The Desert Riviera is a revelation. My husband and I have stayed in hotels from modest to luxury, and we've never had service like that anywhere. Larry took a small hotel that was caving in on itself, and inside of three months he turned it into the most charming, comfortable property I can imagine. He and his sister Judy and wife Patty create an atmosphere so welcoming and laid-back, it redefines what it is to be a "guest" at a hotel.
When the white stretch limo swung to the curb at the airport with Larry behind the wheel, we were a little mystified. All this fuss? Over us? But, when we arrived at the hotel, and Judy placed a cold beer in my husband's hand and a tall glass of water in mine, and Larry ushered us to our spotless, spacious, adorably decorated room, I thought, "I could get used to this."
The pool, a perfect ingot of turquoise, is surrounded by mesh-seated lounge chairs and umbrellas that tilt, whirl and bob to keep you in exactly the amount of sun (or in the case of this pasty San Franciscan, shade) you desire. Misters create a cool oasis along one side, while hard-core heat-seekers find their Mecca on the other. Cafe tables offer a spot for morning coffee, lunch, or evening cocktails, and a grill, hot tub and fire pit beckon at the dinner hour and beyond.
Larry has mastered the art of conviviality. He introduces new guests to earlier arrivals, remembering each person's name without fail. The effect is to break the ice before it even fully forms, so folks end up chatting around the pool or fire pit with ease, yet no one feels obligated to socialize.
And, despite the proximity of our room to the pool, not once were we disturbed by noise while trying to sleep (or even during mid-day naps).
Unlike many hotels we looked at in Palm Springs, the Desert Riviera is not trying to be hip or retro (though the decor does nod to its fabulous fifties origins). It's not trying to give its guests an education about architecture or design. It's simply trying to be a terrific place to relax, recharge and reconnect with the things that make life good. And in that mission, it succeeds brilliantly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amazing renovation of a beautiful vintage property, that takes you back to the old Palm Springs feel. Panoramic view of the San Jacinto mountains, impressing clean and manicured gardens. Sparkling pool and hot tub and poolside guest barbecue. Personal attention to every guest, Customer Service is #1. Come feel the vibe. (ADULTS ONLY PROPERTY) ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Desert Riviera Palm Springs
- Hotel Desert Riviera