After a major renovation, the famed Riviera Resort and Spa has reopened to wow locals and visitors alike, so we decided to go explore it for ourselves.
Originally opened in 1959 in the style of Las Vegas hotels such as the Sands, Flamingo, and Stardust, the Riviera was frequented by a host of the rich and famous. Now the Riviera Resort and Spa is reborn as a tribute to those times, with a contemporary/modern brassy, sassy flair. The decor is a bold mix of glass and mirrored columns; walls, floors, and furnishings are primarily done in red, black and ivory. Some of the whimsical chairs look as if they’re straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Huge portraits constructed of mirrored tiles make reference to entertainment icons who’ve frequented the resort.
Upon our first arrival, we were greeted with enthusiasm at the entry, where the hostess suggested the Starlight Lounge, so we mounted the grand staircase to the wide corridor leading to the restaurant, pool areas and three bars. Soon we were perched on bar stools in the Starlight Lounge. It was mirrored, dark and sophisticated. This bar also offered a terrace area giving on to the pool and garden areas. The mood here was subdued and the service attentive.
For our second visit last weekend, we were curious to try the Bikini Bar poolside. There we found ourselves amongst a trendy, hip crowd around the Bikini Bar and beyond – in seating areas clustered around fire pits, in patio chairs around the pool, and in private cabanas. Above us was the starlit sky, with palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze. The place was throbbing with music and with the energy of the mostly younger crowd. The Riviera is fast becoming a new Palm Springs “hot spot”!