“I want to be alone”, a line derived from the 1932 film Grand Hotel, was Greta Garbo’s most memorable quote which sounded like something she would have said in real life. In fact, the iconic Swedish actress, three times Oscar nominated, never married, had no children and lived alone as an adult. She lived a private life, shunning publicity, and had her own desert escape in the heart of Palm Springs.
A spectacular oasis nestled at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, La Quinta Resort & Club of Palm Springs has been the personal refuge among Hollywood’s elite since 1926. Besides Garbo, also Frank Capra found creative inspiration over this 45 acre property and its Spanish style casitas and cabanas surrounded by highly kept gardens of petunias, begonias, peonies and now by an array of 41 pools, 23 tennis courts, 53 whirlpools and one legendary golf club.
Capra had his own casita at the resort that he named ‘The Shangri-La of Screen-Writing’. Here he first wrote ‘It Happened One Night’ and after it won the Academy Award, he kept coming back and then went on to write ‘You Can’t Take it With You’ and other Hollywood classics such as ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.
Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn they were All frequent guests. So was the artist Diego Rivera. This was his getaway, a place that he viewed as an encouragement of his art.
Greta Garbo had her own casita at La Quinta, at a considerable remove from the Main Plaza with its shops and restaurants.
Her Hollywood hideaway has remained intact at the resort and is opened for visitors during the day.
Garbo’s bed and pictures, her kitchen and her hall are still imbued with her magnetic presence.