Text by Natalie Shirinian
Who would have thought that tucked away in this corner of Palm Springs and just a two-hour drive from LA, you’d find the historical getaway that is the Colony Palms Hotel. Originally built in 1936 by gangster Al Wertheimer, who named it the Colonial House, the property boasted a basement casino, a brothel and a speakeasy that still stands today. Glamorous stars and starlets, such as Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Frank Sinatra all paid visits to the estate for some good old fashioned gambling fun, nightlife and of course, the warmth of the desert sun. In the late ‘40s the Hotel was bought by the owners of the famous thoroughbred Sea Biscuit, Robert and Andrea Leeds-Howard. The property was then renamed Howard Manor and remained that way for many years until it was purchased once more in the late ‘70’s, when it was renamed The Palms. Recently, this historical beauty underwent a $16 million renovation and reopened as the Colony Palms Hotel. The exquisite designs of Martyn Lawrence-Bullard add a modern touch. At the poolside Purple Palm Restaurant and Bar, world-renowned chef, James Corwell, serves up Mediterranean delights, which always incorporate fresh and seasonal ingredients from the local farmers market. Guests will not only enjoy the visually appealing property and the Moroccan themed spa, but of the 56 rooms, ten are casitas that incorporate private patios with outdoor bathtubs. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the San Jacinto Mountains, the hotel still keeps its old Hollywood glamour with an exotic take and energy reminiscent of the 30’s. A definite must-see.