We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good resort with a few key misses” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa

Save Saved
You added Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   74855 Country Club Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Earn Rewards Points
Ranked #9 of 22 hotels in Palm Desert
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Good resort with a few key misses”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We spent 9 days over Easter/Spring Break at the JW Marriott. While the resort has a lot going for it there were a few big misses that prevent this resort from being 5-stars in our eyes, enough that we may stay elsewhere next time.

This resort has over 800 rooms plus a convention center, so it's really quite large. Expect weekends to bring in weddings, bachelorette parties and college kids. This causes overcrowding at the smallish pools and a mix of hard partiers and families with small children...not always the best combination.

Overall, there are some key operational and organizational misses that I'd attribute to management as there just seems to be a lack of knowledge and communication among the staff despite that we could see just how hard they were trying all the time.

First Impressions:
The property is quite beautiful with lots of colorful flowers, plantings and green lawns everywhere that make a nice backdrop to the desert mountains. The gardens are well-maintained so it's a pleasure to walk around the outside grounds. Golf course is gorgeous and provides some challenge without being too intimidating to the average golfer. There is plenty to do on-site and nearby so you'll never be bored.

Check-in was a bit rough. The girl may have been new but she was completely oblivious to what our rate included. She tried to charge us the daily resort fee (which was already included in the rate we got). She also seemed to miss that we are Marriott Elite Gold members which required a special wristband to access our benefits such as Elite member's lounge and room upgrade. She told us she gave us a pool view (which would have matched the reservation) but when we got to the room it overlooked the parking lot. Because we were so far from the lobby we called down to get the room changed. One of the housekeeping managers overheard as we had the door open. He took it upon himself to show me three different rooms on that floor to which we could switch and stated, "You are the guest. You should have whatever makes you happy while you are here." Amazing, right? We moved across the hall to a slightly bigger room with a much better view which we coordinated by phone with the front desk. So right away we had two distinctly different levels of service.

The best things include:
•Housekeeping staff was one of the best we've ever experienced. Anita knew when we were leaving in the morning and by the time we'd finished breakfast, our room was spotlessly cleaned. We had fresh towels and bottled water without asking at least twice a day. Every person servicing our floor was professional and really friendly.
•Overall the staff is really friendly and happy to accommodate in all areas of the hotel.
•Restaurants, even poolside, have tasty food. Drinks are well-poured and not watery.
•Good activities on-site, including tennis, golf, lawn games such as bocce and badminton. Something for everyone.
•Lots of fun extras during Easter/Spring break. Clearly, the staff is trying to offer something for everyone. Easter morning was a treat with the bunny arriving via parachute, Easter egg hunt, petting zoo and pony rides.
•Easter brunch buffet was really outstanding and offered a great selection, especially on the desserts!

Things that could be improved:
•I realize that Spring Break means big poolside crowds, however, despite being well-staffed, this team just couldn't keep up. Chairs & tables were dirty first thing in the morning and it got worse as the day went on.
•Pools are actually quite small for the size of the resort. Chaises are crammed in with little room to move around them.
•Expect to be at your chaise by 9:30 AM or you may not have a place to sit. I'm all good with reserving a few chairs and then coming back after breakfast, but true to many resorts at this time of year, there are those who reserve large numbers of seats that never get used. The staff tried to help with this as best they could.
•The staff seemed confused at times and you could ask the same question to five different people and get five different answers.
•Poolside service was slow and it was hard to find a waiter at times.
•There seemed to be quite a few new employees who weren't ready to be without supervision.
•Long coffee lines at the on-site Starbucks. We were fortunate to get ours in the Elite lounge, but it would have been nice to see the hotel set up an extra coffee stand during peak times.

So, should you stay at the JW Marriott? Yes, if you don't mind a huge resort and the crowds and chaos that go with it. No, if you prefer something a little more peaceful or if you expect a higher service level.

Room Tip: •Rooms on both ends of the hotel are quite a walk to the elevator. Only 2 sets of elevators in the r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesertSpringsJW, General Manager at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share the many aspects of your stay. Constructive feedback is very important to our management team, and we value your input as we look for opportunities to enhance our services. We’re pleased to hear you enjoyed so many amenities at the resort, and we will certainly take a look at the areas of improvement you suggested in your review. We look forward to your return visit in the near future! Please know we are always working towards ensuring our guests’ experiences are memorable, top-notch luxury getaways.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,154 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    448
    357
    169
    112
    68
See reviews for
243
334
28
275
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (304)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

This is a lovely resort for a family vacation, though kids should be 8 or so to take advantage of it. (It is really a golf and tennis destination.) Our toddler grandchildren were too young for the restaurants, and family dining alternatives in the area are nil. Note that the spring break period (the weeks around Easter) is difficult for everyone: very crowded! Chairs at the pools were completely filled by 1:00. Staff were stressed, but unfailingly gracious; we loved them all. The family pool is large and pleasant, and they showed films on the weekends there, with kids bobbing in inner tubes as they watched. We will go at a different time if we want adult luxury, but watching the Easter bunny parachute from a plane onto the front lawn was fun for everyone.

Note that there is no Concierge Lounge at this hotel, but they set up a special Elite Lounge on weekdays during this period for Marriott Gold and Platinum members: helpful in providing breakfast for toddlers. We are not fans of Palm Springs, but this was definitely a nice way to experience that odd ecology.

Room Tip: Rooms near the Spring Pool (family pool) were far from the lobby, which we enjoyed, and seemed quiet...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesertSpringsJW, General Manager at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you for taking time to offer feedback on our property. As you are aware, Spring Break is a very busy time for the resort and we do everything we can to ensure our guests are enjoying their experience. We’re pleased to hear you felt our staff was gracious, and we look forward to welcoming you back another time when you can further enjoy all the amenities the resort has to offer.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

This is truly a resort/convention facility, so it is large and busy. We chose it as we were looking for a place for a round of golf and one night stay in the Palm Springs area that was nice but not extravagantly expensive. We didn't realise it was spring break, so the hotel attracted some rowdy party makers, but the place is huge enough to escape them.

The resort is well located, with a lot of facilities and a range of food options from Starbucks to good restaurants. We didn't stay long enough to use the facilities fully, but note that the golf courses and pool areas are busy during holidays and weekends. Also, dinner reservations might be needed if you want to eat at a specific restaurant, so its worth ringing from your room to avoid wandering around hungry.

This is an all round decent hotel with comfortable rooms, and just what you would expect at a resort complex like this. I wouldn't expect personalised service outside of the restaurants, and you won't be disappointed if you approach this place the same way.

Room Tip: We had a quiet room in the section of the hotel above the japanese restaurant which was very quiet a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed 4 nights at the beginning of Spring break. We booked connecting rooms with one double for the teenage girls and one King for me and my wife. This worked out perfectly for the King had a couch and table where we could hang out and talk. Both rooms were plenty spacious and looked out over the Springs pool/day care/waterfall which just opened up as we were leaving so it ended up being a very quiet location, just what we requested.

As others have said this is a large property but that is what we wanted. No lack of things to do per the website. They cannot fit more chairs by the pools and when we visited we had no problem getting chairs at decent locations although we could tell the spring breakers were beginning to arrive. They also have a large convention center which had a few small groups when we were there. If you want a nice quiet romantic get-away or have mobility issues, this is probably not the property for you.

The staff was over the top nice from check-in, to dining, and even walking to/from parking garage and running into an employee. The property is getting a little dated in the hallways and room but we did not have any issues with anything broken, dirty or otherwise unacceptable. The grounds are wonderful.

Room Tip: We had a nice quiet room on the back side overlooking a waterfall, which is what we requested althou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We just spent Easter Weekend at this very nice hotel. We are gold Marriott members and have stayed at many JWs. The boats in the lobby and flamingos outside and the atmosphere are all 5 stars, but the staff need some work. Jose and Aleks however totally stood out above and beyond who worked special events and our private cabana. They have a new setup for the kids pool but NO kid menu...hello...a kids pool needs a kids menu! (Alexis got kid items for us, but print them on the menu along with drinks....)The concierge were clueless on what's happening at Easter. We asked about chairs for the Sunday event on the lawn for our 90 year old in-laws...they said we should go to riteaid and by a cheap chair. They said it was impossible to get a chair for the event for 90 year old inlaws. WRONG answer. It turned out at the event there were table and chairs.....why wouldn't they know that. Aleks at the pool simply called someone on a walkie talkie and got two straight back chairs for our in-laws at the cabana. (Right answer) They ran out of wheel chairs....hello this is Palm Springs....there are old people here...don't run out of wheel chairs...it always took 2-4 minutes to get an operator on the phone from the room. They stop serving food at the kids pool at 4 or 4:30pm. We checked in and wanted food at the pool it wasn't until complaining that Jose offered to bring us food, but why NOT serve food at the pools at night! We also had to pay $20 to rent a raft that looked like it had been around for a long time....at $20 a day for a raft...let's get a new looking raft! Boys LOVED the dine in movie at the kids pool...first time they could float and watch a movie and eat popcorn in the pool. The parachuting bunny on Easter was amazing along with the 1,000s yes 1,000s of eggs! Just a few tweaks and this place would be 5 star all around! Let Aleks and Jose be rolemodels for other staff!

Room Tip: You can walk a LONG way....if you don't like walking make sure you are closer to the lobby.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesertSpringsJW, General Manager at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Thank you for taking time to share such great feedback about your recent stay at the resort. Easter weekend was a very busy time at the property and the management team will certainly review your concerns, particularly in regards to guest services as that is a core emphasis of the JW brand. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the Easter activities and many other aspects of the resort. We look forward to your return soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, AB
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

My husband, 16 year old son and I spent 8 days at this hotel for Spring Break which included the beginning of the Easter weekend. My brother and his family were also staying at the same hotel for the same period. We booked a view room, which got us a view of the golf courses and pools. What people don't know if they have never stayed in this hotel is that there are actually two different versions of the same room. Having stayed at this hotel 7 years ago, we thought we were getting the same room, one with a very large bathroom, a walk-in cupboard and additional space in the room itself. Since we were three adult sized people, each with a large piece of luggage, golf clubs, tennis rackets etc we thought we were getting the same kind of room. Not so....we were put in a very small room with a small bathroom, and even smaller cupboard. Since I knew the other style, we requested a switch and were accommodated after two nights. Once in the new room, we were able to spread out (the new one even has a pullout sofa bed fyi). Both cost the same! The pictures on their website are of the larger room so beware and request the larger one or expect a small, typical motel/hotel room. The service was ok. The front staff was very friendly and somewhat helpful. The bell desk staff were very good while the concierge lacked service. People would be standing at the counter and both people would be on the phone for long periods of time. One woman was not particularly friendly and when we asked for a reservation at a specific restaurant off property, she didn't get around to booking it until much later so we didn't get the time we requested (much later even though we had children). Starbucks staff were very good in that they remembered my son each morning as he got me my latte. The hotel got very busy on the weekend of Easter and people were saving chairs by the pool as early as 7 a.m. They say this is not allowed however only a few people had their stuff removed for guests that arrived to stay. There was no consistency in the way they handled people who saved and walked away. I know this can be a problem at most hotels, but if you have a policy, act on it immediately. On the other hand, if a guest goes down and saves chairs for their group (like us), but stays down there, it shouldn't be a problem. Another issue on weekends is the college crowd tends to take over the main pool with lots of drinking. Not a problem if they respect other guests, but I find that they typically party in a large group in the pool, ignoring families with small children.
We ate at the Mikado which was fun and the service was very good.
All in all, once we got a better room, our stay was enjoyable. My husband and son golfed their courses and played tennis. I visited the Premium outlets which are worth the trip! Would we go again, probably, but not in the near future. Some upgrading is still needed to make this a top notch property.

Room Tip: Take the view rooms but request the rooms with walk in cupboards. They are larger and way more comf...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

It was cold and rainy at home and we decided to head to the desert heat. We had an overnight stay here before and were curious to check it out for a longer visit. The hotel is a small city. There are two pool areas, one large-ish and one quite small. For the sheer number of people that they serve in the hotel, the pool space is terribly lacking, especially considering the desert heat. They have very friendly staff, but there seems to be a systematic lack of organization and communication, which caused frustration. We enjoyed ourselves when we were off-property, but we kept wishing we had stayed elsewhere, especially for the money. We stay at some very nice places when we travel, so we don't mind spending more, but in our experience, it was outrageously overpriced and lacked value. We'll choose something else next time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa

Address: 74855 Country Club Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Desert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Palm Desert
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Palm Desert
#10 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
#11 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa 4.5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, Orbitz, Marriott, Tingo, Travelocity, Priceline, TripOnline SA, BookingOdigeoWL, Hotels.com, Otel and Venere so you can book your Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Desert Springs Jw Marriott Resort And Spa
Desert Springs Jw Marriott Hotel Palm Desert
Jw Marriott Palm Desert
Marriott Palm Desert
Palm Desert Marriott
Jw Marriott Desert Springs

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.