May082008

This Desert Life- JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort, Palm Desert



This Desert Life – JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert

Resort lagoon flows directly into hotel lobby and gondola boat rides are available.

The JW Marriott Desert Springs was the one loyalty program chain hotel in the Coachella Valley that had the WOW factor. What I mean is that upon entering the lobby doors my first impression was wow! This looks like a resort. The place resonates resort from the fountains and gardens along the driveway entrance to the lobby to the large interior open space of the lobby, the indoor/outdoor lagoon and inside dock for lagoon boat rides, black and white swans paddling about the water, several pools, shops, and restaurants, and a golf course/mountain views background.

I was surprised to see it ranks as #9 on Tripadvisor’s 20 Palm Desert hotel listings, although Marriott seems to own this town with 7 hotel and timeshare resort properties. A Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn are adjacent to each other and just a mile away from the JW Marriott Resort. A Fairfield Inn is near the interstate and several Marriott timeshare resorts are located in this city.

Some of the TripAdvisor reviews reflected my feeling that many Palm Springs group getaways tend to be party fests and there is potential for your trip to be disturbed by boisterous drunks. But that can happen at any hotel, anywhere. At 10am on a Wednesday morning the JW Marriott was anything but rowdy.

Dining beside the lagoon

JW Marriott Desert Springs is a Category 6 hotel and requires 30,000 Rewards points for a free night. The Desert Springs Villas, which I did not visit, offer standard rooms for 25,000 points, a one-bedroom Villa for 35,000 points, and a two-bedroom villa for 45,000 points.

Large open lobby offers great views from room floors to people below.

About.com has a good review of the JW Marriott property in their golf travel section.

Rates for May 14, 2008 as low as $229/night standard rate; $218 AAA rate, when the Residence Inn and Courtyard are $169/night. A pool/mountains view is $265 (and probably worth the extra cost. There are some rooms which overlook the conference center and parking garage.) A two-bedroom suite at $509 (AAA) could be just the right space for a group resort getaway.

Black swans on lagoon

JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa and Resort, Palm Desert, CA (Marriott hotel homepage)
Marriott Rewards Category 6 Hotel – 30,000 points for free night
AAA rating 4-diamond
TripAdvisor Ranking #9 out 20 Palm Desert properties

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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