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- More from Where to Smoke
Havana Club Cigar Lounge (& Barbershop), La Quinta Resort & Club, Palm Springs, California
Posted: November 10, 2011
Until I moved to Southern California, I never quite got “the desert.” I’d been to Phoenix and Tucson on tennis vacations. Meh.
The first two times I visited the Palm Springs area were on company business, retreats during which the main activities involved golf, beer and poker. Maybe some tequila as well, though I can’t recall, so almost surely tequila was involved. Those visits, however, were in the summer months. Scorching three-digit temperatures and an unrelenting sun drove most year-round residents to become nocturnal creatures.
Just recently, I visited La Quinta Resort & Club, built in the 1920s, because the folks there had been so gracious as to open the Havana Club Cigar Lounge. This, among other attributes, further distinguishes La Quinta as perhaps the best and most cigar-friendly resort in “the desert.”
You see, the Havana Club is not just a place where you can smoke a cigar. It is also a barbershop where the straight-razor shave lives and recently delighted one visitor, who had never experienced such close grooming before, to expound, “I want to do this every day!”
His wife was very happy as she had given him the shave and haircut as a gift.
All this now happens in what used to be a real estate office that was not bringing in revenue, explained Jim Pedone, La Quinta’s marketing director. So, the resort’s executives went out and recruited a barbershop entrepreneur, known mysteriously only as “Mrs. Kim,” and put together a two-chair tonsorial parlor that houses a very decent sized humidor owned and run by Pasadena tobacconist Anto Kamarian. Kamarian also owns the cigar business at all nine of La Quinta’s world-class golf courses, as well as the resort’s Morgan’s restaurant.
The cigar selection far outstrips the choices of rum, but I’m hoping the bar will evolve in that regard. While I was smoking the Oliva and chatting with regulars, the store’s manager walked out with a Davidoff Special ‘T.’
“Anto wants you to try this one,” she said.
That became my after-dinner cigar in the courtyard just outside of Morgan’s where I had just finished a superb prime-grade Certified Angus Beef New York strip steak and a Vizcaya rum (this time with a lime wedge, cuz, wow, that’s sweet rum).
Comments 4 comment(s)
Gary Gengler — Southern California, — December 14, 2011 3:08pm ET
Cigar Aficionado — December 14, 2011 4:38pm ET
Christopher Ambarian — December 21, 2011 10:09pm ET
enrique chio — palm springs, ca, usa, — January 5, 2012 8:02pm ET
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