Quirky is the only way to describe the Parker Palm Springs Hotel located in the heart of the Desert. With interior design by Jonathan Adler, the décor is not for the faint of heart. The ambiance is reminiscent of a 70’s inspired psychedelic acid trip, with its topsy-turvy lamps and a sign emblazoned with the word “DRUGS” in the lounge area. Somehow this all feels perfectly normal juxtaposed with the pink-suit clad doormen and valet attendants.
Once outside the main lobby area you feel transplanted out of the 70’s and into a whole new era, this time to the Rat Pack days of yesteryear where you might image Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra strolling the manicured lawns of the maze-like property. The grounds boast two swimming pools (one open 24 hours), an outdoor fire pit, tennis courts, spa and croquet.
I had the added advantage of my room opening to the second pool and a Jacuzzi, which generally closes at 10pm, but is accessible around the clock for guests whose rooms open to this area. The effect is that of having your own huge, private, bougainvillea lined backyard.
The room itself was regal, with its four poster bed, yet it still stayed true to the cheeky 70’s vibe with shag rugs, embroidered pincushions and artwork depicting celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and Diane Von Furstenberg hanging out in the Studio 54 glory days. It was a special treat to luxuriate in the buttery soft high thread count linens and nibble on the complimentary fruit platter. The bathroom was loaded with generous travel sizes of posh toiletries including luxury, brands such as Molton Brown, Hermes, Peter Thomas Roth and Penhaligon’s.
One of the highlights of The Parker Palm Springs was Norma’s, the cozy diner with indoor/outdoor seating. I had eaten there last year and was excited to try some of the items on the menu that I had been lusting over since my last visit. Breakfast began with a complimentary shot of the smoothie of the day. I opted for a delicious omelette served with fingerling potatoes. Pretty standard fare considering the menu contains offbeat items such as the “PB &C Waffle ‘Wich” (a chocolate waffle with a peanut butter and toffee crunch filling) and the “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata”, the ‘Regular’, served with 1oz Sevruga Caviar ($100) or the ‘Super Size’, served with 10oz Sevruga Caviar ($1000!!!)
I definitely wasn’t going to sample either of those items after having just finished an intense workout in the hotel gym. Normally I use a holiday as an excuse not to workout but the gym lured me in with its light and airy nautical theme, high-end equipment and a pilates machine to boot. There was no time to take advantage of the spa, PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club), but a quick tour convinced me that booking a treatment on my next stay would be mandatory.
I advise you to enter this playground for the rich and famous and enjoy a relaxed stay without the snooty attitude of most upscale hotels. Don’t leave without enjoying a raspberry mojito from the bar, sipped by one of the cozy fire pits, in either the lounge area, or al fresco on the beautiful grounds.
4200 East Palm Canyon Drive,
Palm Springs, CA, 92264