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“An Old Favorite Disappoints” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Santiago Resort

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Santiago Resort
650 San Lorenzo Rd., Palm Springs, CA 92264   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
San Mateo, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An Old Favorite Disappoints”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2007

My partner and I have stayed at Santiago many times over the last 10 years. We were very much looking forward to staying there after the recent remodeling. We were happy to have the opportunity for a little reunion there the weekend after Thanksgiving with two friends we met at Santiago eight years ago.

The good news is the place is still beautiful. Sitting by the pool, with the mountains seemingly so close you can reach out and touch them, is idyllic. The remodel did not impact the landscaping, which is still awesome. The remodel did involve a total renovation of the bathrooms in each room and they look great. The clientele was quite a bit less upscale than we ever remember from our previous visits, but no real issues to speak of.

Before we booked, I looked at this website and saw KDP650's post about getting his iPod stolen. I was not concerned, because all the times we've stayed in the past, people usually just left their rooms open while they were at the pool and there had never been an incident to our knowledge.

Echoing flyguy39's experience, our greeting consisted of "I need to see your credit card" followed by a flurry of paperwork and that was about it. Seems the current owner and staff aren't quite as welcoming as the former.

I don't know if it's just Santiago, or Palm Springs in general, but it seems like theft is becoming more common. On this trip, my credit card was stolen while we were at Santiago. My partner and I retraced all our purchases and activities over the weekend and the only opportunity for this theft to have occurred was at Santiago.

Luckily I noticed my card missing and had my account closed immediately. Unfortunately, over $16K in fraudulent charges from Las Vegas had already appeared on my account. It only cost me $50 and an hour or so on the phone with the credit agencies and the Palm Springs Police (who were great), so not a huge inconvenience. But, after this incident, I'm not sure we'll go back to Santiago.

  • Liked — Landscaping and location.
  • Disliked — Theft
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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
    4.5 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 (50)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Sacramento, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2007

There are just a few gay hotels and inns in Palm Springs that rate at the top, and the Santiago Resort is one of them.

The Santiago Resort is located in what is called the San Lorenzo region of Palm Springs. There are a few other gay hotels on this street, but unlike the Warm Sands area which is more of a "scene."

Under new ownership in the last couple of years, the Santiago went though an extensive remodel in 2006. The rooms are all tastefully done in desert beiges and earth tones.

There are clock radios with CD players in all the rooms. The bathrooms have very clean and modern tiling with large showers.

The grounds are beautiful with incredible mountian views from the pool area.

The daily continental breakfast is an expanded one-- and is one of the better offered among gay hotels.

Though it is clothing optional, there is not a high sexual temperature, it is very comfortable and laid back.

The staff is personable and attentive. The manager, David, is first-rate and lives on the premises.

The rates are among the best in town for such a great property.

  • Liked — The incredible mountain views.
  • Disliked — That I can't live there.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2007

We spent 5 days here in mid- November and had a great time. This may be the perfect gay guest house in Palm Springs. The resort is beautiful, well run and spotless. The 24 rooms and grounds are in very good condition and kept very clean.

The pool is large, clean and surrounded by beautiful gardens. It is completely private. There is a large whirlpool next to the pool. Both are kept quite warm so even swimming during a cool night is pleasant. Although the pool is just large enough and rectangular, it is really too warm to swim lengths for exercise. It is perfect for anything else. Unlike some pools at gay resorts in PS, the pool is oriented to get sun the entire time it is above the mountains. There is shade to be had as well. If you aren't aware at this time of year the sun sets behind the mountains at 3:30 PM and the temperature drops significantly. It is actually ok as you get a couple of hours of dusk when it is still light enough to do things besides lie by or in the pool in the sun. Clothing is optional everywhere and most people, but not all, choose to be nude by and in the pool. There is absolutely no bath-house feel to this place. However, flirting and beyond are not out of the question either. You won't feel uncomfortable no matter which way you are leaning.

The rooms are large. Most have very comfortable king sized beds (some have 2 queens). The furnishings are simple, tasteful and of high quality. Air conditioning is central and not loud. There are robes, medium size bar fridge, microwave, lots of closet and drawer space, large tv, dvd/vcr player, cd player and phone.

The staff were great. David is the manager and is very helpful and friendly. The other staff were all friendly and professional as well. Jim deserves special mention. Breakfast and lunch are served daily and included with your rooom rate (0800-1000 and 1300-1330h). They are simple but tasty and adequate. Lunch is usually salad, self-served out of a large bowl and one small other item. The food was always fresh and of good quality. If you are looking for a large or gourmet lunch (or choices) you will need to go out but having it made for you poolside is hard to forgo. There is free lemonade and ice tea most of the day.

This place is nice enough to enjoy by yourself or with your partner. However, for most, stays in gay guest houses are largely dependent on the other guests. One has no control over this of course (unless you bring a bunch of people with you). I believe this resort is often full but it was only at most half full when we were here, even over the weekend. This could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. This is one of the more expensive and higher quality gay resorts in PS and the guest profile probably reflects this a bit. Younger people (20s or 30s) are in the minority. Everyone was friendly and there wasn't a lot of attitude. You can always visit the other resorts (some invite you to visit, others you can pay to visit, there are also other ways - make a friend). Some people choose where they stay based mostly on their expectations regarding other guests, but if your priority is high quality where you are sleeping and relaxing, then stay here and play elsewhere if you need to (but you may not need to).

The location is about a 15 min walk to downtown bars/restaurants (but no one walks in this city) and about a 10 min walk to the Warm Sands area (where most of the gay resorts are). There are 2 or 3 gay resorts across the street from Santiago but the very quiet street definitely does not have the "gaybourhood" feel that Warm Sands does (outside the resorts I mean), nor any of the activity that may be associated.

It's hard to find any fault with Santiago. There is no smoking in the rooms but it is allowed anywhere outside. This was a bit of a nuisance but I'm not sure it is any better anywhere else. There is no happy hour, which we missed. [We have stayed at Inndulge a couple of times. The staff (and owners) there play much more of a "host" role than at Santiago.] You have to try a little harder to meet your fellow guests here.

As an aside, the restaurants in PS are, like in most American cities, just ok, including all the gay restaurants. A noteable exception was a Belgian restaurant in the centre of downtown called "Pomme Frites" - try it. You also don't come to PS for the nightlife; gay bars are few, uninspired and often not busy. Try Barracks on a Sunday early evening (1730ish) for an interesting experience - ask before you go, it's also a bit of a drive.

For next time it will be hard to choose between Inndulge and Santiago (we have visited but not stayed at many others). Both are great. The rooms, grounds and pool are nicer at Santiago and it serves lunch. Inndulge is perhaps more likely to be full (it had no vacancy the whole time we stayed at Santiago), with a gayer (?better) location, happy hour, involved owners and staff that is more oriented to hosting. It depends on your priorities.

Have fun and be safe.

  • Liked — the pool and gardens
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2007

After a busy tour around California and Nevada, we wanted five days to relax in Palm Springs before returning home. We chose the Santiago as we had read that it had been recently renovated, and from the pictures it looked like just the sort of place we wanted to visit. We were not disappointed. We were greeted and checked-in by David who was helpful and friendly. Our room overlooked the pool and jucuzzi and had a wonderful view of the mountains that surround Palm Springs. David had recommended a first floor room rather than ground floor, as it had a ceiling fan, and he was right. The room (well, suite really) was large, comfortable and very well equipped with a fridge, microwave, safe, TV, DVD, CD etc. Little touches like pool towels and sun lotion were provided each day, along with gowns, plenty of wardrobe space and films available to borrow for free from reception (which included free internet access). The shower room was immaculate and offered luxury toiletries. Buffet breakfast (including hot choices at weekends) and lunch is provided and included in the room rate. The pool and jucuzzi were heated to 95F while we were there and were available to use 24 hours a day. The gardens were beautiful with tropical plants and lighting, and even a small chill-out covered area with comfy seating and plants. The Santiago is well positioned, and only a short (cheap) taxi ride in to the main shopping and eating area of Palm Springs. We did walk this too and it took around 20 minutes. We were surprised to learn on check-out that local phone calls had been free, so calling a cab was no problem. As it is in the upper price range for resorts in Palm Springs, the clientale were mostly professionals staying for short breaks and were all very friendly. A great place to unwind that we would love to return to.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2007

It had been 5 or so years since I last stayed at this resort.

Dropping into town w/o reservations in advance is rare for me (as a prior owner/operator of a Hawaii B&B), but was welcomed to the property by the NEW owner.

The property and suites have been superbly renovated and updated. It was my preference that the resort was nearly absent of other guests (high temps in the summer) as were the other resorts, except for the weekends.

I was greeted and departed with warmth by the owner, and thoroughly enjoyed my (regrettably one night) stay.

Quality of a PS resort can readily be diminsihed by the clientele attracted to the resort, and I can only see that they have a high caliber following.

  • Liked — Cleanliness and room quality.
  • Disliked — No complaints.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2007

My partner wanted to do a weekend in the Springs for his birthday. So I thought why not stay at Santiago. The last time I was there was 7 yrs ago.

Its true from the previous reviews that the grounds are beautiful and the rooms are above average, especially if you have stayed in the Warm Sands area previous. We didn't take advantage of the breakfast or lunch, which is complementary so I can't comment on it.

The resort tends to have a mix of guests from 30's to 60. It is very quiet at night, which we both desire. By the way we are both in our early 40's.

Now on to the things we didn't like. We got to the resort on Friday afternoon. We were greeted by the person running the office. There was no welcome or hello or even my name is from the guy who let us in the office. So I told him we are checking in and we were asked to fill out registration cards. After that the next thing out of his mouth was "Credit Card". I can't seem to understand this attitude, especially from a gay resort. What ever happened to hello my name is.... and welcome to Santiago. There was absolutely no interest in making us feel welcomed. We've gotten more conversation from more run down places on Warm Sands!

Ok now for the icing on the cake. early Saturday morning, not sure when but the A/C broke. There was air flowing but it wasn't cold. We both woke around 5am wondering, why is it so hot in here. By the way it was around 115 on Friday and about the same on Saturday. My partner, knowing my intolerance for this sort of thing, went down to the front desk Saturday morning around 8am. He ran into the same guy who checked us in and greeted him with a good morning and how are you? My partner told the guy that there is a problem with our A/C. Then the guy said "yea, we know about it. I'm calling someone now". Don't you think that a more appropriate resopnse would have been " I'm very sorry for the inconvienience sir, we are calling someone right away". My partner then said so I'm assuming that others have the same issue? The guy said yes, the whole building is out. This guy needs a class in customer service to say the least. And if you are reading this please take note, we probably will not be back. A little goes a long way.. like greeting your guests appropriately and politely acknowledging an issue a guest has no matter how many others have already complainted before him.

So even thought we did like the resort, the rooms were great, nice bath rooms and the resort grounds were wonderful, the front desk guy kind of put a bad taste in our mouths. I did fill out the management card so I hope they take note of the issues. You really do get more with sugar than vinegar! Life is too short to be angry.

  • Liked — rooms were nicely updated, great grounds
  • Disliked — check in
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seymour, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2007

My partner and I stayed at the Santiago Resort based on some good reviews we had read about it since it was renovated in 2006. This was our first visit to Palm Springs and we wanted to stay someplace nice. We were were there from Saturday and left on Tuesday.

First of all, the grounds were beautiful and well-kept. The place is essentially a 2-story motel type of facility but with lush landscaping and breathtaking views of the mountains overlooking the property. There is a nice heated pool, hot tub, and hammocks to relax in.

The rooms were all new and quite spacious. We opted for the larger junior suite type room, which are a little larger and hav a separate sitting area although the standard rooms we looked in were also quite spacious.

We made good use of the pool and hot tub each day and there were others there each day, so we met several nice people. The clientele while we were there was a mix of singles and couples ranging in age from their 20's to their 60's, with an average age about 30-ish I would guess.

There was a basic continental breakfeast (yogurt, bagels, juice, etc.) and light complimentary lunch offered each day on the patio, which was a nice touch.

The staff was pleasant and friendly enough although we did not fine them to be particularly engaging, which was okay with us, although others might have found them to be somewhat aloof.

Even though it was in April, which I would have expected to be the high season in Palm Springs, the resort emptied out by Monday morning. I think that there was only one or two other people staying at the resort with us after that, so it was very quiet. I guess even during the high season, a lot of people just come for the weekends.

The only thing which sort of ruined the stay for us was when we packed to check out. We found that someone had stolen an iPod Shuffle from our luggage. I partly blame myself though. When we first checked in, the in-room safe was already locked (perhaps that was on purpose). The instructions on the safe indicated that it can take up to 24 hours for management to reprogram the safe if you forget the combination and we were anxious to go out for dinner, so I didn't bother. I should have gone down to the front desk and insisted that the safe be reprogrammed right then and there though or be given a different room. Instead, I carefully hid my iPod in the bottom of my luggage. I did not take it out again during our stay. When we packed to go home, it was gone. Since nobody else was in our room or had access to our room other than the housekeeper and the small office staff, it seemed probably that it was one of them, although the rooms do not have modern key cards, so it is possible some other person obtained a key.

The theft put a damper on what was an otherwise relatively nice stay. My advice to anyone else who stays at the Santiago Resort is to keep your valuables locked up because it appears that some at the Santiago is a thief. We had to leave early on Tuesday, before the front office was open, so we were not even able to report the theft. But there was not much to be done and, as I said, I partly blame myself. We will learn from the experience for next time.

  • Liked — The location, views, grounds, pool, room, newly renovated
  • Disliked — Possible thief on staff
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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PSsun, Robert Schonfeld, owner at Santiago Resort, responded to this review, June 21, 2007
The ownership and employees of Santiago Resort were all very troubled when we read this guest's posting. As he states, no report of this incident was ever made to anyone at our resort and, without having read about it on this site, we would be totally unaware of any problem.

For the record, this is absolutely, positively the first and only report of this kind we have ever received. We do not hire "day workers" to clean our premises; our housekeeper has been on the job for 9 years, our desk manager 5 years, and our general manager has worked with our company for more than 20 years. None has ever been charged with even a hint of "scandal."

Unfortunately, due to the nearly 2-month gap from the time of this supposed incident to its reporting date, it is impossible to be 100% certain of all the facts. Was this item lost in the room or poolside and later "retrieved" by a subsequent guest (there were nearly 2 dozen in that 2 month period)? Or was it something more sinister? Regrettably, too much time has passed to conclude the facts definitively.

Suffice it to say we regret any problem a guest may suffer while staying with us. And, all of our employees vehemently deny any knowledge or complicity in this incident. After researching our records, we were able to discover the identity of the guest involved and have expressed our regrets over this incident directly to him. He has indicated he will most likely stay with us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Santiago Resort

Address: 650 San Lorenzo Rd., Palm Springs, CA 92264
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Springs
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 40 Specialty lodging in Palm Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Also Known As:
Santiago Hotel Palm Springs

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