While it’s still cold and even snowy in some parts of the country, in Palm Springs the temperatures are positively spring-like. Sure there’s a nip in the air at night when temps drop into the 50′s or so, but during the day when temps rise to the 70′s or low 80′s the weather is perfect for lounging around the pool, catching a bit of sun or taking on an adventure — be it shopping, hiking or hitting the golf course. It is indeed the perfect answer to a relaxing weekend getaway.
Palm Springs weather is pretty darn near perfect this time of year, which perhaps best explains why this hallowed slice of desert has been a favorite hideaway of Hollywood stars for the last seven decades.
The Viceroy Palm Springs has all the personal and luxurious accoutrements that you might expect from a Viceroy group property, albeit in a decidedly more intimate setting. Oh sure…there’s the Regency furniture, the chic restaurant (in this case Citron), the pools and the hipster cabanas…but there’s something about the Viceroy Palm Springs that is a bit clubbier than other Viceroy properties.
Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Tyrone Power and even former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt all favored the Viceroy when they wanted a little R&R away from the eyes of the public during the Hollywood Regency era. And today that tradition continues with, among others, stars like Miley Cyrus, who’s been spotted playing Twister poolside with hotel guests, and rock diva Pink, who I just happened to pass walking around the property one night. (For the record, she looked gorgeous in a flowing red dress and I resisted the urge to scream “Raise Your Glass” to her despite being precariously close to inebriation).
Discreet is not the word to describe the entrance to the Viceroy because if you look down to check a text you’d miss it. Tucked onto a side street in downtown Palm Springs, the Viceroy appears with little fanfare. However once inside the main entrance, you’ll find a mini-paradise of narrow walkways dotted with citrus trees that wind around three heated pools and a deceptively expansive four-acre property filled with the most charming cottages. The combined sense of privacy, unpretentious sophistication and quiet ease that pervade this desert hideaway goes a long way toward explaining why stars, old and new, have become so attached to the place.
Don’t miss the chance to get booked into the Viceroy’s Estrella Spa for a little pampering (It’s one of the top 50 spas in the U.S.) The spa menu includes everything from a Lava Shell Massage, where shells are heated from the inside and guided seamlessly over the body, to a Cinnamon Vanilla Body
Treatment where the body is exfoliated with a brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla body scrub. Sheer heaven. I get a little blissed out just thinking about it and I didn’t even book it! Le sigh. Next time. (By the way there’s a 24-hour gym at the Estrella Spa and complimentary yoga classes for those inclined to pursuits healthier than lifting several Martini glasses daily).
En route back to your room post massage bliss, stop at the bar and pick up a grapefruit Mojito, one of the Viceroy Palm Springs signature drinks. Needless to say, it is such a yummy concoction, you won’t want just one. Talk about addictive!
Now, normally I am not one to advocate the combination of swimwear and eating, but an excursion to Palm Springs dictates as much.
Some of the trendier hot spots like Johannes or Trio are in downtown Palm Springs, or you can opt for Le Vallauris, which is just a short walk or drive from the Viceroy. Decidedly French and undeniably old school, Le Vallauris is the kind of place where the waiters still wear black tie, the menu is written on a board and the wine list is staggeringly expansive. You can almost feel the vibe of old Hollywood glamour still inhabiting the place (especially when you sample one of the restaurants ‘poured to perfection’ cocktails, which are truly a rare find). Foodies and lovers of romantic spots will celebrate this place.
While in the desert, I’ve also dined at Cheeky’s and enjoyed the most amazing bacon flight comprised of four varieties of bacon: Smokehouse, Cinammon Sugar, Jalapeno, Applewood Thin and Thick. I followed that with the house Eggs Benedict served atop Cheddar Scones with real bacon. Delish. And of course for lunch one day be sure to hit my favorite Palm Springs institution Sherman’s Deli for a pastrami plate followed by macaroons (the best I’ve ever had). I swear I can’t get enough of this place.
We can all use a weekend escape from time to time and especially one that involves warm weather and sunshine, no? So, book your tickets to Palm Springs and grandma can watch the kids!
Until next time…never stop Living Wells.