El Mirasol Villas is a clothing optional gay men’s resort. The name translated means to look at the “sun” or loosely translated as “sunflower” or “flower in the sun.” It’s located in the Warm Sands neighborhood.
This large 6-building private compound offers meandering garden path with bougainvillea, oleander, olive trees and citrus trees. Mexican paver walkways lead to fountains, two swimming pools, outdoor shower and a steam room. There is a larger saltwater heated pool on the south and a smaller pool on the north side. There is also a large comfortable lanai with a fireplace.
By the late 1940s Warm Sands was sprouting dozens of small hotels, motels, and vacation apartments that catered to the city’s growing number of middleclass winter tourists, for whom the larger, more lavish hotels would have been off-putting or out of reach. El Mirasol was built in 1947, allegedly by Howard Hughes in order to discreetly accommodate his friends and mistresses. It is a collection of stucco bungalows and pools set within a walled garden (525 S. Warm Sands Drive).
In 1975 an entrepreneur named Bob Cannon took advantage of the area’s depressed real estate values to purchase El Mirasol and rehabilitate it. He reopened the renovated property as El Mirasol Villas and catered exclusively to a clientele of gay men. El Mirasol Villas was a success, but for eight years remained an isolated bright spot in the Warm Sands neighborhood.
Owners Paul & Bruce purchased the property in 2000 and are committed to continuing the tradition of El Mirasol Villas as a fine gay men’s resort.
A Los Angeles couple, Bob Mellen and Peter Tangel, purchased a small apartment complex down the block from El Mirasol Villas and converted it into the Vista Grande (574 S. Warm Sands Drive), Palm Springs’s second exclusively gay hotel. It was also the city’s first gay men’s clothing-optional hotel.
There is a range of rooms, from studios by the pool, to larger bungalows. Most include a microwave and refrigerator. Expanded bungalows and poolside studios include a kitchenette and private patio.
The Bungalow Suite are their most spacious bungalows. California king bed in the bedroom and separate living room with queen sleeper sofa. Includes full size kitchen with microwave, refrigerator and private patio.
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