May 8, 2016

Review: Parker Palm Springs

By the time April rolls around in Denver, there is always a bit of Spring fever since it's not uncommon for us to get snow (as was the case during this weekend) while the rest of the country gets 70+ degree temps.  So we like to get out of Colorado for a long weekend and have historically gone to the Phoenix area of somewhere in Mexico.

This year we wanted to try something a bit different and Palm Springs fit the bill.  I grew up in San Diego and spent a fair amount of time in Palm Springs as a kid.  Emily had never been so we were both excited for different reasons.  The Parker has been on my list of domestic hotels to check out and despite extremely high cash rates, award availability wasn't an issue.

We met at Denver's Union Station a little before 9AM on Friday morning for the 37 minutes train to the plane.  A little breakfast (pro tip:  ModMarket and then Lounge 5280 in Terminal B are the go-to's for a quick breakfast and a relaxing cocktail) and some work and we were on our way for the ~2 hour United mainline flight to PSP.  Economy Plus on a refurbished A319 meant working (kind of) wifi and power but not much anything else.

On approach to PSP
 Soon enough we were wheels down in Palm Springs.  Seven minutes (seriously) later we were on the curb and in a taxi.  Note that Uber cannot pickup at the airport (yet) but they can drop off.

Welcome to The Parker

The drive to The Parker took less than ten minutes.  For that reason alone, I cannot recommend Palm Springs highly enough.  You don't really need a car if you are just going for a resort weekend.  UberX's are plentiful and inexpensive.  The airport is small super easy to navigate.

We arrived at The Parker around 1PM.  Coachella had taken place the two previous weekends.  This weekend was Stagecoach which is essentially a country music Coachella and some of the crowd was staying at the hotel.  Given that, the hotel was fully booked and our room wasn't ready.  So we had a relaxing lunch at Norma's which is the hotel's casual diner type restaurant.  The food was decent but unbelievable expensive.  Like Four Seasons Maui expensive.  Eggs Benedict for $30?  You have got to be kidding me.

Our room was ready around 2:30 and we swung by the front desk to grab keys.  We were actually escorted to our room (26) by one of the front desk agents.

I'm assuming this is standard protocol for the hotel...something that is certainly unusual at US hotels.

While the room was a bit on the small side, it perfectly functional with a comfortable king size bed, a couple of chairs, and a great outdoor sitting area with a couch, stools, and small dining table.

The bathroom was in pretty desperate need of a remodel - all white paint, counters, and tile doesn't hold up so well in a hotel.  We did love the mismatched toiletries though.

The hotel was designed by Jonathan Adler in his first hotel collaboration.  We're both big fans of his collections and overall style so we loved the hotel especially the common areas.

The lobby contains Norma's, Mister Parker's (the hotel's fine dining restaurant) the jewel box bar, a small concierge desk and store, and a super comfortable lounge for drinking and relaxing.

The hotel grounds stretch 14 acres so there is plenty to see outside.  There are two pools, a hot tub, several massive outdoor lawns, lawn games, the lemonade stand bar, and plenty of relaxing seating nooks to just hangout.

We loved just strolling around the property with a coffee or a cocktail.  The hotel was crowded but other than the pool in the afternoon or the lounge in the evening, it didn't feel crowded given the extent of the hotel's grounds.

An UberX from the hotel to Palm Springs was around $8.  We ventured into Palm Springs for both dinners and breakfast one morning.  The city is undergoing a bit of a renaissance with new downtown hotels (Andaz and Kimpton both under construction) coming online in the next couple of years.  We had great meals at LG's, Rooster and the Pig, and Cheeky's.  Thanks to reader Ken for the great recommendations.

Would highly recommend all three if you can get in (LG's accepts reservations).  On Sunday morning we had a great breakfast at Norma's and relaxed at the pool before packing up and leaving the hotel.

It was 85 degrees and sunny so we had a cocktail outside at the airport while plane spotting and relaxing before our flight.  Soon enough, we were on the plane for the quick flight back to Denver.

Final Thoughts:

Highly recommend The Parker for a weekend getaway on an award stay (cash rates are prohibitively expensive except in summer).  While 20,000 points per nights is expensive, I would say it's worth it.  Our other go-to hotel in the Southwest has been The Phoenician in Scottsdale.  While we love the hotel, The Parker is more our style.  Now that The Phoenician is also 20,000 points per night, we'r far more likely to stay at The Parker.  Getting in and out of PSP is so easy and we found that flights to Palm Springs were cheaper (~$325) than expected.  Getting around the city is easy and there are a lot of other things to do if you rent a car.  We will definitely be back!

No comments:

Post a Comment