There is a little-hidden treasure tucked away in an exclusive hideaway in Palm Springs, California known as the Willows. This 8-bedroom house has been converted into a boutique hotel and there is nothing cookie cutter about it. From September to May of each year, the Willows opens its fabled doors to a limited number of lucky visitors.
1. Los Angeles Magazine has revealed that “Staying at the Willows is like getting the keys to a well-off friend’s country estate.”
2. Gourmet Magazine calls the Willows, “The grandest of Palm Spring’s historic inns.”
3. The lush grounds are covered with rich magenta bougainvillea. As you walk around the property, you will feel like you have entered a secret garden.
4. The main living room has vaulted ceilings and a grand piano. Wooden floors create a warm aesthetic, while a hanging candle chandelier graces the top of the room. This aesthetic is complete even down to the fine detailing on the moulding.
5. The main dining room has been restored to its original state. The intricate ceiling is a sight to behold while you dine. An ornate fireplace adds extra warmth to make you feel right at ease.
6. Interesting combinations of colors, shapes and patterns make this ceiling very special to behold.
7. As one of the ten older structures in the entire city, you will be amazed at the history that this enchanting monument holds. It comes as no surprise that Albert Einstein was a frequent guest because he loved to be inspired by the natural surroundings and charms of this pristine villa. Here’s a picture of the room that Einstein used to stay in, appropriately titled the Einstein Room.
8. During the afternoon, have a glass of champagne on Einstein’s patio. You can feel your intelligence growing as you sip on your bubbly.
9. Albert and Elsa Einstein look great together walking the steps at the Willows. Here’s an actual picture of them.
10. Guests have the charm of yesteryear with all the modern amenities for comfort — luxe linens, plush robes, sumptuous towels, high speed internet, mini bars, flat screen TVs and many more. This is the room that Marion Davies used to stay in.
11. No two rooms are alike. Each one was customized to produce a private paradise. Relax in your room with a bottle of champagne.
12. Each room is equally as charming as the next.
13. Enjoy spectacular vistas of the whole Coachella Valley and Palm Springs.
14. You can even pause at the niche Dr. Einstein chose as his own favorite viewing spot. His beloved bench is still in its place so many decades later.
15. The sunsets will blow your mind. Watch silhouettes of cactus and wild colors of the sky change right before your eyes.
16. Back inside you’ll be tempted to curl up in the lounge with a good book or out on the expansive terrace with its beautiful Spanish tiled fountain gurgling a soothing melody of restful contentment.
17. Enjoy a hearty three-course gourmet breakfast served beneath a stunning 50-foot waterfall. Listen to the sound of water crashing as it soothes your soul and feel yourself transported back to another time.
18. Omelette and bacon anyone?
19. Or you can have breakfast in your room and admire the sensational view of the pool from your cozy terrace.
20. The elevated terrace sits below the grand mountains that surround Palm Springs. Admire the countryside view with rocky mountain peaks. The fresh breeze will soothe your soul as you become one with nature.
21. Have fireside chats around the fire at night. During the daytime, sit on plush chairs and read your favorite book. This is your time to relax.
22. The O’Donnell House, the Willows’ sister property is the perfect destination for an intimate wedding. Families stay at the Willows’ and the ceremony is held at the O’Donnell House, next door.
23. Here is a historical picture of the interior of the O’Donnell House.
24. Steps away is downtown Palm Springs; while you feel like you really are in the middle of nowhere at the Willows, you are actually right in the middle of all the action with: shops, restaurants, museums, spas, gyms, theaters and nightlife.
25. A short drive away from the Willows is the ultra-modern restaurant called Workshop Kitchen and Bar.
Chef/owner Michael Beckman was previously an apprentice for 3 Michelin-star Lameloise in Burgundy. He has created a menu using seasonal local products to create a playful cuisine featuring American classics.
By Norman Lee with additional reporting by Jeanne Lee