Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa!

"The Riv" is back baby! At long last the legendary Palm Springs Riviera hotel has reopened after an extensive $70 million renovation and restoration. This hotel's storied past echos performances by the Rat Pack and old Hollywood movie star legends that give the Riviera its icon status. The 1963 film "Palm Springs Weekend" starring Connie Stevens, Troy Donahue, Stephanie Powers, Ty Hardin and Robert Conrad was filmed at the Riviera. Even though its star had gradually faded since its heyday, it still attracted its share of names. In fact just before it closed for renovation, I had lunch at the Riviera and saw crooners Jack Jones and Connie Stevens lounging poolside. I stopped by the Riviera for cocktails one night to check out the property and was very impressed. It is contemporary Hollywood Glam with a fresh twist on retro style and a sophisticated feel. Most importantly, the re-emergence of the Riviera has created a buzz, snagging Playboy's 55th Anniversary Party, complete with Hugh Hefner and a major crowd from Hollywood. Super-trendy fashion designer Trina Turk has planned a fashion show for Spring 2009. The hotel has arrived on the scene once again, and Austin Powers would feel right at home.

above: At night, beyond the front water fountains, the hotel glows from the red hot lights.

above: the front lobby ambiance glows red-hot, but the white leather furnishes cool it right down!

above: the front lobby lounge offers a cozy spot to meet friends and be seen.

above: Fresh mid century-modern kitsch at its best: a red crystal chandelier hangs from fab red-glad ceiling wallpaper and mirrored walls.

In My Element...
If I may say so, the Riviera was practically redesigned with me in mind. Its a perfect place for me to don my ascot, and reminisce about the good old days with a refreshing martini. I could channel Dean Martin here. All kidding aside, the hotel really has an interesting history as a mecca for good entertainment in the desert. It easily attracted more than its share of entertainers who lived in Palm Springs. Some had planned performance, and others would stop in for cocktails and would end up on stage singing impromptu. Greats like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Elvis Presley all performed here several times. The ballroom was known for attracting great swing band leaders like Artie Shaw, Dave Ace Hudkins, Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Vido Musso, Irving Mills and Georgie Auld. It was quite the place. The new renovation has retained the old glam feel with fun mosaic portraits of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball in the lobby. There are fabulous mid-century modern accents and furnishings throughout, particularly in unexpected places. Right down to the signs on the restroom doors, there is a fun chic retro feel, yet it is all new, clean and fresh. The Riviera hotel boasts 406 luxury guestrooms and over sized suites, furnished with modern marble bathrooms, wide screen plasma TVs.The new SpaTerre is an 11,000 square foot facility, with 18 private treatment rooms featuring Balinese, Thai and Indonesian style therapy. The Watsu pool, hot tub, private steam room, luxury relaxation area and fitness center are supplemented with a full service salon as well. I have not tried the spa yet but its something I'll have to do one of these days!

above: this chair looks better without me sitting in it!

above: there are multiple sitting areas all with fun mosaics of famous folks.

above: the Frank Sinatra mosaic looks over the pool table, surrounded by mirrors and retro-chic glitz.

above: there are multiple lounges throughout the property. This one is very cozy with sleek black and white furnishings and crystal chandeliers for a bit of the unexpected.

above: one of the dining room areas with rich red leather high back chairs
Outdoor Desert Chic

above: Outside by the pool there are lots of great areas to sit and order food and cocktails.

above: the pool area was enchanting under the moonlight.

above: there are fire pits all around the pool area, with sitting areas and small tables perfect for small talk and a glass of wine. I'm pleased the hotel did such an outstanding job with the renovation. It's sure to be a hit with visitors and locals too. As a reminder, this is not a paid post, just me writing about things I enjoy~
-Rick Rockhill


Mona said...

That is exotic, but all that red hurts the eyes.

A sign of a good hotel is that every customer must feel that it has been designed for him/her!

That chair sure is huge! I love the celebrity mosiacs!

Anonymous said...

Vintage with a modern touch. They did a wonderful job on the renovation.

TWISI said...

interesting interior choices

i LOVE the exterior spaces

Rhodester said...

I more see you as channeling Rock Hudson rather than Dino, but yes.. you do fit right in.

I'm going to head up there myself one of these evenings, if I can find that darned ascot I snagged in the bargain bin at Goodwill.

Olivia said...

Wow, it's retro kitschy and perfectly Palm Springs. Since I can't wear ascots, I'd dust off my 50s style cocktail dress and go down there for some good old swing, if only Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey or Duke Ellington could come back for one evening.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I was never in The Riviera....I'm not sure why, but I never was...! It looks quite marvelous and I love the Retro Idea...Takes one back....!

Madame x said...

Oh Wow.... I Honeymooned at the Riviera in March 1966...sigh... The advertising was a catchy little tune... "There's a great new high, in the Las vegas sky... The Hoooootel Rivvvvvvv eee air ah!

That husband is long gone...much the same as the old Riviera. :)


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