Romance: When the Mood Strikes

If the mountains surrounding Greater Palm Springs could talk, they’d regale us with tales of young love, secret exploits, and lifetimes of passion.

Emily Chavous Current Guide, Hotels & Resorts, Restaurants

Colony 29 is a romantic spot popular for weddings with commanding views and nestled against the mountains.

If the mountains could talk, they’d regale us with tales of young love, secret exploits, and lifetimes of passion. The desert reinvigorates. It kindles spontaneity and growth and 
supplies a storybook setting in which to woo. Whether you’re on a honeymoon, celebrating a diamond anniversary, or simply sneaking away from life’s bustle, let the heart lead.


Colony 29

Colony 29 is a 6-acre resort of six residences, one with five bedrooms and a saltwater pool, that can be rented individually or as a compound. Nestled into the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains off a private road, this destination offers commanding views that can be enjoyed from meandering trails leading to swimming pools, meditation gardens, a tree house, or an outdoor kitchen. A popular wedding venue, it hosts ceremonies of various sizes in three locations: an open grass area surrounded by vineyards, a lawn beneath a hillside desert garden, or an intimate hilltop setting surrounded by palms.

Casa de Monte Vista

This secluded Spanish estate is the place to host a wedding with an old Hollywood vibe. Situated in the historic Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs, the home, with its lushly landscaped grounds and poolside bar, was built in the late 1920s and became frequented by stars including the members of the Rat Pack. Four casitas are available as individual rentals, or you can take the whole place — no nuptials required.


The Chateau at Lake La Quinta Lakeside living, a rarity in the desert, places this East Valley getaway at the top of our list. Fresh off a $3.5 million renovation, all 24 rooms (plus two bungalows) come with a private patio overlooking 
Lake La Quinta. You’ll want to 
do dinner at the property’s Mélange restaurant.


Sandfish by Engin Onural
Sushi chef and sake sommelier Engin Onural (of Palm Desert’s Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge) recently opened this sexy sushi and whiskey bar that blends Japanese and Scandinavian design elements. Hip crowds roll in nightly to nosh on nigiri and share pretty plates of internationally inspired appetizers.



Sandfish by Engin Onural

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
Want to travel to Japan without leaving the desert? Kobe marries your wanderlust and foodie fantasies to bring you an authentic teppanyaki experience. You’ll dine in a reproduction 300-year-old Japanese country inn, complete with a koi pond. Chefs prepare a coursed meal right at your table with acrobatic flair.

Mr. Lyon’s

Velvet booths, candlelight, fine wines, and prime rib with all the accoutrements set the mood at Mr. Lyon’s, an upscale steakhouse serving classic dishes with a modern flair. Sneak away from all the action for a nightcap or tête-à-tête at Seymour’s, an intimate back room that hearkens to the swanky speakeasies of the 1920s.



Mr. Lyon's


Agua Caliente Casino
Resort Spa
Feeling lucky? Hit the high-limit blackjack tables with your beau at Rancho Mirage’s landmark casino, located just off the Bob Hope Drive exit on Interstate 10. Dine at the on-site steakhouse and linger for late-night entertainment at The Show or The Lounge. If you’re looking to shack up for the night, the resort offers romantic packages like champagne and strawberries, deluxe rooms with dining credits, and private cabanas by the pool. Indulge in a little sparkle at the exclusive Swarovski shop in the main atrium and find a keepsake at Impulse, which 
sells fine watches and crystal décor along with irresistable kitschy gifts.



Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa

Old Town La Quinta

Time slows down while strolling the quaint cobblestone 
sidewalks of La Quinta’s historic shopping and dining hub at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Boutiques, cafés, art galleries, and restaurants line the Spanish-style, white-adobe village. Old Town Coffee Company is a scenic spot to fuel up. As the sun sets, intimate patios brimming with bougainvillea beckon for date night.



Old Town La Quinta

Elements Spa at Hilton Palm Springs

Journey through the elements at this earthy resort spa and indulge your “mind, senses, and spiritual sensibilities.” Bring your partner and tickle his or her senses, too. Together you can get soaked, scrubbed, wrapped, rubbed, and spoiled with the ultimate in pampering treatments. Couples packages include bubbly or wine, 
which should of course be enjoyed in the privacy of a Swiss shower and relaxation room. Day guests are invited to dip in the pool and dine alfresco. (And if you’re still looking for a hotel, the Hilton is conveniently close to the action of downtown Palm Springs.)


Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers

If you find yourself suddenly in need of a Rolex or engagement ring (you never know), Leeds will sort you out. A family business since 1947, it carries a selection of classic and contemporary jewelry, including Mikimoto pearls and the French line Messika. In addition to Rolex, the expansive watch collection includes Patek Philippe, Baume & Mercier, Chanel, and others. Leeds also does watch and jewelry repairs.

Q & A

Karian Forsyth

founder of The Ideal Match

A matchmaker for 25 years, Forsyth’s Palm Desert location marks its 10th anniversary this year. She shares a few tips for heating things up.

What makes the desert a great romantic escape?
It’s the mountainous drive in. It’s the lush green golf courses. The landscape is breathtaking. When you have beauty around you, that’s going to set the stage.

Recommendations for a memorable date?
My husband and I love The Nest in Indian Wells and Mastro’s in Palm Desert. We look for atmosphere, fine dining, and live music. I love to get up and dance with my girls or slow dance with my husband. To me, that ends an evening perfectly. A coffeehouse or juice bar is a nice way of making an introduction … but it all depends on the person!

How do you keep the romance hot in the heat of summer?
You stay in great shape, you wear less clothing, you have cold drinks, you hang by the pool. Get some spray bottles and have a little spray-shooting contest. Go to fun restaurants with misters. Or just stay in the air conditioning!



Karian Forsyth