experience, in question and answer form:
Is the Taco Bell hotel a real thing, or just some fake, brand-hype nonsense?
It’s real, but the experience is perhaps best described as a “pop-up hotel.” The company that gave the world the Crunchwrap Supreme is taking over an existing hotel — the V Palm Springs — for a four-night experience that will include DJs, hot yoga, cocktail hours, movie screenings, branded mani-pedis, pool parties with live performances, and an array of Taco Bell dishes served throughout the day, including a few items that have not been officially released to the public yet. Unlike Sandals, the Bell is not an all-inclusive experience, so all the food, drinks, and apparel will be available for purchase.
How much does this thing cost?
Prices range from $169 per night for a room with a king bed but no pool view, to $299 for two queen beds and a view of the water. The prices are only slightly higher than the regular V hotel rates for this time of the year, when a standard king room goes for $140 and a double queen with a pool view runs for $220. The queso-heavy event will take place during one of the hottest times of the year in Palm Springs — August 8 through 12 — when the average high is 107 degrees and the average low is 76 degrees. The extreme heat might explain why the V Palm Springs had so many rooms to offer up.
What are the accommodations like?
The throw pillows on the beds and the pool floats both look like hot sauce packets, and the walls are adorned with Taco Bell-themed graphics. But otherwise, it looks like any other moderately-priced hotel. With enough merch from the chain’s Taco Shop, you could probably turn any random desert motel into a facsimile of the Bell.
Okay, I’m in. Now how do I reserve a room?
Reservations go live on the Bell’s homepage today, June 27, at 1 p.m. EST. Guests can only book one room per person, and the website’s FAQ section notes that the experience is meant for “Taco Bell super-fans 18 years and older.” The V Palm Springs usually has 140 rooms available, so considering that some of the rooms will house two guests at a time, and a few of these reservations will be multiple-night stays, somewhere between 500 and 1,000 people will probably get to hang out at the Bell that weekend.
Is this a one-time-only experience?
Maybe, maybe not. The Bell is being pitched as a temporary experience, but if the heady mix of fast-food hype and hotel operations is a hit, the chain might consider bringing a version of the resort to nearby Las Vegas, where the company already operates a flagship restaurant complete with an active wedding chapel. And if the Bell generates enough buzz on social media, don’t be surprised if other fast food chains follow suit — an Arby’s dude ranch, KFC riverboat cruise, or Chipotle glamping experience could materialize in the not-too-distant future.