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Palm Springs provides the resorts the big stars - and you - are after

By S. Adam Cardais,
Contributor
La Quinta Resort and Club
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There are three top-rated golf courses within driving distance of the La Quinta Resort and Club. (Courtesy La Quinta Resort)

If it's good enough for the likes of David Beckham and Oprah Winfrey, it should be good enough for anybody.

Palm Springs' resorts have long been the desert retreats of the stars, from the royalty of golden-age Hollywood to contemporary media moguls and pop icons. If you've got a famous name, chances are good it's etched into the guestbook at the storied La Quinta Resort and Club.

With its picturesque desert and mountain landscape and great golf, Palm Springs is a superb American resort destination with plenty to choose from. Here are a few of the most deluxe options.

La Quinta Resort and Club: Boasting 41 pools, 800 guestrooms and five gargantuan suites, La Quinta is one of the priciest resorts in town - it usually can't be experienced for less than $400 a night. But you get what you pay for.

"La Quinta will wow even those used to the resort lifestyle," Chris Baldwin wrote in a recent review for GolfCalifornia.com. "For this isn't your ordinary resort. La Quinta is to resorts what the Empire State Building is to skyscrapers."

In Tinseltown's glory days La Quinta hosted Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and Bette Davis. The clientele hasn't gotten any less auspicious over time. Winfrey, Beckham and Michael Jackson have all stayed in the gargantuan El Presidente suite.

The array of dining and entertainment options is as rich as the patrons, topped by acclaimed seafood restaurant Azur. There is also an outdoor high-end shopping mall, a 23,000-square-foot spa and a tennis club with clay, hard and grass courts.

Golfers have some of Palm Springs' best courses at their fingertips. Tracks by Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Greg Norman are all within driving distance.

Desert Springs Resort and Spa: You know you're staying in a place that cares about your comfort when its Web site cites the bedding-selection contribution of "preeminent sleep experts." The hotel boasts six different kinds of accommodation, from the Resort View Rooms to the 2,000-square-foot-plus Chairman's Suite, which comes with a black baby grand piano.

Guests have many dining options. Ristorante Tuscany serves Northern Italian cuisine, and Mikado is a traditional Japanese steak house. There's also a tennis facility and two 18-hole golf courses set among the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Next year Desert Springs will open a new 38,000-square-foot spa to replace the existing facility, which offers massages, facials and other body treatments.

Hyatt Grand Champions Resort and Spa: Rooms at this Indian Wells complex feature marble baths, complimentary robes and furnished balconies with stunning views of the surrounding desert and mountains. The penthouse suite comes with a fireplace, wet bar and dining area.

For a little fun in the California sun take a dip in one of the resort's seven pools. If you're after something a bit more indulgent, head to the Agua Serena Spa for a mint julep scrub.

Grand Champions has two 18-hole courses designed by Ted Robinson. Both have three sets of tees to accommodate a range of skill level, but the West Course is the more forgiving track. The East Course, with its many water hazards, poses more of a challenge.

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