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Colony Palms ready for reopening

The Colony Palms Hotel, one of Palm Springs’ most historic properties, will reopen January 12, 2007 after an extensive $15 million renovation.The newly refurbished hotel will include completely redesigned guestrooms, casitas and suites, as well as a new poolside restaurant and intimate spa facility.

Located within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs and on the border of the infamous Movie Colony, the hotel was originally constructed in 1936 by Purple Gang mobster Al Wertheimer. Operating as The Colonial House, the hotel quickly became the town’s most popular locale, primarily as a speakeasy, brothel and gambling house. The property was then sold to Robert Howard, son of the owner of champion thoroughbred Sea Biscuit, in the late 1940’s, who renamed the property Howard Manor.

“This hotel’s rich history reaches back to the glory days of Palm Springs,” said Steven Ohren, owner of the Colony Palms Hotel. “With this renovation, we are reviving the essence of the period of the hotel, while including a taste of the exotic.”

The Spanish-style hotel will features interiors decorated by renowned Los Angeles-based designer, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. The décor harkens back to 1940’s glamour with an exotic slant, incorporating worldwide influences such as Uzbekistani suzanis with rich woods, French tiling and vintage black and white photography. Each of the 56 rooms, ten casitas and three suites with private entrances will offer breathtaking views of the desert mountains, many with private outdoor areas, as well as Wi-Fi high-speed Internet, mini bar and plasma flat screen TV.

The new restaurant, The Purple Palm, will showcase Chef Jim Shiebler’s Mediterranean-inspired menu and an extensive wine list. The Purple Palm, named in tribute to the hotel’s original owner, will provide guests and local residents an upscale and welcoming dining experience.


The property’s focal point will be the spacious and lush poolside courtyard, catering to varied guest needs with comfortable lounges, plentiful seating, garden fountains and fire pits, ideal for late night mingling.