Fourteen years ago hundreds gathered on Palm Canyon Drive to honor my grandma, Debbie Reynolds, with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

“I love Palm Springs; I lived in Palm Springs until my second husband lost our home,” she announced. “These moments mean a lot to me. I had a great career – a stinking personal life – but everything else has been fabulous.”

My favorite memories of growing up with Debbie Reynolds as my grandma were the nights I was lucky enough to get her all to myself, sharing cheap wine and expensive memories. I have listened to many stories of what Grandma Debbie was not so found of (mostly her ex-husbands), and I have also heard many fascinating depictions of the people and places she loves dearly. One of those places is Palm Springs.

Four years ago I took my first trip to what is now one of my favorite California destinations, the Parker Palm Springs. Trying to explain how fabulous the Parker is to someone who has never been to Palm Springs, is like trying to explain how posh St Tropez is to someone who has never been to the south of France. Stepping onto the grounds at Parker, against the backdrop of a beautiful desert horizon, is like stepping back into old world elegance, to the days when movie stars were glamorous icons, to the days when my grandma was the most loved actress in Hollywood. Debbie Reynolds had grace, she had style, she was classy.The Parker is just that, classy, sexy, fun and sophisticated, but without trying too hard.

The retro chic decor blends effortlessly into a backdrop of lush landscaped grounds, towering palm trees, meandering dirt paths, and guests lounging poolside, sipping fresh squeezed lemonade cocktails. In an era when spending a day at the pool has for 20 and 30 somethings become dancing on table tops in an overpriced Vegas cabana, it’s a relief to know there are still places like the Parker Palm Springs. Places where you can let all our cares fade away into the warm desert breeze as you lounge, swim, read, nap… or do nothing but just be.

We arrived at the Parker last Monday afternoon to find a perfect summer afternoon…

And a beautiful room awaiting us...

…and a beautiful room awaiting us.

Our private patio provided the perfect spot for reading, writing & relaxing...

Our private patio provided the perfect spot for reading, writing & relaxing.

And we of course made use of the pool...

And we of course made use of the pool…

...and the spa.

…and the beautiful spa.

Parker Palm Springs Manifesto, "We believe in old world etiquette as well as new age simplicity," explains why my grandma Debbie Reynolds loved Palm Springs.

Parker Manifesto, “We believe in old world etiquette as well as new age simplicity,” embodies why stars like Debbie Reynolds love Palm Springs.

Mister Parkers glamorously seductive bistro is closed Mon & Tues...

Mister Parker’s glamorously seductive bistro is closed Mon & Tues…

...but that didn't stop us from exploring behind the black velvet curtain. I dinned here on my first    visit, and it was fantastic

…but that didn’t stop us from exploring behind the black velvet curtain. I dinned here on my 1st visit & it was fantastic.

Luv 1970's Retro Chic furnishings

Luv the 1970′s Retro Chic furnishings

Infamous lobby DRUGS sign opposite the must visit MINI BAR

Infamous lobby sign opposite the must visit MINI BAR. The beautiful blonde bartendress Danielle makes great conversation & even better cocktails.

The Parker offers 13 acres of meandering trails and landscaped hideaways to explore.

The Parker offers 13 acres of meandering trails and landscaped hideaways to explore.

You must give the egg-shaped swings a try...

You must give the egg-shaped swings a try…

Must snap a pic at this famous entrance

…and snap a pic at this famous entrance.

The Lemonade Stand offers delicious citrus cocktails

The Lemonade Stand near the 24 hour “Adults Only” pool offers delicious citrus cocktails…

… that might lead to less clothes, and horsing around at the life-sized chess board.

“We believe you are only young once… but you can be immature forever.” -Parker Manifesto

Parker Palm Springs, 4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 (760.770.5000)