Ingleside Inn's
antique filled
lobby heralds
Hollywood celebrity stays
in days goneby.
Left: Armida
greets guests.

Having lived in Southern California for over twelve years, I was beginning to think that I would never see anyone famous, let alone live like anyone famous. How wrong I was!

Being the oldest child of baby boomers has its definite advantages. I know the songs and movies of days gone by. You know, those classic movies in "black and white" and those songs on vinyl records. I enjoy the crooning of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. Give me a Doris Day and Rock Hudson movie any time. Having grown up with these memorable movies and music, I feel as if I was born in the wrong era.

Fortunately for people like me, there is the Ingleside Inn of Palm Springs, California.

Melvyn Haber's Ingleside Inn and Restaurant is a short distance from the famed Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Behind the wrought-iron gates winds a sweeping, tree lined driveway that you could imagine seeing Carole Lombard arriving at in a big black limousine. With the lovely views of Mt. San Jacinto in the background and the gracious service and privacy the Inn staff offers, it is easy to understand why the "in" crowd of Hollywood cherishes this quaint, antique filled, yet aristocratic resort.

Recently, my mother and I arrived in the early afternoon. Pulling up to the lobby through the tree-lined drive was definitely a moment to savor. The vine-covered veranda of the lobby building gave the feeling that one might see George Hamilton sitting there relaxing, enjoying a Cosmopolitan. Once we parked and entered the exquisitely furnished lobby with its wood-burning fireplace, Armida (with the Inn) graciously checked us in to our suite, the Floral Room on the Fountain Courtyard.

As we entered the Floral Room, we were quick to notice that the title of the suite was very appropriate. The plush, bright azure carpeting complemented

The exquisite Floral Suite.

the beautifully matching floral patterned chairs, bedding and drapery. This rich texture and color was improved upon by the well-appointed antique furniture and marble mantle of the wood-burning fireplace. Imagine pulling the drapery between the sitting room and the bedroom area closed after a night of romantic dining and dancing with that someone special. I am sure that Lily Pons, who visited for a weekend and ultimately stayed 13 years in the next-door suite, must have appreciated the same thought. The large bathroom with the walk-in marbled shower with bench seat was beautifully lit with shimmering crystal sconces. The double French doors in the bedroom led to the bougainvillea covered, semi-private patio with chaise lounge chairs in which to relax and enjoy the well-maintained grounds.


While investigating the suite's amenities, Mom and I were wonderfully surprised to find a lovely basket of fresh fruit, cheese, and crackers for our enjoyment. Our room has a large walk-in closet that also serves as the clever hiding place for the honor bar. The Inn complimentarily stocks it with a variety of soda and water bottles. During our adventures around town, they graciously replenished our supply. The complimentary bottle of champagne coupon that we downloaded from their website was certainly used to add that extra relaxing feeling to our stay. Yes, you can also do the same. (

While sipping our champagne, munching on bits of cheese and wandering around the gardens and verandas, we educated ourselves about the history of the Inn through the vintage photo reproductions that are displayed throughout the passageways.



Ruth Hardy originally purchased the property as her private residence in the 1930s. She was the Palm Springs councilwoman who was responsible for the lighted palm trees along Palm Canyon Drive. One of her passions was playing hostess to dozens of film stars and celebrities. Unlike other "happening" places at the time, reservations were not taken. One could only stay if personally invited by Ms. Hardy. Her list of acceptable guests included the likes of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Howard Hughes, to only name a few. Unfortunately, after her death the Inn fell into disrepair.

Because of the Inn's surviving mystique and character, in 1975, after only 15 minutes of looking at the property, Melvyn Haber from New York purchased it. After spending a small fortune restoring, remodeling, refurbishing, and redecorating the Inn, he reopened its doors to all guests - the well-known and unknown - equally. You can enjoy this well-documented adventure by reading his entertaining book, "Bedside Stories From The Ingleside Inn, by Mel Haber". This book journeys through the steps and mis-steps of getting the Ingleside to the beauty that she was and still is. This easily read book is placed in each room for guests to enjoy during their stay and is available for purchase at the front desk.

Thursday evening is a time to especially appreciate the lighted palm trees that Ruth Hardy had established. The Palm Springs Farmers Market runs from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. This is a great way to feel the ambience that she meant for the area to have, by people watching, shopping, and munching. The evening came to an end as we roamed back to the Inn's romantically lit gardens and pool area. We took a short dip in the pool and enjoyed the nighttime sounds as the desert settled down to rest.

Breakfast bagels
at Melvyn's.

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Morning came all too soon, as the glorious king-sized bed and I nearly melted into one being. The daily newspaper was placed outside our door early enough to give us time to read it on our patio and plan our day even before we ventured out to Melvyn's veranda for our breakfast. Our perfectly prepared breakfast was all that we could think about: smoked salmon and cream cheese on a lightly toasted bagel with purple onion and capers. In our eyes, this is not the breakfast of champions, but of the rich and famous.

After staying for two luxurious nights, we had become them, the "in" crowd at a "happening" place. We were the rich and the famous. If only the Rat Pack could have joined us!

- By Kimberly Tatera, Jetsetters Magazine Southern California Correspondent.

The Living Desert - Visitors can now see the tallest land animal and the largest bird in the world at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ newest environment — African Savanna. Three reticulated giraffes and three ostriches have arrived in the valley to make their home in the realistic savanna. Amid the two-acre exhibit, visitors are able to wander (with areas designed for close-up viewing), sit and relax or feed the gentle giants at the feeding platform. Future plans for the completion of the savanna include the addition of lions, baboons, rhinoceros and Nile crocodiles. The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260; telephone: 760/346-5694; fax: 760/568-9685.

Tulip Hill Winery - The award-winning Tulip Hill Winery in California’s Lake County Region opened the Palm Springs Desert Resorts’ first wine tasting room at The River in Rancho Mirage. Tulip Hill Winery’s tasting room features 10 releases as well as "everything wonderful that goes with wine," such as olive oils and specialty foods like dipping sauces, vinegars and handmade chocolates. An assortment of gift items are also on hand. Tulip Hill Winery-Tasting Room, 71800 Highway 111, A125, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270; telephone: 760/568-5678; fax: 760/568-2331.