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“Just OK”

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Panamint Springs Resort
Reviewed April 16, 2014

The rooms are very dated and looked not maintained.

When we checked in we wanted to pay separate, but were told only one card is accepted and the whole stay needs to be charged at once.

We stayed at the cottage, which looks on the pictures cute and perfect for a family or 2 couples.

They allow pets - which is great.

However, the toilet was loose, there were holes in the walls and ceiling, the carpet spotty, air condition crusty, everything looked very dated.
We felt not comfortable and it looked not worth the money (USD 170 plus Tax a night)
We asked if we could check out a day early (staying 1 night instead of 2), but the manager of the hotel side was not cooperative.

He was telling us that they just made it through the year as the oil prices ate all up and they are taking one room at the time to renovate. - Good to know - Really
When we brought up our "complaints" he gave more excuses and tried to tell us how hard his life is in the National Park. He interrupted me many times and offered to contest the charge.
Really? A suggestion - be nice to your guests - unhappy guests will not send others - and mind you my friend and I are both in the travel business...
I understand if you just took over a business and are taking one room at a time to upgrade, but it was not worth the money.
We stayed both nights and it was clean. His wife really does do a good job circumstances allowing. The area is nice after all.
Tips to save money - do not let the air condition run on 68 degrees all day
Make sure the fridge is not on the highest level.
Ask kindly if the guests could be mindful with the lights.
Tell them the water is potable
You can shut off the generator after 10 or 11 pm
You can buy really good bedding, blankets, duvet covers, pictures at Ross.
In a National Park - styrophome cups, plates and "silverware" is a shame (as anywhere else in the world)

However - we REALLY enjoyed the restaurant. While breakfast circumstantial was ok - dinner and the beer selections was outstanding.
The server was nice and the manager was super nice - he LOVED our dog.
It looked like he was the brother of the hotel manager (3 brothers a uncle and a father seem to run the place) - he was the complete opposite of his brother.
Tip to the manager of the hotel part - when you are tired and see the guests are too - and mind you the guest/client is always right - that's how it works in the service industry - just agree to the complaints and offer to come by in the morning when everybody is rested and see if you can make amendments needed.

If you would not have interrupted us, maybe being courteous and understanding one never knows.
But you are in the service industry on your choice - act like it

Room Tip: Wait until they are renovated or if the manager is done working on the septic tank
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dandu2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 - 244 of 694 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2014

Called here without a reservation and was told the motel was full but they had a tent cabin available for 50 dollars and 10 dollars each beddin hire. We were not allowed to see it before paying which i thought was odd as it was empty. It just had two metal cots. Was told it would be warm so we were only offered one blanket each. After a meal we thought the temperature had dropped so we asked for another blanket each. Big mistake. We should have asked for three. We were SO cold. We had fleeces, towels and coats over the blankets and we wore most of our clothes. This made for a very sleepless night. Had we been given adequate bedding this would have been ok. Went for breakfast to the restaurant which was about 11 dollars. This was good value. Lovely views.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank lynda h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

First off, if you want to stay at a resort in Death Valley, don't stay here. Stay at Furnace Creek resort. You may pay out the nose to stay in a crowded compound, but you can watch all the TV you like while you surf the web and text your friends, then go out and play a round of golf in a place that gets maybe an inch of precipitation a year. You know who you are if this sounds appealing.

On the other hand, there is Panamint Springs. Looking at your map, you will find this in the exact middle of nowhere. There is no TV, there is no wireless, there is no wired. There is barely a room. But it is clean, and the shower works well enough to wash the sand off. You need to be quiet after 10pm so as not to keep your neighbors awake. So grab a chair and go look at the stars, you won't be be bothered by cars driving by. This is a great starting point to explore Wildrose Canyon and the towering Panamint range, and only a half hour back into Death Valley on some of the most beautiful desert roads in America.

Whether you stay at the motel or campground or not, do stop at the restaurant. The craft beer selection would generally impress a beer geek from San Diego or San Francisco, and the pizza is made from fresh dough and properly oven fired. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet was $10 and quite a deal. Don't miss the croissants.

The gas next door is the most expensive I have seen in California ($6/gal for regular).

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Easong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

I wrote a review for the restaurant. It's worth stopping for the pizza (and for beer lovers)! We were on our way to Shoshone from Stovepipe Wells and were so glad we did. Everyone there was friendly, helpful, and made us feel welcomed. This is a bare-bones place, but they really try hard to offer what is realistic and reasonable considering the location. You really have to think about where you are. Sure, the name might be misleading now, probably not in the 1940s or 50s. Consider what you drove through to get there. It's an oasis!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MBL33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Simple rooms. Probably will be too hot in summertime.
Very basic equipment, but comfortable sleep.
If you just need a base to go and explore DV - perfect place.
But do not expect luxury.
WiFi nonexistent (there is VSAT station, but gets clogged easily) and no mobile phone coverage.

The restaurant is a good place to chat with the other DV-freaks and ask them for the best places to see in The Valley. Lots of maps and photos.
Tasty, "wild west" food. Also breakfast is fine to start your explorer day.

Check in is at the general store and gas station couple of meters away from the Inn. You pay upfront for the stay. Gas is "no brand" and very expensive so it's worth to fill up before entering DV.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Miramaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We stayed several nights to hike and explore the Panamint Valley....DV is great but PV is just incredible and off the beaten path.
Yes the room was basic....but clean. Sheets, towels, etc were top notch.
Yes the walls were thin...but its an old place (and anyone that stays in ANY motel or hotel without standby earplugs needs to not complain!)
Yes there was no TV- yay!
Yes the wifi was weak....but it was occaisionally available for email check nearby the restaurant. Its satellite based : very different then cell.
Yes the view is incredible from the place.
Yes the beer is wonderful (and all the employees from all over the world were fun to talk with.)
Yes things are expensive: shop someplace else for gas and gadgets but take advantage of the great food & drinks you can get on the veranda with the best view in the world.
Yes its great to be able to hike nearby to the falls where your wonderful sweet tasting drinking water comes from. Fascinating!

We can't wait to go back and explore the Panamints some more and stay here again. Cheers to the Panamint Springs Resort!

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
Thank Elby C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
panamint_springs, Owner at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

Thank you :) Hope to see you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We have a lot to say about this "resort", but if you are lazy here is a summary: very expensive facilities (fuel and phone calls), disgusting rooms, and unpleasent staff: AVOID! But really, you should read it.

Now the long story:

We are a young couple used to book VERY cheap hotels/motels/hostels, and we decided to book here just because it's the cheapest solution WITHIN death valley. First of all: panamint spring "resort" is actually very far from the main part of the park (about 40 miles from Stovepipe, 75 from Badwater basin), so I think we actually spent in fuel the money we saved in the accomodation .
Talking about fuel: as this is the first fuel station you will find entering death valley from east, they intentionally charge you 6 (SIX!) dollars per gallon. Just to be fair, in Stovepipe, the fuel is 4.50, in Furnace Creek is 5.10. This tells a lot about the owners.
And just to confirm our feeling about them: we had an emergency for which we had to call our rental car company. Of course, we could have used the wifi they advertise, if it only worked once in 3 days in any place in the "resort". The mobile phone is of course not useable in a desert. So, we asked them to use their phone, and they asked us 5 dollars for the connection, plus 2.5 dollars per minute for the call. We then decided to drive the 40 miles to Stovepipe and over there in the general shop they let us use their phone FOR FREE.

But let's talk about the room. The management advertises their room as "very basic", not having TV or microwave. Well, we actually don't care about TV, microwave, or any other "supplement", we just would have liked to sleep in a room (with an hair-drier maybe), and not in a HOVEL probably built back in the 30s and never EVER renewed.

- Each room is about 10 squared meter, bath included. The floor is covered with a dirty and smelly carpet, even in the bathroom. The smell of humid carpet is honestly disgusting.

- The walls are so thin that the first night we could hear our neighbor snoring. It's ridicolous.

- The owner ask you (as in all other hotels in california) to save water, but the shower is dropping all the night. And the shower anyway is terrible: the walls were scraping off revealing the rust underneath.

- They also ask you not to use the towels if you used sunscreen (which is kind of important in the hottest place in the world) , otherwise they would charge you the price of the towel. What about cleaning them???

All of this just for 120 dollars per night. If you are thinking to spend some nights in death valley, please do yourself a favour: go for stovepipe or furnache creek (if you can afford them) or book in Beatty: we were told there are cheapest and nicest hotels over there.

We would NEVER EVER suggest someone to go give his money to this "resort".

Room Tip: Do not choose ANY room here.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Sara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
panamint_springs, Manager at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay here. Perhaps it would have helped you if you knew something about our circumstances and the challenges we face as a small business in a remote wilderness area. It would be advantageous to educate yourself of our reasons for our prices before making hurtful and untrue statements. I remember you and remember the not so nice note you left for us in the motel room.

FUEL: Yes our prices are expensive. We charge high prices because this is the only way we can continue to offer fuel. Our operating costs are WAY higher than Stovepipe Wells & Furnace Creek, due to the fact that we do not have the benefit of being provided with electricity. We have to generate our own electricity with a very expensive generator. Therefore, our fuel is always more expensive than Stovepipe, and is often more expensive than Furnace Creek. We are quite open and upfront about this. If anyone asks, we always tell them where they can get less expensive fuel.

PHONE: Again, we are "off-grid" which means we do not have land lines. We also do not have cellular service here. Our only phone (which is our reservation & business line) is a very expensive satellite phone. That is why we have to charge people with NON-EMERGENCY phone calls to use it. Your situation in which you had to call your rental car company was certainly not an emergency. Stovepipe Wells is lucky enough to have normal land line phones. If we had normal phone lines we would have let you use the phone for free as well.

Our rooms are old, but clean.The walls are thin, since it is a historic structure, and we warn guests about this on our website. We have several rooms that are remodeled. The room you stayed in has not been recently remodeled, as it is our smallest and least expensive room. However it has of course been remodeled several times since it was built in 1937! The shower was dripping in your room because you did not turn the faucet off all the way. I know it was dry when you checked in because i inspected the room.

Yes, we ask people not to smear sunscreen all over the towels because the chemicals in the sunscreen turn our towels florescent yellow. Of course we clean our towels and have tried everything to get these stains out, but it is impossible. I believe it is some sort of chemical reaction with our water. We provide special cloths for people to use if they need to wipe sunscreen, as this is the only solution we can think of to this problem.

Again, sorry you did not like Panamint Springs Resort. Many people do enjoy staying here compared to the other motels in Death Valley for varying reasons. The location is actually appealing to many people who prefer to stay in the Panamint Valley, away from the more crowded areas of the park. Many people also appreciate our laid back atmosphere and rustic, quirky accommodations. However our accommodations are not for everybody. We are straight forward about what Panamint Springs is like and what we offer. I'm sorry that you feel you have to insult people and leave hurtful notes for the hardworking housekeepers that cleaned up after you. You said in the note that you left in the room that the room was clean but the housekeeper did not deserve a tip because the room was too expensive. Would you do the same thing to a waitress who gave you good service if you ate at a restaurant that you feel is too expensive?

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Additional Information about Panamint Springs Resort

Address: 40440 Highway 190, 32 Miles West of Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328
Location: United States > California > Death Valley National Park
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Death Valley National Park
Price Range: $28 - $109 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Panamint Springs Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Panamint Springs is a small western-style resort seated in the beautiful Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park. Marvelous views of distant sand dunes and the soaring 11,000' Panamint Mountains complete the setting for leisure dining and relaxation. Panamint Springs offers 14 motel rooms & 1 cottage, restaurant, campgrounds, RV park, gas station, and mini-mart. Our motel rooms are very basic, but clean. Our rooms are cooled with an evaporative cooling system. Some units offer their own A/C window unit in addition to this. We are pet friendly, however additional fees apply. If you are planning on doing some exploring, you'll find that Panamint Springs makes a great base camp for neighboring ghost towns, abandoned mines, and even desert waterfalls. Great for 4-wheel drive exploring, hiking, biking, or just relaxing! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Panamint Springs Hotel Death Valley National Park
Hotel Panamint Springs

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