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Parker Palm Springs, California - Hotel Review

Unpretentious Fun

By Sophie Gayot

Thirteen acres of lush vegetation at Parker Palm Springs in California
Thirteen acres of lush vegetation

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. For those of you who visited the hotel before its current incarnation, be prepared for a completely different experience. And for those completely new to the Le Parker scene, this hotel is unlike any you've ever encountered.

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.

The Parker Palm Springs lobby sets the tone Jonathan Adler-designed rooms at the Parker Palm Springs in California
The lobby sets the tone
Jonathan Adler design

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 thirteen 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.

Get cozy around the fireplace at the Parker Palm Springs in California The body-temperature indoor pool at the Palm Springs Yacht Club at Parker Palm Springs in California
Get cozy around the fireplace
The pool at PSYC

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 one of the French toasts is a must.

Along with a brand new, 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 (nineteen), 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.

Parker Palm Springs
4200 E Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA, 92264
Visit the Parker Palm Springs official website

Restaurant Options:

Mister Parker's


Related Content:

Going to Palm Springs? Check out our Travel Guide

72-Hour Vacation: Palm Springs

Read a review of Le Parker Meridien New York


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