Reservations

Palm Springs' Culture and Cuisine

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by Kim LaPat
Travel Editor, Emma Spencer Living

Palm Springs’ history and culture is steeped in its connection to Hollywood royalty, especially in the mid-century era. Everyone who was anyone not only visited, but took up residence in this desert oasis that was just a few hours’ drive from the
entertainment center of Los Angeles. Celebrities like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bob Hope, Gloria Swanson, Liberace, and Lucille Ball, just to name a few, all fell in love with Palm Springs.

With the rich and famous hobnobbing in Palm Springs, the area’s restaurant and nightlife scene emerged to match its residents. Melvyn’s Restaurant was a popular eatery and hangout spot for the Rat Pack and many other celebs. Another exclusive venue for mid-century celebrities was The Palm Springs Tennis Club, which today houses Spencer’s Restaurant, a swanky eatery with an award-winning wine cellar. When you’re here in town, you can dine at Melvyn’s or Spencer’s and live like a celebrity—or choose from a variety of other fun and fabulous restaurants on and near the famous Palm Canyon Drive.

In addition to the Hollywood Golden Age of Palm Springs, other culinary influences include the city’s retro-modern vibe, it’s vibrant LGBT community, and California Cuisine, which concentrates on fusion cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. One local ingredient that’s truly celebrated in Palm Springs is the date, grown locally in Southern California and blended deliciously into the area’s famous “date shakes.”

With so many cultural, historical, and modern influences, there are restaurants of every kind in Palm Springs, including 50’s-themed American, Thai, Cuban, Chinese, Indian, French, Italian, Mexican, Austrian/Asian fusion—you name it. Some of our favorites are Sherman’s Deli, Palm Greens Café, Thai Smile, Lulu California Bistro, Ruby’s Diner, The Fisherman’s Market, Shanghai Reds, Elmer’s…the list is just too long! Be sure to ask our innkeepers for recommendations based on your tastes when you’re here with us at Palm Springs Rendezvous.

Finally, the amalgamation of culture and cuisine is clearly evident every Thursday Night with the city’s Downtown Village Fest. The free weekly street fair brings entertainers, vendors, and people together to eat, drink, and get a true taste of Palm Springs’ eclectic and vibrant culture. Come on a Thursday, stay for the weekend, and treat yourself to a getaway that’s relaxing, retro, and rich in culture and cuisine!

For more on Palm Springs' Culture and Cusine, check out our cookbook "A Taste For Travel," which can be pre-ordered via the RETAIL tab at www.palmspringsrendezvous.com. 

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Modernism Week

Celebrating Midcentury Design in Palm Springs

by Kim LaPat
Travel Editor, Emma Spencer Living

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Perhaps nowhere on Earth epitomizes midcentury glam more than Palm Springs, California. And there’s no place better to celebrate the architecture, design, and style of that era—especially during the annual Modernism Week event. The “week” stretches out over 10 days, from February 11-21, 2016, and features more than 250 unique events, meaning there’s more to see and do than you can possibly imagine.

What to Do
With this year’s Modernism Week marking the event’s tenth year anniversary, it’s sure to be a celebration to remember. During the day, there will be films, lectures, classic car and vintage trailer shows, home tours, and architectural walking, biking, and bus tours to celebrate and educate you on the fabulous midcentury era of design. At night, cocktail parties, dinners, and fashion shows promise to bring back that mid-mod party vibe. Be sure to pack your shift dresses and wide lapels to really get into the spirit!

Among the premier events is a tour of the famous Sunnylands Center & Gardens (pictured above, left), a mid-century estate where heads of state and global leaders have met and made history for decades. Designed by famed architect A. Quincy Jones, the home features glass walls, a pink pyramid roof, coffered ceilings, and a beautiful and expansive garden.

Another highlight during the week is the Modernism Show and Sale, taking place February 12-16, 2015. More than 85 international and domestic merchandisers will bring their midcentury modern furniture, decoratives, and art pieces to the Palm Springs Convention Center. Whether you’re a designer, architect, or just someone who loves and appreciates the chic style of the 60s, this is an event that can’t be missed!

At the Rendezvous, you’ll be immersed in the midcentury vibe you came to experience—from morning to night. We begin each day with a three-course breakfast in our retro-fabulous lounge, then treat you to a poolside cocktail hour in the early evening hour. Besides that, we’ll bake you up some daily sweet treats and keep you in-room refrigerator stocked with complimentary beverages. You can also use our retro-fabulous red and white Schwinn bikes to trek around town. Staying at the Rendezvous will only enhance your Modernism Week experience.

When to Book
Reserve your hotel NOW before rooms begin filling up. Our location, rates, and value-added amenities make Palm Springs Rendezvous the perfect home base during the city’s premier modernism event! Check out our rooms at www.palmspringsrendezvous.com and reserve your favorite today. Then, beginning November 1, 2015, visit http://www.modernismweek.com/ to purchase tickets and begin planning your itinerary for Modernism Week.

Where to Stay
There are numerous lodging options in the greater Palm Springs area, but none as historic, service-oriented, and well-rated as Palm Springs Rendezvous. As TripAdvisor’s Number One small hotel in the entire country, you really can’t go wrong booking at the Rendezvous. Our intimate boutique hotel features ten uniquely-decorated suites, all with courtyard pool views and midcentury modern décor. The property itself boasts a long and colorful history, having been host to numerous iconic celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Swanson.

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At the Rendezvous, you’ll be immersed in the midcentury vibe you came to experience—from morning to night. We begin each day with a three-course breakfast in our retro-fabulous lounge, then treat you to a poolside cocktail hour in the early evening hour. Besides that, we’ll bake you up some daily sweet treats and keep you in-room refrigerator stocked with complimentary beverages. You can also use our retro-fabulous red and white Schwinn bikes to trek around town. Staying at the Rendezvous will only enhance your Modernism Week experience.

When to Book
Reserve your hotel NOW before rooms begin filling up. Our location, rates, and value-added amenities make Palm Springs Rendezvous the perfect home base during the city’s premier modernism event! Check out our rooms at www.palmspringsrendezvous.com and reserve your favorite today. Then, beginning November 1, 2015, visit http://www.modernismweek.com/ to purchase tickets and begin planning your itinerary for Modernism Week.

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A Century of Sinatra

by Kim LaPat, 
Travel Editor, Emma Spencer Living

December 12, 2015 will mark the 100th birthday of a true Hollywood legend--Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Although the crooner and movie star passed away in 1998 at the age of 82, the legacy of his unique and over-the-top persona lives on—not just in his music and movies, but in the community he called home, Palm Springs.

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Palm Springs was little more than a sleepy desert town when Sinatra’s composer friend Jimmy Van Heusen introduced him to the area. But Sinatra, who had just won his first Academy Award for a short film about tolerance, was looking for a retreat from Hollywood, and fell in love with the gorgeous oasis at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. He became a frequent visitor for several years before commissioning architect E. Steward Williams to build him a home in 1947.

Originally, Sinatra asked for a Georgian mansion, but Williams convinced him to go with a more modern, desert-friendly design. (right, circa 1947) He lived there on Alejo Road with his wife Nancy and three kids until their divorce in 1951. Just ten days after the ink dried on the divorce decree, Sinatra married his mistress, Ava Gardner. Much of the couple’s tumultuous and passionate relationship played out within the halls of their Palm Springs abode. Imagine if those walls could talk!

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In the mid 1950s, when Palm Springs’ popularity with the Hollywood set had really taken off, and Sinatra’s career was in full swing, he sought a more private area and moved into a small 2-bedroom home in Rancho Mirage. Over the years, Sinatra began adding to and expanding the house to encompass the 2-1/2 acres of property. Several buildings and guest rooms were added to accommodate his party lifestyle. As the consummate host, Sinatra’s home was a revolving door, with visitors that included John F. Kennedy (pre-presidency), Ronald and Nancy Reagan (pre-presidency), Elizabeth Taylor, Milton Bearle, and a slew of others. The complex, which he named Villa Maggio after his character in From Here to Eternity, was impressive to say the least. It boasted a beauty salon, tennis courts, restaurant-quality kitchen, theatre room, library, 18 bedrooms, and 23 bathrooms. There was even a building staged as a train depot to house Sinatra’s enormous model train collection.

During his tenure at the estate, his marriage to Gardner began to fizzle and they divorced in 1957. The 1960s were the famous Rat Pack years, where Sinatra headlined at Caesar’s Palace and gained a reputation for hard drinking and womanizing. In 1966, at the age of 50, he married a 21-year-old Mia Farrow (hellomagazine.com photo), but they divorced just two years later. Throughout it all, however, Palm Springs remained his “home.”

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In 1976, the serial husband wed his fourth and final wife, Barbara Marx, widow of Zeppo Marx. (photo from sunnylands.org) Barbara enlisted a designer friend to remodel Frank’s beloved compound, replacing the abundance of orange with more neutral desert tones. Although chaos and drama, especially in love, seemed to be Sinatra’s curse, the couple remained together for more than two decades, until the star’s death.

Today, Sinatra’s first home in Twin Palms is available for private tours, weddings, special events, and even lodging if you can afford north of $2K a night. (photo from la.curbed.com) The compound that was his second Palm Springs home is privately owned and cannot be toured, but it’s a worth driving by for a looksee.

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In addition to his former homes, there are countless area connections and landmarks that pay tribute to the Chairman of the Board. If you’re looking to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday this December, take a drive down Frank Sinatra Drive, snap a picture by his name on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, or grab a dinner at Melvyn’s Restaurant, a favorite Sinatra hangout. You can also honor the legendary icon by booking the Crooner’s Room (left) at Palm Springs Rendezvous and toasting him with a cocktail by the pool.

Whatever you do and whenever you visit, rest assured that the swanky cool that Frank Sinatra exemplified is alive and well in what he lovingly considered his home, the desert gem called Palm Springs!

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Palm Springs Connections: D.W. Griffith

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D.W. Griffith (at right, with hat), pictured in 1919 with (from left), Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin. 

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Bottom section of a movie poster for D.W. Griffith's controversial Ku Klux Klan propaganda film. 

by Kim LaPat, Travel Editor, Emma Spencer Living

With its close, but not too close proximity to Los Angeles, Palm Springs has long been a mecca for the Hollywood set to vacation, visit, and reside in. Among the icons associated with this California desert oasis are unforgettable names like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and Lucille Ball. Another legendary leader in the Hollywood industry, D.W. Griffith, also has Palm Springs connections. You might be thinking: D.W. who? Although the name may not be as familiar, his influence was just as great as those you instantly recognize. Here’s a little background:

D.W. Who?
Born in Kentucky in 1875, David Llewelyn Wark “D.W.” Griffith tried his hand at playwriting and acting before making his first short film in 1908. He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the moviemaking industry due to his groundbreaking storytelling techniques and cinematic developments. And while many of his films were commercial flops or wrought with controversy, his place among the legends can’t be denied. As Charlie Chaplin reportedly said, he was “the teacher of us all.”

Early Achievements in Film
One of D.W. Griffith’s most noteworthy achievements is being the first director to film in what we now call Hollywood. The short silent film In Old California, was shot in 1910, making it the earliest film on record to be made in Hollywood. Apparently, Griffith discovered the charming Hollywood neighborhood during his frequent visits to California, and hence decided to set his Mexican melodrama there.

Another D.W. Griffith milestone was directing one of the earliest feature films in 1914, called Judith of Bethulia. What was significant about this achievement was that production companies did not believe in the viability of longer-length films. They felt there would be no audience appeal to a feature format, and as a result, Griffith received little support or backing during production. And since costs were outrageous by the standard of the day, he was essentially forced to break out on his own and begin his own production studio.

Creative, yet Controversial Genius
Under his own production authority, Griffith went on to create one of the most profound, yet controversial films of all time. Originally called The Clansman, but later known as The Birth of a Nation, the 1915 movie is widely regarded as the first feature-length American film. Previous feature films were less than an hour in length, but The Birth of a Nation clocked in at over two hours. It was also the first 12-reel film in America, and the first to be screened by a US President (Woodrow Wilson) at The White House.

The landmark movie masterpiece brought all of Griffith’s creative skills together in one production, illustrating his powerful storytelling abilities. However, while The Birth of a Nation celebrated many new cinematic techniques that became a mainstay in the industry, its subject matter was and is the source of extreme controversy. The movie’s depiction of the Ku Klux Klan as heroic figures and African Americans as “savage,” incited protests and calls for the banning of the film. It also reportedly inspired the “second era” of the white-sheeted, racist organization and was used as a recruiting tool by the group. Still, despite this ugly legacy, the film has often been labeled the most important, influential, and profitable movies of all time.

Actors and Associates
D.W. Griffith isn’t a name typically on people’s tongues, even big-time movie buffs. Those he associated with and those whose careers he helped make are often more recognizable. Names like Lillian Gish, Lionel Barrymore, and Al Jolson. He may, in effect, have “discovered” America’s sweetheart Mary Pickford, instantly agreeing to pay her double the going rate after seeing her audition just once. In 1919, along with Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, Griffith formed United Artists movie studio in an effort to control their own moviemaking and not be subject to a studio’s demands.

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Palm Springs Connection
Although D.W. Griffith’s roots are in Kentucky, and most of his movie history is in Hollywood, there is a Palm Springs connection. Recently, we came across some memorabilia here at the Palm Springs Rendezvous that included two cancelled checks endorsed by the legendary Griffith himself (pictured, above). One of the checks was written in 1934 for a whopping $2,000; the other a decade later, in 1944, but for only $100. There is no record as to what these checks were written for—perhaps a party or a lengthy stay? What is known is that he was not producing movies at the time, having shot his last film, The Struggle, in 1931. It’s also public knowledge that Griffith battled an alcohol addiction and spent most of his post-Hollywood years living in hotel rooms. Was the Rendezvous (previously known by another name) one of those residences? We just don’t know for sure. What we do know is that somehow, in some way, the Palm Springs Rendezvous fits into D.W. Griffith's history. And we think that’s pretty darn cool!

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Insider Tips: How to Dress in Palm Springs

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A lovely group of Palm Springs Rendezvous guests show off their chic daytime attire.

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As the sun goes down, the air gets a bit cooler, but it's still quite warm. You might need a sweater, but if you're still in your daytime clothing, you'll survive!

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Riders on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway are prepared for the higher elevations with longer sleeves and lightweight jackets. 

Palm Springs is a paradise in the desert with beautiful views, gorgeous architecture, and a colorful history. There are also amazing hiking trails nearby where you’ll find mind-blowing vistas. Just remember, a desert paradise also comes with dust, hot sun, and hot temperatures, so you need to be prepared.

We’re not going to lecture you on what to wear when you’re in Palm Springs—be yourself and express your own style! However, we do have a few tips to help you pack for your desert vacation, no matter what your fashion preferences may be.

Everyday Outfits
To battle the everyday heat, aim for lightweight, loose clothing in light colors that won’t absorb the heat. A sunhat or other breathable chapeau is suggested as well to help keep the sun from burning your scalp. Be sure to don the sunscreen to protect any exposed areas, and reapply frequently if you’re outdoors for too long.

Visitors and locals are frequently seen wearing shorts, polo shirts, and tank tops during the day. Women are often spotted in colorful sundresses or lightweight linen or cotton pants, all of which provide comfort and coolness. Flip flops, deck shoes, sandals, or Birkenstocks are popular forms of footwear. Keep in mind that when going inside an air-conditioned restaurant, store, or museum, you may need a sweater or something a bit warmer, especially if you’re spending a good part of the day indoors.

Nighttime Options
Once the sun sets, the temperature drops and it will become quite a bit cooler. Ironically, people will say it feels cool when temperatures drop below 100! Yes, a light breeze and no sun will feel refreshing after a day of glaring heat.

With that in mind, your nighttime attire doesn’t need to change drastically. You can still wear your daytime clothing, but add a sweater or change out your shorts for long pants if need be. If you’re just heading out for the evening, a dress shirt with sleeves and a collar is perfect for the guys, while a long dress or long-sleeved top is ideal for the ladies. Where fashion is concerned, almost anything goes here. Just keep in mind that casual, but not sloppy, is the dress code!

Active Attire
Outdoor activities abound in Palm Springs. If you plan on swimming, hiking, biking, or doing any other outside physical activities, it’s important to dress the part. Wear something comfortable and activity-appropriate. Breathable, lightweight clothing is preferable to keep you cool and prevent overheating. Remember to wear closed-toe shoes, not flip-flops when hitting the trails via foot or bike. No matter what you’re doing outside, be smart and be prepared. Temperatures get well into triple digits in the summer, and that kind of heat must be respected. Use plenty of sunblock and take breaks to rehydrate often. Don a hat of some kind, and of course, protect those peeps with a pair of UV-protecting sunglasses. If you're heading up the mountain via the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, keep in mind that temperatures are cooler at the top, so bring along a jacket! When it comes to golfing, contact the course itself or ask our innkeeper about dress codes at area courses.

We hope this information helps you prepare for a fun vacation in the beautiful desert of Palm Springs. And if you forget something, don’t worry, there are plenty of stores in the area that will be happy to help supplement your vacation wardrobe!

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Movies Made in Palm Springs

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Bogart's Sahara was actually in the Palm Springs desert. (photo from silverscenesblog.
blogspot.com) 

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Sean Connery relaxing at the Palm Springs Elrod House during the filming of Diamonds are Forever. (photo from classicdriver.com)

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The Palm Springs home that was portrayed as a Las Vegas abode in the 2001 Ocean's 11 remake. (photo from iamnotastalker.com) 

With its stunning landscapes, stable weather, and close proximity to Hollywood studios in Los Angeles, Palm Springs has often been a preferred shooting location for movie and television productions. At times, Palm Springs is the featured setting of a film, but in many cases, the movies that are shot here are set in another part of the world altogether. Ah, the magic of moviemaking!

Here’s a look at a few of the major motion pictures that have been in filmed in Palm Springs over the decades.

Lost Horizon (1937)
Directed by Frank Capra and starring Ronald Colman, the film tells the story of a secret valley somewhere deep in the Himalayas. The people that live there are preserved by the magical properties of the valley. It does sound a little like Palm Springs.

Sahara (1943)
A war drama directed by Zoltan Korda and starring Humphrey Bogart, this movie is set in Libya during World War II. It depicts the Battle of Gazala, but was filmed not far from Palm Springs.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
The seventh James Bond movie features Sean Connery as 007 himself. In this installment, Bond chases the villain Blofeld around the world. The scenes set in South Africa were filmed near Palm Springs.

American Gigolo (1980)
Written and directed by Paul Schrader, American Gigolo stars Richard Gere as a gigolo (male prostitute) working in Los Angeles. It is often remembered for having the first male full-frontal nudity displayed in a Hollywood movie. But for us, the most notable attribute is that is was primarily shot in and around Palm Springs.

The Opposite of Sex (1998)
Written and directed by Don Roos and starring Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow, this bittersweet comedy grapples with the complications of modern relationships. It was shot in and around Palm Springs.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
This 2001 re-make of the iconic 1960 Rat Pack film was directed by Steven Soderbergh and brought together a stellar ensemble cast that included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. Amazing how Palm Springs can look like Las Vegas, isn’t it?

The Scorpion King (2002)
Directed by Chuck Russell and starring Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), this action adventure story is set in ancient Egypt, but was filmed in Palm Springs.

Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Mission: Impossible was a hugely successful television program that was adapted for the big screen as a Tom Cruise vehicle. The third in this series of movies finds Ethan Hunt (played by Cruise) returning to action to hunt down an arms dealer. Although the hero and the action crisscross the globe, Palm Springs was one of the major locations used for production.

Palm Springs is not only a great vacation destination; it’s a favorite location for moviemaking. The camera loves Palm Springs, and so will you!

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Palm Springs Wedding Destinations

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Beautiful backdrop at
the Ace Hotel.

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Elegance and atmosphere at Casa de Monte Vista.

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The Cree Estate is historic, elegant, and scenic. (herecomestheguide.com photo)

Not only is Palm Springs a popular vacation spot, it’s also becoming a premiere wedding destination. With 355 days a year of sunshine, the weather is a main selling point. Plus, the scenic mountainous landscape and abundance of palm trees provide an idyllic backdrop for wedding photos or outdoor ceremonies. In addition, the kitschy, mid-century vibe and variety of great restaurants, shop, and attractions make it a perfect travel destination for you and your guests.

If you’re considering a wedding in Palm Springs, there are many unique venues to choose from. Here are a few top choices:

Parker Palm Springs
With a chic elegance that’s hard to beat, the Parker’s ballroom has massive windows and jaw-dropping chandeliers.

Empire Polo Club
Perfect for an outdoor wedding, the picturesque gardens will make you feel like a fairytale Princess.

Ace Hotel and Swim Club
With a modern retro-style, the Ace Hotel features a great swimming pool and provides a relaxed, but stylishly glamorous vibe.

Moorten Botanical Gardens
The desert cacti make a striking background for an outdoor wedding.

La Quinta Resort and Club
This Spanish mission-style resort boasts a waterfall and palm trees. Wedding ceremonies are lovely and memorable in the resort’s intimate courtyard. As an added bonus, there’s an old Hollywood connection: Greta Garbo often came here to escape the world.

Joshua Tree National Park
You’ll need to get a permit, but for something truly unique, you can exchange wedding vows surrounded by the Joshua trees and rock formations of the spectacular National Park.

Casa de Monte Vista
Built in the 1920s, this was once party central for the Rat Pack. With its secluded compound and outdoor kitchen, this is the perfect place for a relaxed and fun wedding.

The Aerial Tramway
Here’s a truly memorable way to get married. You and your guests embark on a 10 minute aerial tram ride to the peak of Mount San Jacinto. There, you can say your vows surrounded by the wilderness of Mount San Jacinto State Park and with views that can’t be beat. There’s also a restaurant where you can host your reception celebration. No one will ever forget this one!

Cree Estate
For something stunning and a bit over the top, book the Cree Estate for a fabulous wedding weekend. Built in 1933, the estate features beautiful gardens, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Pretend that you live here and invite all of your friends to come party!

Colony Palms Hotel
This Spanish colonial-style hotel, which specializes in outdoor weddings, was built by mobster Al Wertheimer. Today, it’s a boutique hotel with luxurious rooms, a Mediterranean restaurant, and a fully-equipped spa.

Whichever venue you choose, getting married in Palm Springs is the perfect way to begin your happily-ever-after. And remember, the 10-room Palm Springs Rendezvous can be fully booked out to your wedding party, providing a private oasis that will cater to you and your guests in a way you’ll never forget!

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Legendary Hollywood Hook-Ups in Palm Springs

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Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

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Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner

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Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

With its idyllic climate, relaxed holiday atmosphere, and kitschy coolness, Palm Springs is a popular vacation destination for people from all over the globe. Part of the allure of Palm Springs is its old-school-Hollywood charm, which can be traced back to the 1920s. At that time, the desert mecca became a popular destination for Hollywood stars looking for a nearby getaway.

Back then, the film industry worked quite differently than it does today. Actors were often under strict contracts, with one of the common requirements being that they needed to remain within two hours of the studio in case film work or promotional activities came up on short notice. Actors soon realized that Palm Springs was within a two-hour commute from Los Angeles, and hence, it became the home-away-from-home for the celebrity set.

In addition to being an ideal holiday destination for movie stars, Palm Springs also became known as a convenient location for a romantic liaison. Here are some of the famous couples who found love in the heat of Palm Springs:

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard was Clark Gable’s third wife. They married in 1939 and it is reported to be one of the happiest periods of his life. They met in 1932 on the set of the movie No Man of Her Own, but then didn’t begin their romance until 1936 when Lombard left her then-husband William Powell. The couple often spent vacations in Palm Springs. The marriage of Gable and Lombard was cut short by the tragic death of Lombard in an airplane crash in 1942.

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
Frank Sinatra was femme fatale Ava Gardner’s third and final marriage. They were married from 1951 to 1957. Contracted to MGM studios, Gardner worked solidly in Hollywood, becoming best known for her role in The Night of the Iguana. Sinatra was a keen golfer, and the couple often vacationed in Palm Springs.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Showbiz couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had a whirlwind romance that led to their marriage in 1940. Frequent visitors to Palm Springs, the stars of the massive hit TV show I Love Lucy were constantly on the cover of magazines, with the show often mirroring the ups and downs of their own life, even including a real-life pregnancy storyline for the birth of their son Desi Arnaz, Jr.

You don’t have to be famous to find love in Palm Springs. With year-round great weather, a hip Hollywood vibe, and romantic bed-and-breakfasts like Palm Springs Rendezvous catering to couples, Palm Springs is the perfect setting for amour!

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Where to Eat in Palm Springs

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Jake's Palm Springs

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Melvyn's (trip advisor photo)

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Workshop Kitchen and Bar

One of the great things about vacations is being able to experience new things, try new places, and have a few really special nights out that will help create lasting memories. Dining out is the perfect way to get a real sense of the lifestyle of the destination you have chosen.

There are a lot of reasons why Palm Springs is one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States—it’s easy to get to, has great weather, is a modernist mecca, and also features some fantastic restaurants and eateries that can’t be missed.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Jake’s Palm Springs
Located downtown, Jake’s is particularly popular for lunch. The food is modern, contemporary, and fresh.

TRIO Restaurant
Always one of the hot spots in Palm Springs, TRIO specializes in American classics served with a modern sensibility and a bit of a twist.

Workshop Kitchen and Bar
The decor of Workshop Kitchen blends modernist architecture with a retro interior. As a self-described farm-to-table restaurant, the eatery prides itself on the freshness and seasonality of its food.

DISH Creative Cuisine
Clever fine dining at its best! It might not look like much as you’re walking by, but step inside DISH and you are in for a taste sensation with some of the best gastronomical techniques in the business.

Tinto
If you like the tapas dishes of Spain, pintxos is the equivalent style of dish from the Basque region. Tinto specializes in these small plates which are perfect for sharing and sampling.

Pacifica Seafood Restaurant
Palm Springs is a long way from the ocean, so you might be a little skeptical about a restaurant that specializes in seafood. However, Pacifica is fine dining at its best, serving up seafood that has been caught fresh that day and delivered straight to their kitchen.

Spencer’s Restaurant
You are going to need to make a reservation for this one, but it’s worth the effort! Classic American food done perfectly.

Copley’s on Palm Canyon
This restaurant has a long history and a fair bit of star power, as it used to be one of the favorite hangouts of Cary Grant. Definitely a place to see and be seen at.

Le Vallauris Restaurant
Situated in a fabulous ranch-style mansion, you will be bowled over by this restaurant’s top-notch service and exquisite food. This is a place to take someone that you are trying to impress.

Melvyn’s Restaurant
When Elizabeth Taylor had finished shooting a movie, or Frank Sinatra had finished recording an album, they came to Melvyn’s Restaurant to relax and unwind. It’s just as good today as it was then and has become a cultural landmark in Palm Springs.

Forget the diet while you are on vacation. There is too much good food in Palm Springs to have to worry about calorie counting. You’re on vacation—enjoy it!

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Unleash Your Inner Elvis

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The relationship between Elvis and Priscilla Presley is widely seen as one of the great rock and roll romances of the 20th century, and their passion for Palm Springs is integral to their story.

The couple met in 1959 in Germany. Priscilla’s family had been transferred there (her adopted father was in the US Air Force), and Elvis was stationed in Germany during his military service. Elvis was already a major recording and movie star at this time. Priscilla was only 14 years old when they met, but they spent as much time together as possible until Elvis left Germany in 1960.

In 1961, Elvis flew Priscilla to the United States so that they could spend a vacation together, and in 1962 Priscilla left her family in Germany so that she could move to the United States to be with Elvis. They married in 1967.

The Palm Springs retreat
In 1966, Elvis leased the Alexander Estate in Palm Springs for one year. Elvis viewed the Alexander Estate as a place of retreat from the heady world of Hollywood and the hectic lifestyle of Los Angeles. The estate was built by Robert Alexander, who is renowned for the construction of numerous iconic landmarks in Palm Springs. At the time of building, the estate was described as “the house of tomorrow.” Consisting of three stories, and built in four concentric circles, it is a design that still feels contemporary and modern today. In fact, events during Palm Springs’ annual “Modernism Week” are often held at the Alexander Estate since it is considered one of the town’s premier examples of modernist architecture. When in the area, you can tour the Alexander Estate to admire the architecture and get a glimpse into the life that Elvis enjoyed during his time in Palm Springs.

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The wedding escape
The wedding of Elvis and Priscilla was a media sensation. Naturally, it had to be tightly choreographed for maximum publicity. Elvis and Priscilla were staying at the Alexander Estate in Palm Springs before the wedding. As usual, there was a large throng of press surrounding the estate, attempting to catch a glimpse of the couple. However, the couple successfully managed a disappearing act, skillfully evading the press to make their escape to Las Vegas where the wedding reception would be held. You see, the Alexander Estate includes an escape route that was built at the time of construction. When you visit the property today you can see the escape route, view the photographs of the time, and imagine how exciting it must have been as Elvis and his young bride evaded the press on the way to their wedding.

The honeymoon in Palm Springs
Following their wedding reception in 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis and Priscilla boarded a private jet and flew to Palm Springs for their honeymoon. They stayed at the Alexander Estate that had become a home-away-from-home for Elvis.

Elvis Presley is without doubt one of the iconic entertainers of modern history, and his relationship with Priscilla is a romance that has stood the test of time. Unleash your inner Elvis as you walk in their footsteps as you explore Palm Springs.

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Plan for Coachella NOW!

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The wildly popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is THE event of the year in the Palm Springs area. Hotels book up fast and tickets sell out quickly, so it’s never too early to start planning. Held annually over two weekends, the 2015 event will take place April 10-12 and April 17-19 at the picturesque Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA—about a 30 minute commute from the Palm Springs Rendezvous.

History of Coachella
Coachella’s roots date back to a historic Pearl Jam concert that took place at the Empire Polo Club in 1993. The concert was in many ways a protest, with the band boycotting venues controlled by ticketing agency Ticketmaster. From a logistical perspective, the concert demonstrated that the Empire Polo Club was capable of hosting large events, but it wasn’t until 1999 that the first Coachella Festival was held. At the premiere event, headliners included Beck, Rise Against the Machine, and Tool. In subsequent years, the names kept getting bigger and bigger, with superstars like Madonna, Prince, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, and Coldplay joining lineups that included hundreds of performers. Today, Coachella is more than a festival—it’s a destination unto itself, attracting an audience of more than a 500,000 visitors per year. That’s a half-million people…about the population of Boston!

The Logistics
There are a couple of key elements that are essential to the success of your Coachella experience. First, you need to book accommodations. Many people opt to truly get into the Bohemian spirit and partake in the on-site camping experience. The polo grounds at the venue are transformed into a fully-equipped (including showers) campsite on the grassy fields adjacent to the performance stages. This rustic experience might be ideal for some, but it’s not for everyone. Those looking to retreat from the noise and excitement for the night might prefer the quiet luxury of a bonafide hotel room like the Palm Springs Rendezvous. Instead of cramming into a tent, you can relax by the pool, enjoy a midnight snack of freshly baked treats, soak in a soothing Jacuzzi tub, and settle in comfortably in your plush bedding. Then, in the morning, you’ll be treated to a three-course gourmet breakfast before heading back to the fest. Book now...rooms sell out quickly!

Once you’ve secured your room for the event, you need to figure out how to get to the festival. The good news is that there’s lots of support in place to help make your journey as easy as possible. For those heading straight to the fest from the airport, round-trip shuttles operate between Los Angeles International Airport and the festival site. There’s also a convenient, affordable, and easy to use Uber car ride service available throughout Palm Springs. A dedicated Uber Lounge is set up at the fest for drop-off and pick-ups. In addition, free parking is available on-site for those with rental or personal vehicles.

More than Music
Coachella always delivers an impressive lineup of music that includes big-name artists and Indie favorites. But there’s more to the fest than just what’s happening on the various stages. There are impressive art installations, top-notch food booths, and a variety of obscure activities, including a 3-legged-race, a bad-dancing competition, and a ping pong party. Plus, the people-watching is a show in itself, with over-the-top fashion and a who’s-who of celebrity attendees walking the grounds. There’s really something for everyone!

Tickets for Coachella and rooms at area hotels always sell out well in advance. If you want to experience this extraordinary Palm Springs festival, start planning now!

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Things to Do in Palm Springs: VillageFest

by Edward Allen,
Travel Writer, Palm Springs Rendezvous

Looking for things to do in Palm Springs? Put VillageFest at the top of your list! Taking place every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs, VillageFest is a street fair that features arts, crafts, food, entertainment, and of course, people watching galore.

Where is VillageFest Held?
The historic Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs comes alive every Thursday evening with VillageFest. The street is a mecca of unique shops, swanky restaurants, and happening night spots on a daily basis. However, Thursday evenings add a little something extra with the vibrancy of an open-market feel. There are stalls of vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, jewelry, and food along with roaming artists and entertainers. VillageFest encompasses about three blocks, with most of the shops in that area staying open late to make the most of the fun.

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When is VillageFest Held?
From October through May, Palm Springs VillageFest is held every Thursday night between the hours of 6 pm to 10 pm. In the summer months, between June and September, VillageFest opens at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm, also every Thursday. Admission is free, and so is the fun!

Holidays and Special Events at VillageFest
VillageFest is even more spectacular when combined with holidays and special events. The week of Halloween is a great time to visit, with costume contests, trick-or-treating, and a zombie walk all part of the fun. The Christmas season is another amazing time to check out VillageFest. The vendors pull out all the stops when it comes to their offerings, and the streets are magically transformed into a cozy, festive, desert-town Winter Wonderland. (Minus the snow, of course!)

Other Markets in Palm Springs
If you enjoy street fairs, fests, and open markets like VillageFest, there are several other options here in Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Open Air Market is held every Saturday from November to April. The Open Air Market has kiosks filled with new and vintage goods for sale--everything from clothes and accessories to art, jewelry, furniture, flowers, organic products, fresh produce, and a variety of unique foods. The Open Air Market is located in the downtown precinct between North Indian Canyon Drive and Calle Encilia at The Spa Resort Casino. (Picture, right, from hot4palmsprings.com.)

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The Palm Springs Vintage Market, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month between November and May, is also worth checking out. If you’re interested in vintage, retro, or mid-century treasures, this market is for you! Held in the Spa Casino parking lot on North Calle Encilia, the outdoor flea-market is more than just a showcase of great offerings—it provides a fantastic view of the beautiful cactus, palm, and mountainous landscape of Palm Springs. And when you’re ready for a break, there are numerous dining and entertainment options nearby. As a value added amenity, a unique consignment service is offered for those who’d like to sell a few items, but don’t want the hassle or expense of setting up their own booth. (Picture, left, from desertsun.com.)

There are so many things to do in Palm Springs—from lounging to hiking to dining to shopping. Visiting VillageFest and other street fairs and open markets is a great way to soak up the sun and experience the easy-going Southern California vibe. But don’t take my word for it—book a trip to Palm Springs today and see for yourself!

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Hiking Trails Near Palm Springs

In addition to shopping, eating, and sightseeing, Palm Springs, California and the surrounding area has numerous hiking trails to keep the nature lover in you happy and healthy. With consistently sunny days year-round and warm weather throughout the seasons, getting your walk on is one of the best ways to take in the lovely mountainous scenery of Palm Springs. The area boasts more than 140 trails that comprise more than 1,250 miles of terrain. With so many options, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few of the best hiking trails we’ve found—ones we frequently recommend to guests of The Rendezvous.

The Big Split Rock Slot Canyon Walkabout (Mecca Hills)
The Big Split Rock walkabout trail measures 6 miles in length and takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete. With only a slight elevation change of 100 feet, it’s a fairly easy hike. The best time of year to hit the trail is between October and April. During that time, the colors and views are spectacular. Along the way, you’ll see the Mecca Hills in the northeast corner of the Coachella Valley along with many breathtaking vistas. At times, the terrain along this hike is akin to walking on the surface of the moon—mysterious, beautiful, and out of this world. Anyone who enjoys the nuances of nature, is relatively fit, and wants to take in a truly unique landscape will love this pleasant hiking trail. (photo from visitgreaterpalmsprings.com)

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Lost Palms Oasis Trail at Cottonwood Spring (Joshua Tree National Park)
The Lost Palms Oasis Trail, located on the south boundary of the Joshua Tree National Park, is about 8 miles overall and takes about 4 hours to hike. Along the trail, you’ll see numerous rock formations, cacti, and other vegetation while navigating up and down this moderately difficult trail. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with a view of a secluded palm oasis that features the largest collection of fan palms in the park. Due to the heat that’s common in the summer months, this hike is most popular during the months of September through May. The trail also branches off into the Mastodon Peak Trail, a short loop that offers stunning views of the Eagle Mountains and Salton Sea.

Whitewater Canyon/Pacific Crest Trail Ridge Loop (Whitewater Preserve)
If you’re looking for a shorter trail, the Whitewater Canyon/Pacific Crest Trail Ridge Loop may be right for your adventure. This 4-mile, 2-hour hike is perfect for the novice hiker, as the trail is relatively easy to navigate and is mostly flat, with an elevation gain of approximately 300 feet. The White Whitewater Preserve and Canyon is the land that forms a boundary for the Coachella Valley desert and the San Bernardino Mountains. Along the hike, you’ll traverse Whitewater River, which supplies fresh drinking water to the Coachella Valley. You’ll also find tall green grasses, wildflowers, and a stunning vista. (photo from alltrails.com)

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Palm Canyon Trail to the Stone Pools (Palm Springs Indian Canyons)
The 6-mile Palm Canyon Trail will take you about 3 hours to complete. With an elevation gain of about 900 feet, it is moderately difficult, but well worth the effort! Along the trail, you’ll wind your way through the river bottom of Palm Canyon, where you’ll feel as if you’ve left the desert and entered the jungle. Further along, you’ll emerge into the higher-ground plateaus which provide postcard-perfect views of Palm Springs, the desert, and distant mountains. A small trail that breaks off from the main will lead you to the Stone Pools area, where glimmering water collects and flows in a gorgeous cascade against the rocks. This challenging hike is rich with incredible sights and panorama—a perfect choice for the experienced explorer. (photo from nobodyhikesinla.com)

Hiking is a free activity that requires little more than an energetic, adventurous spirit and a desire to be active and soak in the natural beauty of your surroundings. As with any hike, wear appropriate shoes and clothing, use sunscreen, carry plenty of water (and food for longer hikes), and research the trail in advance. When possible, bring along a trail map—and don’t forget your camera!

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Retail Therapy in Palm Springs

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Everybody loves a little retail therapy—and Palm Springs is the perfect place to flex those shopping muscles. The desert mecca of Palm Springs, California has long been a shopping destination known for its trendy, unique, and specialty shops. The town’s cool, mid-century vibe combined with its upscale, Hollywood aura makes it the perfect setting for all kinds of shopping. Whether you’re a browser, a collector, a fashionista, or a bargain-hunter, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in Palm Springs. Here are a few examples of the many stores found along historic Palm Canyon Drive:

Route 66 West
When looking for that special accessory or statement jewelry piece, look no further than Route 66 West. Located at 465 N. Palm Canyon Drive, this impressive boutique is a favorite of jewelry collectors, designers, and costumers. Celebrities like Diane Keaton have shopped here as well as the costume designers for the hit TV series MadMen. With vintage jewelry galore in addition to a lovely array of various antiques, you’ll definitely be getting your kicks when you head to this Route 66! (photo, right, from latimes.com.)

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Resale Therapy
Resale Therapy, located at 67800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, has been a socialite's haven for years. Previously-owned, but lovingly cared for vintage and contemporary designer fashions are offered for both men and women. Finds like a 1960’s metallic cocktail gown for under $75 and a 1980’s Givenchy couture gown priced under $250 have been reported. There are also shoes from all the top designers—even Jimmy Choo! And if that’s not reason enough to check out the shop, there’s also a back room with bargains you won't believe. Everything in the back-room area is marked 75-percent off—plus, when you buy four items, your fifth item costs just one cent. This is resale shopping at its best, perfect for the fashionista who enjoys one-of-a-kind finds at a fraction of the cost.

Wil Stiles
Wil Stiles, found at 875 N. Palm Canyon Drive, caters to “the desert life of leisure” with its collection of clothing and accessories for men and women. Owned by The Stiles family, who ran a successful line of shops in Minneapolis, Minnesota for more than 15 years, this retail gem focuses on the hippie/new age vibe so notable in Southern California. As Palm Springs transplants, the Stiles’ have successfully and artfully shed their arctic roots in favor of California chic. The shop carries international brands such as Samuel Dong (Canada), United Kingdom of Luke and Jakartan (England), and Manik Kami (Bali, Indonesia), among others. Designer labels including Valentino, Dior, Yves Saint Lauren, Gucci, and Fred Perry are also represented. This boutique is truly a shoppers paradise in the desert.

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This sampling of shops barely scratches the surface when it comes to unique retail therapy in Palm Springs. There’s something for everyone here—from art galleries to upscale boutiques to resale shops to souvenir vendors. People come to Palm Springs from around the world to enjoy the area’s museums, eclectic dining options, unique lodging options (like Palm Springs Rendezvous), and of course, the shopping!

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FREE Things to Do in Palm Springs

by Kim LaPat
Travel Writer, Emma Spencer Living

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Everyone loves FREE! And who doesn’t love Palm Springs? So, combining the two is just the right formula for a perfect vacation! With its desert beauty, mid-century charm, scenic vistas, and Hollywood connections, Palm Springs is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s also a mecca of fine dining, excellent museums, and great hiking spots. Best yet, it’s home to Palm Springs Rendezvous! There are plenty of things to spend your money on in Palm Springs, but there are also a lot of ways to save your cash and still enjoy this unique California retreat destination.

Rendezvous Freebies
In addition to affordable, competitive room rates, there’s NEVER a resort fee or any hidden costs at The Rendezvous. In fact, you’ll be stunned by how many extras are included! First, you’ll start each day off right with a delicious, three-course gourmet breakfast. Throughout the day, there’s water, coffee, and tea available in the lounge. Plus, every room fridge is stocked with bottled beverages like sodas, water, and juices. And yes, they’re free of charge!

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Each day, a new batch of freshly-made baked goodies arrives at your doorstep to satisfy your sweet tooth. Of course, swimming in or relaxing by the courtyard pool is always free, as is the poolside happy hour with daily signature cocktails and snacks. If you’re in the mood to relax, there are board games, videos, and books available in the lounge. And if that’s not enough, we also provide guests with free bike rentals.

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Bike in Style
Bike riding is a great way to get around Palm Springs, with many miles of bike routes that are kept well maintained and marked. And with the Rendezvous’ retro Schwinns, you’ll be riding in real 50’s style! Pedal your way for free through historic areas of town, taking in the many architectural and scenic wonders at your own pace. Or, cruise through the downtown area for window-shopping and people watching. The options are only limited by your own bike-riding stamina!

Take a Hike
Not only is it great exercise, but hiking is the best way to see the finer details of the desert terrain of Palm Springs. The scenery is simply unbeatable! Miles of free hiking trails for every skill level are there for the discovering. We’ll point you in the right direction and help you choose the right hike for your interests and abilities. While some trails can be navigated in an hour or so, others can take days. Be sure to grab some free bottled water from The Rendezvous and put on your sunscreen before you head out.

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Check out Villagefest
Every Thursday night, Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs comes alive as a lively and bustling street fair. In the summer, Villagefest runs from 7-10pm, while in the winter months, the hours are from 6-10pm. Here, you’ll enjoy a variety of musicians, arts, crafts, food, and even a farmer’s market. While you may find things you want to spend your money on, attending the festivities is free of charge!

Pack a Picnic
Picnicking may seem like an old-fashion notion, but Palm Springs is retro, baby! Packing a lunch or snack to enjoy outdoors is fun, relaxing, and (mostly) free! You might have to shell out a few bucks for your meal, but with the Rendezvous’ free beverages, you’re ahead of the game. Or, if you wish, our innkeepers can wrap up your happy hour snack for you to take on the go. Palm Springs has a variety of beautiful parks, including Sunrise Park, Ruth Hardy Park, and DeMuth Park, that offer shady spots, beautiful scenery, picnic tables, and grills. The staff at Palm Springs Rendezvous will be happy to give you suggestions on places to picnic, where to pick up a delicious sandwich, or where to grab a nice bottle of wine.

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Appreciate Some Art
Admission to Palm Springs Art Museum is free of charge on Thursday evenings from 4-8 pm. Here, you’ll find international Modern and Contemporary paintings and sculptures by world-class artists, plus numerous specialized exhibitions. Tours, talks, and events are also available. Plus, if you’re willing to drive about a half hour south, the Palm Springs Art Museum location in Palm Desert is free of charge at all times, thanks to a generous grant from a patron of the arts. Art lovers will also enjoy the eclectic mix of art galleries and shops in downtown Palm Springs. Spend an afternoon gallery hopping along Palm Canyon Drive, viewing fine art, sculptures, and every art medium in between. Window shopping is always free, and the walking is great exercise.

See the Stars
In the 50s and 60s, Palm Springs was a celebrities’ playground, with iconic stars like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Liberace, and Bob Hope all residing in the swanky town. A free “Tour of the Stars’ Homes” map is available at The Palm Springs Rendezvous. Names, addresses, and a simple, self-guided set of driving directions are provided.

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Another set of stars to check out is the Palm Springs Walk of Stars—our own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Meander around portions of Palm Canyon Drive, Museum Drive, Tahquitz Canyon Way, and La Plaza Court in downtown Palm Springs to explore the famous names embedded in the pavement. It’s fun and it’s free!

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Visiting Palm Springs doesn’t have to be expensive. This culturally-rich, beautiful city offers many sights, events, and activities that don’t cost a cent. And with 350 days a year of sunshine (also free), your vacation is sure to be one you truly won’t forget!

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Coachella is Coming!

by Kim LaPat, 
Travel Writer, Emma Spencer Living

Palm Springs is known for its mid-century style, eclectic eateries, Hollywood connections, and once a year, the incomparable Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Each spring, the Coachella Valley comes alive with a frenetic, super-charged energy filled with fun, fashion, food, and of course, music. Taking place over two weekends, Coachella is arguably the most fashionable and star-studded festival of the year—drawing in people from all walks of life and all parts of the world. If you’ve never attended Coachella, you’re really missing out! Here are the top 5 reasons you should begin planning NOW for your 2015 Coachella experience.

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The Music
First and foremost, Coachella is all about the music. The lineup of artists, which changes year to year, never fails to impress. Headliners like Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Prince, Madonna, Lorde, Pharrell Williams, Muse, The Cure, Ellie Goulding, and Lana Del Ray have all been featured. But that’s just the tip of the desert iceberg. Hundreds of groups perform each weekend from all music genres, so there’s truly something for everyone.

The Fashion
If you’re prone to just throwing on a t-shirt and jeans when you’re at a street festival, that’s fine—but at Coachella, it might be time to step up your game. Fashion is at the forefront at Coachella, with models, celebrities, and regular ol’ fun-seekers dressing up in their street fest best. The most popular style is some version or interpretation of bohemian or hippie chic. (photo on right from LA Times) Crop tops, tie die, beads, headbands, floppy hats, crochet, and fringe are mainstays among the crowds. Whether you’re a fashionista at heart or just enjoy playing dress-up every once and a while, Coachella is the perfect place to express yourself and your style. If nothing else, the festival provides some fabulous people-watching opportunities!

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The Art
If the music and the fashion aren’t enough, there’s also any artsy side to Coachella. The massive, unique art installations peppered throughout the grounds have been a feature of the festival for several years. In 2012, a 130-foot orchid sculpture towered above festival-goers, and in 2013 a giant wandering snail caught everyone’s attention. The impressive, awe-inspiring artwork blends in perfectly with the grand scale of this eclectic event.

The Celebrities
Walking the grounds of Coachella is like attending a live-action reading of People magazine. Celebrities, like the rest of us, are drawn to the festival for its fun, fashion, music, and art. Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Paul, Alexander Skarsgard, Diane Kruger, Joshua Jackson (pictured, right, in photo from popsugar), Jessica Alba, and Vanessa Hudgens are just a sampling of the countless celebs that have been spotted at Coachella. And as the hottest outdoor ticket in town, many famous names are actually paid to attend! Last year, Lea Michele was reportedly paid $20,000 by Lacoste to attend the event wearing the designer’s clothing.

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The Food 
What would a great festival be without great food? In recent years, the popularity and panache of Coachella has helped raise the bar in terms of edible offerings. Foodies will rejoice as they enjoy a taste of Southern California via food trucks and restaurant stands from some of the finest eateries around (photo, left, from storify.com). Special attention is paid to accommodate a variety of eating lifestyles, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, raw, and kosher. No one goes hungry at Coachella!

Coachella is more than just a festival; it’s a microcosm of California culture mixed with unrivaled music, art, and food. Where else can you rock out late into the night and then partake in a yoga class the next morning? Only at Coachella!

Travelers Tip: Rooms in Palm Springs book early. If you plan to attend Coachella 2015, taking place April 10-12 and April 17-19, make your reservations NOW!

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Marilyn Monroe: Never Forgotten

by Kim LaPat and Ed Staak,
Emma Spencer Living

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Marilyn Monroe is iconic the world over. But perhaps nowhere is she loved more than in Palm Springs, California. To this day, Palm Springs is fascinated with Marilyn’s legendary stardom, beauty, sex appeal, and mystique. Once a playground of the rich and famous, the posh community of Palm Springs still maintains its mid-century charm and nostalgic Hollywood appeal. Names like Marilyn, Elvis, Bing, Liberace, and Gloria still live on in The Springs.

While there isn’t a lot known about Marilyn’s Palm Springs escapades, many stories have filtered down over time. We do know that Marilyn frequented the Mira Loma hotel (known today as Palm Springs Rendezvous), as did many other celebrities of the era, including Veronica Lake and Gloria Swanson. The blonde bombshell must have been impressed with the hotel and the community, since she eventually purchased a home in the town. Today, the exterior of that home remains virtually as it did when Marilyn resided there—and is a popular tourist destination.

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Golden Girl
Of course, Marilyn’s history extends well beyond the bounds of Palm Springs. During her Hollywood tenure, she rose to such fame that her films became huge money makers. Her films grossed more than $200 million at a time when movies seldom brought in more than a few million dollars. Marilyn was considered the world's hottest sex symbol, exemplifying an IT factor that encompassed her beauty, charm, fun-loving humor, and sly wit. Naturally, the sparkle of the golden girl attracted a lot of male attention. Famous men were drawn to her sexual energy and incomparable beauty. She was known for her intimate relationships with celebrities like Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, President John F. Kennedy and manager Elia Kazan. She was also married three times—to Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio (pictured, left), and James Dougherty.

Subtle Start
Surprisingly, the mega-star wasn’t always as poised or golden as she’s known to have been. When she first came on the scene, it’s said that producers didn’t believe she had the acting chops needed to be a star. There are also stories that she suffered terrible stage fright, even to the point of being sick before a show. But that rocky start was short-lived. Her talent exploded to meteoric proportions, and as we know, she quickly became Hollywood’s hottest and most popular actress. She proved her acting ability time and again by winning a various honors and attracting huge audiences to her films.

Sad End
Marilyn was firmly entrenched as Hollywood's IT girl, but as Robert Frost famously wrote, "Nothing gold can stay." On August 5, 1962, on a clear day in Los Angeles, California, Marilyn passed away at the age of 36. The sunny weather didn’t match the circumstances of the day, in which the starlet was tragically found dead at her newly-purchased LA home. An empty container of sleeping pills was discovered in her bedroom. While the coroner labeled her death a suicide, many rumors began circulating that foul play could have been a factor. Conspiracy theorists even hinted at potential presidential involvement, but no evidence of any nefarious behavior was ever proven. Although the star’s light went out that day, her brightness never dulled.

Tearful Tribute
Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortensen, had a tumultuous upbringing where she was passed between family members and foster homes. Ironically, the girl who seemed loved and unwanted as a child rose to become a woman that everyone loved and wanted—and no one would ever forget. A decade after Marilyn’s demise, Elton John and his writing partner Bernie Taupin famously penned the song, “A Candle in the Wind,” as a tribute to her short, but impactful life. 


Goodbye Norma Jeane
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

Goodbye Norma Jeane
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe


The haunting melody and tearful lyrics tug at the heartstrings of those who remember, revere, and respect the tragic tale of Marilyn Monroe. Her life may have been cut short, but her place in history, and her place in our hearts and minds, will never been forgotten.

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Airplane Issues: Restless Legs

by Dr.Nicole Brod
Holistic Health Consultant, Emma Spencer Living

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Recently, a patient asked me about having restless legs when flying. “When I fly for more than a couple of hours, my legs get restless. What should I do?” she asked. Actually, this is a common problem for many travelers. Often, after an extended period of time in a seated, static position, the legs get restless due to stasis of blood. Gravity is always pulling blood to the lower extremities, but muscle contractions aid the veins in returning blood back up to the heart.

Veins do not have a pumping mechanism in them like the muscular walls of arteries. Therefore, veins rely on the muscles around them to manually pump blood through. This is why periods of stationary inactivity can cause feelings of fullness, swelling, and restlessness in the legs. Essentially it is your brain’s way of telling you those legs need to get moving to get blood pumped back to the heart. Think of it as an inherent, biological feedback system.
To combat this sensation, muscles need to be activated.

The next time you are on a plane for a few hours, try these simple exercises to get your blood moving and help battle the feeling of restless legs.

  1. While in a seated position, point your feet as if you are stepping down on a pedal, then curl your toes in. Squeeze your calves as you push the feet forward. Release the contraction and bring your feet back to a resting position. Next, bring the feet upward in the opposite direction, squeezing the muscle in the front of the shin and extending and spreading the toes. Relax the contraction and let the foot return to its neutral position. This is one repetition. Repeat two sets of ten repetitions.
  2. With knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor, pull lower leg back as if trying to bend the knee, but do not allow any movement in the legs. You should feel the muscles on the back of your thighs (hamstrings) contracting. This is a static contraction where there is no movement, but the muscles are squeezing and contracting. Then, attempt to extend the knee, but do not allow any movement in the leg. You should feel the top of your thigh (quadriceps) contract. Repeat this for two sets of ten repetitions.
  3. Perform ten ankle rotations clockwise and then ten counter clockwise
  4. Trace the alphabet on the floor with your toes. Repeat for each foot.

Another cause of restless legs may be anxiety. Try to avoid caffeine within four hours of traveling if you know you are susceptible to restless legs. If air travel has you on edge, and your legs are fidgeting, you can also try meditation or some lavender essential oil in the left nostril to get your mind off of your surroundings. Restless legs may also be caused by low iron in the body. Prior to your trip, it couldn’t hurt to load up on leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, which are high in iron.

If restless legs are a problem outside of the airplane, especially if it occurs frequently, it may be time to consult your primary care physician to test for Restless Leg Syndrome.

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Palm Springs Rendezvous: A Kitschy-Cool Retreat

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  • New Shake Rattle & Roll Overall Room

by Kim LaPat
Travel Editor, Emma Spencer Livng

Discovering the Rendezvous was an epiphany for me. It opened my eyes to a whole new kind of lodging—one that didn’t fit into any other mold; one that stood out among a sea of ordinary hotels. When planning for a trip, I’m typically cautious about choosing places I’ve never heard of—which is why I tend to repeatedly book at the same name-brand, chain locations I’m familiar with.

Recently, however, I stepped out of my box and discovered a new way to stay—at the Palm Springs Rendezvous. Unlike the corporate-giant hoteliers that often lure me in with their big-budget advertising, this family-run, mid-century boutique hotel was an unknown wild-card for me. For one thing, there were only 10 rooms—not 10 floors—and instead of a sterile gym, impersonal business center, and massive lobby, there was a courtyard pool with water misters, a quaint lounge with a red rotary phone, and an innkeeper with an uncanny resemblance to Buddy Holly.

On top of all that, the Rendezvous was a theme hotel—and no two rooms were the same. Each room had a distinct 50’s vibe with décor and furnishings reminiscent of the past, but none crossed the line into over-the-top or gaudy. Like the entire hotel, the rooms were kitschy, but cool. My room—the Elvis-themed, aptly-named Shake, Rattle, and Roll—had a vintage flare, but also came with all the modern amenities, including a couch, fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, in-room massage table, and mini-fridge with complimentary beverages. And the bed…the sheets…don’t even get me started. I’ve never slept better anywhere!

Upon check-in, I wasn’t just greeted by some 9-to-5 staffer and handed a key card—I was welcomed in like a family member. John-Michael (with his Buddy Holly glasses) sat me down at a chrome dining table and got to know me as a guest and as a person—asking me questions about what I liked to eat, what activities I enjoyed, and what sort of vacation I was seeking. He suggested restaurants, pointed out key attractions on a city map, and gave me tips on getting around Palm Springs. Then he walked me around the hotel, giving me the lay of the land, and personally escorted me to my room—where I was given a bonafide key, not a plastic card with an ad for a local restaurant on it.

Never, ever before had I been given service like that—and that was just during the first 20 minutes of my stay. The remainder of the trip was beyond expectations: poolside happy hour with frothy cocktails and a homemade snack (my favorite was quesadillas with guacamole); daily in-room, diet-busting baked goodies; and an elegant, three-course breakfast that had me full till midday. On top of that, there was a quiet, homey, relaxing, and hospitable quality to the place—so much so that I felt more like a resident than a guest. I made friends—a delightful retired couple from Manchester, UK; a young California pair escaping for the weekend; and an international business traveler happy to be somewhere without the usual revolving-door atmosphere. And if I ever had a question—like how to access the WiFi or where to get the best Date Shake in town—the innkeeper would literally drop everything to get me an answer.

I also found there was more to the Rendezvous than just cool rooms, great food, and unparalleled service—there’s also a history to it. Icons like Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, and D.W. Griffiths were all guests at the hotel back in the Hollywood hey-day of Palm Springs. Marilyn even had a favorite room—the one called Pretty in Pink today. Plus, much of the original architecture, character, and decorative detailing remain, which makes the kitsch a natural part of its charm rather than a forced or contrived caricature of what the 50’s might have been.

The kitschy cool I discovered in the sweltering heat of Palm Springs has transformed me from a Stepford-ish hotel consumer—tied to the standard conventions I’ve always known—into a savvy and adventurous traveler who seeks something more from where I stay. And why not? After all, a vacation should be an escape from the ordinary, not just more of the same old thing.

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Rendezvous Blog