01 Jun Jewel Toned: Palm Springs with Preferred Small Luxury Hotels
Author: Ronnie Greenberg
Photos by: Joe Hilbers
5310 Dubois Ave
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Jewel Toned: Palm Springs with Preferred Small Luxury Hotels
By: Ronnie Greenberg
Photos: Joe Hilbers
Blessed with glorious weather making it a mecca for sun worshippers, Palm Springs is equally famous as the golf and tennis capital of the world, and for the mineral hot spring spas. Its sun-kissed village atmosphere has been preserved and embellished over the years. The downtown area with its quaint lampposts, benches and Mexican tile-paved enclaves, invites strolling among the shops and galleries, lingering over a latte or espresso at a sidewalk café or savoring a glass of port. Blending the eclectic with the exotic, artists, architects, naturalists and naturists all call this fabled city home.
Set in a dramatic desertscape at the base of the San Jacinto mountains, Palm Springs is the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians who remain as a major source of the cultural and economic enrichment of the area. Back in the late 1800s this remote area was just a sleepy village until the Southern Pacific Railroad came through the desert bringing the pioneers who would create their own oasis.
By the time it was incorporated in 1938 the Village of Palm Springs had become world famous as a winter sandy backyard to the elite of Hollywood, luring the likes of Sophie Tucker, Lena Horn, Peggy Lee, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, Marlene Dietrich, Loretta Young and Janet Gaynor.
Many luminaries who settled in “The Springs” have made indelible contributions, including Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Sonny Bono, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Ambassador Walter Annenberg and so many more.
Palm Springs still has star power as a new generation of Hollywood hit-makers has succumbed to the lure of the desert. This new breed of star prefers the quiet of the desert and walled estates, as opposed to the public nightlife the early pioneers enjoyed. European royalty and business tycoons also come to enjoy the serenity of the desert.
Where to unpack: Nostalgic souls will enjoy the blend of retro and new at the romantic all adult Westcott Hotel in this desert oasis. Part of the Preferred Small Luxury Hotel with manager Michael Skinner and host/owner Matthew Westcott waiting to greet you, it was originally built in the 1930s and recently updated. Complimentary breakfast each morning and daily cocktail hour each evening. Located at 539 E. Mel Avenue, Palm Springs 92262: phone (760) 992-5420 or www.thewestcotthotel.com. For additional information on Preferred Small Hotels go to https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/
Delectable Palm Springs
Enhancing your experience with Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, restaurants are a mix of some of the grand oldies with many of the new, as Palm Springs is bursting with dining diversity.
Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge is an eclectic flowing and glowing hot spot featuring West Coast modern cuisine where you can indulge in a multicourse dinner as well as a prixe fixed menu in the dining rooms, relish the small plates in the buzzing lounge, lunch and brunch on the patio or sip signature cocktails at the white onyx bar.
Chef Israel Jimenez changes his menu seasonally. His mouthwatering selections include roasted beets with baby kale, toasted cumin and goat cheese, honey vinaigrette with Turnbull Napa Sauvignon Blanc; filet of beef sipping Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; grilled Scottish steelhead trout with fennel, orange, and basil on a crispy rice cake with Arbequina, olive oil. The wide array of selections are yours to chose from. Located at 849 Palm Canyon Drive, (760) 325-8490 www.Eight4Nine.com
Mr. Lyons Steakhouse is an updated image of Lyons English Grille, a version of a “new classic!” The upbeat dining experience, service and attention transports you back to a bygone era that makes you feel very special.
At a particular wine and food pairing Chef Eddie Moran included small local fare with wines paired by Wine Expert Jessie Casanova. There was radishes and blue cheese with fine herbs paired with Marco Felluga Mongris Pinot Grigio; black cod Escabeche with dill-creme Fraiche, celery and potato confit paired with La Follett Los Pimeros Pinot Noir; and Berkshire pork belly with rhubarb fennel aperol paired with Margerum M5 red blend. Located at 233 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92264 (877) 279-4080 www.mrlyonsps.com
Purple Room Supper Club is a double treat. The sophistication and glamour of the Rat Pack era comes alive at Michael Holmes’ Purple Room. Tucked away in the Club Trinidad Hotel, the Purple Room is where Frank, Sammy. Dean and their pals cavorted on and off the stage in the swinging 50s. Here you will be transported back to the elegance of the era , an intimate and inviting room serving classic cocktails with a modern twist, world-class cuisine and swinging and listening to Michael and his acclaimed duet. You will delight in the wide variety of mouthwatering food starring the outstanding short ribs, as well as the drinks being offered here. Located at 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92264 (760) 322-4422 www.purpleroompalmsprings.com
Melvyn’s Restaurant located right on the premises of the famous Ingleside Inn, is elegantly upbeat with a fully restored 1895 carved oak and mahogany bar, numerous antiques, waiters in linen jackets, and treasures that define an era. The extensive Continental menu includes the famous Melvyn’s Cobb salad. For a touch of romance, you can dance away the evening with nightly live entertainment in the chic Casablanca Lounge. Located at 200 W. Ramon Road, www.inglesideinn.com
Sites to see
Palm Spring Aerial Tramway, a rotating car holding 75 passengers takes you on a spectacular and breathtaking 15 minute tramride. The 8500 foot vertical ascent goes from the desert floor to the rugged Mount Jacinto Wilderness State Park, and offers access to hiking and camping. For tickets go to www.viator.com
Palm Springs Air Museum is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of American’s legendary fighters and bombers. It contains the largest collection of flying World War II airplanes. Also on view are related artifacts, artwork and library sources to help perpetuate American history. Located at 745 North Gene Autry Trail, (760) 778-6262 www.palmspringsairmuseum.org
Palm Springs Art Museum, a split-level cantilevered structure made of red volcanic stone is a cultural, art and natural science facility that blends right into the desert and the San Jacinto Mountains. Besides the two 50 feet dioramas dramatizing desert life forms, there’s a sculpture garden and 450-seat Annenberg Theatre for the performing arts. It also showcases a major collection of American Indian artifacts. Located at 101 North Museum Drive (760) 322-4800 www.psmuseum.org
Luxury Chartered Celebrity Bus Tours takes you on an award winning tour of the famous celebrity houses throughout Palm Springs once known as “Hollywood’s Playground. Enjoy seeing and learning about the homes claimed by the legendary stars such as Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and more. Call for information and reservations (760) 895-8005 or www.palmspringscelebritytours.com
Palm Springs Cultural Center is the place to learn about the history of Palm Springs and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, as well as what is happening now. Located at: 2100 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs 92262 www.palmspringsculturalcenter.orgShopping
Historic Palm Canyon Drive has boutiques that border glitzy to designer resort apparel, fine jewelry, art galleries, Indian craft and silver and turquoise shops. In the evening lighted palm trees add to the glamour and ambiance.