Fodor's Expert Review J. W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa
74-855 Country Club Dr., Palm Desert, California 92260, United States See on Map
This luxe resort feels more secluded than most because of the two golf courses that the close the physical buildings in. The white, concrete building is ornamented with patios that overlook the surrounding greens. There’s an on-site spa and and water canals throughout the property, with actual gondolas guests can ride in. Pets are not allowed (service animals excepted) and the offerings are geared more toward adults that to families with kids, though that island of flamingos would certainly surprise and delight.
The J.W. Marriott Desert Springs is a substantially sized property (833 rooms and suites). The rooms are fitted in classic neutrals, oranges, and brown tones. The unique woven wood headboards and patterned rugs give off a warm and cozy, yet modern vibe. All rooms offer vibrant views.
Baths include a separate tub and shower and lighted makeup/shaving mirror.
The Lobby includes its own Starbucks, a bar with a waterfall, and a sushi bar bedecked with hanging lanterns.
The grounds include five pools (plus a private lagoon). Pools of note are The Springs Outdoor Pool, which is designed for families, and the Spa Outdoor Pool, a salt water pool that can be accessed by booking spa treatments.
With a sauna and the aforementioned spa pool, the spa offers welcome respite in the form of body wraps, scrubs, massages and other treatments, as well as facials and nail care. There’s also a separate spa fitness center, accessed by booking treatments or for a separate daily fee.
In addition to the 24-hour Complimentary Resort Fitness Center, the JW Marriott also offers golf, tennis, volleyball, jogging trails, and kid-friendly miniature golf, badminton, and basketball.
Unsurprisingly for a property of this size, the resort boasts a bounty of dining options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s a dinner-only Japanese-style steakhouse, a seafood spot, a family-friendly American grill open for all meals and brunch, a bar and restaurant with poolside service, and a golf-centered spot on the 18th hole. In the lobby, a sushi bar with adjoining cocktail bar is open from afternoons through the night.
The hotel does not provide any kind of airport shuttle, but both self and valet parking is available at the resort, including 12 charging stations for electric vehicles.
Though the on-site options are plenty, nearby recommended restaurants include Cork Tree (3-minute drive), a romantic room and charming patio, and the Palm Desert outpost of Sherman’s Deli & Bakery (7-minute drive). A Morton’s The Steakhouse (4-minute drive) location is also in the shopping center across the street from the resort’s entrance.
Desert Fox (12-minute drive) is a casual spot with a good piano bar. Over in the El Paseo Shopping District, The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge (14-minute drive) is chic and boasts a sake sommelier.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The landscaping and water features feel very exotic, especially in the desert. The boat cruises provide an interesting, if not serene, way of traversing the property. The abundance of restaurants, as well as golf and tennis, are a draw for resort seekers who desire a more all-in-one experience.