Updated October 24, 2017
As of October 2017, there are about 2000 vacation rental houses in Palm Springs... and nearly all of them can be found on Airbnb.
While Airbnb certainly didn't invent vacation rentals and "homesharing" as a class of tourist accommodations, the service has definitely helped popularize the idea of renting a house for a short-term stay, rather than staying in a traditional hotel.
The vast majority of VRs in Palm Springs—regardless of whether they're owner-operated or managed by a property management company—now have listings on Airbnb.com. This didn't used to be the case, but the incredible popularity of Airbnb has made it an extremely important place for vacation rentals to be found.
Since there are so many listings there (and, of course, Elrod Villa is among them, see https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12917380), there are a couple of tips that can be very helpful to narrow down your search. While Airbnb doesn't let you search listings by keywords (which is a bummer if you're looking for, say, "midcentury modern" properties or "historic" homes), you can customize your search in several helpful ways:
Airbnb is great for finding Palm Springs vacation houses, and it can be easy to use for booking, but here's something to consider: Lots of Palm Springs rentals can be booked directly—either via the property manager's website/phone number, or the home's dedicated direct booking website (like the one you're on right now)!
If the home has a "branded name" in its listing, it's very likely to be directly bookable. The easiest thing to do is to simply Google that name (here's an example using Elrod Villa). You will likely find the home's direct booking site in the search results (which won't necessarily be the first search result), or in the Google Business listing that will also appear.
Alternatively, if the "Host" (see the "The Host" section of the listing) is a branded name, that means the property is part of a portfolio of vacation rental houses managed by a property management company. You can find direct booking information for those homes by Googling the name of the property management company.
Use the information you find there to contact the host or manager directly! This can save you a substantial amount of money on your vacation rental booking. Here's how:
If you do book a place via Airbnb (or another similar listing site) you're typically not-quite-done. Regardless of whether you choose to book direct or via a listing site, there's another step you'll typically have to go through to complete your reservation:
In Palm Springs, the city to requires hosts to execute a separate, signed rental agreement. That agreement will usually require your contact information, the names (and possibly ages) of all guests and will likely also ask for information about the vehicles you are bringing. (Because parking is limited to one car per bedroom under the current Palm Springs vacation rental ordinance.)
Additionally, Airbnb (due to technical limitations in their vacation rental platform at present) does not properly compute City of Palm Springs Transient Occupancy Tax (at 11.5% of rent and required fees, such as cleaning fees). Different Airbnb hosts handle this in different ways. Some hosts include an 11.5% tax markup in their rental rates, others will note that you'll be billed separately for tax (which they are required to collect in Palm Springs) separately. See the details or "House Rules" section of their Airbnb listings for details.
As it is currently, Airbnb does not automatically collect and remit transient occupancy taxes for the City of Palm Springs—hosts do this on their own on a monthly basis. (So, just don't be surprised by this!)
Also, if you're under the age of 25, Palm Springs Airbnb hosts won't be able to rent to you. The "responsible guest" (the person who signs the rental agreement) must be at least 25 years of age. This doesn't mean that all guests have to be 25 or older, just that the primary renter must be. This is sometimes an issue for festival season bookings around Coachella, Stagecoach, Splash House and other popular festival season events in and around Palm Springs.
For more information on finding and booking a vacation rental in Palm Springs, see our article, "Vacation Rentals in Palm Springs: Helpful Information for the Savvy Traveler."