Riviera Palm Springs pool
Los Angeles Living, Travel

24 Hours in Palm Springs: A Perfectly Rounded Vacation in Just a Day

These days — with the demands of infant twins plus career plus being a grownup — at any given moment, I’d say I deserve a vacation more than ever before.

One (of the infinity) great things about living in Los Angeles is we have easy access to the desert, and 24 hours in Palm Springs can make a person feel totally refreshed, rejuvenated, and… tan.

So last weekend, hubs and I headed out for an overnighter at the Riviera Palm Springs that we sorely needed and enjoyed. We were going to take the babes, but decided it was better to leave them instead in the care of their grandparents when the weather forecast said (wait for it) 115. Fortunately, I can’t get enough of the heat myself.

Here’s what our mini-break looked like.

24 Hours in Palm Springs


2:30 p.m.: We arrived at the Riviera after a quick two-hour drive, valet parked, and checked in. Timing here is, of course, essential: After scooting out of work early for a summer Friday, we left L.A. right in between rush hours, and we appeared to have hit it just right. Score!

Riviera Palm Springs lobby

Riviera Palm Springs lobby

Riviera Palm Springs lobby

3 p.m.: Pool time! The Riviera’s cool amoeba-shaped main pool is big by desert standards, and lively, with vacationers of all ages. (Note to self for future: Kids totally welcome here.)

Riviera Palm Springs pool

Riviera Palm Springs pool — swimmers undaunted by smoke from various Southern California wildfires!

5 p.m.: Massage time! Hit SpaTerre to work out those kinks that come from logging zillions of miles with my massive double stroller. I’d stayed at the Riviera before but had no idea the spa had such a cool co-ed relaxation area.

Spa Terre at Riviera Palm Springs

Spa Terre at Riviera Palm Springs

SpaTerre at Riviera Palm Springs

7 p.m.: Dinner at Circa 59 restaurant. Despite smoke wafting from local forest fires, we sat outside and enjoyed the energy of the pool. Sparkling rose and toffee pudding (oops, I meant to not have dessert) topped off an excellent meal.

Circa 59 restaurant at Riviera Palm Springs

Circa 59 restaurant at Riviera Palm Springs

Circa 59 restaurant at Riviera Palm Springs

10 p.m.: Back in the room! Early to bed, early to rise…

Riviera Palm Springs bedroom

Our king room

Riviera Palm Springs lounge area

Guest room lounge area

Riviera Palm Springs bathroom


Riviera Palm Springs

View from balcony in garden-view room #8208, main building 8, second floor.


8 a.m.: Breakfast at Circa 59. Pretty stoked to find soyrizo on the menu! Any veggie meat is a friend of mine. A treat to read the paper over Sunday breakfast as well… doesn’t happen so much at home these days!

Desert Sun

9:30 a.m.: Back to the pool. Finally finish reading the Amy Poehler book that I began in Punta Mita. (The Haiti part at the end slayed me.) A morning so refreshing and relaxing.

Riviera Palm Springs pool

Winds shifted and smoke cleared!

1 p.m.: Check out and lunch on the North Palm Canyon Drive main drag. On the way home, we stopped at our go-to pitstop Hadley for dried fruit and veggie chips. (Typically, here’s where we’d have also hit the outlets at Cabazon, same freeway exit off the 10 — what I consider an absolutely essential part of any desert road trip. But we passed this time… even I might have shopped myself out lately!)

Back home just over a day later to reunite with the sweet babes and plot future family visits.

Ahh… now our tired bones are good as new! (Ahem. Almost.)


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1 Comment

  • Reply Mini-Holiday Giveaway! A Stay in a Palm Springs Architectural Gem July 10, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    […] month, I wrote about how Palm Springs is the perfect destination for a 24-hour vacation that can can actually make you feel totally refreshed and inspired (plus detoxed or retoxed, per […]

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