Palm Springs, California, is one of the planet’s top spots for a destination wedding. Reliably sunny weather. Stunning mountain backdrops. Easy access from almost anywhere. And some of the country’s most stylish resorts.
So it’s great news that La Quinta Resort & Club, the hotel that put Palm Springs on the map nearly 90 years ago, has pumped several million into a gorgeous renovation that makes it more wedding-friendly than ever. While the essence of the 1926 landmark remains intact—Spanish Colonial glamour as only California can deliver—the guest casitas, villas, and suites have all been upgraded with desert-luxe furnishings and a neutral palette. And happily for wedding photographers, the 45 acres and 41 pools now boast landscaping that looks as though it was planned with bridal portraits in mind, thanks to walls of scarlet bougainvillea and a mosaic of multi-hued flower gardens.
While the resort has long boasted ample sites for large gatherings—including ballrooms, courtyards, lawns, golf courses, and clubhouses—what’s freshly appealing are the updated spaces that welcome small, stylish ceremonies, as well as pre- and post-wedding get-togethers. Most coveted is El Presidente, a suite with a freeform pool, spa, and massive patio walled for privacy. If you’re entertaining just a handful of friends before the wedding, a Starlight Casita would be a cozy spot, each with a patio that hosts a romantic new fire feature as well as couches and iconic views of the Santa Rosa mountains.
Clark Gable used to pal around with Errol Flynn on the grounds; Director Frank Capra lived here a while; Ginger Rogers got married in front of the resort’s waterfall. And yet it’s safe to say that for couples planning a wedding in 2015, this could be La Quinta’s golden age.