It’s always a pleasure to revisit Palm Springs, where the dedication of the Palm Springs Modern Committee has succeeded in keeping the midcentury architecture of this desert playground — and infamous Hollywood bolt-hole — splendidly intact.
On a trip in 2013, we found The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, an eight-room mansion built in 1924 at the foot of Mount San Jacinto, to be the only recommendable luxury hideaway. This time, we stayed at L’Horizon Resort & Spa, which opened in June 2015 following a comprehensive refurbishment by the well-known luxury home designer Steve Hermann. The property was built in 1952 by renowned architect William F. Cody as a family retreat for the television producer, oil tycoon and hotel owner Jack Wrather and his wife, actress Bonita Granville. (Wrather produced both “The Lone Ranger” and “Lassie” and built the Disneyland Hotel.) Cody constructed a low-slung, angular master residence — now considered to be one of the most significant examples of midcentury architecture in California — and 20 guest bungalows. There Wrather entertained the likes of Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe and Ronald Reagan.
In its new incarnation, L’Horizon Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel encompassing the residence and 24 individual bungalows, plus an alfresco restaurant, set on three acres dotted with mature palm trees. The San Jacinto Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop.