When I toured Elvis’ Palm Springs Honeymoon Hideaway last year, in The Old Las Palmas area, the Mid-Century Modern home’s pedigre was just as impressive as its celebrated resident.
Recently, I toured Graceland West, the Little Tuscany Estates area home that Elvis bought and lived in for seven years. The most impressive thing about this 5,000-plus square foot home isn’t the architecture, the decor or the memorabilia. It’s being able to take a $15 trip to the past that makes the tour priceless.
Elvis owned the home at the time of his death, in 1977, and had stayed there just a month prior. Priscilla sold it two years later to Frankie Valli, who later sold it to a Japanese investor. Today, it’s owned by Elvis fan, Reno Fontana and his wife, who live in the home and also open it to the public for year-round tours. Reno is an enthusiastic tour guide who seems to know everything about the King and the years he spent at the 845 W. Chino Canyon estate, and shares some very interesting and personal stories about the icon.
The views from Elvis’ bedroom window (above) and from the pool (above) overlook downtown Palm Springs in one direction and the San Jacinto Mountains in another. The large room with black and white tiled floor was added by Elvis to be used as a game and party room and overlooks the pool. It also includes the indoor sauna he had built.
For tour information, visit www.ElvisPalmSprings.com. During your tour, don’t forget to ask Reno why Elvis’ hot tub has a glass roof. Also, ask to see the spot where the King enjoyed dropping water balloons on his house guests. It was 105-degrees when we took our tour. Elvis wasn’t there with one of his famous balloons, but walking in his shadow was very cool.