As the desert oasis and playground, two hours to the south of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has long been a retreat. Thankfully, the changes in the Coachella Valley are not housing developments but updating and refurbishing of properties for the visitor. Formerly the hotel Ballantine's, the Palm Springs Rendezvous is now a bed and breakfast with the uniqueness and personal attention one would expect from a B&B.
The Rendezvous has redecorated its room in charming themes, including the Stagecoach (1950s cowboy stars), Shake, Rattle and Roll (Elvis and other rock icons), Crooners (featuring Sinatra and the Rat Pack) and a suite called Pretty in Pink, which like other locales in Palm Springs honors the allure of Marilyn Monroe. The difference here is that she allegedly stayed at the property years ago, so it is a more personal commemoration.
The rooms not only have the requisite flat screen TVs but also most have their own jacuzzis for more privacy. Certainly, the centrally located pool, heated to eighty degrees, and a jacuzzi, set for one hundred, are also a lure on warmer days and nights.
Befitting a bed and breakfast, co-owner Barb Cohen is not only a gregarious and helpful host, her cooking is most pleasing to the palate. Two sittings for breakfast including some delightful egg dishes and for those who desire an energy boost during the day -- or are just feeling decadent -- home baked sweets are left in the room. This writer found a glass jar filled with moist blueberry almond bars that were heavenly.
While the Rendezvous is a short walk to downtown, guests have plenty of reason to fraternize with one another not only during the gourmet breakfasts but also from 5 to 6 p.m., when blue martinis (or blue-tinis, if you prefer) are imbibed. The Rendezvous also provides accompanying hors d'oeuvers like taquitos or tequila lime chicken wings, to prep travelers for their evening plans.
Owners Barb and Marty Cohen, along with their son Jake, have overlooked nothing when it comes to the relaxation of their guests. Bikes are available for exploring the desert's grandeur and they have a massage studio as well. The Cohens also operate the Shore House, a luxury cabin in Lake Tahoe that provides as beautiful a getaway in the mountains as they have in the desert. Apparently, the Rendezvous is not just a select destination for Southern Californians. The Guardian in London, last year, chose it one of the top properties in Palm Springs.