The Parker, Palm Springs

Parker stole my heart in Palm Springs

Monday, 9 November 2009 | Tags: , , , , , ,

I just got back from a fabulous weekend getaway to Palm Springs. I went with eight girlfriends to help Anna celebrate her 40th birthday. (Yikes! If she's 40, that must mean I'm super old!) I haven't been to Palm Springs for almost 20 years, but I can't tell you how much it's changed because we barely left our hotel grounds...

We stayed at the Parker, owned by the same folks who run the Parker Meridien hotel in New York. The Palm Springs version is drenched in style. The NYC version doesn’t compare.

Situated on 13 acres of gardens, the resort is surrounded by both desert and mountains. It was previously Merv Griffin’s Givenchy Resort and Spa, and before that, Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch. Suffice to say it’s steeped in old Hollywood history, and now decorated in new school Jonathan Adler.

Mr. Parker's Restaurant

Mister Parker’s Restaurant, Palm Springs

Ms. Wallner’s birthday dinner was held at Mister Parker’s, a dining room that manages to be both Liberace cheesy and Brat Pack cool. Since Anna’s birthday is on Hallowe’en, we had some fun dressing up for dinner. 

Anna’s 40th Birthday, also Hallowe’en, dressed as secretaries from Mad Men.


Another must-stop at the hotel is the spa, cheekily named the Palm Springs Yacht Club (PSYC) as there’s no water in sight. Like the rest of the hotel, the spa is super chic, and my Swedish massage was most relaxing. My only complaint was that the gratuity was automatically added onto the bill. Pretty presumptuous if you ask me, especially considering a fellow party guest didn’t enjoy her massage half as much as I did.

Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, the boutique next to PSYC is worth a visit. I walked away with some cute 100% all-rubber flats, perfect for my return to grey and rainy Vancouver.

We did leave the premises once or twice to poke our noses into both the Riviera and the Viceroy hotels. The Riviera screams Las Vegas, minus the slot machines and the crowds. We were one of only about 5 tables in the restaurant. The décor is decidedly over-the-top, though the pool is grand and the food scrumptious. (You have to try the lobster Mac and Cheese. Kraft, eat your heart out.)

The Viceroy is smaller and more chic, owned by the Viceroy Hotel Group and decorated by interior design goddess Kelly Werstler. In my opinion the meals here were inferior and the service slow. We quickly retreated back to our happy place (i.e. the Parker).

We spent most of our time lazing around one of the hotel’s two pools, drinking margaritas and other sun-inspired cocktails. The service was excellent – thanks Daniel!

There’s also tennis, croquet and golf nearby. At least that’s what they tell me. I could barely scrape myself off the pool lounger each day.

I don’t know about the rest of Palm Springs, but Parker, I definitely you!

Poolside at The Parker, Palm Springs



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