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“So relaxing and beautiful!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Westin Desert Willow Villas

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The Westin Desert Willow Villas
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“So relaxing and beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

This was our 3rd or 4th time at Dessert Willows. My husband and I go there to relax, rejuvenate, and write. We spend mornings writing, so we're in the villa with great views and comfy interior space. Then afternoons are for playing — catching up on movies we never get to at home (several great theaters within 10min drive and free parking!) and trying local restaurants, some of which we've grown to love. (We're not golfers, although I hear it's perfect for that!)

When we drove onto the property, It felt so good. We were immediately relaxed and at home. The place looks beautiful! The desert plantings are gorgeous, the our view overlooking the golf course was lovely, and surrounding mountains everywhere you look are breathtaking. We wondered what they would like capped in snow. Another trip?

Since the people at a place can make a beautiful property seem exquisite, or, well you know... flat and uninviting, I'd like to mention some of the people who made this trip so delicious and restorative.

First is the GM there, Jim Moran. Wow. He is an amazing human being. Attentive, responsive, warm, welcoming. We got to spend some time with him and just love it — and him! We had such a wonderful conversation, we came away feeling energized and engaged, and inspired about how deeply and personally he cares about the our and other guests' experience and also his staff and the owners (it's a starwood vacation ownership property). It's obvious meeting Jim that he contributes greatly to the overall sense of warmth — and I'm not talking about the outside temperatures!

Every trip since the first one, we look forward to seeing Bernie out front and HOPE we arrive on a day he's working! He is superb as a host and guide, and a perfect spokesperson for the heart and generosity of the place. Every time we see him, we feel safe and at home in ways that are impossible to really put into words. On one day, we asked him if he knew of any other rooms we might enjoy since there are new buildings now. He drove us around and pointed us to other locations he knew we would like given the location we had already fallen in love with. His familiarity with the property and with us made us feel so excited about our next trip. We also saw how kind and generous he is with other guests, greeting them joyfully and offering rides (we had room!).

An unexpected highlight was Roy in engineering. He was in the villa to change the air filter one day, and we mentioned a few things that needed fixing. I'm sure he had a lot to do, since he was doing all the air filters on the property, but he immediately and happily took care of the issues that were important to us on our stay and made note of one thing that could wait until after we were gone. But it wasn't just that he fixed these things, it was how delightful he was and willing to help. We felt totally taken care of and know exactly who to ask for if something in the unit needs attention.

Marilyn at the concierge desk recognized us from before, which is always nice, and she was particularly helpful with suggestions, and often followed up to ask about our experience so she could make even better suggestions in the future. She's knowledgable and fun!

Eileen, the manager of the Agave (the cafe on the property), stopped by our table to check in about a small difficulty we were having with our order. We hadn't ask for her, but she came out to make sure we were happy and satisfied. She listened carefully, and it was a delightful conversation. She also made sure our meal was delivered properly and promptly, all of which and made a wonderful impression on us. Plus that meal was fantastic. Their homemade potato chips are amazing!

All the people at the front desk are always superb. Whoever manages that group deserves major kudos. On this trip, one personal stood out — Belinda. She was helpful, attentive, and graciousness. We felt personally understood by her, and thought it wonderful and appropriate that her passion was "poetry." (Everyone's nametag says: My passion is ....").

Two stand-out people at Mission Hills (another Starwood property in the area) need to be mentioned, both on the wait-staff at Pinzimini — Jose Luis and Enrique. Both of them were so spectacular handling our special food needs that we sent a note to their manager afterwards. They also made us feel at home and special, and really paid attention to our preferences. Actually, we went back to that restaurant a second time because of our experience with them.

We didn't use any of the pools (not our thing) but it sure looked like people were having fun.

Room Tip: We like a room up high and overlooking lots of green (ie: golf course) but that can also be noisy wi...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paige M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayron G, Operations Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
Hello--
PaigeM, Your kind comments are greatly appreciated. Customer care is amongst our highest priorities and it is always gratifying to receive such praise. I have brought your comments to the attention of our GM and and the staff mentioned. We are grateful for your support over the years and do sincerely hope that we may continue to have the pleasure of your company in the future.
Bayron Garcia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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827 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
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English first
Sacramento, California, USA
Level Contributor
102 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in bldg 18 on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool. We came on a special offer. We listened to the Starwood Vacation presentation and declined.
Staff was great.
Villa was spotless, enjoyed the patio. Didn't or drink at the Villas.
I object to the $7 a night parking fee at a place sort that considers itself top shelf.
No grocery storage in the kitchen other than the refrig and table. Must be a design problem that maybe could be fixed by a shelf or cabinet over the table.
$18 for water aerobics means $36 for my wife and I, Outrageous.
I'd stay here again as we did this time as a base in Palm Desert.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, November 29, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for staying at the Westin Desert Willow Villas during you time in Palm Desert. The staff will appreciate your positve comments regarding their service. We do have a parking fee for all guests not using their ownership. If your travels bring you back to the Valley, we hope to be your location of choice.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rochester, ny
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights the first week in November. Overall I would rate this at 4.5 stars and they only reason it didn't get 5 stars was because they charge $15 dollars a day for parking when there is clearly no shortage of parking. Also when we were there, there was a camper/RV type vehicle parked in a parking spot with people clearly staying in there ( sleeping in the parking lot). Overall checking was very easy. Although I still have to contact Starwood to see why this stay did not qualify for my points. They offer a gift card/ round of golf if you go to their presentation on property vacation packages. The property seemed very secure. Room was nice. Full kitchen with dishes/ports/ pans/ fridge/ dishwasher/ etc. Living room, dining room table and a nice size bedroom. Bathroom has a standup shower and jacuzzi tub. Back porch in nicely secluded, although you can still hear neighbors loud and clear on the porch. It seems like a good place for families or for couples looking for a nice weekend away.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank loverlylyllah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, November 29, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for the feedback regarding your experience at Westin Desert Willow. It was great to know that the accommodations met your needs. We do have a parking fee for all guests not using their ownership. We hope to be your families location for future visits.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

We received a promotional offer for a 4-night stay at the Westin Desert Willows. Upon arrival we had a brief(10 minute) meeting with the concierge who gave us a welcome packet and explained how the SPG vacation program works. She also gave us a $75 Visa gift card. They asked if we would be interested in attending a 90 minute presentation on their program. In exchange for attending, we'd get an additional $125 on the Visa card and something like 15,000 SPG points. When we declined, there was no pressure. They were respectful and said if we changed our mind, we could let them know. As far as the resort, we stayed in one of the newer buildings(#4) on the first floor. We were near the outdoor grills which was nice since we used them everyday. Building 4 is about a 5 minute walk to the main pool area/tennis courts/fitness center. If you call, they will pick you up in a golf cart and take you anywhere on the property. There is another pool area right behind bldg 4. We found it very nice. Also has beverage/snack service. About the only negative thing I could say is that a couple days the housekeeping staff didn't check our room and change towels etc. I don't know if they do that everyday for all guests. If you have a car, downtown Palm Springs is about a 25 minute drive. There is a local shopping area within 5 minutes. Palm Desert is VERY easy to get around in. The property is right on a golf course. Unfortunately, I was not able to play(surgery recovery) but I visited the course and thought it looked great. Gives me reason to return!!!!

Room Tip: First floor rooms have walk out from bedroom to a patio with table/chairs. Upper rooms have balconys...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MnGoph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, November 29, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for selecting our resort for your long weekend. We were excited to hear that you may return in the future. The staff will be excited to know that your experience was a positive one. We hope you can return and play some rounds on the golf course next time!

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dedham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

I have stayed at many Starwood properties and I must say from the concierge (Lupe) To the service at pool and just the friendliness of all the employees. It was the best We needed extra towels no problem extra shampoo done. Also issue with our TV fixed when we returned Location is also great 10 mins from most places to eat. Cleanliness was spotless inside and out. We were in brand new building #18. Which is away from the main bldg but have separate pool in back. View of golf and pool. Asked for highest level. Got top floor. One thing I do miss is there is no hotel on this property so there is no spa or nightlife at all. Other than that was very pleased with visit.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wpunch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear guest, we appreciate you as patronage and hope your can come again. We will be sure to inform Lupe and the pool team of your comments on friendliness. Thank you for staying with us.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tustin, California
Level Contributor
118 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013

If you have small children you may want to stay elsewhere. We have two children (7 weeks and 3 years) and have been regulars here for the past 3 years. We had been told many times that the new pool would be perfect for small children and were anxiously awaiting the opening. Well that time has now come and let me tell you that the new kids pool (Palo Verde) isn't exactly "kid" friendly. While it is zero entry there is nothing to entertain a child like you would expect from the other Westin Villa properties. There is not one water feature, slide or anything you could find at other Westin Villas or local resort. Don't expect to be able to purchase sun screen, water toys or ice cream either. Instead of finding creative ways to boost revenue they decided to sell over priced microwaved food and cocktails. Imagine my surprise when I found out I paid $8.00 for a 6" over microwaved pizza for my 3 year that she wouldn't even finsish. I think they really missed the mark here....

However if you are empty nesters or want a weekend away from the kids there is no place better. Feel free to sit by the pool and fire up a cigarette or two while enjoying a signature Westin cocktail with the other adults surrounding the kiddie pool.

As for us we will be selling the weeks we own here and we will be reinvesting somewhere else where we and our small children can feel more welcome.

Room Tip: Any upper floor.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank greggfi626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. I apologize for the service issues that you encountered during your stay. We will definitely use this as an opportunity to learn and improve our service to our guests. We are looking into an area where we could possibly place a playground set for our younger guests in future phases. It is disappointing to us as well when our team doesn’t perform as it should when delivering service to our guests. If I can ever be of assistance in the future please let me know. Thank you again.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2013

Went back to Desert Willow 15 months after our first visit and were just as impressed as we were the first time there. Was nice to visit during another season to experience the change in weather but nothing about the resort has changed, perhaps only gotten better. We requested and were able to stay in the newest building (#18) which shares a new pool and hot tub with one other building (although it's accessible and usable by anyone staying at the resort) and which we used quite a lot.

Service and friendliness were great as we remembered. The amazing Joe is still the bartender and we hope he never leaves! As I said in my first review, his martini class is a blast and we took it again and he made it new all over again. Happy hour food and drinks in the bar are a bargain and we indulged on several evenings.

All in all a great experience and I would highly recommend this facility to anyone visiting the area.

Room Tip: Not sure there is a bad room throughout the resort but we generally opt for the newer construction i...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gabuddah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jackson2180, Manager at The Westin Desert Willow Villas, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Dear guest, we were excited to hear that you were able to return for another visit. It was nice to know Joe is continuing to make lasting impressions with our guests. The will be pleased to hear your comments on service and friendliness. Thank you for taking the time and we hope your 3rd visit is just as positive as your previous two.

Warren Jerome

Director of Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Westin Desert Willow Villas

Property: The Westin Desert Willow Villas
Address: 75 Willow Rdg, Palm Desert, CA 92260-0305
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Palm Desert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
#2 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
#5 Business Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Desert Willow Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 314
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A villa resort offering just-like-home amenities in a world class destination. The Westin Desert Willow features villas up to 1,420 square feet with fully equipped kitchens, private balconies or patios, washers and dryers, separate living and dining room areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Experience the value of a villa and enjoy no resort fees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westin Desert Willow Villas Hotel Palm Desert

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