James F. Mills
Big isn’t necessarily always better. For the Terrazzo gay male resort on East Palm Canyon Drive in the Deepwell section of Palm Springs, small is the way they like it.
“What makes us special is being small,” reports Terrazzo manager Kevin Leggett. “We’re a 14-room guest house. We’re very private. We’re very discrete. Our guests like that we are small.”
Being small allows them to provide personalized service. “We get to know our guests,” says Leggett. “We know everyone’s names and what they like. We’ll make dinner reservations for them, make sure everything they want is in their rooms.”
That discrete but personalized service is what has built a loyal following of guests. More than half of their guests are repeat visitors. “We have so many repeats because of the staff,” says Leggett, who came on board as manager four years ago. “The staff is outgoing and friendly. We really enjoy getting to know the guests and taking care of them.”
Built in the 1960s as efficiency apartments, the property was a well-known lesbian guest house, the Bee Charmer Inn, for many years. It went gay 10 years ago and changed the name to Terrazzo.
Owners Tom Halley and Doug Sems work hard to maintain the property, to make it feel like a home away from home. “You feel like you’re in someone’s backyard,” says Leggett. “The gardens are beautiful, the pool is perfect, We’ve got free wi-fi, plus plenty of books and novels. We really try to create a friendly, home environment.”
Another thing that makes Terrazzo feel special yet homey is the top-rate continental breakfast served fresh each morning. Bottled water, soft drinks, sports drinks, snacks and fresh fruit are offered free throughout the day.
On weekends during high season, they host a cocktail reception for guests. “It’s a great way for us to get to know the guests and for the guests to get to know each other,” Leggett says.
Terrazzo is not the kind of place that does day passes. They’ve never even considered it. They believe day passes would take away from the intimate nature of the place. They want guests to feel safe and know their privacy is protected.
Out & About, the gay travel magazine, recognized Terrazzo with both the prestigious 4-Palms award and an Editor’s Choice Award. Meanwhile, guests have given Terrazzo such high marks, the Trip Advisor website gave it a Recommended Place to Stay in 2010.
With high season starting, Leggett says Palm Springs has many great events coming up. One of the biggest and best is Pride, held the first weekend in November each year.
“Pride, even though it’s small, is infectious,” Leggett says. “It’s a small town parade, but it’s happy. It’s a lot of fun. It’s the best parade I’ve experienced in my whole life outside of marching in parades in my high school band.”
1600 E. Palm Canyon Dr., (866)-837-7996; terrazzo-ps.com