THE WILLOWS HISTORIC PALM SPRINGS INN
OVERVIEW: (Download a Word version of this page here Willows Fact Sheet 2014)
One of Palm Springs’ most romantic and storied landmarks, The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is a luxurious and exclusive private hideaway sited dramatically against the very base of rugged Mt. San Jacinto yet mere moments from the vibrant heart of downtown Palm Springs.
Built as the winter retreat of a visionary Los Angeles millionaire, The Willows has sheltered some of the world’s most famous and intriguing people from movie stars to empire builders; diplomats to scientific geniuses; political giants to royalty. Shirley Temple; Joseph P. Kennedy; Lord Beaverbrook; New York’s flamboyant Jazz Age Mayor James J. Walker; director Ernst Lubitsch; silent screen legend Marion Davies and, of course, Dr. Albert Einstein are among the greats who passed through the elegant gates of The Willows in its romantic heyday. Today, the same charms that once enchanted these celebrated figures may still be enjoyed at The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn.
412 West Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
September through May (closed June-August)
The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is located on West Tahquitz Canyon Way just one block south of famous Palm Canyon Drive. Within easy walking distance are a plethora of casual-to-elegant restaurants, shops and boutiques, wine bars, lively night spots and even Vegas-style casino action.
A classic and romantic Mediterranean villa built solidly into the bedrock of the great mountain rising majestically behind it, The Willows was designed by the talented and highly-regarded Los Angeles architect William J. Dodd of the venerable firm of Dodd & Richards. Completed in 1925, The Willows instantly became one of the village’s most notable landmarks; gracefully complimenting, rather than competing with the stark majesty of its foothill setting. Dodd masterfully sited the villa to take full advantage of the enchanting vistas before it; ringing The Willows with expansive and inviting terraces where one could soak in both the sun and the views beyond. Inside, only the finest finishes were used including rich mahogany woodwork; colorful Spanish tiles, some several hundred years old; gracefully turned ironwork and hand chiseled limestone. Today, The Willows remains a treasure house of irreplaceable craftsmanship of a bygone era.
One of the most impressive and unique features of The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn may be found in its famous hillside gardens, which meander their way for more than an acre above the desert hideaway. Here guests may retreat up the rustic pathways to discover and choose for themselves that special spot where they can loll away the time gazing out at the breathtaking and ever-changing panorama stretching out before them; a vista that encompasses the entire Coachella Valley and the dramatic mountain ranges ringing it. They can even enjoy Dr. Einstein’s own favorite gazing spot, a covered bench atop a rocky outcropping where the great thinker found pleasant repose so many sunsets ago while listening to the soothing roar of the garden’s dramatic 50-foot waterfall.
The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn was built as a luxurious private home and today it still retains that exclusive ambiance in its elegant yet comfortable guest accommodations. There are but eight rooms in the entire Inn, each one wholly unique with their own personality. In the guest rooms of The Willows, the past is blended artfully with the present and along with rich, hand-selected antiques reminiscent of the era in which the inn was built will be found such up-to-the-minute conveniences as high-speed Internet data ports, iPod docking stations, individual climate control, flat screen televisions with cable access and DVD players, refrigerators, and plush robes.
Nightly rates are $375-$645 depending on room type and day of the week
- Library Room – This grand-sized book-filled haven features a spectacular coffered ceiling, hand-carved fireplace crafted from dark cherry wood, elegant vintage tiled bath with walk-in shower, and a secluded garden patio. Of special note is a magnificent Florentine-style desk, one of the exquisite antique pieces to be found in this restful retreat.
- Marion Davies Room – Named for its famed resident, this room captures the Art Deco elegance of 1930’s Hollywood with its creamy color palette, grand fireplace, private Juliet balcony overlooking the sparkling pool and mountain vistas beyond; and a bathroom fit for a movie star featuring a two-person claw-foot tub and separate marble-floor shower.
- Einstein’s Garden Room – One of the most iconic figures of the 20th Century, Dr. Albert Einstein loved coming to The Willows during the 1930’s for much needed rest and relaxation. Decorated in soft, soothing tones complimenting the rich woods of the fine antique pieces, this charming space features a king-sized bed and elegant tiled bathroom with claw foot tub and walk-in shower. A pair of French doors opens out to the room’s own private sun terrace.
- The Rock Room – A magnificent boulder protruding up from the corner of the oversized shower gives name to this large private oasis. A one of a kind space in an already unique setting, the Rock Room features its own elegantly furnished separate sitting area and private bedroom alcove with king-sized bed, all within a few short steps to the Willows pool.
- Waterfall Room – With its breathtaking view of the 50-foot waterfall, private staircase entrance and inviting queen-size sleigh bed, this room embodies the Golden Age of travel. Vaulted ceilings, a pair of cozy chairs positioned near the fireplace, and hand-made Spanish tiles adorning the bathroom are just some of the wondrous amenities found beyond the threshold.
- Loft Room – One of the Inn’s best kept secrets, a winding staircase leads to this delightful hidden chamber featuring Italian burled walnut furniture, a vaulted ceiling, fireplace and stunning views of the mountains. The bathroom features limestone wainscoting, a two-person claw foot tub and the added ambiance of the Inn’s waterfall splashing down the hillside just outside the window.
- Palm Room – Built for romance, this secluded sanctuary with its own private, poolside entrance has a separate sitting room leading into a gracious bedroom alcove, which features an antique cast iron bed and the uniquely charming ambiance of a two-person claw foot tub, meant for soaking and sharing with that special someone.
- Acanthus Room – A jewel box of charm, this hideaway features cream-colored walls and fabrics with wooden floors salvaged from an early 20th-century church. Located on the pool level, the room is bathed in natural light and illuminated in the evening from the glow of a 1925 alabaster chandelier. A private bathroom features hand-laid tiles and an ample-size bathtub.
Each stay includes these complimentary offerings…
- Heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi
- Refreshing iced tea served poolside
- Plush poolside towels
- Concierge Service
- Free gated parking
- 24 Hour staffing
- Seasonal treats such as dates and nuts presented at check-in
- Delicious full three-course gourmet breakfast served in the beautiful dining room and its adjoining verandah overlooking the stunning 50-foot waterfall
- A variety of fresh fruit available daily
- Evening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception
- Wi-Fi throughout
- Evening turndown service
Guests enjoy a three-course gourmet breakfast served each morning in the dining room, which overlooks and opens out onto the picturesque 50-foot waterfall. A selection of fresh fruit, season treats, and evening wine and hors d’oeuvres are also included in the night rate. The Willows is also within walking distance to a wide range of casual to elegant restaurants.
Le Vallauris, the critically-acclaimed French restaurant located across from The Willows, provides guests with room service from 11:30am-@2:30pm for lunch and 5-10:30pm for dinner.
From the time of its completion in the Roaring Twenties all the way through today, The Willows has and continues to draw persons of note from virtually every field of endeavor. A small sampling includes such famed figures as:
Dr. and Mrs. Albert Einstein
Former President Gerald R. Ford
Princess Conchita Pignatelli
The Viscount Castlecrosse
Mayor Frank Bogert
Anna Nicole Smith
Senator William Gibbs McAdoo
Governor Herbert H. Lehman
The Piccard Brothers
Gus Van Sant
Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg
Joseph P. Kennedy
Governor Jeb Bush
Senator James D. Phelan
Michael Stipe (REM)
Mayor James J. Walker
Baron Max Von Romberg
WEDDINGS AND CELEBRATIONS:
The Willows and its sister property, the Thomas O’Donnell House, built in 1925 and located just above the hill from The Willows, offer breathtaking and historic backdrops for weddings and receptions as well as corporate retreats, fundraising galas and special events. Both properties offer a setting rich in history with architectural details and indoor and outdoor spaces. The two estates can be reserved separately for small, intimate celebrations or combined for larger gatherings. To ensure each event is a success, the properties are only accessible to those attending or staffing the event.
Events held at The Willows, which can accommodate up to 75 guests for a celebration, require the booking of the entire inn, including guest rooms. Weekend events require all eight guest rooms be booked for a minimum of two nights in addition to the facility fee and security deposit. The 4,100 square-foot O’Donnell House can accommodate up to 125 guests for weddings, receptions and events. The home houses four bedrooms and four baths. An overnight stay is not required when staging an event at the O’Donnell House.
NEARBY AREA ATTRACTIONS:
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – 2 miles
- The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens – 15 miles
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars – 1 block
- Palm Springs Art Museum – 1/2 block
- Palm Springs Air Museum – 3 miles
- Sunnylands – The Annenberg Retreat – 11 miles
- Empire Polo Club – 15 miles
- Palm Springs Follies – 2 blocks
- Joshua Tree National Park – 40 miles
- Smoke Tree Stables – 2 miles
- VillageFest – Every Thursday evening – 1 block
- Desert Premium Outlets – 10 miles
- Palm Springs International Film Festival – January
- Modernism Week – February
- Palm Springs Fine Art Fair – February
- Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance – February
- McCormick’s Palm Springs Collector Car Auction – February
- BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament – March
- Fashion Week El Paseo – March
- La Quinta Arts Festival – March
- Coachella Valley Music Festival – April
- Palm Springs Restaurant Week – June
- Palm Springs International Film Festival Shortfest – June
- McCormick’s Palm Springs Collector Car Auction – February
- Palm Springs Pride – November
- Palm Springs Aerial Tram Tree Lighting – December
- Palm Springs Festival of Lights – December