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Vegging Out in the Desert

  • Jan 10, 2011
In town for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, I am currently sitting in room # 85 South at The Parker Palm Springs. I'm smack in the middle of a 6 night stay, so you know my thoughts are fresh.

The first 4 nights of my stay are using Starwood Points. I've wanted to check out The Parker for quite some time, so I was super excited I could stay here as a reward. I made the decision to extend my stay by two nights (and pay for it, since I'm out of points) at 3 in the morning when my drunk self thought I had to check out the next day and staying 2 extra days seemed like an appropriate solution. The plan was to go to The Ace since I'm attending a gala there, but I hate The Ace, so paying an extra $70 or so bucks to stay put isn't THAT bad.

The Good:
  • Jonathan Adler. Personally, he's one of my favorite designers, so seeing Oh So Jonathan elements throughout the property just makes me giddy.
  • "Up front" staff. The front desk staff have been nothing but kind, friendly and warm throughout my many interactions with them. The valets are all very sweet and have come running even when I've rolled up at 3 in the morning.
  • The grounds- AMAZING. I've hung out all over the property on comfy furniture with beautiful plants & flowers all around. It's a really fun place to be and very relaxing.
  • The food- I'd stay away from the curry tofu on the room service menu but other than that everything I've had is divine. Overpriced, for sure- but delicious nonetheless. 
  • Housekeeping- I've been working at night, sleeping weird midmorning hours & coming in & out of my room all day, but still manage to have a beautifully clean room. Today I was in my room until 2pm, ran downstairs to greet some friends and take them back to my room and in that 5 minutes housekeeping had come & gone. 
The Bad:
  •  "Wake up with complimentary coffee"- I was so excited when the gal checking me explained that, because there are no coffee makers in the room, they would do a wakeup call with coffee brought to my room in the morning. This has yet to happen as scheduled. The first morning I ended up calling room service & they stated I wasn't on the list for wake up service. The next morning I got a wake up call... but the coffee didn't arrive until 90 minutes later. This morning I ended up over sleeping and missing two film premiers because I never got a call. In each case they eventually brought coffee after I called, but it's pretty annoying that they can't just do what they said they would.
  • Turn Down Service- This is my fourth night here but it's the first time I came back to my room and had received turn down service. Ok, who really cares, right? I can crawl into my own covers without someone folding down the top, but at a hotel like The Parker, you should get every single service every single night. I'm convinced the only reason I even got it tonight is because I mentioned it to the manager last night.
  • Outlet Issues- There is wifi access in each room but other than in the bathroom there isn't a single easily accessible outlet in the entire room! The tv sits on a big heavy dresser, so I assume there's an outlet back there, but it's too far from the table to plug my laptop in even if I could move the dresser. The lamps are plugged into a power strip that sits directly in the middle of the floor under the king bed. I had to literally crawl under the bed to plug in my laptop and cell phone. Since the far lamp has to be plugged in, I can't pull the power strip out enough so if I want to unplug one of my power cords I have to crawl back under the stupid bed again.
  • Second-Hand Smoke- Each room is "non smoking" but they also each have a patio or balcony with an ashtray sitting on the table. Since it's beautiful in Palm Spring in January, I've been keeping my patio door open when I'm in the room or sitting out there at night. This was all fine and dandy until Smokey McSmokerson took the room next door. I'm on a corner, so our balconies make an L-shape and her smoke comes right in my door. It doesn't seem that difficult to make one side of the building smoking & one not.
  • The Heat! My God! The Heat! Like I said, it's beautiful out, but when I walked into my room it was SO stuffy & hot. Again, it's a small issue, since the AC works fine & I just sat out on the balcony while the room cooled down, but if the Courtyard by Marriott can turn the air on in my room as I'm checking in, it seems The Parker could manage the same.
  • $25 cab fare- If you're planning to spend most of your time partying in Downtown Palm Springs this is not the right place for you. After a night of drinking at Toucans (admittedly, the furthest point that's still considered "downtown") it took $25.60 for a cab to get me back to The Parker. This is really more of a destination of it's own than a "Palm Springs hotel", so keep that in mind. 
The Ugly:
  • Some taste issues: Keep in mind that The Parker is a very unique hotel. There's a lot of orange and, as I said, a ton of Jonathan Adler everywhere. The decor is not going to make everyone happy. Things like a gigantic pair of lips with a cigarrette hanging out of them or a large plaque above the fireplace with "DRUGS" spelled out in faux-light bulbs might not be your cup of tea.
The Final Thought:
I don't think I'd stay here again if I was visiting Palm Springs, but that's only because I come here to shop & see movies. If I was going to honeymoon in Palm Springs or just wanted to sit by a pool and have a massage or two, I might be more inclined to return. The service and incredible grounds could surly keep you happy if you just wanted to veg out in the desert.

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January 11, 2011
Nice review. You definitely captured everything I would want to know before staying there! It's too bad about the wake-up call & coffee. Isn't it weird when something unique is promised and not delivered? It would be better if it wasn't promised at all, than get your expectations all pumped up.
About the reviewer
Lia Lara-Tellez ()
Ranked #12
I work for a wholesale travel agency when I'm not Lunching (ok, sometimes when I am). No, this does not mean I can hook you up with a free hotel. It does mean I can hook myself up witha free hotel, so … more
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Address: 4200 East Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92264

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