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The Parker, Palm Springs

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Desert Hot Springs, California, United States, North America
4200 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs , California
Tel: 760 770 5000's insider take:

California's first Holiday Inn, later owned by Gene Autry (who called it Melody Ranch) and Merv Griffin (Givenchy), the Parker Palm Springs has a new lease on life as the city's swankiest resort thanks to designer Jonathan Adler's makeover. Although the exterior still suffers from mid-century blahs, there's a riot of postmodern design behind its orange doors: zebra-print rugs, suits of armor, bearskin-lined chairs, wild red and brown prints, and whitewashed cinder-block walls. All 144 rooms have vintage Hollywood photos, eclectic furnishings, and designer toiletries. The 13 acres of landscaped gardens are reminiscent of Versailles, updated for a cool crowd that congregates on the hammocks and around the four pools (not to mention two pétanque courts). A 16,500-square-foot spa offers everything from deep-tissue massage to yoga. Reserve in advance for dinner at the popular retro brasserie, Mister Parker's, for updated French classics like sautéed duck confit with truffled potatoes, and don't miss the chocolate banana waffles at the popular brunch spot Norma's.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
The fiction behind the Parker—cooked up by vasemaker Jonathan Adler in this makeover of the Givenchy Hotel & Spa—is that you are staying with your rich middle-aged aunt, Mrs. Parker, who has a 13-acre desert estate with two pools, two restaurants, a spa, and, nearby, a golf course. As befits the worldly Mrs. Parker, there's sisal on the floors and sea grass on the ceilings of the 144 rooms, as well as cubistic canopy beds, lamps shaped like horses, and needlepoint butterfly pillows. Schiaparelli-pink-jacketed men chat you up on the way to your room, whereupon Moroccan tea is served as a welcoming gesture. Meals are served either at Norma's—a diner that offers red-berry risotto oatmeal in an edible bowl and $1,000 lobster frittatas with ten ounces of sevruga—or at the more formal Mr. Parker's, a low-ceilinged, wood-paneled lair. The resort's particular brand of tongue in cheek is not for everyone—but then Mrs. Parker wouldn't have it any other way.—2005 Hot List

When to go: Palm Springs is a perennial winter getaway.

Which room to book: The Lanai Kings in the north building have private patios, overlook the pool, and offer the best value

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, Spa, 24-hour Room Service, Wheelchair-accessible

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.