This was my first extended visit to the Palm Springs area, and I was extremely pleased with the value at Holiday Inn Express in Palm Desert (on CA-111, the main drag of the Desert Cities, at Hospitality Way.) Located in a cluster of moderately priced hotels, stores and restaurants, this appears to be a remodel of an older property; the rooms and public areas look freshly redone and well maintained.
Check-in was cordial, swift and easy. My room was quiet, with a small sitting & work area and two queen beds (each with four pillows of varying firmness), a big flat screen TV with HBO, cable and network channels, and a mini fridge and microwave. Wifi was free, fast and easy to access, and I made good use of the steam iron and ironing board provided. Air conditioning was efficient and cooled the whole room evenly. There was also a decent-sized private balcony and while my view wasn't as impressive as some other rooms', it was a nice place to hang out after the blazing sun went down.
Parking is ample; you're issued a pass to display on your dash. If you have many or heavy bags, be sure to grab a luggage cart from next to the entrance.
Breakfast offered the best variety I've seen at this range of hotel: in addition to warm cinnamon rolls, hot and cold cereal, several varieties of coffee and juice, they also offered mini Denver omelettes, sausage, bacon, and biscuits with gravy.
There's ample seating both inside (around the second floor balcony and lobby area) and out (a series of picnic tables under umbrellas or gazebos.) Spa water and warm cookies offered in the lobby, quiet, grassy grounds, tennis courts and a swimming pool make this feel more special than I expected. And you're within walking distance of restaurants, bars, shops and supermarkets, and a short drive from museums, golf, Living Desert, and the Palm Springs Tramway.