The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa sits on a huge chunk of land (about 20 miles south of Palm Springs airport) in Palm Desert, CA.
Clearly, the building has seen better times, perhaps in the 1970’s/1980s, as it is pretty ugly now. However, the outdoor areas are perfectly manicured and since there is a golf course, it is impeccably green.
Check-in was efficient and knowledgeable but certainly not friendly. The good news is that all elite benefits were explained (there are none for Marriott Golds, really!) We got our room at 11 AM.
This particular property charges a mandatory $35 resort fee, which covers almost anything that your elite status could get you. There is free self-parking and unlimited, free drinking water (from small plastic bottles). Their ‘low’ season rates are really still rather high, banking in at $199-$299 before taxes and that mandatory resort fee.
The ‘upgraded’ room had a beautiful view of the mountains and it overlooked the appealing pool area. However, besides a few cosmetic changes, it was easily 30 years old. The AC was able to cool the room down but was creaky and noisy. I can’t remember a $50 hotel in South East Asia that would get away with such lousy air conditioning, but the JW Marriott Palm Springs apparently sees no reason to improve it.
The bathroom was almost as big as, if not bigger than the room. However, the shower was surprisingly tiny and the water pressure was just ‘ok.’
The free Internet that was included in the resort fee was fast. I never saw less than 10Mbits on any device.
I wasn’t happy with the bed though. It was spacious but way to soft. It fit the ‘old’ state of the room.
The staff were usually trying to accomplish tasks but maintained that weird flight-attendant attitude. Remember those snippy United flight attendants that went to ‘butler school’ for a week and now serve First Class passengers? Yes, that is how the hotel service felt. Things did get done quickly, but the staff made sure that you knew THEY were doing you a BIG favor (i.e., bringing you a towel).
The pool area gets really hot during those summer days, but all the pools are large and the water is somewhat clean. There seemed to be a big number of huge, flying cockroaches/locusts that seemed to land in the water. Drinks and food at the pool were surprisingly good and decently priced. There is no reason to venture much outside when staying here.
The property also features a number of vacation villas and there are a few nice running trails to jog down (I like running when it is really hot.)
There is also a Starbucks in the lobby downstairs that serves decent espresso drinks and pastries.
Overall, I found this property to be a bad deal. The outdoor areas were magnificent, but the rooms were creaky and noisy, the staff members were snippy (and clearly just wanted to go home), and the $300 room rate (after all taxes and fees) was way too high.