The Hollywood icon shares her magical Palm Springs estate and reveals its famous guests
Suzanne Somers' Palm Springs Estate
Suzanne Somers knew she wanted to buy her Palm Springs home before she even saw it. It was 1977, and Somers and husband Alan Hamel were looking for an escape from their home in Venice, California — and the paparazzi chasing the Three’s Company star. “As we rode up the romantic funicular, I said to Alan, ‘Let’s buy this’ and he said to me, ‘Could you please adopt a poker face so we don’t have to pay full price?'” she explains. “I was not able to contain my excitement and we paid more than full price,” she adds, laughing.
Set on 65 acres, Somers has expanded the property over the years — renovating and expanding the main house, and adding guest houses, an updated pool and most famously, an amphitheater. (The views of the lush hills and California skyline aren’t that bad either).
Be Her Guest
Aside from the main house, there are individual cottages for guests. “The layout of our home is unique,” Somers says. “It’s a great home for having guests because they can each go off to their own cottages at the end of the day and have privacy. There are several bedroom buildings and several common buildings. It’s like a French village.”
A Dining Room to Sing About
Somers calls her dining room her favorite place in the home — but not for the reason you might expect. “I sing in my dining room because it’s away from the other rooms,” she says. “It has perfect acoustics and I have a complete professional sound set up so I can put my in-ear speakers on and play tracks from my Vegas act and have the full sound experience of a Vegas stage. There are nights I spend hours in that room and it’s thrilling. It’s a great place to rehearse.”
The room wasn’t original to the house — designed by famed Santa Barbara architect Bob Easton around the chandelier, which Somers and Hamel found on the left bank of Paris. “We were careful to keep the room on the scale of the rest of the house so it never looked like it was an add-on,” she says.
French Country Chic
“My furniture is mostly collected from trips I took to Europe — primarily from the south of France,” confesses Somers of her French country style. “I wanted authenticity for this very authentic house. At one point I worked with Sue Balmforth who contributed another layer of authenticity to the house. All the curtains are made from antique linen sheets I found at flea markets in the south of France. Sue took my vast collection of linens and covered chairs and sofas and kept the theme going. We had a good time together.”
The kitchen is the epitome of French country living — but don’t expect any junk food coming out of it. “My passion is health,” explains Somers. “I’ve written 25 books mostly about health, the human condition, cutting-edge hormone replacement, and the dire consequences of toxins relative to our health.”
Suzanne's Spa-Like Sanctuary
Every master bathroom should have a chandelier, a vanity, and a bathtub looking out on a spectacular view. And surely, you can find Somers spa sanctuary stocked with her SUZANNE Organics skin care products. “I just learned about this amazing tightening peptide formula, and it works wonders!” she reveals about the upcoming additions to the line. “Its collagen and elastin fibers have an incredible firming effect on the skin. So we developed a system of products around this ingredient — Firming Facial Cleanser, Firming 7-Day Crème, Neck Firming Serum, and Firming Eye Serum.”
Wine About It
An indoor wine cellar comes with a table for snacking and tasting. It could also be a cozy place to write for the prolific author. “My most recent project is writing a book about Alan and myself — a 50-year love affair,” she spills. “Our marriage is the most special part of my life. We are in business together, so we are together 24/7 and have not spent one night apart in over 35 years.”
The Famous Ampitheater
“We have had the wonderful privilege of hosting so many fabulous parties in the outdoor amphitheater,” Somers says of her home’s perfect entertaining space — which has been filled with the likes of Barry Manilow, Keely Smith, Susan Anton and Jack Sheldon’s Big Band. With room for an outdoor stage, thousands of candles and a long dining table that’s been known to seat at least 50, the space is a favorite of Somers’. “On one evening in particular a few months following 9/11, Merv Griffin, Robert Goulet, Michael Feinstein, and Jack Jones stood on the stage and sang a cappella ‘God bless America.’ Everyone stood and held their hands over their hearts. [It was] very moving. Tears!”
Rub-A-Dub-Dub — Check Out that Tub!
Among the many unique features of the house is one that stops traffic: an outdoor tub! It was a birthday present from Hamel — and it gets used, sometimes, on magical desert evenings. “He is such a romantic,” Somers explains. “We might go to my outdoor bathtub, share a tequila on ice and watch the moon while I soak in the bath with Epsom salts, surrounded by nature and the waterfall.” Awwww.
Somers had never been to Palm Springs before she purchased the home — but she says she “wanted a place where, as a family, we could roam free with privacy.” She sure found it. “This large piece of property was perfect,” she says. “When it was lunchtime, I would go out by the pool and yell in the direction of the mountains for both boys and they would come running down the hill like the mountain goats that so often show up there today.”
“Our organic garden is one of the thrills of my life,” Somers says, of her outdoor space. “Every October we plant organic and we are able to eat from that garden November through May. At the end of the day, I walk down the hill and pick a perfect cauliflower and baby lettuce and — depending on the season — baby potatoes or broccoli or kale or artichokes or tomatoes. I plan dinner around what’s perfect. Once you’ve tasted a cauliflower just picked from the garden and brought to the table, it’s hard to ever have it any other way.”
A Change Would Do You Good
Somers has been able to a create a serene and peaceful home where she can weave together family, friends, and work. But she’s ready to let go when the right buyers comes along. “We are looking for a different lifestyle at this point,” she admits. “After 40 years, I think we all get an itch to change.” Somers says she’s looking to downsize from the ten-bedroom home, now that her children are grown. “I want to build something very modern,” she reveals. “Two or three bedrooms with large entertaining areas — and of course another amphitheater.” She adds, laughing: “Once you have one you can’t live without it.”