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My sister-in-law Martha Jane chose to have her 60th birthday bash in sunny Palm Springs, and she picked the charming Villa Royale as her ground zero.
Villa Royale is a small, 31-room, or villa, hotel that is located near downtown. The hotel was opened in 1947 and is rich in history. It's a magical little oasis with red bouganvillea covering the patios and the smell of fresh jasmine in the air and the mountains as a backdrop. The hotel has two pools and a romantic hidden Jacuzzi. No two rooms or suites are the same. No cookie-cutter rooms here; many have fireplaces and kitchens. Martha Jane's suite had a kitchen, dining area, living room, and bedroom. Each room comes with a hot breakfast and a morning newspaper.
The hotel looks small from the outside, but it's actually a lot larger when you enter. Little courtyards are tucked away, and you find yourself in a maze of patios and walkways. You are often fooled by thinking you have come to the end of the road, when suddenly, around the next turn, you discover another patio with a bubbling fountain. It's a great hotel to walk around and explore.
The game plan for the birthday night was to have the pre-dinner birthday cocktail party around the main pool. The birthday dinner was at Europa, the villa's outstanding continental restaurant. However, our record rains forced a quick change in plans. Martha Jane had her cocktail party in her suite. The staff rushed to set up a cocktail party for us in-room. It all worked out. The suite was large enough to comfortably host eleven guests. We made a cozy fire in the fireplace, and it was the perfect space for a small party.
All during the stay, the staff was great. The weekend was a tough one, as all it did was pour rain. However, they looked after the guests and turned what could have been a miserable situation into one that was tolerable. They bent over backwards to make sure all the guests were comfortable and happy. The staff makes this feel more like a B&B, knowing everyone's name and always having a warm greeting as you walk in or go out.
I love the Villa Royale. I can understand why Sunset magazine picked this as one of their favorite small hotels. If you are looking for a romantic getaway spot, look no further... this is it!
From journal Dads and Hogs in the Desert