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“Derelict Property, Self-everything "hotel" with no amenities or perks.”

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Palms at Indian Head
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 31, 2013

This place is basically a scam. I've been to some pretty bad hotels, but this one takes the cake. I've stayed in better hotels in the middle of nowhere in Burma where there are power outages and limited running water, but at least there are people in the hotel. Here, nobody. My girlfriend and I stayed here for one night in late July 2013 for $160, and it was horrible. I would not go here if someone payed me $160.
We got there a little late at 6 pm and there was nobody at the front desk, nobody in the lobby, and nobody in the restaurant. We were the only people in the entire "hotel." It was utterly deserted and spooky. There was a folder with our room information, keys and treasure hunt like directions to finding our so-called casita, which was a room in a unit, not an independent "casita". Just to begin, the floors were dusty since the doors are not entirely sealed. There were two beetles in the room. We turned on the central air conditioning, which was feeble and noisy, definitely not enough to cool down a room. Then we found that the shower didn't work. Warm water ran from the bath faucet, but when I switched to the shower, I got nothing. Not a drip. After fussing with it for a minute, I got a dribble. So I thought I would see if I could call the front desk in case someone was there, but there was no phone in the room. At this point we were thirsty, dirty, hot, and tired. At least we could jump in the pool? No, the surface was covered with bugs and various plants. I remembered reading on the website that there was ice. So I took my ice bucket to the lobby and looked for an ice machine. What I got was a cooler with a half inch of slushy water on the bottom. No ice. It's a good thing we brought cold water because the fridge was not cold at all.
We began to feel very unsafe in this place. There were no dead bolts on the locks, and the doors to our room were conventional locks, not electronic ones. Since there was no security guard, anybody with a picklock could have come in and entered our room, or any room for that matter. So for the night we put chairs against the doors just in case. The next morning we went to have breakfast and had our first sight of a person, who was nice enough and gave us our breakfast, which was okay. I checked for ice, still nothing. So we packed our bags and went over to La Casa del Zorro, which was like a heaven to this particular hell.

I get it...it's the desert and nobody wants to work during the summer hours. That being said, it's still the desert. People need air conditioning and ice and showers and if you can't deliver the basic necessities of being in the desert, then close up shop.

I would not recommend this place to anyone and I would warn people with families not to stay here as there is nobody to help you if you need something. Go to La Casa instead and have a great stay there.

Room Tip: casitas are not independent houses all to yourself, so if you want to come here, don't bother wi...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank J G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackpotJack, Owner at Palms at Indian Head, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2013

We are not a scam; we take our business very seriously.

Glad to hear that your breakfast was acceptable. Our property as you can tell from other reviews is not for everyone. Our regular guests look forward to getting the property to themselves and enjoying the peace and quiet that few places still offer. That quiet results in an abundance of wildlife that inhabits our property. In the evening, guests are treated to exceptionally dark skies with the Milky Way visible almost every night.

During the summer, the Hotel is staffed daily from 7:30 am until 10 pm. If you were having problems with check-in, air-conditioning or having shower head issues why did you not go to the restaurant (60 feet from the front desk) as the sign on the front desk next to the after hours courtesy phone suggests you do? The bartender or server would have been more than happy to assist and even get you ice, as opposed to having you cower in your room.

I personally inspected your room and found no problem whatsoever with your air-conditioning or showerhead. There were six very cold soda’s in your refrigerator and 2 liters of bottled water on the wet bar counter. Phone cell service fully available. But that is not really what this is all about.

Our guests embrace the uniqueness that the desert, and our property in particular, have to offer. They don’t freak out about a few bugs or 2 beetles. They don’t cower in their room.

We are certainly not a scam, although we think your review is. This is exactly what is wrong with TripAdvisor.

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54 - 60 of 151 reviews

Reviewed June 27, 2013

I have stayed at the Palms twice. It is quiet, relaxing, and remote with a friendly staff. I found it to be very reasonably priced. If you want a desert visit without the hundreds of thousands of tourists like Palm Springs I recommend this hotel. There is live music in town a few minutes away. The desert hiking is also excellent.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room with a view of the pool, one that isn't blocked by the outside deck on...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WilliamNe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2013

On our route from San Diego to San Francisco, we took a side trip to Anza-Borrego desert and spent two nights at The Palms. So glad we found that gem right in the middle of nowhere! We stayed at one of the casitas with direct access to the huge pool. The casita itself was in top-notch shape - nice bathroom, fully equipped kitchenette, cosy bed. We spent hours at the pool, just hanging out and inhaling the unique, peaceful atmosphere, the palms, the heat, the sun and the special, elegantly weathered aura of the hotel. Every now and then, we thought "Alright, that's how it must have been in the 50s". Great experience - we're definitely planning to come back some time. And when in Borrego Springs, you HAVE to try the spare ribs at Carlee's!

Room Tip: Try to get one of the Casitas!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BjoernAhrens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackpotJack, Owner at Palms at Indian Head, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2013

We are very glad you found us. We are a bit off "the beaten path". Thank you for your review, it is great to hear that your stay with us was a special experience. We endeavor to keep the feeling of the 50's, a simpler time, alive at the Palms. We look forward to your next visit.

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Reviewed May 8, 2013

We have stayed various places in Borrego Springs but enjoyed this the most. It is not a full service resort -but we didn't expect that. It is a lovely and gracious Inn with a ghostly glamorous past. The restaurant was wonderful-the breakfast which was included with the room, was unbelievably good. We did use the pool and the jacuzzi and enjoyed them both. The location is so lovely that it defines the whole experience-it is quiet and peaceful and awesome. The staff were extremely nice and welcoming. We absolutely will be back!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SandJT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackpotJack, Owner at Palms at Indian Head, responded to this reviewResponded May 11, 2013

Thank you for your glowing review! Our staff works very hard to accommodate your every need. I'm truly happy to hear you enjoyed the ambiance of our hotel and property. We look forward to exceeding your expectations on your next visit. Thanks again for your review!

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Reviewed April 22, 2013

We visit Borrego twice a year, this was our first stay at this hotel. Overall, I was disappointed and at times shocked by the condition of this property. First, let me say that the lobby and restaurant are nicely appointed and clean. The food was excellent and both the dining room and patio had a relaxing ambiance. We stayed in a casita near the pool which was large and private, loved the room. The pool is in need of repair, with pieces of plaster that are missing. When I turned on the jacuzzi and walked in the odor of the water was foul and dirt and debris covered my legs! We walked around the property and were shocked by the piling of items behind the kitchen and hotel, it looked like a junk yard, I would not want to stay in one of the rooms with this view. As we continued our walk we found pieces of rusted pipe sticking out of the ground, a large pile of discarded pond fronds from the palm trees, a decaying tennis court, dilapidated old bungalows that have been there for years!. We will not be going back!

Room Tip: Definitely stay in a casita, lovely with a fire place, fridge, microwave.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank healinglinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackpotJack, Owner at Palms at Indian Head, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

I'm so glad your room and the restaurant experience met your expectations. As for the grounds and pool, I am making it a #1 priority to clean and keep up with the debris caused by the wind storms. Most items piled in the back of the hotel are needed for the construction being done on the side of the restaurant . Regarding the ruins: Ours is a historical site and we have had previous guests walk through remembering times they have stayed in these bungalows as children. It's a look into the past which brings character to our hotel. I do hope you reconsider a second stay with us . We would love to have your company again.

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

It's a few years now that we visit regularly the Palms in Borrego Springs during March and stay a few days... it's that time of year when the cactuses and Ocotillos are blooming, and Borrego Springs is a perfect base for wonderful hiking excursions in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park area and surroundings. The Inn is located in quiet area of town, off a side road near the park visitor center and almost leaning against the mountain, with beautiful views of the valley. The upstairs rooms are nice and spacious, nothing fancy but all the basics are there (ac, frig, cable etc). The Palms is surrounded (as the name implies!) by many tall fan palms, and overlooks a large (olympic size) pool which is normally not heated, and a smaller heated spa.The place itself still carries a distinct charm from the 50' and 60's, when many Hollywood actors would come here to unwind. Downstairs there is a nice lounge with plenty of comfortable seating space, both inside and outside overlooking the pool and the valley. Our only minor issue was with the included breakfast and that hideous coffee they choose to serve. In our opinion, and given the price for the rooms, they could invest in a more drinkable variety! The rest of the breakfast we had was somewhere between bland and a bit greasy. A pity, given the nice location. Even though they offer dinners there as well, in the end we preferred to eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Wayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackpotJack, Owner at Palms at Indian Head, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

A little constructive criticism can be helpful. Our goal is to make your stay here as happy and fulfilling as possible. We do grind our own coffee beans but just recently our coffee maker was not brewing properly. That could be the reason for the unpleasant coffee. We have fixed the coffee maker and it is brewing a tasty, robust blend once more.

As for the food you had here, I am sorry it did not meet your expectations. Generally our chefs get glowing reviews and we hope you give our restaurant another try.

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Reviewed April 6, 2013

Wonderful weekend at a very funky style hotel. Rooms are large and clean. Great breakfasts served. Fab hiking trails near by, and take an afternoon to explore all of the wonderful metal sculptures in the desert.

Room Tip: Get a view of the pool or one of the cabana rooms
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank annadraper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palms at Indian Head

Address: 2220 Hoberg Road, PO Box 525, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Borrego Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Borrego Springs
Price Range: $137 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Palms at Indian Head 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Palms at Indian head is a beautiful hotel at an unsurpassed location. We have a level of privacy and personalized service that cannot be compared with any other hotel. Our property is quiet with outstanding views and off the beaten path. We have a unique setting with 12 rooms and a mid-century modern architecture built on its own twenty acres of natural desert land. Our Hotel is complete with a large Olympic-size pool, oversized Jacuzzi and spacious patio area. $10 off breakfast per person at the Red Ocotillo restaurant off Christmas Circle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palms At Indian Head Desert Hotel Borrego Springs

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