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Parker Palm Springs 4.0

Palm Springs, California Desert, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Hip resort with gorgeous grounds and Jonathan Adler-designed interiors
  • Spacious rooms, suites, and villas with stylish decor; many have flower-covered patios
  • Two-bedroom Gene Autry Residence, a gated home with a full kitchen
  • Two outdoor pools (one for adults, one for families) and an indoor pool with hot tubs
  • Two restaurants, a lobby bar, a wine bar, and an outdoor lemonade stand
  • Full-service spa offers wide list of treatments
  • Bright and airy fitness center, plus yoga and bicycles available
  • Four clay tennis courts; other activities include petanque, ping-pong, and croquet
  • Hangout areas include a hammock lawn and indoor and outdoor fire pits
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout (part of resort fee)

Cons

  • Mandatory resort fee includes Wi-Fi, valet parking, and use of spa and fitness center
  • Food gets mixed reviews and is expensive
  • No coffee/tea facilities in standard rooms

Bottom Line

With its Jonathan Adler-designed interiors and gorgeous grounds, the Parker Palm Springs is about as hip and stylish as a hotel can get. The 144-room upscale property offers a host of cool features, including two outdoor pools and an indoor pool, a croquet lawn, petanque courts, clay tennis courts, and a full-service spa. Its dining options include a breakfast-all-day diner, a clubby dinner-only steakhouse, and two bars with light bites, but they’re all pricey. Rooms, suites, and villas are spacious and chic, and many have extras like patios, wet bars, and sitting areas or separate living rooms. There’s a mandatory resort fee and rates are high for this category; Riviera Palm Spring Resort or Two Bunch Palms are more affordable alternatives, though neither one has Parker's degree of hyper-curated stylishness.

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Scene

Curated-to-a-T resort with beautiful 13-acre grounds and tongue-in-cheek interiors

Originally built in the late '50s as Palm Springs' first Holiday Inn, this property was soon purchased by one very famous singing cowboy and rechristened as Gene Autry's Melody Ranch. Over the decades, owners included French fashion designer Hubert du Givenchy (it was under his name that the hotel first became a hot spot for celebrity sightings) and American TV host Merv Griffin. All this is to say that the Parker has some seriously kitschy, seriously Palm Springs history behind it. Its present-day eccentric glamour is courtesy of Jonathan Adler, the famed potter and designer who oversaw the hotel's renovations in the mid-aughts and then again in 2016.

Every square inch of the property, inside and out, looks like pages out of a high-end lifestyle magazine. Thirteen acres of beautiful green grounds give the hotel a secluded feel and provide plenty of immaculately manicured space for relaxing, swimming, playing, or admiring the surrounding mountain view -- be it while swinging on a hammock, competing in a giant chess match, or curling up in a butterfly chair around the fire pit. The hotel's tongue-in-cheek design sense is visible even on the lawn -- a seven-foot-high bronze banana sculpture was a 2016 addition.

Trendy interior decor is rooted in the mid-century modern design movement. This is de rigueur for Palm Springs, but the Parker puts its own very fantastical spin on the style by combining bright colors and funky pieces, such as suits of armor, a colorful collection of bottles and vases, and a giant “DRUGS” sign. The wood-ceilinged lobby lounge is full of chic seating clustered around coffee tables, patterned area rugs, cool lighting fixtures, a circular fireplace, and even rattan hanging chairs, which come together to lend an "Alice in Wonderland" vibe to the place. Large windows wrapping around the space fill it with lots of natural light and provide lovely views of the lush greenery outside.

Location

Secluded feel, a 10-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs

Once known as a destination only suited for spring breakers or wealthy retirees, Palm Springs has become a desert destination for anyone looking for an uncluttered city with resort amenities. With a healthy gay scene and the Coachella valley (and music festival) just over 30 minutes away, the Palm Springs crowd is slowly becoming harder and harder to define. Most who come are there to go antiquing, hike in the desert, and relax by their resort's pool.

The hotel is on the main vein of Palm Canyon Drive, just south of the center of downtown Palm Springs. Its large grounds give it a secluded feel, though the shops, restaurants, and art galleries of the downtown area are about a 10-minute drive away. The immediate area surrounding the property is home to several car dealerships and the Seven Lakes Country Club. Palm Springs International Airport is about a six-minute drive away.

Rooms

Super-stylish and spacious rooms, suites, and villas -- many with private patios

The hotel offers 144 whimsically decorated rooms, suites, and villas, plus the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Gene Autry Residence -- the one-time home of the famous singing cowboy. White walls and cream carpeting provide neutral backdrops for the colorful and quirky furnishings, decorative items, and artwork -- such as gold ottoman poufs, Moroccan area rugs and wall tapestries, "Palm Springs" crocheted accent pillows, and animal-shaped lamps. 

The 12 stand-alone Villas are one-bedroom suites with separate living rooms with hanging chairs and wet bars, and private patios fully enclosed by white walls and flower-filled greenery. The private gated Gene Autry Residence has a full kitchen, dining room, large living room, and huge walk-in closets, as well as an interior courtyard and a large lawn wreathed in greenery.

Amenities include flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes, plus many rooms have lovely patios or lanais that overlook greenery or the pool. Modern bathrooms have large granite-topped vanities and shower/tub combos or walk-in showers as well as a selection of high-end toiletries from a mix of brands including Acqua de Parma, Hermes, Aesop, Pharmacopia, L'Occitane, and Le Labo. Wi-Fi is free, though some past guests have reported needing to step out of their rooms to find signal.

Features

Three pools (two outdoor, one indoor), a spa, a fitness center, and outdoor activities like clay-court tennis, petanque, and croquet

Parker Palm Springs' beautiful 13-acre grounds provide plenty of space for all manner of leisure amenities. Two of the hotel's three pools are outdoors; one of them, the Gene Autry pool, is an egg-shaped, chlorine-free saline pool for adults only, enclosed by tall hedging. The Silicon Valley pool is rectangular and family-friendly, with several cabanas, grassy lawns, and a hot tub. Both are surrounded by large sundecks lined with padded loungers and striped umbrellas, though guests complain that it is often difficult to nab a seat. There’s also a striking adult-only indoor pool, called the Palm Springs Yacht Club, which offers hot tubs as well as deck chairs inspired by those on an old cruise liner. 

Guests seeking to indulge in a dose of pampering can do so at the on-site spa, which offers a variety of treatments including massages, facials, waxing, spray tanning, and nail services, as well as a 24-hours fitness center and free weekend yoga classes. There are a variety of outdoor activities as well, including four red-clay tennis courts, a croquet lawn, petanque courts, giant chess, and ping-pong tables.

Unsurprisingly, Parker is a popular wedding venue, and it offers event space for a variety of other functions, as well. The obligatory resort fee that covers amenities like Wi-Fi, valet parking, and use of the fitness center and spa.

Food

Two restaurants, two bars, and a lemonade stand

There are are four total dining options on-site: two are full restaurants, two are bars, and all are pricey. Norma’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, and is known for its upscale versions of diner comfort breakfasts (think blueberry pancakes with Devonshire cream, caviar-topped lox bagels, and lobster frittatas -- with optional sevruga caviar add-ons). High-end (and expensive) egg dishes are available at night, as well as items like steak fajitas and chicken pot pie.

The more elegant restaurant, Mister Parker’s, is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. The clubby space manages to feel flamboyant yet clandestine, with trippy carpeting, a reflective ceiling, shiny studded banquette seating, and an eclectic assortment of art and photography on the wood-paneled walls. The upscale steakhouse menu offers options like foie gras, snails, and caviar by the ounce to start, and steak au poivre, grilled pork chop, and lamb shank as mains.

Mini Bar, the hotel's lobby bar, is open daily and serves small plates like wagyu sliders and meze, as well as bespoke cocktails, wine by the glass, and hard-to-find beers from around the world. In 2017, the hotel debuted its wine bar by the (clever) name of Counter Reformation. The space features corner confessionals, as well as pressed-tin ceilings and walls of patterned tiles and dark bricks. Reds, whites, and roses are available in three- or six-ounce glasses or by the bottle, while Champagne is available in five-ounce glasses or by the bottle. To eat, there are snacks like cheese plates and oysters. Counter Reformation operates from the mid-afternoon until after dinner, Thursday through Monday.

Out near the tennis courts is a stand for fresh-squeezed lemonade, which guests can either order poolside or at the counter.

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Things You Should Know About Parker Palm Springs

Address

4200 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, California 92264-5230, United States

Phone

(760) 770-5000

Also Known As

  • The Parker Palm Springs

Room Types

  • Autry Residence
  • Deluxe Patio Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • Estate Room
  • Lanai Room
  • Villa

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