Rancho Las Palmas

Photo Hero

A Famed Transformation

Rancho Las Palmas History

Fly In! Drive In! Fun Is Inevitable! proclaims a 1950’s-era ad for the storied Desert Air Hotel & Resort. And flock to the Desert Air they did – Hollywood film stars, heads of state, and tourists alike – where visionary Los Angeles architect H.L. “Hank” Gogerty had transformed 320 acres of barren into an idyllic sun-kissed sanctuary, complete with a private airstrip. Staying in surplus army barracks, resort guests frolicked in the sparkling pool and played polo on a field next to the runway. At night, celebrities mingled with the crowd in the lively Compass Room restaurant and bar, renowned for its convivial ambiance, cocktails and cuisine. The popular Hollywood hangout played a starring role during the Golden Age of Television as the location for the popular sitcom, The Bob Cummings Show. Story has it that the debonair actor piloted his unique Aerocar accompanied by leading ladies the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner.

The famed fly-in resort eventually made way for today’s luxurious Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. Cary Grant, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Bob Hope all appeared at the resort’s 1977 ground breaking, immediately establishing Rancho Las Palmas as the year-round destination of choice for Hollywood heavyweights. From its Rat Pack era beginnings to a stunning 21st century renaissance, Rancho Las Palmas remains a timeless classic for today’s discerning traveler.