“Curious about how Palm Springs became Angelenos’ favorite weekend escape? When Hollywood’s movie industry flourished in the 1920s, film stars were contractually mandated to travel no further than two hours away from their studios during production, in case they were needed on set. (The real reason for this “two-hour rule” was to keep them out of trouble.) Palm Springs was a two-hour drive from L.A. — and it was always sunny, unlike competing getaway destinations like Santa Barbara.
The celebs and their minions often stayed and played in three star-studded resorts: the Desert Inn (1914-1955), El Mirador (1928-1972) and the Racquet Club (1933-2014). All that’s left of the big three today is a reconstruction of El Mirador’s grand Spanish Colonial-style tower, now part of the Desert Regional Medical Center.
But a handful of other historic Palm Springs-area resorts favored by Hollywood stars were spared the wrecking ball. The nine standouts listed here have been updated lovingly through the decades and still retain at least some of the look and ambience they exuded when Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and the Rat Pack hung out there. Consider them for your next desert escape, but keep in mind when booking: You’ll pay dearly for a room during the Coachella Valley’s spring music festivals, but rates plunge when summer temperatures push past 100 degrees. And … most of these resorts welcome dogs but not children…”