This hotel has racked up an impressive number of names in its seventy-year history. Once Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch estate, it was, for a time, the Merv Griffin Resort, then the Givenchy Hotel and Spa—and now, after a substantial rethink by lifestyle designer Jonathan Adler, it’s back; this time as the Parker Palm Springs.
And its new style is difficult to pin down as well—it’s been described as “hippie chic,” but its promiscuous blend of periods and references is an Adler trademark, and alternately recalls the Mod Sixties, the feel-good Seventies, and the classic Rat Pack vibe that Palm Springs is known for.
This town, after all, used to be where the stars fled to from Hollywood—and the Parker is a conscious attempt to recapture the glamor of those bygone days. Palm Springs skewed older, blander, and more Republican over the decades, but those trends are reversing, and today the stars are coming back.
Looking around the Parker, it's easy to see the appeal; every detail calls out for attention, from the bubblegum pink of the bellhops’ uniforms, to the occasional animal-print rug, and the inclusion of such refreshingly old-school games as croquet and pétanque, alongside the red clay tennis courts and the five-star diner, Norma’s. And underneath it all, the Parker is quite possibly just as luxurious as it was in the Givenchy days, though miles less pretentious—and, conversely, miles cooler than it was during the Merv Griffin years.
There’s a golf course, of course, this being Palm Springs and all, as well as several pools, and the spa is still here, whimsically re-christened the Palm Springs Yacht Club. If you need even more personality, you can stay in the original Gene Autry house—but even the standard rooms are interesting enough that you may revise your image of Palm Springs.
• 144 rooms