To adapt to the pandemic, reality-TV juggernaut The Bachelorette decided to shoot at quarantine-friendly La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. The hit ABC show bought out the entire Palm Springs oasis for season 16, housing its cast and crew there. (Similarly, The Bachelor took over Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a sprawling estate with two hotels in Pennsylvania’s bucolic Laurel Highlands, for its forthcoming season with looking-for-love Matt James.)
La Quinta provides a picturesque playground for Sacramento bachelorette Clare Crawley and her 31 suitors with 45 verdant acres set against the Santa Rosa Mountains. It was a hot spot among the Old Hollywood crowd, with everyone from actors like Greta Garbo and Clark Gable to directors like Dorothy Arzner and Frank Capra checking into the 1926 hotel. And there are plenty of spots for romance — Ginger Rogers married French actor Jacques Bergerac in front of the resort’s waterfall in 1953.
“We were thrilled to host the entire cast and crew for this very special season of ‘The Bachelorette,’ and serve as a part of television history,” said Dermot Connolly, the hotel general manager. “As the season unfolds at La Quinta Resort, we look forward to welcoming guests back to our beloved California retreat and helping fans create their own special moments. With its legendary hospitality, serene desert surroundings and abundance of outdoor space, La Quinta Resort is an ideal setting to make up for lost time and make new memories with friends and family.”
We take you inside for a tour of Palm Springs’ oldest resort:
Watch the drama unfold in the lush gardens, which would be a fitting place for the rose ceremony. The gardens consistently bloom with brightly hued flowers, since they are updated three times a year. What you won’t catch on TV is the sweet scent. The grounds have 14 fragrant citrus tree varieties, including lemon, orange, tangerine, tangelo and grapefruit.
Forty-one swimming pools and 53 hot spas tucked among the palm trees lend themselves to romantic rendezvous. Sitting near the mountains, the main pool welcomes children, while the 21-and-older plunge pool is a more tranquil option. All are climate controlled for maximum comfort.
The Spanish Colonial-style resort offers 620 casitas and suites and 98 villas. Among the red-roof, white-washed adobe accommodations, opt for one with history. In the Capra Junior Suite, the namesake writer/director penned the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, and the décor includes a vintage typewriter. Dwight D. Eisenhower frequently stayed in the poolside King Eisenhower Suite after his presidency. And the two-bedroom, art deco Arzner Suite was a haunt of Hollywood’s first major female director.
The Tennis Courts
A top U.S. tennis resort, La Quinta boasts impressive facilities with 21 courts (16 hard and five clay) and a staff of USPTA-certified instructors. When the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel debuted its tennis offerings in 1937, it drew celebrities like Gary Cooper, Lana Turner and Jane Wyman. Now it attracts pros like Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic. The property also serves up eight pickleball courts.
Take a swing at one of the Palm Springs hotel’s five golf courses — Eisenhower reportedly enjoyed playing here. Among the options are three nearby PGA West courses, including the Pete Dye-designed Stadium, which hosts the Desert Classic Golf Tournament. If you need to fine-tune your game, find help at the PGA West Golf Academy.
Seven food and drink outlets sit inside the luxury hotel. Any bachelorette will fall in love over a juicy filet mignon or tender Pacific ahi tuna in the fine-dining Morgan’s in the Desert. Meanwhile, rejected bachelors will undoubtedly drown their sorrows in margaritas — or the more than 100 tequilas — at Adobe Grill.