A short 2-3 hour ride from L.A took me to Palm Desert. Very tempted to stop at the Cabazon Outlet Mall and the towering Morongo Casino but put my self-control skills to test and kept driving on. I was wowed by the rows of windmills that greeted me as I drove in. Word of caution – the area does get windy and you can find yourself fighting against gusts to keep control of your car.
My home for the next few days is JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa at Palm Desert and while I expected it to be just another Marriott property as I drove in to park, I soon found out this one had its own charm. The lobby is simply majestic, I have actually never been inside a cruise ship proper but this lobby reminded me of one from a movie. Right off the bat, the gondolas and water pool inside the building caught my attention!
The view from my room was gorgeous. Front and center, overlooking the pool. Mountains all around no matter which direction I looked. I slept with the balcony door open for a cool breeze and the sound of flowing water from the pool and fountains. Not to mention the soothing house music they play here on the TV when you enter the room. It’s the small things that make me smile, I know!
Another surprise was the giant gingerbread house in one corner of the lobby. (I think I experienced a sugar high just walking by it every day). The cinnamon fragrance certainly draws you close but the amount of work this must have taken is something I cannot begin to imagine. I also like when a hotel has a Starbucks on the property, because, if you know me, my hot chocolate addiction rules.
Try the Lobby Bar for a drink. I had one of their craft cocktail specials for the evening – a raspberry lemon drop I believe – that was a martini style libation. Highly recommended! Definitely stick around for some relaxation or meeting with friends. If you are using the gondola to head to one of the restaurants then this is where you would board as well.
And when you step to that lower level to the gondolas, you will see some exotic birds in a cage. Yes, this property has a few feathery friends on the premises. Sometimes you will see them up front at the entrance welcoming or bidding farewell, and other times taking a walk around the lobby with one of the staff members. Swing by their cages to learn their names and breeds.
Also take a walk outside toward the entrance – you will see pink flamingoes and other birds on the lake and rocks up front. And if you walk along the perimeter of the property then you will see that there are many water bodies alongside and swans, ducks, geese, and more, hanging out enjoying their time at the JW Marriott! They have 450 acres here so lots of ground to cover – including two 18-hole championship golf courses. Right now, the hotel is all lit up for the holidays too and has a huge Christmas tree as you get into the lobby.
Options to dine here include Mikado - the Japanese teppanyaki style restaurant where I had dinner the first night at Palm Desert. The chefs have a few tricks up their sleeve as they perform and prepare dinner tableside. My recommendations include the zentini to start your evening and the green tea ice cream to end. If you walk to the restaurant, you will notice this property also has a little shopping area on-site AND a Harley Davidson office as well where you can, if you know how to ride one of their bikes of course, actually rent a bike from them to head out for the day! They have five other restaurants so you could totally just stay onsite and dine here every day.
And when you return to your room, watch for the sweet treats on the bed as part of the turndown service offered here. May I also remind you rooms here have a nice soaking tub, there is access to five outdoor pools onsite and, if you want to feel really pampered, then their spa with 48 treatment rooms at the very far end of the hotel is a must-visit.
JW Marriott Palm Desert is located at 74-855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
*Hosted at this hotel as a member of the media/guest of Visit Palm Desert. All opinions are my own*