Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekend in Palm Springs, Pt. 1

On a recent trip to Palm Springs for a little R&R, I decided to try a new hotel since my favorite, the Colony Palms, was completely booked. I am always leery about going too much by the photos that hotels post on their website, but based on The Villa Royale Inn's Four Diamond Triple A Award and its affiliation with Select Registry, I figured it was worth a shot. Here's the description of the property from the Select Registry website:

Villa Royale Inn and Europa restaurant are names synonymous with Palm Springs history and magic. A tranquil oasis brought to fame by a star of film and Olympic figure skater, Sonja Henie. It is purported that this property was her estate in the 1940’s. She envisioned the property as “inn” style so that her guests were able to enjoy the sun and fun of Palm Springs but not necessarily be under the same roof. The building that houses the award-winning Europa restaurant was the home of Miss Henie’s groundskeeper and his spouse, who did the cooking and cleaning. Villa Royale Inn offered the same privacy and charm then as it does now.

Villa Royale Inn guests have been Ambassadors, real-life princesses, authors, artists, scientists, models, singers, dancers, fashion and nature photographers, and playwrights and those who shun the paparazzi! Villa Royale Inn has been the setting for movie and fashion shoots as well as small intimate weddings...“If these walls could talk” takes on a special meaning for the award-winning staff. Stories are bandied about on the possible existence of ghosts on our property. It makes for a good story by the fireplace; however any place is bound to have good spirits around if they had been in existence since 1947.

Often, I will say, "These photos don't do the subject justice." In this case, I could not say that. If first impressions truly are everything, The Villa Royale Inn fails on the initial glance. The fountain at the entrance wasn't working, and looked to be in a sad state of disrepair.

The property itself is extremely charming and has lots of potential, but it appears to have been on a deferred maintenance program since the late 1980's. I could only surmise that the owners are more interested in profits than quality.

The room itself was decorated in a very dated Pier One Imports style. The bathroom really needed some help, and looked as if it needed a good scrubbing. The floor of the shower was bouncy with plenty of give. The plastic shower liner had a good covering of mold/dirt on its surface, too. Fairly high on the gross out scale.

Yet look at this view; I really wanted to like this place.

Lots of interesting details to admire in every nook and cranny.

Unfortunately, so much of the property seemed to suffer from neglect.

The Europa Restaurant was a very pleasant experience though. Great food, and excellent service.

The back patio made for a very nice atmosphere.

I can only hope that the current owners turn this place over to someone who realizes its potential; in the meantime, I can't see myself going here again.

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