I’ve always loved Palm Springs, CA.  The history is rich– pretty much all fabulous movie stars and musicians from Hollywood’s heyday retreated to this desert oasis from Greta Garbo to Marilyn to Frank.  The weather is heaven– hot and dry and mellow.  The mood is utterly relaxed with the day’s focus solely on how to most enjoy yourself.  Palm Springs is the embodiment of Decadent Relaxation.

Napper and I needed a romantic rendezvous– life has been so hectic and full of commitments that we’ve barely had any time to really see each other.  We booked at the Korakia Pensione which we have absolutely loved in the past.  We’ve stayed there twice and Lucy and I have stayed there once– it is listed in our Palm Springs guide in our Destinations section with glowing reviews.  Many friends have begged us not to blog about it, not to let the secret out, but here is the problem…  Korakia has been discovered.  Big time.  It is still unique — a bit of Morocco and the Mediterranean in the desert but I have to say I was a little let down this time.  For where the prices have swollen to, what once seemed charming to me now felt a little frayed.  Also it was at full capacity this past weekend (discovered!) and intimacy and privacy were really compromised–  think it’s just too small a property for so many guests.  Am so disappointed and sorry to bear this news.  I also think these things could be forgiven if the rates were dropped and if you managed to be there without a lot of other people.  Despite these newly developed shortcomings, the staff is delightful and professional and happy to help however they can and there is still a charm about the place….

the bar at Viceroy Palm Springs

Repeats that do still bear repeating….  Dinner at Viceroy Palm Springs was upbeat and delicious as ever.  The burger is off the charts.  The trout and crab cakes a lighter compliment.  Drinks and live entertainment– a fellow who has been belting out Sinatra (whose face is emblazoned on the cocktail napkins) tunes from behind a piano for decades– at Melvyn’s after dinner is absolutely priceless.  Strange last Saturday to be the only people in the bar under 60 but it made it all the more an experience.

Norma's at the Parker Palm Springs

Brunch at Norma’s at the Parker the next day was a treat with over the top french toast rolled in Rice Krispies and bellinis.  We strolled the grounds bellinis in hand after eating and were mezmerized by the overgrown yet perfectly manicured gardens that we bestowed the highest compliment we could give– we were reminded of the gardens of La Mamounia in Marrakech, Morocco, possibly some of the most beautiful and reknowned gardens in the world.  We’ve never stayed at the Parker, just visited for meals but think we’ll stay next time.

Parker Palm Springs

On our way out of town, we browsed a few furniture shops hoping to find a mid-century gem.  Dazzles has been in business for 31 years and was absolute heaven.  We just need a pied a terre in Palm Springs to decorate with all of the fantastic Bake-Lite wares, bamboo furniture and the most sublime orange macrame chandelier.  We did find a rattan elephant table that had just the right amount of whimsy for Santa Monica….

wares at Dazzles. photo credit: shoppersmap.typepad.com

Already plotting the next rendezvous to the desert….!