Winter 1958

Twin Palms Resort History

On South Palm Canyon Drive in the village of Palm Springs, strains of Connie Francis’s Who’s Sorry Now float from a slowly passing convertible. At the Plaza Theatre, South Pacific plays on the big screen. Next door, sunburned tourists stream in and out of Waltah Clark’s Hawaiian Shop. And across town, transplanted and vacationing Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, and Marilyn Monroe spend their days sunbathing and swimming away from prying public eyes at the exclusive Racquet Club. It’s 1958 and Palm Springs is the place for the rich, the famous, and the upwardly mobile to vacation or own a second home.

Across the Coachella Valley, architects and builders were busy creating a new genre of houses that embraced the desert environment and reflected the surrounding mountains. On the south edge of town near the Smoke Tree riding stables, construction had recently finished on Palm Springs’ first tract housing development in the style of this new Desert Modernism. These new post-and-beam homes featured unusual rooflines, breeze blocks, clerestory windows, and sliding glass doors that opened to aqua-blue swimming pools and dramatic mountain views. Every home came with a pair of twin palm trees in the front yard. It was in this modern neighborhood that local businessmen Joe De Francis and Abe Schwartz built the Brentwood Apartments.

The Desert Sun announced the opening of a “luxurious new apartment development” at 1930 Camino Real on December 13, 1958. The Brentwood featured ten one-bedroom units clustered around a communal patio and sparkling swimming pool. Described as “deluxe in every detail,” apartments were furnished in the “latest of contemporary modern” and included wall-to-wall carpeting, state-of-the-art appliances, sound-proofed walls, and automatic climate control. To facilitate seamless indoor-outdoor living, many of the apartments also featured glass slider walls opening to private garden patios. The architecture and vibe of Brentwood were a perfect match for Palm Springs’ most modern new neighborhood, Twin Palms.

Fall 2022

Over sixty years later, the original Brentwood buildings and grounds have been completely renovated and reimagined by the hospitality team who created Santiago and Descanso Resorts. Behind the bold yellow entry door at the all-new Twin Palms Resort you’ll find a private getaway for gay men and lots of casual extravagance. Beautifully landscaped gardens and the perfect modern desert patio surround a brand-new swimming pool and spa. A welcoming open-air Clubhouse features stylish places for mapping out your day, mingling with other guests, and even working (if you must). Each of the original apartments has been transformed into spacious modern retreats, many featuring grand bathrooms and private outdoor spaces. True to the spirit of the Brentwood before it, the new Twin Palms Resort is deluxe in every detail. But this time around we’ve got a lounge chair waiting for you!