The idyllic enclave of La Quinta Resort & Club, a member of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, has long been one of the best-kept secrets of Hollywood stars seeking an opportunity to step out of the limelight for a few days and into a welcome atmosphere of peaceful relaxation.
It all started back in the 1920s when San Francisco businessman Walter H. Morgan set out to create his very own desert oasis in Southern California's Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, just a quick two-hour drive from Los Angeles. Twenty private Spanish hacienda-style casitas and discreet service — not to mention the soothing tranquility and the appealing desert climate — quickly established La Quinta as a destination of choice for celebrities looking for a temporary escape from the hustling, bustling Hollywood scene.
Before long, La Quinta had amassed an enviable guest list of stars including, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Shirley Temple and many other silver screen legends. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon to glimpse Clark Gable, Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn lounging by what is now the luxurious adults-only pool (one of 41 on the property). And in 1953, Ginger Rogers gave La Quinta her own highly personal endorsement when she chose to marry French actor Jacques Bergerac right here on the hotel grounds.
Renowned filmmaker Frank Capra was so fond of the La Quinta property, he returned to the same casita time and again to hole up and work, dubbing it the "Shangri-La of Screenwriting." He went on to pen several scripts on-site, including "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "It Happened One Night," "You Can't Take It With You" and "It's a Wonderful Life." In fact, Capra and his wife, Lucille, were so enamored with La Quinta, they later made their home at the resort for several years in the 1980s.
With outstanding championship golf and tennis, exemplary fine and casual dining, sparkling pools and blissful spa services, La Quinta's outstanding reputation has only continued to grow in the decades since its earliest celebrity sightings. The faces might have changed through the years, but the star power remains untarnished — and it's not just Hollywood stars who are discovering the charms of the resort. International dignitaries, artists, politicians, business moguls and renowned athletes are also booking stays of their own to discover and experience La Quinta Resort's magical lure for themselves.
Today, guests have the opportunity to see exactly how the other half lived as La Quinta commemorates some of its most legendary visitors with suites named in their honor. The Capra Suite pampers guests with the same creative energy that inspired Frank himself, the iconic Eisenhower Suite boasts handsome furnishings befitting a president, and the Art Deco-style Arnzer Suite pays tribute to Dorothy Arzner, one of the first female directors in Hollywood's film industry.
For more information about stays at La Quinta Resort & Club, go to laquintaresort.com.