(credit: Liz Laing)

Set against a stunning backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains and located in the Coachella Valley, La Quinta Resort & Club is the longest-running resort in the Palm Springs area, having first opened on December 26, 1926. This legendary hacienda-style hotel has a history of being a favorite playground for Hollywood’s elite, including movie stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Shirley Temple. The influential filmmaker Frank Capra came here to write several of his films, including his Academy Award-winning “It Happened One Night” and the classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

(credit: Liz Laing)

Dozens of charming, whitewashed Spanish-style casitas are sprinkled throughout 45 acres of well-manicured grounds, covered with vibrant flowers, fragrant citrus trees (guests are encouraged to pick their own), cacti, palm trees and over 40 sparkling swimming pools and 53 hot spas. Guestrooms in the casitas, suites and spa villas are warm and luxurious and tend to be clustered around the pools. One of the most popular accommodations is where Frank Capra stayed and returned to year after year to pen his famous scripts.

(credit: Lis Laing)

Holidays at La Quinta

Holiday cheer abounds throughout La Quinta Resort & Spa with festive decorations and special seasonal activities that salute Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The main plaza is transformed into legendary Bedford Falls on Thursday-Saturday nights with live entertainment. A tree lighting ceremony takes place on Saturday nights, along with a complimentary showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at 8 p.m. in the resort’s theater. Each day a bell rings in the Plaza and select guests will receive special resort-related gifts, based on the line from the movie, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings.”

(credit: Liz Laing)


Guests and non-guests can participate in a holiday cooking demonstration and learn how to make soup and hot chocolate and warm-up from the winter chill on Saturday, December 17 from 3 – 4 p.m. held in the workshop area of the resort’s main kitchen. Participants will sip La Quinta Nectar, taste the dishes, receive a “How-To” Handout and be entered in a drawing to win gift certificates for dining at La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West. Cost: $10 for guests, $15 for the public. Call (760) 564-4111, extension 7258 to reserve your spot.

Holiday concoctions include The George Bailey, an original La Quinta-concocted cocktail made with Bailey’s Original, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, White Crème de Cacao and Gingerbread Syrup; and The Mary Bailey Pumpkin Martini, named for George’s wife and made with House-Infused Pumpkin Vodka, Spiced Pumpkin Liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, Taza Chai Tea Latte and Half & Half. Both drinks are served at the dining venues: Morgan’s in the Desert, TWENTY6 and Adobe Grill, which will be offering special celebratory menus for Christmas and New Year’s.

(credit: Otto Petersen/CBS)

Toys For Tots

Toys for Tots Drive – get a complimentary appetizer at TWENTY6, Adobe Grill and Ernie’s Bar & Grill at PGA WEST for every toy donated by the general public between Nov. 26 and Dec. 17. For every toy valued at $25 or more donated by hotel guests through Dec. 15, one category room upgrades will be offered, based on availability. La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST will match the dollar value of all toys donated.

(credit: laquintaresort.com)

It’s a Wonderful Winter at La Quinta Package

Available now through Feb 29, 2012
$50 Resort Credit
Amenity Basket filled with gingerbread cookies, delivered for arrival turndown
La Quinta Holiday Snow Globe
Complimentary “It’s a Wonderful Life” DVD
Rates starting at $209. Call toll-free, 1-800-598-3828 for reservations and more information. Refer to promo code WW11.

Championship golf and tennis facilities, award-winning dining venues and a luxurious 23,000 sq. ft. spa make La Quinta a world-class destination and a great place to spend the holidays.

End your stay on a sweet note and be sure to pop into Lollipops, La Quinta Resort & Club’s old-fashioned candy shop that offers a myriad of sweets and seasonal treats including chocolate Santas, lemon drops, holiday lollipops and homemade fudge, as well as novelty gifts such as candy-themed pillows, vintage lunch boxes and iPod earphones. A great place for stocking stuffers!

Liz Laing is a writer, Web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on LizLaing.com.