Looking for something really special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of your 29 birthday? Want to have an amazing girls’ weekend you will never forget? Why not plan a trip to Hollywood’s playground? Spend a weekend living the lifestyles of the rich and famous experiencing your own caviar dreams and champagne wishes sipping martinis by the pool. It’s possible to have a luxury weekend you will never forget with palm springs vacation rentals. Imagine yourself and your besties lounging around Mario Lanza’s pool here at the Martini Rose House and sleeping in luxury in one of the four bedrooms with ensuite baths.
I, myself, would have to choose the Twin Palms, Frank Sinatra’s Estate for my weekend getaway. If I’m going to Palm Springs I am having a Rat Pack weekend and sipping martinis beside Frank’s piano-shaped pool or maybe it should be Jack Daniels I’m sipping. It would be amazing to listen to Sinatra albums on the original sound and recording system installed by Valentino Electronics that is still in the house. The Twin Palms has 4 bedrooms and 6.5 baths, no worries about having enough mirror time there. The house is decorated with mid-century modern furniture and features Sinatra memorabilia and art throughout. I would definitely be the one to sleep in Frank’s bedroom and take a selfie with the cracked sink, a vestige of his marriage to Ava Gardner.
When Twin Palms was first built it was the weekend home of Frank and Nancy and their three children but when their marriage ended, he moved Ava Gardner in. Frank and Ava had a tempestuous marriage and divorced in 1957. After that, Frank moved to Rancho Mirage.
Now that we have decided on the fabulous luxury accommodations its time to see the sights. There are tons of really cool things you can do besides sitting by the pool sipping cocktails. Palm Springs is world famous for its golf courses. There are over 100 many designed by legends like Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, and Jack Nicklaus. There’s shopping, restaurants, spas, sightseeing, and did I mention it’s right near Coachella? If you are going in February be sure to check out Modernism week, a celebration of all things mid-century modern. On Saturday and Sunday check out the Street Fair at College of the Desert to find unique artisan pieces and listen to live music.
Those of you who follow my blog, know that I always look for sights off the beaten path when I go anywhere and this trip is no exception. Here are my 5 must do’s while in Palm Springs.
The Alexander Estate
Designed by William Krisel, the founder of MidCentury Modern, the Alexander Estate was dubbed “the house of tomorrow” by Look Magazine in 1962. This home has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, Marie Claire, Fodor’s, Travel Channel, AAA Westways, Time, and Architectural Digest but that is not why it is on my must-do list. It’s on my must-do list because this is the house that Elvis and Pricilla spent their honeymoon in. This is the house that inspired the Vernon and Gladys Suites at Graceland.
This neighborhood grew up around the El Mirador Hotel which was a favorite vacation spot for Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Lillian Gish. In this neighborhood, many of Hollywood’s biggest stars built homes such as Cary Grant, Dinah Shore, Tony Curtis, Gloria Swanson, and Jack Benny. Make sure to check out this map of the stars homes to find out which ones to put on your must-see list. There are even Palm Springs Celebrity Tour buses like in Hollywood that will drive you around to see the houses. How much fun would that be? While in the Movie Colony neighborhood, you can stop by Cary Grant’s house for lunch. No, I’m not joking. In 2004, Chef Andrew Copley realized his dream of opening a restaurant when he bought Cary Grant’s former home and opened Copley’s which serves upscale American cuisine infused with traces of tropical and European flavors.
The creation of Palm Springs artist Kenny Irwin, who has been working on it for over 30 years. Robolights features millions of Christmas lights in the largest residential light display in the US. It covers nearly 2 acres and consists of zig-zagging pathways with giant robots, aliens, spaceships and lots of other stuff Kenny creates out of items other people throw away. It is a folk art, sculpture garden full of twinkly lights and imagination. It is only open to the public from the end of November through the beginning of January but you can contact Kenny for private tours during the rest of the year.
Vista Las Palmas
This is the neighborhood that Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Peter Lawford all lived. The Lawford residence at 1295 N Via Monte Vista is the location where all the sordid tales of seduction and clandestine meetings involving the Rat Pack, the Kennedys, the mafia, and Marilyn Monroe happened. If those walls could talk.
Melvyn’s Restaurant and the Casablanca Lounge
My Rat Pack weekend would not be complete if I did not have dinner and a martini at the Casablanca Lounge. It is one of the last holdovers from that golden era. This is the kind of place you could run into Elizabeth Taylor, or see Frank Sinatra singing at the piano with Dean Martin. They still prepare the Steak Diane just like they did for Frank right at the tableside and you can follow it all up with some flaming Cherries Jubilee. Make sure you dress the part for dinner and enjoy the luxury of a bygone era. They also have live entertainment most nights.
What would your luxury weekend in Palm Springs look like?