Chic Desert Hotel with Hollywood Pedigree
Founded in 1957 by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Indian Wells Resort Hotel attracted a roster of A-list guests from the get-go. Designed as an exclusive winter getaway, the resort gave celebrities a chance to play tennis or golf and lounge poolside in the desert sun. You can follow in their footsteps today at the retro-chic hotel, which still channels the glamour of Palm Springs's midcentury heyday.
Golfers will want to schedule a tee time at Indian Wells Country Club's private course, the original home of the PGA's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. In 1995, the tournament brought presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford to town for a legendary round of bipartisan golf. Resort guests enjoy preferred tee times at the Indian Wells Golf Course, which includes the Celebrity and Players courses that feature majestic mountain views.
Pop into the onsite restaurant and lounge, Frank’s Place—named after Ol' Blue Eyes himself—for a meal or whiskey on the rocks. Singer Frank DiSalvo belts out Rat Pack classics in the lounge every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Next to the outdoor pool, chefs sling sandwiches, salads, and tropical cocktails at the Palm Terrace, which overlooks the golf course’s 11th green.
All guest rooms come with private balconies offering views of the pool or the surrounding desert landscape. One-bedroom suites overlook the Santa Rosa Mountains and the country club. In the morning, head to Frank’s Place to dig into a deluxe continental breakfast that includes belgian waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and french toast.
Indian Wells, California: Desert City with Outdoor Recreation and Hollywood History outside Palms Springs
Located just 17 miles southeast of Palm Springs, the temperate weather and tucked-away feel of Indian Wells and its neighboring towns attracted Hollywood royalty to the area in the 1950s and '60s. President Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoyed the area so much that he made Indian Wells his winter home.
Though it experienced a lull at the turn of the century, the greater Palm Springs area has emerged once again as a vacation hot spot. The sun shines roughly 350 days a year here, so the abundant hiking trails and designer golf courses stay open all year. Luxury spas and boutique shops fill Palm Springs’s glitzy downtown area, which is surrounded by chic, midcentury hotels and elaborate, Mediterranean-inspired villas.
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