A Touch of Old Hollywood in Palm Springs

Peter Dolkas
palm springs sparrow Ever wonder how Hollywood vacationed in Palm Springs before midcentury modernism took over? How they played cards without a Nelson bubble lamp over a Saarinen table? The answer just may be in the Sparrows Hotel, a new retreat built by Doug and Josie Smith, who are known in the desert for their Moroccan oasis: Korakia Pensione. When the couple purchased the Motor Court Motel in 2011, they felt the need to try something different (and of course that the shag carpet and popcorn ceilings had to go). They found inspiration for the Sparrows in the nearby Smoke Tree Ranch, a Western style resort built in the 1930's and famously where Walt Disney vacationed. The redwood beams and tin roofs are a direct translation as we can see, but the Smith's took the motif further with carved redwood furniture, hand-poured concrete floors, and enameled bathtubs made from horse troughs. A stay at the Sparrows may feel a bit like camp, for the lack of TV's encourages guests to sit by the fire, play cards, or strike up a game of tennis with vintage wooden rackets. Perhaps the way they used to do it during the golden age of Hollywood. Visit SparrowsHotel.com for more information. -- By Peter Dolkas

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