26 Jan Casa Cody Palm Springs
After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.
She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.
Casa Cody Palm Springs
With the recent snow covering the tips of the local mountains and the temperatures on the desert floor in the mid 70s, February is an ideal time to take a trip to Palm Springs. Valentine’s weekend falls on Feb 12-13 and Modernism Week begins on Feb. 17 and runs through Feb. 27. This annual celebration of midcentury modern design is filled with walking, biking and double-deck bus home tours. There are enrichment opportunities in art, fashion and culture with more than 350 events, films, lectures, nightly parties and live music.
One of the most charming boutique properties to stay at near the heart of it all is at the newly renovated Casa Cody. It’s one of those hidden gems just off Palm Canyon Drive blending modern interior design within stylish Spanish Colonial and adobe architecture. The moment you open the iron arch gate to check into the reception lobby, one is welcomed with an oasis of palm trees, lounge chairs and umbrellas spaced around one of the sparkling heated swimming pools.
Set on two acres, Casa Cody is a small compound dotted with citrus trees and green lawns around 30 guest rooms. There is a stand alone adobe that was once the home of Harriet Cody, a cousin of the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody. It now is one of the most sought after accommodations for intimate weddings and parties.
While staying at the property last month, I came across an article about how Harriet arrived from Hollywood to Palm Springs with her husband, Harold, an architect, who suffered from tuberculosis and sought relief with the warm and dry air. By 1932, she opened an L-shaped hacienda designed building by Myron Hunt, who also designed the Mission Inn in Riverside, Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and the Ambassador Hotel in L.A. The building consisted of small kitchenette apartments, and later housed officers of Gen. George Patton training for the North African campaign during World War II.
Also on the grounds is one of the Olympic Cottages that were built to house athletes for the 1932 Summer Olympics in L.A. It was shipped to Palm Springs and arrived at Casa Cody soon becoming another highly requested accommodation for guests. It’s located near the private hot whirlpool and in front of a thriving edible garden.
Checking into the corner room #17, we enjoyed the beautiful saltillo tile flooring, large king size bed, large jewel green tiled shower, and a kitchenette with a mini refrigerator. Nice personal touches included snacks on the tile kitchen counter and beverages in the refrigerator. The room also has a front and back door leading out to each pool area.
The back door opens to a semi-private patio set with two chairs and a table to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening and views of the sun setting behind the dramatic Mount San Jacinto.
It’s also a wonderful spot to enjoy the complimentary breakfast in the morning. Guests enter the lobby after 7:30 a.m., to take a tray and fill it with Greek yogurt, granola, coffee, two different juices, and fresh out of the oven croissants.
After breakfast we took two of the complimentary bicycles for a spin through the celebrity mid-century neighborhoods of Vista Las Palmas and Historic Tennis Club. We finished with a stop at the iconic 26-ft tall and 24,000 pound Forever Marilyn Monroe statue with her famous billowing white dress and mega-watt smile. She is located near the Palm Springs Art Museum, where we spent an hour walking through the exhibits including Storm of Hope: Law & Disorder, and admired the heart shaped red Modern chair. Riding back to nearby Casa Cody, we donned our bathing suits and watched magenta colored bougainvillea flowers float down onto the pool deck and into the warm water while swimming.
Dressing for dinner, we walked to the historic Melvin’s Restaurant inside the Ingleside Inn Palm Springs. Originally built as a Spanish-style estate for the heirs to the Pierce Arrow Motorcar Company, known as the “Rolls Royce” of America. When the final heir passed, the estate was purchased and converted into a 20-room bungalow hotel with a small restaurant. Since the restaurant had no liquor license, famous visitors such as Howard Hughes and Spencer Tracy brought their own favorite libations. Soon it became one of the most popular getaway spots and restaurant for Frank Sinatra and friends.
In 1975, New York businessman Melvyn Haber purchased and renovated the property creating Melvyn’s Restaurant and Casablanca Lounge. The night we dined a four-piece band played lively jazz music, while uniformed waiters delivered martinis to tables and pushed rolling carts to tables for theatrical preparations of bananas foster. Every Sunday they host ‘Return of the Jams’ music from 3:30 p,m, till 7:30 p.m.
Walking back to Casa Cody near the foot of the beautiful Mount San Jacinto and a block away from the scenic downtown design district, we looked up and noticed hundreds of stars in the crystal clear dark sky. Now is the time to safely visit Palm Springs.
Go to Casa Cody’s website for reservations https://www.casacody.com or call (760)320-9346. 175 S Cahuilla Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262.
Tickets for Modernism Week can be obtained at https://modtix.com/e/mw22.
Reservations at Melvin’s can be made on OpenTable.
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