I read all the reviews posted on this site and for the adjacent Marriott resort. I have to ask- what is it that people want? I mean- what do they expect?
We checked in - no problem. Reception staff were polite , helpful - couldn't be nicer. Gave me a map of the area, told me where things and places were to be found...and off we went.
Found our way to the apartment. Opened the door. It smelled clean and fresh, tidy , attractive- just what we needed for the four of us. There was my myself, my wife (we bagged the main bedroom) and my grown up son and his wife (sorry kids but they got a smaller self contained apartment area)- still perfectly nice for a weeks holiday.
Found the local pool just nearby and a heated jacuzzi - all fine, clean, with towels there.
The whole resort was lovely, not at all tired looking like some other timeshare resorts we've been to (non Marriott ones particularly).
Ok: it doesn't have the kind of eating facilities that we wanted on site. So we either bought pick up meals that we ordered and took home, or we went to a restaurant in Palm desert or we went for casual evening eating to the adjacent Marriott resort where as Marriott timeshare owners we got a very decent discount on meals. Particularly good value this way was the Rockwood restaurant, where we went twice. Very nice menu.and food was good quality, well cooked- like I say; what do you expect?
We don't golf, but plenty people do and they looked from our balcony that they were having a good time. There were facilities all day for kids to be active, but that didn't matter to us as we didn't bring any. But our son and daughter in law enjoyed just hanging around the pool area or walking on the resorts grounds- which is a pretty huge area.
Negatives ; none really. I was a bit underwhelmed about the prices at the spa. these are about 2x what we are used to paying in the UK for similar quality, but the prices are the same pretty much in all the hotels and resorts that we looked at in California, so not a particular criticism of Marriott's spa. We gave that a miss at these prices.The weather was variable, some days only 58F and others up to 75 but we couldn't blame Marriott for that- our week was just one of these not so wonderful weather weeks in January that happens sometimes wherever you go. On the cooler days we went to the Outlet Mall- lots to buy there, and just walking about Desert Springs. There were some Craft Fairs to visit too. A climb in Indian Canyon was fun and a test of our endurance. No big deal- about three miles round trip, but walking up and uphill for half of that.
We lounged about and read for a while on the balcony or at pool area. Breakfast was themeal we ate in each day and had a couple of lunches when we stayed on our balcony. Ralphs supermarket nearby provided plenty of choice of things to put in the fridge. Also recomment Cafe des Artists for dinner. Not too expensive and good food (we're not talking Michelin star stuff, just a local eaterie). BUt there are tons of eating places to suit all tastes. Eating is not one of our main hobbies, so we were ok with relatively straightforward meals.
All in all we had a great week. Will definitely return another time. I just don't understand what so many people find to complain about...