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 celebs a chance to play tennis or golf and lounge poolside in the desert sun. You can follow in their footsteps today, as the retro-chic hotel still channels the glamour of Palm Springs' midcentury heyday.
You can schedule a tee time at the private golf course at Indian Wells Country Club, 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. Swing away on either of the resort's newer courses, such as the Celebrity course, which features streams, split-level lakes connected by waterfalls, and holograms of Fred and Ethel Mertz.
Pop into the onsite Loren restaurant for a meal, or relax with a whiskey on the rocks in the retro lobby lounge, dubbed "Frank's Place" after Ol' Blue Eyes himself. Singer Frank DiSalvo belts out Rat Pack classics in the lounge every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from September through May. Next to the outdoor pool, chefs sling sandwiches, salads, and tropical cocktails at the Palm Terrace, which overlooks the 11th green of the course at Indian Wells Country Club.
All guest rooms are equipped 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. Come morning, dig into Loren's breakfast entrees, which include breakfast sandwiches, belgian waffles, and french toast.
Greater Palm Springs, California: Desert Cities with Outdoor Recreation and Hollywood History
Indian Wells is a scant 17 miles southeast of Palm Springs. As Hollywood royalty began flocking to the area in the 1950s and '60s for the temperate weather and tucked-away feel, Indian Wells grew into a celebrity destination in its own right. President Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoyed the area so much that he made Indian Wells his winter residence.
Though it experienced a lull at the turn of the century, the greater Palm Springs area has emerged once again as a vacation hotspot. The sun shines roughly 350 days a year, which makes it easy to hike nearby or play on one of the designer golf courses in any season. Luxury spas and boutique shops cover the city's glitzy downtown area. A kitschy, retro vibe still survives in Palm Springs, which is dotted with midcentury hotels and Mediterranean-inspired villas.
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