When it comes to romance, Mae West had it right: Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. If you’d like to wow a special someone this Valentine’s Day — or any day (or night) — these romantic valley venues will certainly melt your sweetie’s heart.
VICEROY PALM SPRINGS
Romance is the glamour [that] turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.
— Elinor Glyn
And there is a glamorous, golden aura to Viceroy Palm Springs, a distinctive resort that’s a short stroll from the downtown Palm Springs village. Perhaps it’s the black, white, and lemon yellow palette of the sleek guest rooms and villas. Or the modern Regency-style décor that recaptures Hollywood’s golden age, when celebrities left Tinseltown for weekends in Palm Springs. Or the warm glow of the desert sun.
You and your significant other will emit a warm glow, too, when you take advantage of Viceroy Palm Springs’ Retreat to Romance package. It includes overnight accommodations, a bottle of Moet champagne, and strawberries upon your arrival, as well as a couples massage in the deluxe massage suite a deux at Viceroy’s full-service Estrella Spa, candlelight dinner for two at Citron (Viceroy’s California Modern restaurant), a $30 breakfast credit, and late checkout (of course!). You also can lounge around one of two adults-only pools, or share a pre- or après dinner drink at The Bar at Citron. Try the signature Le Citron Bleu, a martini made with Hypnotiq “Tiffany Blue” liqueur and Ketel One Citroen, served in a sugar-rimmed glass and garnished with a lemon wheel. A warm glow, indeed!
415 S. Belardo Road, Palm Springs; (760) 318-3005, www.viceroypalmsprings.com
THE CASABLANCA ROOM
at Melvyn’s at The Ingleside Inn
Dancing is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
— George Bernard Shaw
No romantic evening is complete without a little dancing. When you have a yen to trip the light fantastic, you can’t beat the Casablanca Room at Melvyn’s at the Ingleside Inn, a piano bar and lounge with live entertainment seven nights a week (starting at 8:30 p.m.). This establishment is quintessentially Palm Springs, an authentic standard-bearer of the Hollywood glamour that’s defined the desert for decades. A visit will take you back to a time when an evening out was something special.
“People tend to get dressed up to come here,” says Mel Haber, who has owned and managed the inn, restaurant and lounge since 1975. “We’re getting more young people these days than when I first opened.” That’s a testament to its timeless appeal. “We’ve also created a lot of marriages,” he adds. “People often call me over to their table and tell me, ‘We met here five years ago tonight.’ I tell them they’re obligated to come back and celebrate with us every year.” And they do.
200 W. Ramon Road, Palm Springs; (760) 325-0046, www.inglesideinn.com
Food can look beautiful, taste exquisite, smell wonderful, make people feel good, bring them together, inspire romantic feelings.
— Rosamond Richardson
To make someone feel truly special, make dinner reservations at Le Vallauris. Housed in the historic Roberson House, this delightful restaurant opened in 1974 as a private club because the property was zoned residential. While dining here no longer requires membership, the gracious hospitality of owner Paul Bruggemans, the attentive service of his staff, and the beautifully appointed surroundings still make you feel as if you are a privileged member of an exclusive club. And the food, well … that’s another reason Le Vallauris has been a consistently top-ranked restaurant for longer than two decades.
If love doesn’t have you fully intoxicated, Sommelier Bruce Barrett will be happy to recommend an appropriate vintage from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Despite the elegant ambience, however, Le Vallauris is refreshingly attitude-free — one more reason dining here is a pleasure.
Whether you want to pop the question, celebrate an anniversary, or stoke the proverbial fires, La Vallauris is the perfect setting for romance. Reserve a table on the outdoor terrace, beneath twinkling white lights in the trees Bruggemans planted 31 years ago, or request the cozy booth in front of the fireplace indoors. Savor the food, the wine, each other. Even if you don’t ask a question, we’ll wager the answer is yes.
385 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs; (760) 325-5059, www.levallauris.com
Romance is a love affair in other than domestic surroundings.
— Sir Walter Raleigh
When you want to get away from it all and focus on each other, check into the Korakia Pensione. A Mediterranean-Moroccan oasis that was an artist’s villa in the 1920s, Korakia transports you to another time and place, only four blocks west of Palm Canyon Drive. The rooms and spacious suites (situated in the main house, a second restored villa across the street, and guest bungalows) are simply furnished and decorated with artifacts and antiques from around the world, with no modern-day distractions such as televisions or clocks. Plush featherbeds, flowing white canvas draperies, whitewashed walls, fountains, and lush flowers in stone-paved courtyards — this is a private, peaceful, and wonderfully romantic retreat.
For the ultimate amorous interlude, book the five-room Nash Suite. It features a sun porch, dining room, secluded patio, private indoor-outdoor stone bathroom with a tub for two, massive fireplace, and a hand-carved, queen-sized bed. Stock the fridge with champagne and nibbles (the suite has a full kitchen), schedule an in-room couples’ massage from a staff therapist, and you’ll never need to leave your room.
Word to the wise: Korakia accepts only cash, check, or travelers’ checks — no credit cards.
257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs; (760) 864-6411, www.korakia.com
MIRAMONTE RESORT & SPA
The secret of love is seeking variety in your life together, and never letting routine chords dull the melody of your romance.
Love is definitely in the air at the Miramonte Resort & Spa. This Tuscan-themed sanctuary offers relaxation and romance with its Eterno Amore package, a sensual, three-night package for two that includes upgraded Dolce Suite accommodations, a couples massage and bath, private poolside cabana, breakfast served each morning on your private patio, a bottle of Pinot Grigio on arrival, and early check-in and extended check-out so you can make the most of your time together.
The art of love takes on new meaning at The Miramonte’s spa, The Well. One of the spa’s signature services is the Pittura Festa (Painting Party), in which you use brushes to paint colorful muds and clays on your partner’s body, face, and hair. Post-painting, you can bask in the sun in your private cabana while the nourishing mud detoxifies and soothes your body. A therapist will give scalp massages and personalized pressure-point facials while the mud dries. Perfetto!
45-000 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells; (760) 341-2200, www.miramonteresort.com