Hollywood stars, heads of state and tourists alike descended on the Palm Springs area back in the 1950s to stay at the storied Desert Air Hotel & Resort. Visionary Los Angeles architect H.L. “Hank” Gogerty had transformed 320 acres of barren desert into an ideal sanctuary, complete with a private airstrip. By day, resort guests splashed around in the sparkling pool and played polo on a nearby field while staying in surplus army barracks. When night came, the spirited Compass Room restaurant and bar was the place to see and be seen. The celebrity-laden crowd enjoyed a lively ambiance, strong cocktails and elegant cuisine.
“The Bob Cummings Show,” a popular sitcom from 1955 to 1959, used the popular desert hangout as its backdrop. Rumors suggest the debonair actor piloted his unique Aerocar accompanied by such leading ladies as Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner.
In the late 1970s, Desert Air made way for today’s luxurious Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. Cary Grant, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Bob Hope all appeared at the resort’s 1977 ground breaking. From its Rat Pack era beginnings to a stunning 21st-century renaissance, Rancho Las Palmas remains a timeless classic for today’s discerning traveler.