I am not one of those people who thinks much about design, until it smacks me in the face, as it does the second you walk in to the Riviera Resort & Spa. This place didn’t define cool, it invented it – twice actually, effortlessly and before you even woke up this morning. From the second you walk in the lobby, and including every detail you’ll see from there on out, this place just exudes cool, leavened with occasional kitsch, and dripping Hollywood glamour. Palm Springs is, you’ll recall, the location where all the hepcats of the Rat Pack used to spend their decadent desert nights, in some cases, at this very hotel. The décor, then, is a contemporary update on that original cool decadence. The rooms feature bold monochromatic patterns, reminiscent of the 70s, enlivened by splashes of bright color, and plenty of mirrored surfaces. They are a nice size, with absolutely delicious beds, and sleek bathrooms featuring upscale bath products. This attention to the detail extends to the hallways, common spaces and outdoor areas too. The pool area is especially inviting, although since it was November, I didn’t get to actually swim in it. At night, the area has fire pits and comfy chairs where you can hang out, toasting marshmallows if you are so inclined, or more likely, sipping elegant cocktails.
But, while I have plenty good to say about the Riviera, all is not 100% bliss. First of all, the place is gigantic, like a maze, and you’re definitely going to feel like the ugly fat kid when they banish you to the further removed reaches at the back end of the property. These rooms may be every bit as nice as any others on the property, but it is truly a haul to get back to them. You must wander through endless dim hallways, which aren't that well-maintained: littered with room serivce trays that had been sitting around who knows how long, they also didn't look like they had been vacuumed thoroughly or recently. The other thing I would mention is demographics. As in, if you have reached the middle of your age, let’s just say you’re going to feel that acutely here. Not all of the clientele is young and rich, hip and hot, but it certainly helps to be – you’ll feel far more at home. So that’s the primary group the Riviera is hoping to appeal to, and there’s no harm in that. But if you want someplace that’s quiet at night, or family-friendly… Well, go to Best Western. Finally, the hotel’s Circa59 restaurant is not all that: the food was good, but not great, and the service wasn’t even that. While we were the last people on the terrace the night we ate there, that’s not sufficient cause for rushed or forgetful service, and we experienced both.
While at the Riviera, I did not have time to check out any of the hotel’s bars or lounges, or the spa. Nor did I have the chance to shoot some pool on the spectacularly be-dazzled table off the hotel lobby. So, even though I am beyond the target demographic, I consider those several very good reasons to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A stylish and styled, eclectic, cool, bohemian getaway. Inspired by the nonchalant elegance of Slim Aaron’s photographs, The Riviera is free spirited, vibrant, playful and bohemian with a sprinkling of retro nostalgia. The whimsy of Hollywood Regency in the guest rooms merges with the eclectic spirit of the public areas and makes for a perfectly unique resort getaway in Palm Springs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riviera Resort And Spa, Palm Springs
- Riviera Resort & Spa, Palm Springs Hotel Palm Springs
- Riviera Hotel Palm Springs
- Riviera Resort Palm Springs
- Palm Springs Riveria Resort