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“Very Quiet, Pleasant Stay!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Isle of Palm Springs

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Desert Isle of Palm Springs
2555 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 71 Hotels in Palm Springs
Salton City
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Very Quiet, Pleasant Stay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

I should say that I am a timeshare owner in Monarch Grand Vacations which owns the Palm Canyon Resort and Spa about a mile away from Desert Isle, and MGV also has purchased seasonal usage rights to a small number of Desert Isle units. I mention this because probably dozens of other TripAdvisor readers also are MGV owners who perhaps have never visited Desert Isle. Also I should mention that I live in the rural far end of the Coachella Valley desert, about an hour’s drive from Desert Isle, so I’m fairly familiar with the entire area because I shop in the Coachella Valley resort cities about twice a month.
I needed a few days to work intensely on a lot of paperwork and a very clutter and distraction-free wide space to set out many piles of papers, so I booked a few days at the Desert Isle Resort. It was my first time staying here.
When MGV first obtained use rights here, I stopped by once for a tour. I was impressed by the wide, well kept gardens, pools, and fountains, but a little turned off by the darkness of the units. Also I was used to the liveliness of the Palm Canyon Resort and Spa, so I never booked here.
I must now say that after a three day stay, I left very impressed with Desert Isle. The interiors are a bit dark because the color scheme is of earthy colors, but it is very restful. I recall reading that the one bedroom units have 900 sq. ft., which seemed accurate and mine certainly felt spacious. I loved the textured Berber-style carpeting and the very nice touch of having a recessed niche in the tiled hallway with a lovely flower arrangement (even if it’s a faux orchid because even the real ones look fake) on a pretty table with an small overhead light spotlighting the arrangement.
Even though DI is on the busy Palm Canyon Boulevard, most units are set back a great deal and probably all are quiet, but best of all, it is also just a short walking distance to stores and restaurants. An upscale but very reasonable deli-restaurant, Manhattan in the Desert, is practically attached to the resort. The portions are huge and the deserts are gorgeous. You can get some very basic groceries like milk, right across the street at Walgreens and if you don’t mind walking across a big parking lot, there is a Jensens (the Saks of desert grocery stores) for regular and gourmet groceries. I had an expensive but very fresh and organic burrito at the eco-hip Chipotle chain restaurant also just a hop away.
I was in unit 45 and as I drove up I was a little disappointed because my patio was right next to the parking lot (all parking places are in a carport near the unit), but it turned out great because I backed into my spot and could unload all my many bags and boxes from the back hatch opening and with just a few big steps through the siding glass doorway into the living room. People who worry about their cars would love having a direct view of their car from the living room.
Once you pull away the curtains and sit down in the living room of unit 45, you have a magnificent view of the desert mountains rising behind clusters of thin, high-towering palm trees. I kept thinking how spectacular that view must be in winter when there is usually snow on the tops of those mountains--some years the snow is really packed and way down Mt. San Jacinto (DO take the tram to the top!). Also that unit is pretty cool because it’s just a few steps out the front door to be in the pool and spa area.
I have stayed at many timeshares and this is the first one bedroom unit I’ve been to with two bathrooms: one large one off the bedroom, and another medium size one off the living room. Usually I have a guest with me and one of us is sleeping on the pull out couch, so having a separate bathroom for each of us is divine. Also I thought it was really nice to have a folding cot with a thick folded mattress in one of the closets in case I have an another extra guest. Those are extremely nice touches.
The kitchen probably has everything you could need, plus a small window with a view to the pool. The resort has tennis courts, two or three pools, several small jacuzzis, a small gym, and a sauna, but I only had time to use a pool a little.
The front desk couldn’t have been nicer, especially by giving me a lot of extra time at check-out when I still didn’t have all my mountains of papers yet organized and stashed. (Check out is at ten a.m., very nice as some places make it at nine. People who frequent hotels need to realize that it takes a long time for staff to clean timeshare units because they are essentially condo units.) Though the Palm Canyon Resort is ideal for families with kids and has activities all day for just about everybody, the Desert Isle is very quiet and private. I think it would be ideal for someone wanting peace and quiet, or to recuperate after an operation, or for a distraction-free place for a paper/computer working vacation like mine.
(BTW, to Vikki of San Diego who posted previously: As a former ESL teacher, world traveler, and widow of a Middle Easterner, I've spent years with people from all around the world. Almost all Middle Easterners here also speak English quite well, but like traveling Americans, they speak their native language when together on a vacation. What a great educational opportunity for your kids to introduce themselves to a Middle Eastern child. I've never met a Middle Eastern family who didn't impress on their children sort of an old fashioned protocol of courtesy as their culture has yet to discard the notion that a child's behavior in public is a direct reflection of the dignity of his or her family. As a native Californian, I found a great contrast with peers of my generation in that every Middle Easterner I've ever met is VERY family oriented and adores kids. I do agree with you about the smoke---I despise tobacco toxicity of any kind regardless of whether it's rolled or hookah generated, and I'm arrogant enough to wish the rest of the world would consider the perspective most Californians have about that. Lastly--and I found this to be the same in the Deep South of the U.S.--you don't just walk up to a Middle Easterner and say what you want from him unless you want to come off as very boorish and virtually insulting. First you say something like "Good Evening" with a smile (and in the South don't forget "Sir" or "Ma'am"!), introduce yourself, comment nicely about something safe like the weather or the family, then politely mention that you're a soft sleeper and the sounds from their patio are keeping your family awake. Then watch them apologize profusely and offer you some dessert to take back with you for breakfast or the like. When I visited Alabama, an ex-New Yorker insurance agent told me he almost starved his first year in the South until he learned the gist of what I just said. I hope I don't come off as condescending; I not only love learning and sharing about different people of the planet in the broader hope of a safer world, I also have permanent pedagogy in my genes. Class dismissed ;)

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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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95 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
San Diego
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

Never spent $210/night for a hotel -- so this was a big deal for our family. I have 2 very active sons, 11 & 9, so chose this hotel largely based on the fact there was a tennis court. Kids were excited when we saw the front of the hotel (only stayed at budget -- Travelodge, Hotel 6's in the past). They couldn't wait to see the room, and tour the whole place! The room was OK. Although when we checked in the lady at the desk said it was a nice room, and recently remodeled -- the furniture was still pretty 80's. The pull out bed was uncomfortable, and the tv wasn't centered on the bed. The kids were looking forward to watching a TV of their own at night time, but it was hard to see from the bed. They should put it on a swivel instead of attaching to the wall. Reviews said you could get movies from the front desk, which is true. However, all the movies are VHS -- so the quality was pretty poor.

The "master" bedroom was 80's. You know how you can tell a room by the comforter on the bed? You'd think when they "remodeled" they would also update the comforter! That came off immediately. However, the bed itself was very comfortable! I'm picky about pillows (hate flat, hard ones) -- I have to say the pillows were awesome!

Now to the bathroom(s). NO counter space in either bathroom. Fixtures in the bathroom were definitely updated and nice, but the "low flow" nozzles on the shower head made the showers sting! For that price, I thought there'd be half way decent shampoo/creme rinse offerings (so I didn't bring my own). Nope. Shampoo was bad, and creme rinse awful. Couldn't get the knots out of my hair even using 1/2 the bottle and leaving it on there for 3 minutes (in the stinging shower). Bring your own! If this was a "budget" hotel -- I wouldn't complain. But, I spent almost $500 for 2 nights. C'mon! The flat screen TV in the master is too small. Hard to see from the bed.

OK, to the resort. Kids were so excited to check it out:

Pools: Too small, thus overcrowded. Kids didn't want to go in either of them! All the guests were middle-eastern, so they just felt "weird" being around so many people speaking a different language. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not prejudice, we just felt out of place. There were hookas everywhere! My kids said "Mom, they've got bongs!" Not only did everyone have one on their patios, but they brought them to the pool areas (and took up the few tables that were there).

The tennis courts were nice, but could have used a "blow off" as they had lots of leaves, etc. on them. The racquetball courts were a nice surprise, as my kids had never played it before. They give you racquets and balls (but no goggles) at the front desk (no charge). The courts were really nice and well lit. There's also a ping pong table between the 2 courts, so we could switch off with the kids. That was cool. They need new paddles though, as the covers were falling off.

We "borrowed" bikes for a little ride -- that was nice. They have a room where the bikes are and you pick the one you want. Not much of a selection for kids (only 3) and more of a selection for adult "cruisers." The one that "fit" me had a flat tire -- so I had to go with one that didn't really fit but was adequate.

Our second floor room (#42) had an obstructed view of the mountains -- but not at all private as there's a patio right across from you. The guests at the downstairs room across from us stayed up late, socializing (over the hookah of course) and kept us up. I asked nicely if they could keep it down as my kids were trying to sleep. They just looked at me like I was crazy.

To sum it up, it was OK. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Won't stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

I was attending a wedding at the Smoke Tree Ranch and they were fully booked. I wanted something close by and my husband booked the hotel over internet. I arrived and was greeted by a professional employee who remembered speaking to my husband on the phone when he called with some questions. She said she knew we were dissapointed about not being able to stay at Smoke Tree but would not dissapoint. Well, they did not. Our room was really a suite, completely modern, spacious and very well appointed. Granite in the kitchen with dishwasher, oven, fridge, sink and any small electrical appliance one would want to prepare a homemade meal. Two large screen tvs were mounted on wall in living room and bedroom. There were two full bathrooms and we only had a one bedroom! The outside pation had two lounge chairs, table and four chairs with a gas grill! The space was immaculate and quiet! We could walk accross the street to a shopping center for any supplies we needed and there was a Manhattan Bagel on the premises. I sent my 12 yr old down the street for breakfast and she brought back the most amazing omelette and waffle with fresh strawberries. I am very picky and not a fan of "public" spaces, especially hotels. I felt at home and extremely comfortable. I would reccomend to anyone of any age. On a side note, when I attended the wedding and saw the accomodations of the other place, I was glad they were out of rooms! I told everyone at the wedding they had to come see my place (which was significantly cheaper)!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2011

We stayed here for a week in October, and are already planning on returning. A wonderfully relaxing place to spend some time.

Desert Isle has lovely rooms, with lots of space. Lounge with large screen and fireplace, huge bedroom and fully equiped kitchen. BBQ out on back patio, overlooking the pool. Rooms were fresh and clean and very 'live-able". Really did feel like a home away from home.

Grounds were lovely and well care for. Pool was aways clean and inviting!

Staff were very friendly and very helpful. Gave us some greats ideas about place to visit and places to eat and drink.

Palm Springs itself is close to plenty of places for walking and hiking and relaxing.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Leandro, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2010

Used to live in palm springs, and never realized this was a time share property. Freshly painted, new appliances, very clean and well taken care of. Minutes from downtown and the airport, would stay again.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sask. Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2010

As I sit down to write this review I can barely wait to return to the Desert Isle for another 2 week stay. My Wife and i first came upon the Desert Isle on our first drive down holiday to Palm Springs from Saskatchewan , Canada in 1975. It was known then as Stan Clarks Desert Isle of Palm Springs. There was no development to the East or West of it at that time and very little development to the north. It truly did appear to be an Oasis in the Desert Over the years many renovations have been done . We have been back many , many times over the last 34 years and have taken our children there many times , in fact this year in March we will be meeting our Son and his wife there along with their little one as they are now vacationing at the Desert Isle. We look forward to meeting several people there that also return each year. Manager Terry Fraser and front desk people such as Trenton and Marie absolutely go above and beyond their duties. The courtyard is kept immaculate. You have a choice of two different pools to visit or just lounge at. There is an excellent Restaurant next door called Manhatten in the Desert. The rooms are very large with full size kitchens that make an extended stay very comfortable. The Desert Isle of Palmsprings - We love it

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2009

We were pleasantly surprised -- they have recently remodeled the rooms -- very spacious, clean, comfortable. Flat screen TVs in the living area and bedroom. Steam room in the bathroom :) Pool was small but nice and quiet. BBQ's available on the balcony. Would definitely stay here again. Shopping center across the street was convenient - a Jensen's market, TJ Maxx, Chipotle, Golden Spoon Frozen Yougurt and a Walgreens all within walking distance.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Isle of Palm Springs

Address: 2555 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
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 Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Palm Springs
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Palm Springs
#19 Romantic Hotel in Palm Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 57
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Also Known As:
Desert Isle Of Palm Springs Hotel Palm Springs
Desert Isle Palm Springs
Palm Springs Desert Isle

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