The Parker Palm Springs appears as a luxuriant oasis amid California’s Sonoran Desert—but it is no mirage. Crossing the hotel’s threshold through the tall, burnt sienna doors of its white brise soleil, guests enter a world of cosseting comfort and dazzling design. The one-time property of movie actor Gene Autry—known as Melody Ranch—is set on 13 acres and has 131 guest rooms, 12 villas, and a spacious, two-bedroom house. The décor by New York designer Jonathan Adler pays tribute to the distinctive mid-twentieth-century Modern style for which Palm Springs is renowned, while exuding a wholly contemporary tone. Adler says, “I wanted to create a hotel that captures Palm Springs’s essence—groovy modern architecture meets Hollywood glamour—and crank it up a notch. The vibe is cheeky hedonistic luxury.”
Staying at the Parker is about choices, possibilities, and surprises. There are garden-view rooms, some close to the resort’s three pools, others with private terraces, spacious suites and secluded villas. Rather than turn away from desert light, the Parker reflects nature and its varied landscape throughout. Rooms and public spaces are awash with vibrant colors, patterns, and textures. The Gene Autry House is singular: the services of a resort and the accommodations of a private house: two bedrooms, a dining room and kitchen, and a living room, patio, and terrace. A large, vintage film poster of Autry’s Valley on Fire conceals a screening room.
There may be nothing as emblematic of a desert resort as the swimming pool. At Parker Palm Springs, there are three.
A Feast For The Senses
Like its sister property, Parker New York, the restaurant Norma’s serves breakfast all day. Unlike the East Coast hotel, here, a terrace offers views of tall palm trees and serves at night too. Its expansive menu sets the scene: Asian chicken salad, crispy fish tacos, and a spicy shrimp quesadilla with mango salsa. By contrast, dark wood paneling befitting clubby sophistication provides the background for Mister Parker’s bistro-style menu: lamb shank, côte de boeuf. The wine list distinguishes Counter Reformation, while Mini Bar impresses both as chic jewel box and a mod and comfy lounge. A centerpiece of the Parker’s outdoors: Lemonade Stand, with its yellow-and-white striped awning and sheltering patio umbrellas, provides guests with juices, cocktails, and namesake fresh lemonade, as refreshment after games of pétanque or croquet or something more strenuous such as tennis or a bicycle ride.
There may be nothing as emblematic of a desert resort as the swimming pool. At Parker Palm Springs, there are three, two of which are outdoors and heated for early morning or evening dips. Chaise lounges and cabanas welcome the passing of languid hours, whether dozing in the desert climate or reading poolside. A third indoor pool, indoors, is a feature of the property’s full-service spa, Palm Springs Yacht Club, or P.S.Y.C. which is awash in nautical touches and cheery blues and whites. There, the full-service spa furnishes a wide range of treatments and indulgent pampering, including an open-air yoga studio, and private men’s and women’s steam rooms and saunas. Especially on vacation, one should feel and look one’s best.