A guestroom at the Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif. // (c) 2010 Riviera Resort & Spa
I love L.A. Really, I do. Still, it was just one of those weekends where I had to getaway. So, I packed up, loaded up my fave road-trip jams onto my iPod and headed east for a fun weekend in Palm Springs, Calif.
After surviving bumper-to-bumper traffic and a mini detour at the premium outlets, I finally arrived at my destination, the Riviera Resort & Spa.
Once the playground of Hollywood legends, such as Frank Sinatra, Connie Stevens, Robert Conrad, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, the Riviera underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover in 2008 and quickly regained its reputation as the place to stay, eat and play in Palm Springs.
When I opened the door to my guestroom, I realized that I had entered a whole new world. Inside the spacious accommodations were a collection of retro-style pieces inspired by the exotic lands of the Mediterranean. Deep cherry and creme-colored furniture complemented the giraffe-patterned floor. In the corner, a handsome crystal-beaded chandelier draped delicately over the glass-designed dining area while, in the bathroom, refreshing shades of cobalt, coral and rich mahogany set a harmonious, relaxing tone.
Although retro in its spirit, the room was decked out with the comforts and luxuries of the modern age — including a huge plasma television and an iPod-docking station.
There was a lot to take in but, frankly, I was tired and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. So, I climbed into the crisp, white-linen bed, removed the fuchsia, sangria, tangerine and russet accent pillows and turned off the lights.
The next morning, I woke up refreshed, relaxed and ready to discover more about the Riviera. First things first: I was hungry.
While the resort had plenty of dining options, there was something about the mysterious, crimson-rouge and noir-themed Circa 59 Restaurant that was especially captivating and alluring to me.
The breakfast menu had a few things for those who were trying to be good — and some items for those of us who definitely wanted to be a little bad. There were the very tempting old-fashioned waffles topped off with berries and whipped cream, or the sinful-but-probably-worth-it buttermilk pancakes. Considering the pool was my next destination and I wanted to look bikini-presentable, I opted for the healthier choice: a satisfying serving of egg whites and turkey sausage.
Then, it was off to catch up on my reading by the pool. After finding the perfect spot for some shade and people-watching, I grabbed a towel, a glass of cold water (much needed in the scorching desert heat) and began reading my lounge-by-the-pool book.
The afternoon quickly turned into evening and soon it was time to experience the nightlife. Luckily, I didn’t have to go too far. At night, the pool area becomes a cocktail party where you can enjoy great music and spectacular views of Coachella Valley.
Before I knew it, it was two hours before checkout time the next day. Slowly, I prepared myself for the realization that my fun weekend was about to end.
As I checked out, the front desk receptionist said, “We hope you will visit us again.”
Normally, I just nod and smile. But this time, I replied, “Yes, I certainly will.”