In June of 1996, The San Diego Union-Tribune had an article about hotels in Palm Springs, CA. The Willows was listed among them and said it was “a lavish, eight-room inn” in “the nostalgia neighborhood”.
This article was written soon after renovations had taken place after husband and wife, Dr. Paul Marut and Dr. Tracy Conrad, became the new owners of the property.
While the article misstates that Samuel Untermyer was a former U.S. treasury secretary, it was owned by the early 1900s famous lawyer. The Willows has played host to rich and famous historical personalities at various times in its history (such as Dr. Albert Einstein).
In addition to reading a partial PDF of the article by The San Diego Union-Tribune, you can also read more about the history of The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn.
*Prices, amenities, and similar details that are listed for The Willows in this PDF aren’t necessarily current, but you can see current amenities at The Willows and make a reservation online and see current prices.
In March of 1996, The Desert Sun (a newspaper in Palm Springs, CA), did a brief special on “Historic hideaways”. The write-up features several “small inns richly steeped in a colorful past of elegance that dates back to the classic movie-star years of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s”.
Among these historic places to stay in Palm Springs is The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn. It mentions that is was the winter home of Samuel Untermyer, and while it incorrectly states that he was a “former secretary of the Treasury”, it talks about some of the celebrities that were hosted by The Willows.
You can see more about these “Historic Hideaways” by viewing the PDF.
*Prices listed for The Willows in the PDF are not current, but you can make a reservation for The Willows online.
In 1996, Profit Investor Portfolio had some information about The Willows Historic Palm Springs Resort in the publication.
The Willows had recently undergone a major renovation project and the pages of the PDF (which you can view here) include the mission of the renovation and it contains some photos from the inside of The Willows.
“After researching what the property looked liked [sic] in the late 1920s and 1930s, consulting with architects and a lot of creativity… the new owners seem to have found the original Willows Inn under the macabre masquerade.”
It also talks about some of the exquisite guest rooms in The Willows, such as The Library Room.
*Prices in the PDF are from 1996 and are not current, but you can make a reservation for The Willows online.
The O’Donnell House at The Willows has a history of its own. Finished by January, 1925, it was the winter home of oilman Thomas O’Donnell and his wife, D. Winnifred Willis Jenny. It was originally known as Ojo del Desierto (Eye of the Desert).
Restored by The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, the combination of the two places makes for an elegant place to hold special events, such as weddings, receptions, galas, and more in Palm Springs, California.
The Southern Pacific Company published “A Picture Journey Through California”, which has “a series of sixty-four photographs of California’s principal spots of scenic, romantic and historic interest”.
The book has a photo of Palm Springs in black-and-white that is taken from The O’Donnell House’s property. It shows palm trees and a view of the Coachella Valley with mountains in the background.
You can see the photo from the last page of this PDF.
Palm Springs, California is known for its weather and makes for a great vacationing destination. In 1957, the popular National Geographic Magazine printed some pictures of the area and talked about what people were wearing, even though it was in the wintertime.
The second page of the article has some more details and talks about The O’Donnell House (which is now known as The O’Donnell House at The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn). It mentions Marion Davies, who headed up a group to buy the property in 1955. The Willows has a luxurious guest room named after Marion Davies.
The O’Donnell House and The Willows combine for an excellent place to host weddings and special events.
You can see these two pages worth of pictures about Palm Springs in the 1950s and learn some about the history of The O’Donnell House by viewing the PDF here.
This is the last post on Mr. Samuel Untermyer, who was one of the first people to own (what is now) The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn in California.
In the article by The New Yorker, which was written after Untermyer’s death in March, 1940 by Geoffrey T. Hellman, the reader learns about another of Untermyer’s estates, Greystone, in New York.
It does mention that “during the last few years, Mr. Untermyer wintered in Palm Springs, where he died” (p. 58).
As mentioned previously, Untermyer was a lover of flowers. This article talks about his affection for floral, much from the author taking a tour of the estate in New York.
To read more about how The New Yorker talked about Untermyer, you can do so by viewing this PDF.
As noted in previous posts, Samuel Untermyer was one of the first people to own (what is now) The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn. Untermyer purchased it in the late 1920s.
On Saturday, March 16th, 1940, Untermyer “died… at his home, The Willows, in his eighty-second year”, according to the March 17th “Special” to The New York Times.
According to the article, “Mr. Untermyer had spent the last two months at The Willows. He acquired the house about ten years ago and recently had come here annually for the Winter in consideration of his health”.
The article goes on to give an extensive description of Untermyer’s life including information on his receiving a record fee, his “fight against Hitler policy”, “his work in transit case”, and more.
To read the entire article in The New York Times, you can view the PDF here.
Dr. Albert Einstein is one of the most famous people in history and even has a room named after him at The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn. Why does The Willows have this?
One of the first owners of The Willows was a well-known lawyer from New York in the early 1900s, Samuel Untermyer. Among other things, he was famous for taking on corporate giants, such as J.D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan (you can read more about Untermyer in previous posts).
Dr. Einstein was a good friend of Samuel Untermyer and frequently visited The Willows’ hideaway with his wife. Of all the famous people who have stayed at The Willows, the most well-known guest was Dr. Einstein.
In fact, the publication Physical Culture includes a photo of Einstein at Untermyer’s “large, rambling Spanish hacienda, in which are all the comforts of a Manhattan home”. The article includes a photo collage of life in the desert and talks about the shift from the “Old West” to the how “Easterners” are turning to it for relaxation.
To see the photo of Einstein, as well as some thoughts of the author, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., on the desert transition, you can view the PDF here.
The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn is located in Palm Springs, California and is surrounded by nature. Whether it is the dining room that sits yards away from a waterfall or the many lush plants that surround the property, The Willows is truly an extraordinary getaway.
It’s no wonder that Samuel Untermyer, a renowned lawyer from the early 1900s became one of the first people to own The Willows.
Untermyer was known for his love of orchids and in a 1931 article, Adolph L. Fierst wrote about such in Nature Magazine. The article, entitled “Orchid-Lover” is “the first of a series of stories about the Nature [sic] hobbies of people prominent in many walks of life”.
Flowers and plants were Untermyer’s hobby and he devoted lots of money toward this fascination. “In all, he [had] about sixty thousand” plants from all around the world. He entered various contests and “won, literally, thousands of prizes”.
To read more about Untermyer’s fascination with plants (including how many people he employed to tend to them), in the article, which would have been written shortly after Untermyer purchased The Willows, you can view the PDF here.
In the first of two articles that profile one of the first owners of The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, the author, Alva Johnston, introduced us to Samuel Untermyer. In the second article, she continues to familiarize us with the man.
Untermyer was a popular figure of the time, having been a powerful corporate lawyer. He appeared in cases with issues dealing anywhere from a huge corporate merger worth one hundred million dollars to a construction workers on trial against their own union. Johnston sums up Untermyer’s accomplishments well, by stating that “few great railroad, insurance, or banking wars or mergers of the last half-century have been complete without Untermyer”.
The New Yorker’s article goes on to describe specific cases that made Untermyer famous.
“The city has not officially acknowledged its debt to its great patron even to the extent of naming a fireboat or a park after him.”
There’s much more to read about Samuel Untermyer in The New Yorker’s second article profiling him, and you can do so by viewing the PDF.