More about Le Parker Meridien Palm Spring
Weird staff, cold, smelly room means adios for us.
My wife and I booked a spa treatment and a room here for three nights based in part on the reviews I had read on this site. This was to celebrate our 11th anniversary.
Upon arriving, the entrance to the hotel lobby is not very obvious. There is no signage of any kind, just a guy standing in the driveway wearing bright coral colored pants waving at us. Turns out, I should have waved back and kept driving to a different hotel.
We were immediately yanked from our vehicle, rushed through the lobby (no conventional check in desk), and marched across the grounds in the cold rain to our room by two "strange" employees, both clad in the same bright coral pants. The feeling of having these two strange people cling to us was most disconcerting, violating our personal red zones bordering on harassment, even threatening.
We were given no chance to relax, unwind form the drive, have a drink, or even look around at the entrance foyer. I can't call it a lobby, because it wasn't, in the traditional sense.
Rush rush rush! Get to your room!
The man insisted on hovering over my wife and I with an umbrella, even though I already had an umbrella over us, which was bizarre and creepy! He was breathing down my neck and bumping my umbrella with his, which he was holding over mine (?). The woman was pointing out the highlights of their facilities at high speed whilst we were ran past them, and kept assuring us that the weather would be nice tomorrow in an almost psychotic manner (it wasn't). We felt extremely uncomfortable at this point.
My wife and I were then shown our room. It was stark white, ice cold, and the absolute farthest room from the front entrance. The decor may be seen by some as avant garde and challeging, but to us it was uncomfortable and cold. The room was absolutely silent, and the fridge had some water, lemonade in a can, and that's about it.
We had just driven across the desert in the rain and were looking forward to cups of coffee and hot chocolate in a warm comforting room. Instead we got the bum's rush to this prison cell-like box, where we were promptly abandoned by the staff.
The room temperature hovered around 40 degrees, and when we turned on the heater, it was almost totally ineffective, and the room stank (not smelled, it really stank) like someone had put out a couple of cigars in a can of paint and then spread it around the room.
This hotel building seemed to be old and the management has tried to conceal this by adding lots of extremely bright paint and "different" furniture, rather than properly maintaining the building's utilities. The chairs in our room were meant to look at, not to sit in, I think.
It was very a very strange and unwelcoming atmosphere, to put it mildly. I was very disappointed and a bit upset at this point.
My wife and I realized we had made a huge mistake.
I went to retrieve my car while she called the front desk and told them we were not happy with our room and we were leaving. The staff tried to pressure us into staying ("Can I have someone talk to you about compensation?", No, we are leaving, but thanks anyway).
My wife then cancelled her spa treatment (the lady at the Spa acted like she was doing us a favor by not charging for the cancellation, even though it was a day before the fact, even though it says in black and white on their in-room literature that 12 hours is all the notification required to avoid charges).
When I went to get my car, the staff was laying out a red carpet in the front entrance, and I was forced to stand in the cold rain while the valet was fetching my vehicle. I drove around to the rear of the hotel (where our room was located), grabbed my wife and our luggage and we got the heck out of there in a hurry.
This place is not a conventional hotel, and while I imagine some may enjoy their artsy style, we were made to feel extremely uncomfortable and very unwelcome, and I will chalk this one up to experience.
We went to the JW Marriott at Palm desert for the rest of our weekend, and I really enjoyed that facility.
I read in the paper the next morning that the Parker had a few celebrities coming in for the Palm Springs Film Festival, there was a photo or two on the front page of the Local section, which may explain why my wife and I were treated like cattle, but to me, that doesn't excuse or justify the staff's treatment or the extremely sub-par accomodations we were offered.
The whole "vibe" we got from this place was cold, creepy, and just flat out weird. Never again.
I want to live here.
I went for a night with some friends and we were all bowled over by how stylish, comfy and luxurious the Parker is. It's NOT for everyone-- it has an a sort of mod-bohemian-70s style, and if you love the Ritz Carlton's cookie-cutter design and corny "rich" furnishings you may not like the decor here. But if you appreciate great design and low-key luxury in the tradition of old Palm Springs, you will be in heaven. The whole concept is marvelous-- very little to remind you that you're staying at a hotel and not as a guest at someone's awesome estate-- though I noticed in the reviews below, this pissed some previous guests off. It was raining so we spent a lot of time at the spa, with a great indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. But the outside hot tub was great, with (snowcapped at the time) mountain views. If you want a bigger room, the deluxe rooms are well worth $15 more. Can't wait to come back when the weather's better. BTW, I didn't notice any construction when I was there.
It's interesting to see so many conflicting reviews of this hotel.
My wife and I spent 5 days at the Parker in January '05.
Our luggage and car were dealt with very efficiently by the car jockeys/bell boys and we were greeted by a pink cladded greeter who took us to our room.Everything was ready for us and all I had to do was sign the credit card slip. I had booked a smoking room, and my reservation was accepted.The greeter then told me that all rooms were non smoking. I told him that we would go elsewhwere,at the same time showing him my booking confirmation.He said that this would be OK and gave us 2 ashtrays.We are sensitive to others sensibilities about smoking and try not to offend,however,there are many hotels who have rooms set aside for us pariahs! They should not have accepted the reservation.
On the walk to the room we noted the lovely grounds,outside log fire,2 pools,croquet lawn etc.The room was right at the back and had a view of a storage facility! I had a confirmation for a pool or garden room.
Nevertheless after along drive and given that the room was beautifully decorated we settled in. we used the bathroom only to find that both sinks had stoppers that did not work.I called maintenance who spent several trips back and forth to get parts etc. Then the aircon. did not work.Maintenance again.After approxamately 4 hours in the hotel I had seen more of the maintenence personnel than my wife.I phoned the front desk and asked to be moved to another room.
This was finally achieved the following day when we were given a deluxe room in a better location.The aircon did not work in this room either.However this was fixed in 15 minutes.
The rooms are lovely with excellent beds and bedding,thick towels and robes and tasteful eclectic furnishings,but I didn't find it user friendly. The pools are excellent with very comfortable sunbeds and unobtrusive pool-side service.
Mike,the concierge was charming and helpful,as were the excellent car jockeys and bell boys.But the front desk staff who appear from somewhere when requested are too full of themselves and presumably unless one is known to them or part of the glitteratti they don't seem too interested in you.
We felt there was little atmosphere around the hotel.
So, we have very mixed feelings and perhaps that is why there are so many different reviews.
Do not waste your money -- and it'll cost you, too.
We had stayed here twice while under the ownership of Merv Griffin and it was a wonderful experience back then. Given the new owenership and glowing reviews we read we were very excited to see the 'new' place.
Boy were we misled.
I implore you to ask a million questions before booking a room here. Here are the lowlights (of note, the only highlight was their overpriced breakfast place Norma's -- good food, if you like $15 pancakes):
- $25 resort fee: We couldn't find a tennis pro to save our life. We ended up rummaging for rackets and balls in the pro office on our own.
- We booked two massages (one for me, one for my wife). Upon checking in they told us the women's side was closed (gaping hole in the ceiling) and that we would be sharing the male side, which was disappointing (at $150 an hour) -- and the spa was broken. I received a lackluster massage and my wife was told she was 'big boned' - nice touch.
- The carpet is made of some sort of fibrous material not meant to be walked on in bare feet. Looks cool, not practical.
- My wife got stuck in the bathroom. The door wouldn't open. Again, real convenient.
- All cardio machines in the gym were in some form of disrepair.
- There was construction noise from sunup till sundown.
- No self parking. This is not LA or NY. Give me a break.
Overall, a very spartan and uncomfortable place. The staff is pretentious and upon checkout didn't seem to care for my 'list of issues'.
I encourage you to proceed carefully, and hope that in the future that a hotel chain of this caliber can live up to the name that they have made for themselves. We would have, and have been, more comfortable at the Best Western.
Sheer and utter disappointment. With a $1000 tariff for a weekend with two massages to boot.
Thanks, Mr. Parker.
Not for everyone
Before our recent stay, we were puzzled by the wide range of descriptions. I think it's because this is a one of a kind property. From the "greeters" in the pink jackets to the wacky decor, we have never experienced anything quite like it. Despite terrible weather, we really enjoyed the Parker. We had a small, 2nd floor room that overlooked the gardens. It was well appointed and the bed was very comfortable. We were concerned about the staff "attitude" as described in previous reviews. In fact, the greeter, concierges, maids and valets were terrific. The only exception was the bartender, David, who should NOT be working with people.
One area for improvement is the service at Norma's. Our package included breakfast which was absolutely delicious. However, the service was painstakingly slow. Our waiter was charming but overworked. The kitchen was very backed up and management seemed oblivious. Had we NOT been on the package, we wouldn't have gone back despite the tasty cuisine.
It's true that the Parker is an expensive place but having just been at a Ritz property, it's in the ballpark. Overall, we liked it and would return. Having said that, we would only recomend it to friends who prefer something different than a large, convention type hotel. It takes some imagination to appreciate the Parker's style.
unusual but great hotel
We were greeted kindly and promptly lead to our room.The staff commented that it is a four star hotel.The entrance is odd looking and the decor very 70's,relaxed.Our garden view room was lovely.The bedding is very nice-crisp white linens with down comforter.We requested wine glasses and ice(ice only available through room service)and the service was prompt.There are two places to dine on the property.Norma's is open for breakfast and lunch until 3pm.The food was outstanding but service spotty.
We didn't try Mr.Parkers for dinner.Overall we were very impressed but resented the $25 resort fee tacked on top of the room charge.Best rate by far was given online through Parker Meridian web site.
The good and the bad. A must read.
The worst thing about this hotel was the rude, incompetent, and thoroughly annoying, pink-jacket-wearing "host" who "welcomed" us to the property. Nothing about arriving at the hotel was easy, welcoming, or satisfying in any way. The room was small, the bathroom cramped, and the art & decor pretentious and hard on the eye. The pools were small, overpopulated, and un-relaxing. The pink jacket welcoming tour was sloppy, rushed, and un-informative.
The best thing about the hotel, we felt, was the breakfast menu.
We would have rather camped.
Le Parker Meridian PS was fantastic
We were pleasantly surprised by this hotel. It is hard to even call it a hotel because you feel as though you are a guest in someone's home. The conceirge was wonderful and she went out of her way to make special arrangements for us. The Parker had a cool vibe..hip, young but not pretentious. The spa was amazing, the pools were luxurious, the room was chic yet comfortable, the food was to die for...and not overpriced. I would recommend going on a weekday so that you can have this place to yourself... By far the best place to stay in Palm Springs...inquire about package rates, otherwise your stay can get a bit pricey.
Heaven on earth, with a few quirks to work out
With the exception of a few quirks, this place is drop dead gorgeous and wonderful. A few minimalist touches don't seem to work in it's favor, i.e. they don't believe in signs so it's hard to know where you are, and you don't know where valet is until you pull up and men dash out in pink and coral to assist you. Also, no coffee maker in the room, but I heard later they do free coffee "wake up calls" unfortunately, there is no booklet or anything in the room to tell you any info like this--
But I have to say, this place is truly stunny. Glamor and understated elegance in the true Palm Springs style. It's very morroccan/mid century/mod/minimalist
and the beds are to die for comfy, and room (we managed a free upgrade b/c the place was pretty empty mid week) was huge and gorgeous. 3 pools, one of which is salt water. The low white buildings, the bouganvilla, the towering palms and the backdrop of the mountains makes for a spectacular setting. Room service is not cheap but the breakfast really was delicious and came quickly.
So, maybe not for everyone, but if you appreciate sophistication, funkiness and a place that's beautiful and glamourous while not being stuffy or sedate-- this place really really is fabulous. By the end of my stay I wanted to move in.
Very mixed feelings
My husband and I stayed at the Parker for three nights and we can relate to all of the other reviews written here. A week before our vacation my sister in law was in a serious accident. Not knowing if she would need surgery I called the hotel and asked to have the 72-hour cancellation waived or shortened. They would not do it. So much for customer service.
Thankfully, our vacation was not cancelled. We pulled into the hotel driveway and had a bit of confusion about where the front door was. The hidden entrance is cool, but a sign or two wouldn't hurt.
We waited in the "lobby" for about 10 minutes until someone was ready to take us to our room. I loved the funky decor. Once we got to our room, little things started to go wrong...there were no doors on the under-sink cabinets, someone else's fruit basket and wine were there and the person giving us the tour did not know where the shower light switch was.
Some of the staff was friendly and others could care less about us. We asked to buy stamps for postcards for our kids. They took the cards from us and offered to stamp them -- they still haven't arrived (we think they went into the mail without postage).
Overall, I felt like they tried to put on a customer service show, but no one really cared. The facade was pretty, but the actual warmth was not there.
He was wondering what I was looking at...LOL
cement star of Phyllis Diller, Palm Springs, CA
Time for reflection
The Mirada, Rancho Mirage
I am planning a trip to Palm Springs in February. It will be my first visit. I am looking for a hotel that is central to downtown, convenient to shopping, restaurants, etc. in the $150 a night range. I will be traveling with my husband and 13 year old daughter. Thank you.
Re: Palm Springs
I went to the page noted below to attempt to remind myself of the nice little place that I stayed at a few years ago but couldn't find it ... if I find a note of it I will post it later.
But anyway , here is the page I found in case it leads you to what you prefer.
Re: Palm Springs
Aaaah ...If this is the one I stayed at ... i have been to about 2000 hotels so I do have an excuse ...
I hope that this IS the one I remember ...
Orchid Tree Inn...
I found that I could book one of their cottages out in the quiet lawned area away from the main block.
These cottages were quaint , not really luxurious, but 'famous names' pictures on the wall and a period decor made it feel special.
very short walk to the centre and friendly management