Weekend in the Desert
Finding gold at the Palm Springs Rendevous
By Bob Page
The sophisticated traveler might turn his /her nose up at what I’m about to recommend but read on.
One’s first thoughts in thinking about a place to stay for a weekend in the desert would lead most of us to one of those sparkling fancy pants places in Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert or Indian Wells.
I understand. We’ve done that many times.
However, on a recent foray, we decided it was time to stop skipping past Palm Springs and experience for ourselves what a weekend would be like in the village which made the desert famous.
So, where to stay? The guide books seem to be of minimal help so we jumped on the Internet and up popped the Palm Springs Rendezvous.
It was like finding gold!
The Rendezvous is a gem. A B&B with character and charm spilling out of every room. The first thing you do is to pick your theme. Sounds crazy, right?
Other than the Honeymoon Suite, room themes range from Pretty in Pink, Crooners, Stagecoach, Route 66, Shake Rattle & Roll (is Elvis in the room?) to TV Shows, Silver Screen, Hawaiian Surf and Rebel without a cause.
As you enter through the Rendezvous’ frosted glass doors , nostalgic ’50s music will be wafting through the air. The music is the perfect compliment to the ’50s themed rooms. Your weekend has begun.
Each room fronts the courtyard with its pristine pool, hot tub and blue carpeted deck.
The pièce de résistance is the breakfast. The award-winning, three-course breakfast — fresh fruit smoothies, a daily fruit creation and a main course — alone will be enough to entice us to return.
At happy hour, try the RendezBlu martini and their appetizers.
“We pride ourselves on our food,” says John Michael Cooper, the delightfully charming and young general manager. He also doubles as the chef when the Rendezvous’ owners, Barb and Marty Cohen, are in Lake Tahoe managing their other property, the Shore House in Tahoe Vista.
Cooper and his staff are very involved in Palm Springs life. The Rendezvous is a major sponsor of the annual Palm Springs Film Festival and the city’s Restaurant Week.
The Rendezvous is the only true bread and breakfast inn in Palm Springs.
You’ll see a touch of gentrification taking place in Palm Springs but not enough to destroy the village atmosphere of this historic community.
For years the city let the down valley communities steal the desert’s tourist business as it fell into a lackluster, second-tier destination.
However, its long overdue makeover and redevelopment is under way. It has a bourgeoning nightlife, fabulous arts scene and fun culture. And Palm Canyon Drive is again alive with energy.
There are some terrific restaurants nearby and Cooper knows them well. We followed his recommendations to Lulu California Bistro and Al dente, both superb choices.
And if dinner and a lazy day around the pool or shopping on Palm Canyon Drive isn’t enough to pop you back into your themed bedroom, you can always test your luck at the Spa Resort Casino, a short few blocks away.
Check out the Rendezvous and Palm Springs. Neither will disappoint.