Parker Palm Springs

4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (S. Cherokee Wy.) Palm Springs CA

Setting the standard for the next generation of great Palm Springs hotels.

by Sophie Gayot

There are many reasons for going to Palm Springs, and Parker Palm Springs is a great one. Formerly known as Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel & Givenchy Spa, the property was purchased in 2004 by Mr. Parker, who also owns Le Parker Meridien New York. It was much more formal before it was rebranded and given its relaxed-cool vibe. It first turned heads several years ago after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did a photo shoot here to promote their film, and possibly their budding romance, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Just like its many celebrity guests, Parker Palm Springs has that "it" factor. 

Parker Palm Springs is not a traditional luxury getaway. Hip and funky, its unusual ambience is definitely what Mr. Parker wanted you to feel when he asked celebrity designer Jonathan Adler to take the project on. Upon arrival, you are greeted at your car and taken directly to your room or villa, where check-in takes place. You won't find long lines at the reception; there's only a concierge desk to accommodate any needs during your stay. The lobby, behind big orange doors, immediately sets the tone. Your attention is drawn to numerous decorative items arranged together, even though you wouldn't expect them to be, since their styles and colors are so different. There is even a suit of Spanish armor standing as straight as its sword, watching you pass by.

Here you don’t have to walk down long corridors and ride in an elevator; instead you get around by promenading through gardens and up stairs. The grounds have been completely redesigned with plants and flowers appropriate to the Palm Springs desert climate. Relaxation spots have been created and hidden all around, with water and fire inspiring peace and tranquility. At night, watch the stars while lying in a lounge chair or rocking in a hammock. There is even a pétanque court, surrounded by citrus trees; you may also head to the croquet lawn. Two pools are here to refresh you — we prefer the large round one rather than the small rectangular one. A stroll through the 13 acres of lush vegetation takes you to four tennis courts, with clay surfaces that please tennis lovers.

Rooms are done in bright tones that contrast with the blue desert sky. The sleek décor is peaceful, since it isn't too complicated. Black and white glamour photos adorn the walls. You can catch up on movies you haven't seen with the DVD players featured in all rooms — bring your own discs or borrow one free of charge from the concierge. The marble bathrooms are more classical in style, with Molton Brown amenities and Hermès soap.

No need to go out for a drink, just head to the Mini Bar. No, not the one in your room, but the one next to the lobby, in front of a very cozy lounge area with a round glass fire pit. This is a hot spot for sipping a cocktail and watching the crowd go by. A few steps away is Mister Parker's, a dinner restaurant serving brasserie cuisine. Breakfast, lunch and early dinners are taken at Norma's, where the best seats are outside (they are worth the wait), and the French toast is a must.

Along with a naturally lit conference facility, the hotel offers PSYC. This isn't a therapist but the acronym for the Palm Springs Yacht Club, which in fact isn't a yacht club but a spa. With "ocean of serenity" as its theme and 16,500 square feet of indoor treatment rooms (19), outdoor rooms (two), a separate pool for men and women, sauna and hammam, it is easy to find a way to purify your body and spirit.

At first the hotel's distinct vibe might surprise you, but by the end of your stay you'll appreciate its innovative, intriguing rhythms.

Hotel Information

Address

4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr. (S. Cherokee Wy.) Palm Springs CA 92264 U.S.

Contact

760-770-5000 Hotel’s Website

Hotel Features

Meeting room Restaurant Spa Swimming pool Tennis Valet parking

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