Yep, I’d heard all of the stories before, but I’d never walked the path
of the stars’ footsteps – until I spent a weekend at the Riviera Palm
Springs. It was my home base for two days of Palm Springs-modern
exploration, and I couldn’t have chosen a better place to stay. Much
like it was throughout the 1950s and ’60s, this is a place to see and be
This 406-room property was resurrected in 2008 and has
emerged as a jewel in the desert. Drive by it at night, and your eyes
can’t help but move toward the lights and colors and shapes that beam –
really, quite literally beam – from the lobby through gigantic
wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows that front North Indian Canyon
The common areas can best be described as swanky retro
with a little bit of kitsch tossed in. Lots of mirrors. Lots of white
leather. Pops of bright jewel-tone accents.
Take the lobby,
for example. If you were at all tired from the drive out of Orange
County, by the time you walk through the front doors and step up to the
check-in desk, you’ll be completely awake and visually stimulated.
First, you’re likely to notice the deep orange glow that radiates from
behind a white lacy lattice-like wall treatment. The seating is even
more challenging to put into words. Think of a few 6-foot-tall
thumbtacks plunged into rich, dark hardwood flooring, then covered in
cushy white vinyl and topped by mirrored lights that kind of look like
The adjacent Starlite Lounge has a
white grand piano. Another lounge area has a white billiards table and a
30-foot-high video wall.
And the rooms? Well, they’re big –
the smallest is about 300 square feet – retro-posh and über cool. Fluffy
pillows. Plush bedding. Fun colors. Ultra-modern décor, of course.