Villa Royale Inn & Europa Restaurant are names synonymous with Palm Springs history and magic. A tranquil oasis brought to fame by a star of film and Olympic figure skater, Sonja Henie. It is purported that this property was her estate in the 1940′s. She envisioned the property as ‘Inn’ style so that her guests were able to enjoy the sun and fun of Palm Springs but not necessarily be under the same roof.
The building that houses the award-winning Europa Restaurant was the home of Miss Henie’ s groundskeeper and his spouse, who did the cooking and cleaning. Villa Royale Inn offered the same privacy and charm then as it does now. An astute business woman, Sonja would be one of the ten wealthiest women in the world when she succumbed to leukemia in 1969.
Two Hollywood set designers that worked with Miss Henie, Chuck Murawski and his partner Bob Lee, purchased the Villa Royale Inn and used their prodigious talents to continue her vision. Many of the original doors, cabinets, accessories and antiques are still in use throughout the property.(more…)