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  • Jennifer Howard

Gatsby Style

Steeped in nearly 100 years of history, romance and elegance, Royal Palms Resort & Spa is designed to make you feel like you are one of few special guests invited to luxuriate, Great Gatsby style in this 1929 Mediterranean hideaway. Set on nine perfectly manicured acres at the base of Camelback Mountain, Royal Palms boasts 119 gorgeous Spanish-inspired villas and casitas, the acclaimed T.Cook's and Forbes Four-Star Alvadora Spa.

Royal Palms Resort & Spa

The original villa was designed to echo the ambiance of then owner's Florence and Delos Cooke's favorite moments abroad. Granada-tiled roofs, arched windows, juliet doors were all utilized in the home's design. Hand-selected tiles, imported from Spain, were chosen to personalize the portico. World travelers, Delos and his wife filled their winter home with marvelous treasures from their travels.

Named for the regal, towering trees lining each side of the entryway, the Royal Palms Inn opened to guests in the winter of 1948. It became the choice for discerning travelers and celebrities from around the world. Over the years, Royal Palms Resort & Spa has transitioned into a timeless classic, treasured by locals and visitors alike. Having just visited the Royal Palms for the day with one of my very best friends, I will share a few highlights from our experience.

We spent our day around the palm-tree lined pool in our own private cabana. The cabana was very luxurious, with a plush daybed inside, in addition to the two lounges in front of the cabana. There was also a refrigerator, an overhead fan and all of our favorite jams playing overhead (Britney, Mariah, Justin and did they know?!). We were spoiled with fruit, chips, salsa, guacamole, followed by other tasty treats and prosecco for a late lunch. The resort's exquisite mother of pearl pool features a unique blend of sea gems and ocean pebbles, brought together with crushed abalone to create a visually stunning tile. A perfect place to relax.

Next we were off to the luxe Alvadora Spa. The Alvadora Spa offers a collection of signature treatments, centered around the nurturing essences of the Mediterranean; soothing the spirit, renewing the body, and enriching the mind. Clarissa chose an 80 minute Deep Tissue Massage, infused with natural botanicals and I indulged in an Orange Blossom Body Buff. The treatment left me feeling like I was in a happy little cocoon (which I was, following the body buff). Clarissa and I emerged from the spa feeling replenished and rejuvenated.

We wrapped up our day with a couple more hours by the pool and those lush towering palms. This exclusive little enclave really did feel like a private estate. The staff were delightful, the other guests around the pool were relaxed and friendly. We were just glad to be within the gates, absorbing that good desert energy emitted from the protective mountains surrounding us. Had we not been so informal following spa and pool, Clarissa and I would've stopped into T. Cooks for dinner, but that will be for another time. Perhaps on New Year's Eve for the Roaring 20's bash I've heard so much about.

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