#1. That may seem like an odd segue into a travel article about the 5 Best things to do in Palm Springs, California, but it makes a little more sense when you realize that staying at the Riviera Palm Springs tops the list. And the reason for that is largely due to their over-the-top, legendary customer service.
From the moment you drive up to the circular front of the Riviera Palm Springs, with its full-sized glass windows and doors, you are cheerfully greeted; assisted with your every need; directed to the best of the best, within the hotel and without; and pampered as if you were a member of the Rat Pack; without you ever having asked for a thing.
Speaking of the Rat Pack, the hotel was redesigned and unveiled in the Fall of 2008 to harken back to the glitz and glamor of its 1960s heyday when it was principal hangout for the Rat Pack. Tile-mirrored walls; button-tufted leather sofas and chairs in black or white; crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceilings; fire pits and cabanas around the pools; and Desert Modernism fixtures and features throughout.
But the Riviera is only the beginning of the treats that Southern California's Palm Springs has in store for you. If you can tear yourself away from all that opulence and fine treatment, you'll find lots more to see and do around Palm Springs.
#2. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world's largest rotating tram, 8500 feet above the desert floor to the Mount San Jacinto State Park wilderness. There are breathtaking views as you travel up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon, and even more spectacular views of the Coachella Valley spread out below when you reach the top.
Once you've arrived and sated yourself with views of the valley, you'll discover there's year-round fun to be had here with hiking, camping, and guided nature walks in the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area at the head of the list. Also on that list are cross-country skiing, family snow fun, snowshoeing, and snow camping for Winter outdoor enthusiasts.
#3. An absolute must is to stroll and browse Palm Canyon Drive for this is the very heart of Palm Springs. Whether you're there on a Thursday night for Villagefest (a street fair with artists and artisans, entertainers, and farmers market wares), or any other night of the week, Palm Canyon Drive rocks with tall, light-enhanced palm trees, a fun and friendly ambiance, entertainment, shopping, and dining.
#4. Experience the unique mid-century style of architecture that began in the 1920s, created by visionary modernist architects set on embracing the desert environment created by Mother Nature in the Coachella Valley. Dubbed Desert Modernism, the style is notable for its use of glass, clean lines, natural and manufactured resources and indoor/outdoor spaces - perfect for desert living.
Stay in a retro retreat, take a guided tour, shop for unique pieces representing the style to take back home, pick up a map of mid-century landmarks from the Palm Springs Official Visitor Center for a self-guided tour, or plan your visit to coincide with the annual Modernism Week in February for special tours, events and programs.
#5. Speaking of desert living, don't miss a visit to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens for an interesting journey through the deserts of the world. Established in 1970, the founders have created interpretive nature trails and preserves representing both North America and Africa, Gecko Gulch (a kids desert play land), a Wildlife Wonders show, and the Endangered Species Carousel. For a special treat, take a private safari group tour specialized to your needs and interests.
Returning to the concept of good customer service: Nelson Boswell said, "Here is the simple but powerful rule... always give people more than they expect to get."
Palm Springs more than delivers!