Full of mystery, celebrity status, old-school glamour, pool-lounging weather, and mid-century modern architecture, Palm Springs has long attracted California visitors and residents alike. From the vintage shops, to the gourmet cuisine, to the famed golf courses, there is something so undeniable about this hot desert landscape lined with palm trees—and the real estate market is here for it.
About a two-hour drive from Los Angeles and merely a one-hour plane ride from San Francisco, the Palm Springs area initially grew in popularity due to contractual restrictions with famous Hollywood actors—including Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra—who insisted on close proximity for spontaneous meetings. But over the years, Palm Springs has become an iconic region in its own right, blossoming into the perfect destination for a laid-back long weekend escape.
Between the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that draws younger generations with its legendary lineups and the Desert Hot Springs enclave that beckons with its spas promising deep relaxation, it is easy to see why the valley has garnered so much attention. Harder to see, perhaps, is just how far individuals are willing to go in order to be a part of this renowned region.
$13.5 million dollars: This is the upper end of what people pay for a 5-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot home in Indian Wells’ ultra-exclusive Vintage Club. Designated the best private country club in California and the third most prestigious club in the United States by Platinum Clubs of America—a recognition only awarded to the top 5 percent of private clubs across the country—the Vintage Club has set itself up for an exceptional legacy. Given the community’s long history of golf merit, exquisite tennis courses, 500 luxury residences, spa and wellness center, indulgent eateries serving luxe cuisine, and residents who share a similar affinity for the finer things in life, standing out here can be harder than fitting in.
Luckily, not every residence on the Vintage Club property comes with such a high price tag. A two-bedroom cottage may only cost $500,000, while a seven-bedroom desert home just might break the bank at nearly $7 million. This real estate is clearly highly coveted, and the amenities available are not like those of a typical neighborhood.
As soon as you arrive at the Vintage Club, you may never want to leave. The regal homes glide along the greenways of the golf course, nestled in a natural cove created at the base of Eisenhower Mountain. This desert oasis will make anyone feel like a member of an elite group, as the Vintage Club is considered a lifestyle as much as a destination; get a massage at the spa, savor California cuisine alfresco as the sun glistens across the pool, play a round of golf on the impeccably kept greens, and take in the slow life from inside an ornate Mediterranean-style home.
First opened in 1980, the Vintage Club is the brainchild of Mick Humphreys, who worked in conjunction with celebrated golf course designer Tom Fazio. The following year saw the inaugural Vintage Invitational—which later became the PGA Senior Tour—drawing a crowd of famous golfers including Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke, and Don January, among others. Within four years, the community established an essence of camaraderie with a resort ambience; two par 72, accoladed 18-hole championship golf courses; a few hundred homes; and a massive, hard-to-beat clubhouse framed by the towering Santa Rosa Mountains.
Among the Vintage Club’s greatest features are the three restaurants, fully redesigned golf course, and renovated clubhouse. Dine on fresh bites outdoors—or enjoy them from the convenience of the locker rooms. Yes, even the locker rooms provide food service throughout the day to cater to residents’ needs, with a fully competent staff who take the time to get to know each individual and make personalized recommendations.
Unlike most other golf courses in the nation, the Mountain Course was both designed and redesigned by the same person, Tom Fazio, showing the community’s dedication to excellence and to its history. In a similar way, the Vintage Club looks to the environment for inspiration, as seen with the multi-million dollar renovation of the 80,000-square-foot clubhouse. This update enhanced the dining and social spaces by showcasing views of the surrounding features such as the mountains, the lake, and the chartreuse golf courses.
With such immersive amenities, it is easy to see why the homes of the exclusive Vintage Club are not cheap. But with housing prices steadily rising in cities across the state, you might actually get more bang for your buck in this prominent desert community. Indulge in the trendy-cool vibes of Palm Springs, get used to the year-round warm weather, embrace the culture of the resort lifestyle, and branch out with the creative art and music festivals to see just how easy it could be to leave city living behind.