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Palm Springs has been attracting Hollywood A-listers since the 1920s and the glitz and glamour from that era is still alive and kicking in this desert hideaway. From the swanky gold and marble “Mini Bar” at The Parker to the white-coated waiters serving steak and cognac at Mervyn’s, visitors can still get a glimpse of what it was like to party in the golden era of the studio system. Don’t forget your sequin dress.

RELATED: 9 reasons Palm Springs is the coolest desert getaway

Where to stay:

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1. Parker Palm Springs Resort and Spa

Stepping into the Jonathan Adler-designed lobby of The Parker Palm Springs feels more like entering a posh, yet laid-back boho living room with leather couches, macramé owl art, rattan chair swings, subdued lighting, a circular fireplace, interesting and unique artwork and lots of earth-toned textures throughout. You can picture movie stars lounging here (indeed, many have) while drinking gin and reading scripts. Each of the 144 guest rooms are adorned with black-and-white images of legendary movie stars, musicians and athletes. The lush 13-acre grounds, meanwhile, feature palm trees, fruit trees, an organic herb garden, and winding dirt walking paths—a serene reprieve from the hustle-and-bustle of crowds, traffic and buildings of Los Angeles. Lounge by the adults-only pool while sipping freshly squeezed lemonade cocktails, visit the PSYC Spa for a relaxing body treatment and enjoy fine French cuisine at the swanky Mister Parker’s restaurant.

 

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2. Triada Palm Springs Hotel

Located in the Movie Colony District, the Mediterranean-inspired 1920s Triada Palm Springs hotel offers laid-back luxury with impressive amenities—like a guest room with a full-sized kitchen and complimentary in-and-out valet service. In the 1940s, the Triada attracted guests such as Elizabeth Taylor and Howard Hughes. The same management group also owns the adjacent Movie Colony Hotel (currently under renovation), where Jim Morrison of the Doors allegedly jumped from the balcony into the pool below, and where Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe are said to have vacationed. For those looking to lay low, a dip in the salt-water pool, a drink at happy hour, or dining alfresco on a private room patio should do the trick…and you won’t have to worry about the paparazzi.

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3. La Quinta Resort and Club

With 41 pools, 53 hot spas, and a luxury Spa, it’s no wonder that La Quinta Resort and Club (no relation to the ubiquitous La Quinta Inns and Suites) has been a popular destination for Hollywood royalty since 1926. Situated on 45-acres, this expansive property has 719 guest rooms that range from casitas or suites to spa villas. Stars such as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Frank Capra and others escaped to this resort for luxury and privacy.

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4. Korakia Pensione

Formerly Cary Grant’s guest house, the rustic charm of the Mediterranean-style, 1.5-acre Korakia Pensione continues to lure renowned actors, writers, producers and photographers from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. Housed in two restored historic villas, actors such as Rudolph Valentino and Errol Flynn have enjoyed the property’s bungalows, guesthouses, gardens and pools. Accommodation includes complimentary breakfast in the Moroccan courtyard and Moroccan tea service each afternoon. In the evenings, classic vintage movies are played on an outdoor screen so guests can lounge and enjoy the warm desert nights.

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5. The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn

The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is a boutique luxury hotel that has hosted Hollywood nobles such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Marion Davies (as well as Albert Einstein) at its lush property. With only eight guest rooms, the Inn feels more like a home away from home, rather than a resort. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast with views of a 50-foot waterfall just off the dining room patio, indulge in an afternoon wine tasting, stroll through the gardens, or just lounge by the pool for some rest and relaxation.

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Where to eat:

 

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Purple Palm Restaurant

Located inside the Colony Palms Hotel in the Movie Colony District, this newly renovated restaurant has a warm, inviting vibe with a touch of elegance. The candle chandeliers provide a soft glow against the bold-patterned walls, ceiling and floors, which are contrasted by the dark brown furniture and trim. The menu that consists of items such as duck dumplings, stone fruit gazpacho and 12-hour pork shank, or saddle up to the bar (overlooking the pool) and chat about your favorite old movie with the bartender while sipping a craft cocktail.

Michael Holmes’ Purple Room

Located in the Club Trinidad Hotel, this adults-only supper club offers an intimate and chic dining experience with live entertainment nightly. It was once a hang out for legends such as Sammy Davis Junior and Frank Sinatra and revives the Old Hollywood era with classic cocktails and big band music. Indulge in fine cuisine while being swooned by talented musicians as you sip a Frank’s Top Shelf cocktail. Choose from the three-course Purple Prix Fixe menu or order al a carte items such as purple pear salad, short ribs, or grilled shrimp.

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Melvyn’s Restaurant

This fine dining establishment requires collared shirts and long pants and oozes Old Hollywood glamour with its crystal chandeliers, private wine cellar, exceptional cuisine and impeccable service. Order Frank Sinatra’s favorite dish—Steak Diane, which is flambéed tableside. Located at the Ingleside Inn, this restaurant offers a romantic dining experience that has been attracting the likes of Marlon Brando, Lucille Ball, and Bob Hope for decades.

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Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway: Flick Photo courtesy of Gary Bembridge

What to see:

Take time to check out these Hollywood-themed activities while your in the Palm Sprigs area: The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway is available for tours; the Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs imitates the Hollywood version in Los Angeles; Bob Hope’s Mushroom House is viewable from The Parker and the Palm Springs International Film festival after party is held annually at The Parker—a great time and place to hob-knob with today’s Hollywood elite.

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Tagged: California, Palm Springs

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