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“Most Relaxing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Sun Resort

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Desert Sun Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1533 Chaparral Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (Formerly Desert Shadows Resort)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 71 Hotels in Palm Springs
GreenLeadersGold level
rhnaks
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Most Relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

On our recent trip to Palm Springs, we decided to stop by DSR for a day pass visit again. This was our third visit over the years. The resort remained the same peaceful, clean and wonderfully manicured property as before. We also ate lunch at the restaurant and would rate it a 10 for the generous portions and quality of food. I must admit at first, my wife was hesitant about leaving our other (expensive) resort to spend extra time and money at DSR. But I really wanted to suntan and play tennis in the buff. Once we got there it was so quiet and peaceful without any kids running around she was glad we did go.We are already talking about going back, and perhaps next time, stay at the resort instead.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
So. California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed at Desert Sun Resort, Oct 11 -14, and I have to say we had the best weekend getaway ever! This place is just a outstanding clothing optional resort. Last year we stayed at the other popular C/O resort in Palm Springs and were a little disappointed, so while we were in Palm Springs we took a tour and decided that we would try Desert Sun Resort on our next trip and we are so happy with our decision.

The main thing we liked were the grounds, with 3 pools and 2 Jacuzzis and plenty of space to relax and chill, or be entertained watching a volleyball game. Even though the Chaparral and Courtyard rooms were fully booked and some people were there on day passes it didn’t seem crowded at all.

We stayed in the Chaparral building room 45 and were pleased with the room, even though the room was a little on the small size it had everything we needed, is was kept very clean, the bed was comfortable and the furnishings were in good shape. The bath was very small but it seemed to me that they did what could be done with such a small space. Besides how much time do you want to spend indoors at a clothing optional resort? Our only complaint with the bath was lack of water pressure in the shower, I don’t know if they can do anything about that, just make sure you have plenty of time to rinse all the shampoo out of your hair, it might take awhile.

We really enjoyed the café and bar, at first we were unsure about eating and drinking with other guests while in the nude, but actually the experience wasn’t strange at all and was just something else you did while at DSR. The food and drinks were good, prices good and service outstanding. While on the subject of food the only other complaint we had was the included continental breakfast, your only choice as noted in previous reviews were bagels, I had figured that they would have more available in the mornings, even a Super 8 motel offers more choices. I know for us the last thing we want to do while vacationing at a clothing optional resort is to get dressed and go somewhere else for breakfast. Sunday morning the café was open for breakfast and it was great, I wish that they were open every morning, then I wouldn’t care about the bagels. Next trip we will bring our own breakfast items.

The Staff at DSR were great, very friendly. And just like all the other places we have tried that were clothing optional the other guests are very friendly and sociable. We are already looking forward to returning, hopefully not too long in the future.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarksville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

About us: Married 15 years, ages 41 and 38, two school aged kids, we try to take an “us” trip without the kids at least once a year.

The Top 10 Things to Love About DSR:

1. The Grounds. As nice as the photos on the website are, the reality is actually far better. Flowers everywhere, mature fruit trees, butterflies, manicured lawns, hummingbirds, intricate firepits, fountains and water features. The grounds are immaculately kept and easily on par with any 5 star resort anywhere, bar none.

2. The Size. Although I heard the hotel and courtyard rooms were sold out for the Saturday we were there (the condos were not), it was always easy to get a lounge chair, a spot at the pool or anywhere else you wanted to be. It never felt crowded.

3. The Location. Many clothing optional properties are in the middle of nowhere. DSR is not, located right in Palm Springs, within a mile or so of the downtown core, casino, Villagefest, tramway turnoff, etc. It’s right where you want to be.

4. The 3 Pools / 2 Hot Tubs. Whether you are seeking privacy or looking to socialize, a quiet place to read a book or some music and social scene by the pool, one of the pools or hot tubs will likely meet your needs. It’s great to have options and choices, depending on what you’re looking for.

5. The Clientele. Good age range (mostly 30s – 60s), almost all hetero couples, all well adjusted "regular" folks. You won't feel out of place.

6. No Kids. We’re a married couple and have school age kids. We love kids. But that’s not why we come here. Great policy.

7. The Courtyard. Great spot to sit and eat breakfast in the morning at the outdoor patio tables, catch up on e-mail or websurfing (free wireless works great throughout DSR) or just relax outside.

8. The Alcohol Policy. Mini fridge in rooms, OK to bring your own alcohol (no glass) to the pools and outdoor public areas.

9. The Access. Some clothing optional properties make you parade by the front desk or ring a doorbell to get in every time you come or go. You feel like you’re being closely watched, which of course you are. DSR does a great job of not overtly doing this, allowing guests to come and go using gates (access codes provided at check-in) near conveniently distributed parking around the resort perimeter. They do check IDs at check-in of course, and do have cameras on the entrances (exterior only). It’s the right balance of security without intrusiveness.

10. The Nudity. Let’s be honest, there’s dozens of great resorts in Palm Springs, no one goes to DSR only because it’s a great resort (although it is). You go for the social nudity. It’s done very well, with no gawking, no judgment, or anyone made to feel uncomfortable. Be aware that while it is officially clothing optional (except for the pools and pool decks), most people (men and women both) chose to stay completely nude, more or less all of the time and everywhere, with the exception of the fitness room. It’s a safe and comfortable environment to be naked around others, whether it’s your 1st time or your 50th.

But the three things that hold DSR back from my 5 star rating:

1. The Breakfast Card. DSR provides a free “continental breakfast”, consisting entirely of a single straight-from-the-bulk plastic bag, grocery store bagel. To make matters worse, they give you a “breakfast card” informing of the “limit 1”, with extras charged at $2.50/ea. See the picture of the card posted with this review. Even the cheapest of cheap motels wouldn’t do this. You certainly can’t come across as this cheap and miserly if marketing yourself as a luxury resort. Judging from the parking lot full of luxury cars, I can’t imagine many guests absconding with loads of cheap bagels. This policy makes the “resort” feel economy instead of luxury, and can’t represent savings of more than $5/day (for the whole place) to their bottom line, a true pittance as compared to revenue and insulting given $200+/nt rooms. If I were resort management, I’d ditch this policy tomorrow.

2. The Linens. While clean, bedroom linens (sheets and bedspread) were strictly bottom-of-the-line economy, in sharp contrast to the furniture which was pretty nice quality, and certainly in sharp contrast to the grounds.

3. The Bathroom. The bathrooms in the courtyard rooms are original ~1940s vintage and very small. Just an old pedestal sink (no vanity), a very small shower and toilet. See the attached photo, it was hard to even get a picture, the bathroom is so small. The whole bathroom can’t be more than 30 square feet. Because the footprint is so small, it’s nothing that could be easily or inexpensively upgraded without knocking down walls, so it’s nothing I’m complaining about. Just the way it is, but luxury, the bathrooms are not.

While there are a few nits, on balance, the resort is awesome and by far the best stateside clothing optional property we’ve visited. The "Top 10" (and I could have added a few more) far outweigh any concerns that I also included for sake of completeness. While this was our first visit here, we’ll definitely be back again!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calif.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Spent 4 days at Desert Sun with friends from Washington and Colorado. Stayed in the courtyard rooms ( do not get #9 because of noisy air conditioner and TV is off to the side). Moved to #6 and room was nice and large. Rooms in the courtyard and the oldest but have a cool feel because of the age. What a great resort to just kick back and relax. Three pools and the staff was very nice and friendly. We especially like the conversation pits and the comfortable seating for just reading and talking with friends. Since it is close to downtown, we ate out everynight we got to enjoy the downtown Palm Springs atmosphere. Would definitly recommend this resort for any nudist who wants a comfortable and stress free time.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

What a wonderful resort. My wife was super nervous, But with April on the phone, and Teresa and Michael when we arrived helped some with that, but the reality - less than 10 minutes after we went outside - she was totally at ease. We met several great couples over the weekend, We got some email addresses, and perhaps we'll meet up again. The grounds were fantastic, all the pools and hot tubs are so wonderful. We ended up sleeping early - really early some days and getting up early to see the sunrise. Just get up in the morning and walk outside naked. Awesome! Maria at the restaurant is terrific and the food was great, although limited hours - but that's understandable. The best part for us - no children allowed! Some have complained I hear but - seriously - We didn't want to hear kid voices, screaming, hollering, crying, ugh! We took this vacation to get away from kids and we would not have come here if there were kids. Most of the folks we met didn't even tell their their own kids - of various ages - where they were going and didn't want kids there at all. There's no "lifestyle" stuff at all and they made it clear that it was not acceptable. We met Chuck who had fantastic enthusiasm and runs the Karoke during various events. We had massages and sugar scrubs with Renska and Alex, very relaxing and they are very skilled at what they do. My wife was the first to ask when we were coming back. We stayed at the Chapparell rooms - people have said that they are small - no - they are great. Plenty of room for sleeping, showering and whatever. The room was clean. Nobody stays in their rooms anyway, mostly for sleep. We turned on the TV once - when we first got there. This was one of our best vacations ever!

Room Tip: Chapperell is just fantastic.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
victoria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

We are a lifestyle couple thought we would try this place whilst in palm springs chaparell room are pathetic small and claustrophobic however pools excellent we realise that this place does not allow any sexual activity outdoors however we were also informed we couldnt even have bistors in our room!!! seriously its supposed to be a couples only nudist resort??? they are just a little bit rabid about this when they obviously are going to atract folks like us anyway dont think well be back on an evening wife and i were having a little shal we save amorous fun in the pool resort was empty and we felt like we were being watched by some creepy single guy????

Room Tip: dont get chaparell room dated and tiny
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishers, Indiana
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Wonderful visit .... second time there but it was Desert Shadows last time. Entire staff was SUPER friendly, April, Michael and Maria. Only got to spend one night there due to business commitments and Sunday was rather quiet which was OK. By Sunday evening I think there were only 3 other couples on the property so plenty of quiet, relaxing time by one of the pools or hot tub.

The restaurant & bar closed early on Sunday (3pm) since they weren't busy which was kind of a bummer since we then had to get dressed to go for dinner. Still not a big issue since downtown Palm Springs has PLENTY of choices. Maria makes a GREAT Bloody Mary and serves them poolside.

Stayed in one of the Chaparral rooms and it was fine ... a bit small but King bed, table, 2 chairs, and small refrig for drinks. Bathroom is a bit tight and no counter space but it works just fine. They do offer FREE bagels and coffee for breakfast and have snacks and beverages available for purchase in the lobby

Grounds are immaculate, great scenic views of the mountains.

Can't wait to go back !!!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Sun Resort

Address: 1533 Chaparral Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (Formerly Desert Shadows Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Springs
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Palm Springs
#14 Romantic Hotel in Palm Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Desert Sun Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Palm Springs in Au Naturel Luxury. 3 Swimming pools, 2 jacuzzis, tennis court, restaurant on site, spa, fire pit, night club. Try clothing optional freedom in a beautiful natural setting with waterfalls, flowers, streams and lots of trees. Minutes from airport and downtown Palm Springs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Sun Hotel Palm Springs

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