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On my most recent trip to LA, I was in the mood to take a drive, and I’d never been to Palm Springs so I booked a room at a Starwood property I’ve been meaning to check out for a while now, the Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs on a whim and drove an hour and 45 minutes to get there on a sunny Sunday morning.
The Parker Le Meridien Palm Springs sits in the desert about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, and the grounds are 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The resort was formerly Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch and Merv Griffin’s Givenchy Resort and Spa and became the Parker Palm Springs in October of 2004.
I booked an Estate Room (their standard category) with a king bed the night before my arrival at the paid rate of $179.10. When available you can redeem 20,000-25,000 Starpoints per night for a standard room, but that would only have yielded me 0.9 cents per point at most and I can usually redeem Starpoints at much higher rates, so I decided to pay for my room and earn 6 SPG points per dollar spent- 2 for paying with my Starwood Amex and then 4 for being a 100-night Platinum member.
Upon arrival I was upgraded to an available non-smoking Junior Suite with a king bed. Junior Suites are four room categories higher and go for an average of about $250 more per night than Estate rooms – just another reason to love my Platinum elite status!
The Junior Suite was 600 square feet with a small private patio and a nice garden view. My king bed was made up with white linens and a small accent pillow. The decor of the hotel is much quirkier and eclectic than most SPG properties, but it was a nice change of scenery and I loved the unique mid-century desert aesthetic.
Aside from the bed there was a comfortable armchair with a leather ottoman and a bench. On the opposite side of the room was a small living area with a desk and two more armchairs facing a television where you could sit and relax with your guests.
The bathroom main bathroom was on the smaller side with a tub/shower, but it was chock full high-end products like Hermes soap, Molton Brown bath and shower gel, Penhaligon’s Quercus shampoo and conditioner, Erno Lazlo body lotion, Peter Thomas Roth sun block and L’Occitane hand soap along with Blistex and QTips.
On the other side of the room there was a HUGE shower room with even more Molton Brown and Hermes products.
As a SPG Platinum, one of my benefits was breakfast for two up and you could select a continental breakfast or $20 each to order off the menu. I had a really good egg white omelette, freshly squeezed orange juice and toast with raspberry jam. There was also a selection of pastries and of course tea and coffee available.
A friend of mine also booked a room at the Parker for the same night, though she wasn’t upgraded from her standard room. Estate rooms are just about half the size of Junior Suites at 325 square feet. Next to the king size bed is a breakfast table for two. These rooms have Moroccan accents as well as Jonathan Adler touches. Though small, the bathroom was well lit and had the same amenities as my Junior Suite.
On the grounds, there are two restaurants, Norma’s and Mister Parker’s. Norma’s is on the casual side and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner while Mister Parker’s is more upscale serving only dinner from 6pm on. Lemonade lovers must check out Mister Parker’s Lemonade Stand which serves “adult” fresh squeezed lemonade. I tried the lemonade-hefeweizen cocktail and found it to be delicious and refreshing – perfect for a hot summer day. If you want to grab some cocktails and a quick bite the Mini Bar offers light fare and dishes to share.
If you’re staying at the hotel, I’d definitely recommend setting some time aside to visit the spa at the Parker Palm Springs Yacht Club (PSYC). They offer numerous spa packages as well as body treatments, facials and waxing, scrubs and nail services. I always love a good deep tissue massage and couldn’t resist getting one during my short stay, and it was fantastic. I also really loved the facilities, with an indoor pool and a very cool, playful throwback nautical kind of vibe.
I really enjoyed staying here and would love to come back for a longer stay. It was also nice that they are very pet friendly and welcomed Miles with open arms. Similar to most hotels that allow pets, the Parker charges a hefty $150 per night but you can have up to two small dogs per room. While Miles isn’t much of a swimmer (dogs aren’t allowed at the pool anyway), we had a great time exploring the grounds and taking in the fantastic views. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.