My husband and I recently spent a holiday in the US road tripping along the west coast (so much fun!). We had originally planned to spend three days in Mexico, just south of the border in Ensenada, but throughout our trip everyone we met told us that doing so would be dangerous and that we should reconsider. When some Mexican people we met told us the same thing we were convinced. So, at the last minute we had to find somewhere else to go for three days. Having never been to Palm Springs before we considered that, and after a quick look on (trusty) TripAdvisor realised that the only choice for accommodation was Desert Riviera. I don't think I've ever seen anywhere with as high a ratio of Excellent reviews.
Let me tell you that this small hotel's position at #1 is well deserved (what else did you think I was going to say???).
So, we drove up to the place and my heart kind of sank a little bit. The sign out front is a little old and shabby, but don't worry, it's not representative of what lies inside the walls. We entered into a lovely, small oasis in the desert. Beautiful clean pool, plenty of sun chairs and umbrellas. So far, so good. We spoke to Judy at reception, and she welcomed us with open arms offering us a refreshing drink after our long drive. We accepted a beer but I told her I needed to use the bathroom first and she gave me the key to our room and said we could come back whenever we were ready to finish checking in.
After doing my business, we went back and she explained everything to us. Free coffee, tea, water, fruit and raspberry swizzlers all day (those swizzlers are a killer, I ate about a million of them). Free wi-fi as well as use of the computer and printer in the reception area. DVDs, books, magazines. Menus of nearly every restaurant in town to look at and decide where to eat. Free use of the groovy, cruiser bicycles. And most amazingly of all, free local, interstate and INTERNATIONAL calls!!! What???? My husband nearly fell over and asked Judy how they could do that to which she charmingly replied, "That's just what we do!" Incredible. (Funny thing is though, we didn't use the phone at all - I wonder how many guests actually do.)
So off we went to our room to unpack and unwind. We were in King Executive Room #9 which really looks exactly like the pictures on the website. Airy, spacious, plenty of natural light and super clean. There is a good sized kitchen (which of course, being on holiday we didn't use - just the fridge) and the bathroom, while being a little on the small side, was very clean and spacious enough for us both to be in there at the same time. The shower rose is quite literally flower shaped and a delight to stand under after a hard day basking by the pool. I understand that the owners only recently bought this hotel and have refurbished it. They have excellent taste and have really created a gorgeous little hotel to exacting standards. Oh, in addition to all the free snack stuff at reception, there was a basket of more free snack stuff in the room. Yummy!
The bed was super large (being a king) and super comfortable with really silky, soft clean linens. We slept like babies every night.
Another free service offered by the hotel is the use of the hotel limo (yes, it's literally a stretch limo). We used this a couple of times to get into town - while it's not too far to walk we were in super lazy mode and figured: there's a free limo available, why not use it. Jay, the limo driver, is a really friendly guy and very punctual. He also recommended a great Mexican place for us to eat when our original choice ended up being closed that night (we figured that since we couldn't go to Mexico we might as well eat it!!). We liked him so much that on our last night there we invited him to have a drink with us (after he finished driving duty of course). He’s a truly interesting fellow who’s led an interesting life. Stop to chat with him if you have the time.
We spent one of our days there literally just lounging by the pool (where we met some friendly Fins who had also parked themselves there). The pool is great, though very warm. Almost too warm for my liking, to be honest.
Overall I have nothing bad to say about this place (I’m not counting the pool temperature as a bad thing because it wasn’t really a big deal, just something worth mentioning). It really is a very welcoming, charming place to spend a few days and if we were to ever go back to Palm Springs I wouldn't stay anywhere else (though having said that they have recently also bought the nearby Hotel California so, if the same standards were to be applied there, I might consider that too). This place is a cut above everything else in the industry. The perfect small hotel.
- 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. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Desert Riviera Palm Springs
- Hotel Desert Riviera