By Rachel Montoya

Colts Lodge, located in the Historical Deep Well Ranch area of Palm Springs, kicked off the season in style on Thursday night.  The owners, Frank Young and Jon Nelson, arrived to the red carpet with Josie Pond and Margaret O’Brien in a horse driven carriage.  Invited guests, which included supporters of the Historical Society and Modernism Week, were arriving to the red carpet in electric golf carts and greeted by servers from Mr. Lyons Restaurant with a signature cocktail and appetizers from the kitchen and treats from the BBQ.  Guests enjoyed the 3 gardens, which were designed by owner Jon Nelson and inspired by Margaret O’Brien’s film THE SECRET GARDEN.

The corner of 1586 East Palm Canyon and Calle Rolph was the center of attention as traffic slowed down to see the colorful lighting, flash of photographers capturing the arriving glamorous people dressed in cowboy attire and cocktail dress.  The evening was reminiscent of the Western era of the Deep Well Ranch Estates when Hollywood Cowboys and Stars came to Palm Springs to stay and play.

The 50’s through the 70’s provided a landscape where celebrities were seen riding horseback from the Los Compadres Stables and Sun Rise Stables and following the trails along the Indian Canyons and Mesquite Trail.  Colts Lodge is about 1.2 miles to both the stables and 1.7 miles to the Indian Canyons and the Indian Canyon Golf Resort.  All the guests were excited at the news that Colts Lodge had recently been privileged with a ceremonial blessing by the local tribal members – the Blessing of the Earth and The Sage Ceremony.  Colts Lodge is one of the City of Palm Springs Hotel Incentive Program hotels and does observe water conservation, energy conservation, and uses biodegradable cleaning products for the property and linens.


Jon Nelson, owner and designer of this historical property, which has been a boutique hotel since the 50’s, gave this corner of East Palm Canyon a new name and a new face.  Colts Lodge is now comprised of 11 rooms individually designed and a beautifully appointed social lounge with furnishings you would find in an elegant lodge that is adjacent to a full-sized kitchen.  All rooms and gardens can be viewed on the website at

When the guests passed under the rock sculptor entrance to the gardens they followed the path leading to the Wedding Rock sculpture, and the rock sculptor gateway to the second garden where the ceramic-tiled pool and entertainment area provided music and dancing.  The third garden has seating at the fire pit and BBQ where guests were served, and enjoyed the palms and fruit trees, and perfect evening temperature. A few guests enjoyed playing Bocce Ball and sitting on the grass (eco-friendly turf).  Many of the guests enjoyed the wicker chairs along the walkway while other groups decided to sit in the picnic area near the guest lounge where appetizers and dessert was being served throughout the evening.

Upon departure around 9PM, the valet presented guests with a bright yellow departure bag and a small reminder of the wonderful evening that was hosted by the owners, Jon Nelson and Frank young.