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JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, USA
Almost a miniature village in its own right, this sprawling, recently refurbished and renovated hotel is the largest in the desert area of Greater Palm Springs, spanning 405 acres. It features two 18-hole championship golf courses, designed by Ted Robinson; boasts one of the largest spas on the West Coast, with 48 treatment rooms and suites, a 75m saltwater lap pool, steam room and gym; and has ten bars and restaurants, all servicing 884 guest rooms (of which 101 are suites). There is a man-made lake in the middle of the property, with small boats to ferry you from one part of the hotel to another if it all seems too overwhelming, four outdoor pools, and a set of tennis courts.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens was founded in 1970 and covers 1,200 acres, of which 80 are used as a nature preserve. It focuses on flora and fauna from the deserts of the world, including rhino, giraffes, leopards and camels.
The hotel is in the Coachella Valley, near Joshua Tree National Park and the hiking trails through the Santa Rose and San Jacinto mountains.
By plane: flights to Palm Springs take 14 hours from London with a stop in Phoenix, Arizona. The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs $39 per day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
Families, couples and groups of friends will all enjoy the vast array of facilities. The boat deck at the bottom of the lobby is certainly unusual, and adds a sense of fun to the property.
Service & Facilities
We love the boat service, which takes you on a cruise round the property with a drink in hand.
- Swimming pools
- Tennis courts
- Fitness suite
- Paid parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Rooms with views over the lake and pools feel more bright and airy, while ones with a terrace are the perfect spot for whiling away an hour or two and watching the sun set.
Guest, Springs Building, Signature View rooms; Griffin, Signature, Executive, Vice Presidential, Presidential, Chairman's suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, bathrobe, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, desk, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Every day at 4.05pm in the lobby bar, there's a 'Sinatra happy hour'. His final public performance took place here in 1995, so they honour it with a blast of one of his songs, and a Sinatra Smash cocktail, made with vanilla-infused bourbon, lime juice and blackberry. Mikado offers teppanyaki dining, where a chef cooks everything flamboyantly in front of you. The lobster, shrimp, and egg fried rice are all delicious.
Rockwood Grill: local California dining. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mikado Japanese Steakhouse: steaks and sushi. Open daily for dinner.
Aquifer65 & The JW Sushi Bar: Japanese small plates and craft cocktails.