The first thing we noticed about the Desert Riviera Hotel was that we didn’t notice anything; it looks so unassuming from the outside, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sign, high green hedge walls and a tiny notch of a parking lot.
But those hedges are hiding a slice of paradise – a cerulean pool straight out of a Hockney surrounded by chaise lounge chairs and shaded by palm trees. There’s a hot tub, conversation pit, outdoor kitchen, and beautiful flowers. It’s a secret garden à la Rat Pack.
Its charm doesn’t lie solely in its courtyard though. The warm hospitality will make you feel like you’ve arrived at a long lost friend’s desert hideaway. When you check in, you will meet Judy. Judy is amazing. She’ll set you up with a beverage (the desert is hot!), check you in, and then give you a tour of the place along with insider tips of where to go and what to do in Palm Springs.
The hotel was built in 1951 and retains its mid-century modern verve. The rooms are spacious and immaculate and decked out like an atomic ranch. All of the rooms surround the courtyard, so everyone is mere steps from taking a dip in the pool. Also in the courtyard there are pool-side gas grills (yes, that is plural) and community kitchen. Don’t feel like eating out? Dine in! Judy and her staff would love to help you cook that perfect meal. After supper, sit by the outdoor fire pit or take a dip in the hot tub and look at the stars above the San Jacinto mountains.
The hotel boasts many free amenities, which makes you feel like a guest, not a client or customer. Free laundry, bikes, DVD library, Wi-Fi, airport pickup, ice and in-room snacks, not to mention the beer at check in. In the morning there is fresh fruit, donuts and coffee in the office.
Reservations are made by telephone or email request. Sorry, no young children.
The rooms and courtyard are amazing and the staff members are more like hosts, making the Desert Riviera Hotel your home away from home in Palm Springs.