Parker Palm Springs
During holiday weekends and the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Parker is the ultimate place to stay (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

13 years ago, the Parker Palm Springs opened and the desert resort city hasn’t been the same since. The luxury bigger-than-a-boutique hotel, with its stylishly funky mid-century modern interiors by Jonathan Adler (recently updated in 2016), transformed the city back into a truly hip destination. The desert resort is on 13 acres at the edge of the downtown area, on Palm Canyon Drive.

Parker Palm Springs lobby
Another part of the very cool lobby space (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

I had a chance to visit for the first time and was really impressed with the guest experience. The public spaces are beautiful, the rooms, suites and villas are well-designed and feel very homey and the size of the property means you get nice privacy and personal space even on busy holiday weekends.

Junior Suite #1
The suite, located just off the lobby, succeeds in delivering a true residential feel. Careful thought to the overall design of the space, along with equally close attention to small details like books and artwork, make the space quite wonderful. The 600 square foot space has one cool quirk, it has two showers. At one end of the main living area space, there’s a small bathroom with a huge shower. Referred to as the “party shower,” it’s a very unique amenity.

The large living area leads into the bedroom, with a small desk off to the side. There’s the full bathroom, with dual vanities and shower / bathtub combination (of normal size). The suite also has a large patio that runs the entire length of the space, with an outdoor dining area and a couch and outdoor seating area. There’s a stone path that leads out to a one of the lawn spaces.

Parker Palm Springs lobby
Another part of the stylish lobby (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

What to Do
The Parker provides quite an array of activities. There are bicycles to ride (downtown Palm Springs is about ten minutes away), a giant chess board, ping pong tables, three swimming pools and a lot of space and paths to just wander along. For Francophiles there’s a petanque court and for Anglophiles there’s a croquet court. The Palm Springs Art Museum is also a short drive away, as is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The tramway takes you two and a half miles up from the desert floor into the mountains, where there’s snow a lot of the year.

Parker Palm Springs
It’s all about that first impression. This is the lobby. (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

There are two restaurants on-property at the Parker, the casual Norma’s (a former Denny’s!) and the upscale Mr. Parker’s. I recommend you also venture off campus to Las Casuelas, Palm Springs’ best Mexican restaurant or Workshop Kitchen + Bar, a newer place in what’s known as the Downtown Design District.

Buick Enclave Avenir Parker Palm Springs
The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir was a stylish way to drive to Palm Springs from LA (Photo by Freddy Sherman)

Getting There
The Parker is only 100 miles from Los Angeles and it’s an easy, two-hour drive (except if you try to leave LA at 4 p.m.). For my trip, I drove the stylish new 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir. Avenir is Buick’s new luxury trim level and the Enclave, their mid-size SUV, is the first vehicle to bear the name. With a luxurious leather interior, and seating for seven, the SUV is both practical and a pleasure to drive or ride in. PSP, the Palm Springs airport, is also serving more and more cities with direct flights, including international flights to Canada.

Read more of Freddy Sherman’s take on travel on his Go World Travel Blog. You can also follow more of his adventures at, on his luxuryfred Instagram feed and on his YouTube channel.

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