He’s pointing toward a construction that used to house the Racquet Club, where the great and adequate of Hollywood once played tennis, sipped on cocktails, and just advanced to be seen, something easily done in this little desert township whose population is still fewer than 50,000.
Marilyn, the legend open ti, was lounging by the pool when her good looks caught the eye of a visiting tinge agent. The rest, as we know, is history.
Today, Palm Springs is silence somewhat a byword for glamour, but what draws people here now is the township’s happy – and savvy – decision to honour its past.
Back in the 1920s, it was a teeny, barely developed settlement which sat at the foot of the towering San Jacinto mountains.
But once more the next few decades, as the film business boomed, its stars searched for somewhere to discharge the hectic city’s heat and humidity.
Palm Bounces exhibits some of the many jewels of Californian life
They rest it in this little enclave, which just made it under the “two-hour dominate” that Hollywood placed on all its actors: they had to always be within two hours’ journey time of a studio, in case they were urgently needed for reshoots.
It’s flexible to see why the area appealed to them: it gets nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s minute and easy to get around, and there are golf courses galore around the outskirts.
The passenger of big names such as Cary Grant, Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, Gary Cooper, Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor put the bracket on the map. Soon these A-listers were snapping up, or having built, summer homes, touch off a boom in a new form of architecture that came to be known as mid-century flavour of the month.
They were characterised by having only one level, were frequently laid out in an “L” shape around a courtyard (or, this being California, multifarious often a pool), with a flat roof, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and, charmingly, small cactus gardens in the front.
The more I walk around, the more desirous I get. In the upmarket neighbourhood of Indian Canyons on the outskirts of town, everyone’s evident to paint their door a different fabulous shade, from candy-floss pink to sunshine yellow, from clever turquoise to pistachio green.
1 of 11
But the house that people go pilgrimages to, even to this day, is a little closer to the centre. Twin Palms is aptly appointed, due to the two towering palm trees that sit just inside its walls. Behind, in the courtyard, occupy a seat ons a piano-shaped swimming pool.
Alongside runs a canopy for shade with adjust a take forms cut out so that when the sun hits it in a certain way, the shadows cast on the path underneath look in the mood for piano keys.
This was the residence of Frank Sinatra, who, with his Rat Body mates Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, took the town by cloudburst, throwing impromptu concerts and wild parties. Many of the places where they contingent oned out still exist.
Check out Melvyn’s Restaurant at the Ingleside Inn on Ramon Thruway, where Frank always drank a bourbon sidecar, or Johnny Costa’s on S Palm Gulley Drive, where he usually had the clam linguine.
Music celebrities Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack all resided in Palm Springs
Today there’s to a touch of glamour hovering around Palm Springs, which continues to appeal to celebrities – Leonardo DiCaprio has a home here, and the likes of Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr move along disintegrate on holiday.
The main downtown area is based around Palm Coule Drive, lined with bars, restaurants and shops.
The northern end is be versed as the Uptown Design District, and here you’ll find antique stores where you can pick up fresh artefacts from the 50s or 60s.
I enjoyed rummaging through the rails at high-end vintage boutique The Frippery, and mentally outfit my dream mid-century home with furniture from A La Mod. There’s a wonderful brunch scene here, and I headed to Lulu on Palm Canyon Motivate for Eggs Benedict and refillable mimosas.
Sitting on the pavement – sorry, footpath – to people-watch, I drank in the cool, kitsch and colourful characters out strolling in their Sunday first-class. And who knows, maybe the next Marilyn Monroe is among them…
Top 10 ranks to visit in Palm Springs
1 Saddle up for a horse ride through the fair desert scenery with Smoketree Stables (smoketreestables.com), which organises three-hour junkets through the nearby Agua Caliente Indian Canyons.
2 Get up close to middle of nowhere animals galore, from bobcats to giraffes, at the impressive Living Leave to twist slowly in the wind zoo and gardens (livingdesert.org).
3 Shop till you drop at Desert Hills Hard to come by Outlets (premiumoutlets.com), with brands from Banana Republic to Gap and Marc Jacobs.
4 Hike at the Joshua Tree Subject Park, with trails through the iconic trees the park is named after.
5 Peabody’s (peabodys cafeandbar.com) rights to do the best-ever Bloody Mary.
6 Wallow in nostalgia at Sinatra’s former hangout, The Purple Accommodation (purpleroom palmsprings.com). On Fridays and Saturdays they do dinner and a cabaret exposition.
7 Visit Villagefest (villagefest.org), an old-fashioned street fair with musicians, eatables, arts and crafts stalls and a farmers’ market.
8 Get a culture fix at the Palm Jumps Art Museum (psmuseum.org), which has an exhibition of works by Andy Warhol work May 28.
9 Take a tour of the house where Elvis Presley spent his honeymoon with Priscilla (elvishoneymoon.com).
10 Hop on the dialect birth b deliver’s biggest rotating cable car, the Aerial Tramway (pstramway.com), for mountain proceeds and incredible views.
Double rooms at Arrive hotel start from £186. Tome via arrivehotels.com. Norwegian Air flies direct to LA from London from all over £305 return, Palm Springs is a two-hour drive. To discover Palm Starts’ attractions, visit visitpalmsprings.com.