By Kylie McClaughlin | Traveler
There’s a lot more to Palm Springs than retro architecture, pool parties and Coachella. Here’s 12 secrets, unveiled.
It owes a lot to the Golden Age of Hollywood
During the early 1900s a ‘morality clause’ was imposed on contracted movie stars stipulating they couldn’t wander further than two hours away from Hollywood in case they were needed on set. Exactly two hours east, Palm Springs was the perfect getaway. A huge resort called El Mirador was purpose built as a playground for Hollywood’s elite. When they ran out of rooms, houses were built, thus forming the early stages of the ‘Movie Colony’ suburb that exists today.
Opening in 1928 it hosted many parties through ’till World War II, when it was turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers. It continues to operate as a hospital to this day.
Mobsters made it their desert hideaway
Mobsters, wildly rumoured to have connections to Hollywood, also found Palm Springs to be the perfect place to hide. The Two Bunch Palms resort, which has always been a famous spa, is said to have been purchased in the 1920s by Al Capone and was used as his west coast hideout. Capone built tunnels, fortresses and even a runway. If you stay in the Al Capone suite, you’ll see the only evidence that remains – a bullet hole, lodged in a mirror.
The location was nicknamed ‘Miracle Hill’ as mineral water is heated by two tectonic plates. Journal entries dating back to 1840 tell people to “look for the two palms to find rest and water”. It was turned into a ‘desert spa’ in 1940 and remains one today.
Now, where did those tunnels lead? twobunchpalms.com
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