I’ve written extensively about Palm Springs-area properties and where to stay in Palm Springs, but I want to come back to the topic to quickly give a shout out to the Riviera Palm Springs Resort & Spa.
We’ve stayed at the resort before, but visited again for a last-minute overnighter during Independence Day weekend. Yes, sweltering summer is the desert’s slower season, but we were still seriously impressed with the below-market $99 rate — such that it actually inspired the spontaneous trip.
Little bonus off the bat for Angelenos: The Riviera is one of the first properties you encounter on the drive from L.A., a good few miles closer than, say, the Saguaro. Makes the last leg a little easier, especially during traffic-heavy times (this weekend was not at all, mercifully).
Anyway, we got upgraded to a junior suite, and our room was all done in the fab more-is-more, glittering Rat Pack-revival style of the whole hotel.
We spent most of the time at the pool, where a DJ spun from noon onward in an environment that totally felt like a party — but one I’d actually want to go to, versus some of the other too-young, too-gross, too-rowdy, not-restful scenes around town (yes, I just showed my age). The main pool is huge and gorgeous.
By the way, for those who haven’t visited Palm Springs in a long time, you should know it’s standard fare now to give hotel guests wristbands for pool access. It’s like Las Vegas, or year-round Coachella these days. The desert is hopping. (Note to 2009 self: Buy investment property in Palm Springs. No wait, shoot, darn it.)
When we came back around 9:45 p.m. after eating dinner elsewhere, people were night swimming amid the glow of fire pits and live Spanish guitar. It was truly magical against the backdrop of mountains, palm trees, and hot summer night air.
We also took advantage of the gym (nothing crazy fancy, but modern and plenty adequate in both size and equipment. And we had the weekend breakfast buffet at Circa 59 restaurant, which was super tasty and a bargain at $15 for so much quality food and a great variety of offerings, from healthy to not-so.
One other thing to note: I called the front desk to mention a small housekeeping issue. So small, in fact, that it wouldn’t have been worth the call on its own (but I was already asking about a late checkout, which we also got): The small area behind the curtains to our sliding doors had not been properly cleaned. The woman on the phone took detailed notes — and then offered to comp the lunch and beers we’d had by the pool earlier in the day.
To me, that’s really the hallmark of a great hotel: not somewhere where nothing ever goes wrong (keep dreaming), but somewhere that freely and eagerly offers personalized solutions to correct it.
And did I mention the gorgeous pool and heavenly live music?