Best Hotels in Palm Springs
A full-service, sprawling resort offering everything from gonodolas to golf.
Prior to his campaign of conquest in Persia, Alexander the Great reached a great oasis supposedly by following birds across the Libyan Desert. Travelers to the Coachella Valley in Southern California can find an oasis as well by following the birds to the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.
Guests at the huge Palm Desert resort not far from Palm Springs will first hear birds inside the impressive entryway which leads up to an eight-story atrium and down to the large lake that flows through the bottom floor of the hotel. The squawking emanates from cages of exotic birds near the boat landing where visitors can take a boat ride to acquaint themselves with the property. The 20-minute boat tour, which takes guests past cascading waterfalls, fountains, lagoons, fish and bathing birds, features views of the two golf courses and three of the five large swimming pools. Although the fun boat ride covers a lot, it is just a fraction of the gargantuan 450-acre resort dotted with palm trees.
All of the 884 guest rooms and suites have balconies, and many also offer views of the lake, pools and the distant mountain chain, separated by the pair of Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole championship golf courses. (There’s also an 18-hole putting course that is good for adults and kids.) The greens are truly "green" as these courses are Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, designed to enhance the natural areas and wildlife habitats while minimizing the potentially harmful impacts of golf course operations. So while you’re going for birdies, look out for the birds!
All rooms are equipped with granite and marble bathrooms, separate tubs and showers, CD players, and coffeemakers. Lazy caffeine junkies will appreciate that one of the six on-site restaurants is a Starbucks. Size does matter at this large convention hotel, so prepare to do some walking, even if you’re not going outside. (One nifty alternative: the boats can also be reserved to take guests to some of the restaurants for dinner.)
Most of the air-conditioned buildings interconnect, but the tennis complex/fitness center is a 10-minute walk from the hotel entrance. Take a break along the way at the pond that houses the hotel’s flamingos. The resort features basketball and volleyball courts as well as a complete tennis program, including 15 hard-surface, three clay and two stadium grass courts. During the hot summers, tennis players will appreciate that six of the hard-surface courts are lighted, so games can be played after the temperatures drop.
After a workout, visit The Spa at Desert Springs, the largest in Southern California at 38,000 square feet. Guests can window-shop along the way at the resort’s high-end stores. The Brazilian wood and limestone building features a 10-foot waterfall, saltwater pool, bistro, separate men’s and women’s hammams, steamrooms, whirlpools, saunas and three private suites, the largest measuring a whopping 600 square feet. There’s even a 50-inch flat screen TV in the men’s side.
Dining experiences include the Japanese garden at Mikado and nightlife can be found at on-site Costas. There are also popular attractions nearby like The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, and El Paseo shopping district.
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