Friday, March 13, 2009

Palm Springs Accommodations

By Roy Heale
On a recent visit to Plam Springs and Palm Desert I managed to check out two of the resort options for my accommodations. Here's a brief recap of where I stayed.
Riviera Resort & Spa
There's an old adage “everything old becomes new again” and nothing could be more appropriate to describe the recent re-opening of the spectacular Riviera Resort & Spa. This grand dame of the Hollywood Palm Springs era originally opened in 1958 and was a legendary 24 acre playground frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Elvis Presley. However, over the decades the property languished and declined into obscurity until it was purchased in 2006 by Noble House Hotels and Resorts. The new owners promptly began an ambitious $70 million two year revitalization project which has restored the resort to its former glory.
The new Riviera offers 406 guest rooms and suites, lushly landscaped gardens with intimate courtyards anchored by fire pits and two sparkling pools. The integrity of the original building has been preserved with the modernist spoke wheel configuration using the large pool area as the center of the hub. The revitalized property evokes the same sense of intimacy it did fifty years ago and the handsome retro furnishings and luminescent mirror-clad walls add to the aura of playful glamor.
During the hot sunny daytime hours the large pool is the center of activity with cabanas and the Bikini Bar. Then at night when the fire pits around the pool are ignited it becomes the hub of activity for poolside gatherings with cocktails from the Sidebar or late night star-gazing around the flaming hearths. The Circa 59 restaurant is also located poolside offering gourmet dining for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between snacks. For those so inclined you can spend the whole day around the pool and only vacate this cozy environment for bed time.
The helpful and amazingly friendly staff complete the perfect resort atmosphere and time spent here will truly feel like the ultimate vacation. Your hosts will definitely make you feel like a Hollywood celebrity wherever you may have come from originally. You'll have a hard time leaving and saying farewell to the aura of this legendary bygone era.
JW Marriott's Desert Springs
The large complex of Desert Springs will turn your next Palm Desert vacation into a genuine Southern California experience. Upon entering The Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, you can't help but feel you've been transported to a tropical paradise. The theme is water, water everywhere! The glittering pools and lakes entice you to splash, swim and cool off with a backdrop of mountains and blue sky. As mascots of free spirits, hummingbirds flutter throughout the grounds, while exotic parrots, macaws and cockatoos inhabit the grand multi-storied spacious lobby. On the lower lobby level, a gondola awaits you to board for a boat ride to your favorite resort dining spot or an afternoon tour or customized charter of your own. Around the property in the numerous lakes and ponds you will see the very rare black swans and white swans, pink flamingos, storks, herons,ducks mallards and much more. All of this contribute to the overall feel of a tropical oasis in paradise.
But there's much more to enjoy including multiple pools, two award winning 18 hole golf courses, an 18 hole putting course, the Lawn & Tennis Club includes twenty clay and grass courts, a 38,000 square foot Spa for the ultimate wellness experience, thirteen restaurants and lounges, the lobby bar and yes, of course, a Starbucks.
Situated on 450 acres of lushly landscaped grounds and lagoons, Desert Springs Resort & Spa is a Four Star, Four Diamond, award-winning property opened in February 1987, and is one of the largest resort and convention complexes in the southwestern United States. The almost 900 guest rooms and suites are located in five-to-eight-story wings surrounding swimming pools, lakes, verdant fairways, lush English gardens, and manicured lawns.
Desert Springs truly feels like a village unto itself in the middle of the desert.

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