Sometimes you need a quick change of scenery, a place to relax, unwind and re-connect. Luckily we live in an area where it’s “2 hours to anywhere”. 2 hours to the mountains, 2 hours to the desert, 2 hours to another country and the beach at our doorstep. When we hop in the car for a weekend road trip, it’s hard not to choose Palm Springs for some R&R. The weather is always nice, there is plenty to do and you’re no worse for the wear from driving. This month we decided to try someplace new and stayed at the luxurious Riviera Palm Springs.
The “Riv” as the locals call it, ended up being the perfect destination for a weekend road trip! I had no idea that such a beautiful, swanky, Vegas-like resort was nestled amidst the palm trees here. The Riviera definitely understands that when you work hard, you want to play harder and they have everything to accommodate your needs. We spent time lounging around the pool where ‘Ole blue eyes’ himself once relaxed. In fact, back in the day, this was the go-to spot for the “Rat Pack.” While times have changed, they still pay homage to their celebrity roots with a daily tradition of the Poolside Flag Raising, where they raise a Jack Daniels flag to indicate the start of happy hour.
When the resort was designed and built in the 50s, Irvin Schuman, was trying to create a spot glamorous enough to compete with major Vegas hotels the celebrities frequented like The Sands, The Flamingo and Stardust. Recently, the resort underwent a $70 million renovation and the “Riv” is swankier than ever! Maintaining the old fashioned feel was key in the restoration so layers of wallpaper were peeled back and reproduced and the “Spokewheel” layout of the buildings remained along with architecture consistent with the mid century.
Walking into our room it felt like we were on a film set from the, 50s but with all the modern upgrades like the wi-fi and 37′ LCD TV.
But who can spend time watching television when you can lounge by the pool? Be forewarned though, its a popular destination for the locals so make sure you get your wristband from the front desk! This identifies you as a hotel guest and you will get priority over non-guests for the lounge chairs.
The “Riv” has a rich history with a “who’s who” guest list of the mega stars from the 50s and 60s including Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Raquel Welch and the infamous couple Sonny & Cher. As we walked through the gorgeous lobby, it was easy to imagine the good old days when Hollywood icons checked in to recharge! Each evening we enjoyed a great local band on the outdoor patio before playing a few games of pool on the blinged out crystal billards table. We topped off the night with some dancing and drinks in the main lobby bar with a live DJ.
While most people would think the sun filled days of Cali are the most fun, you need to see the “Riv” at night and observe the 50s vibe! Our favorite part was the way the resort sparkled and shined with old school Hollywood glam. It was breathtaking! You could easily close your eyes and imagine rubbing elbows with Frank Sinatra in the bar or passing Elvis in the lobby. Palm Springs is such a fun area to visit and there’s so much to see, but the “Riv” ended up being such a chic oasis that it was easy to just sit back and enjoy the surroundings. This has become one of our favorite destinations and we have already agreed that we’d love to come back and stay again.
Learn more about Jeana Shandraw on her blog Surf and Sunshine