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.
Villa Royale Inn has always had some Hollywood connections. Up until the later part of 2004, the Inn and Europa were owned by actress Amy Aquino and Emmy Award winner Tony Shaloub and his actress wife Brooke Adams. The happy recent owners of Villa Royale Inn and Europa for the past five years are Bambi and David Arnold, who reside in Palm Springs and Newport Beach, California. They were the proprietors of The Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness, New Hampshire. As the Arnold’s meander the property, they will always welcome you with a warm smile and friendly conversation. Villa Royale Inn guests have been Ambassadors, real-life Princesses, authors, artists, scientists, models, singers, dancers, fashion and nature photographers, playwrights and those who shun the paparazzi! Villa Royale Inn has been the setting for movie and fashion shoots as well as small intimate weddings. Our guests enjoy 31 uniquely appointed rooms. No two rooms alike in size, shape or decor. “If these walls could talk” takes on a special meaning for the award-winning staff. Stories are bandied about the possible existence of ghosts on our property. It makes for a good story by the fireplace; however, any place is bound to have good spirits around if they had been in existence since 1947. Villa Royale Inn is a member of the Historic Inn Society with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Palm Springs Wedding Association.