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The History of Casa Ocotillo

Casa Ocotillo is a 1930’s Mexican hacienda estate home, once a compound of 5 properties, which included the Hacienda itself on two lots and 3 guest cottages and was reputedly owned by Howard Hughes as a private sporting lodge. The five property compound would be later sold, selling the three homes abutting the hacienda off individually. Sam Zimbalist, the Director/Producer of Ben Hur, purchased one of the guest cottages, and he would own it till his death. The hacienda on the remaining two lots would be sold to a family and they would build the pool house, as a music studio for their son, Chaka Khan’s music director who played keyboard/guitar for the R & B artist.

Years pass and the cottage once owned by Zimbalist would be sold and the property would be represented by Realtor’s as having been a guest house on the Zimbalist Estate, leading one to believe that he had once been the owner of the original compound. The compound itself would later fall into disrepair and abandoned for many years and no longer suitable for occupancy.

In 2000, the property was purchased and would undergo the initial restoration of the original hacienda making the structure somewhat inhabitable and in 2004 the property would be again sold to its present owners with only some of the renovation completed. Seeing the potential and knowing some of the history of the compound they would oversee the completion of the restoration adding yet another wing, the Carriage House, to the original structure.  Mindful of the history of the property the addition carefully replicates the old-world features of the 1930’s hacienda.          

In February 2006, the two-year restoration and expansion was completed. The historic significance of the hacienda has been restored and the property fittingly named Casa Ocotillo. Today Casa Ocotillo has become a preferred vacation home for gay men traveling to Palm Springs who seek privacy and old world charm.

240 East Ocotillo Ave Palm Springs, CA 92264 800-996-4108 760-327-6110