Cities & Towns

Glam Retreats in California’s Low Desert

Nobody R&R'd harder than the Old Hollywood elite. Here’s three spots to soak up their aura.

Words By Brian Kevin



15 Apr 2024

Reading Time

6 minutes

Two Bunch Palms

An adults-only resort in Desert Hot Springs—a shaggier cousin to chichi Palm Springs, just south—where lithium-rich waters flow into two pools in a natural grotto. The Capone Suites are named for the 1920s gangster, said to have holed up here before midcentury studio execs made it a hideaway.

La Quinta Resort & Club

There are resorts with pools, and then there are the 41 pools of this storied Coachella Valley resort. The main one, ringed with private cabanas, has Santa Rosa Mountain views, but there are also lap pools, private pools, a 21- plus pool. Pools where regulars Frank Capra and Greta Garbo once waded.

Jacumba Hot Springs Hotel

When the first hotel went up at Jacumba in 1925, a newspaperman described the spot as “an opening between some mountains. ... A hot spring and a few trees and that was all.” The border town became a hangout for the likes of Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich before sliding back into neglect. This lushly restored 20-room temple of rustic rest is bringing the magic back.

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