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“Hot weather but a vacation filled with enjoyment”

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Marriott's Desert Springs Villas I
Ranked #8 of 23 Hotels in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 15, 2012

We enjoyed our week at the Marriott Desert Spring Villas I (timeshare) from Sept 7-14. We don't own here but own next door at DS2. But we actually prefer DS1 over DS2 (they're larger).

The weather got to 109 the first or second day that we were there. It was a bit brutal but we kept cool by using the pools. The A/C in the villas worked great also. The temperature peaked around 3 pm, so it was still possible to do an exercise walk in the morning without much difficulty. When I would take my walk, I stopped for cold water at the check in lobby/clubhouse (and picked up my USA Today), the Palmaras pool and the Shade (activity center).

They provide free internet. It wasn't overly fast (3 Mbit download - - I checked) but that is perfectly adequate for keeping up with the news and for emails. The signal level was low but perfectly adequate. It was easy to do the initial log-on and subsequent logons happened automatically.

We stayed in a 1 BR villa and it was huge - - perhaps 1000 square feet. The LR was sunken (we were on the 2nd floor so I'm not sure if this feature is on both floors). The outside deck faced the golf course and the deck is 2 levels and huge. It came with a table for 4. The unit has a full kitchen, large refrigerator with a freezer, full stove and the full compliment of dishes, glasses and utensils. There is also a dining room with a table that seats 6. They give you a starter pack for a day's coffee and a miniature salt/pepper shaker.

Tips:
1. I requested a unit away from Cook Street to avoid some of that noise.
2. There is a quiet pool between building N and O. You can also go to the quiet pool at DS2 (See other comment below).
3. There is a free USA Today newspaper, but you need to go to the lobby to pick it up. That wasn't a problem for me.
4. You get a 20% discount on food over at the JW Marriott Hotel
5. Make sure you get the Marriott Discount Card when you check in. We used it at Papa Dan's pizza and saved 20%. It also works at a number of other restaurants. A secret tip for Morton's steakhouse - - the restaurant part is pretty expensive but they have a happy hour in the bar where they serve "Bites" - - I got a plate of four tender Filet sandwiches (small) and my wife got a plate of 3 cheeseburgers. Each plate was only $7. IIRC the happy hour continues to 6:30 and resumes sometime after 9 pm (best to check by calling of going on-line)
6. Don't stay in an efficiency and complain that you were surprised that the unit is small like a hotel room. It is the size of a hotel room. If you don't have any option but to stay in the efficiency ask for one that has been updated. Their kitchenette has better storage space above the countertop. IMHO it would be brutal to try to put 4 people in an efficiency.
7. There is a free Wine and Cheese social at the Shade at 3 pm on Fridays. We purposely arrived early for check-in - - perhaps 2 pm (normal check in is at 4 pm). The room wasn't ready (which we anticipated) so we went to the palmaras pool cantina and had lunch and a beverage. Then we attended the wine and cheese social. At about 4 pm we received a call that the room was ready. Perfect timing. The social is a fun way to meet and converse with other travelers.
8. If you're going to have food at the Cantina at the Palmaras pool, be advised that their main food (like burgers or salads) menu stops at 5 pm. and the Cantina closes at 6pm. They have a 3pm to 5pm happy hour on snacks and beverages.
9. If you are staying at the Villas I, you have priviledges to use the JW Marriott Spa, the main JW pool and the tennis courts Monday through Friday. Also, you can use any of the Villas I or Villas II pools. There are 7 separate pool areas in the villas including 2 quiet pools. The Palmaras is the largest and actually has 4 or 5 separate pools. If you are going during cool weather, they keep one pool at 87 degrees in the winter.
10. If you want to make noise at the pool and/or have active children you'll probably enjoy the Palmaras pool the best. They have some areas specifically geared towards children including a water squirter, bean bag toss, monster checkers, foosball, a 1 foot deep kiddy pool, etc. Also they have a cantina where you can get beverages and lunch. The prices were not cheap, but also they were NOT unreasonable.
11. If you find that you are missing something in your unit, don't get upset - - just pick up the phone and ask. We called for a few things and the response time was short and the Marriott people greeted us with a nice smile.
12. At "the shade" they have daily activities for kids and adults (beer tasting, wine tasting, etc.). They play movies throughout the day. They have a few PCs (in addition to the two at the clubhouse) and Wii, etc. They also rent bicycles and 2-wheeled razors (scooters) by the hour or day. Make sure to check the schedule of activities when you check in.
13. Bring your favorite seasonings for the outdoor grill.
14. There is a Ralph's grocery and a Rite Aid pharmacy on Country Club Lane, just north of the JW.

Some minor annoyances:
1. Quiet pool - - well, it is supposed to be quiet and probably usually is quiet. But some people ignore signs. There was a bachelorette party in progress on the second day we were there, complete with an enormous and powerful boom box, and a bunch of bikini-clad 20-somethings (I'm not complaining about that...) feeling the effects of the alcohol that they had drunk . So they were pretty loud and occasionally using X-rated language. We used the pool/house phone to call security. They came over and made the people quiet down. They did - - for a while. So, we then went over to the pool at the clubhouse and found it to be largely deserted and extremely quiet. The clubhouse has the added benefit that you can go to their convenience store and buy snacks and beverages.
2. Crickets - We periodically found crickets outside and (a few times) inside our unit. The bottom of my shoe quickly dispatched them. But we asked engineering to come and spray one area. They were very prompt. Depending on the season, you may find crickets - - after all, it is the desert. We're from southern California and accept this fact.

I'm hoping that you will find something useful in my review that may help to make your vacation to the DS1 be more enjoyable. If you found my review helpful, please click on the "Helpful" button below.

Room Tip: Stay away from the outside edge by Cook Street. The units by L, M, N, and O get a bit of noise from...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank BJRSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 - 311 of 436 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2012

Vacation in the desert.

The Marriott Desert Palm villas are stunning in their conception and execution. A beautiful vista in every direction--Santa Rosa--San Jacinto--San Bernardino mountains wherever you look--provides the backdrop for family fun, mostly in the pools, but also in the local environs. There is something here for everybody.

We travelled as a family of 4 and we wanted for nothing. We swam, we golfed, we shopped, we toured (go to the museum of the desert), but mostly we remained awstruck.

Bring plenty of sunscreen, no less than a thirty: the sun is relentless, and unforgiving. Drink plenty of water.

Staying at the villas brings the JW Marriott to your fingertips. We hit the pratice tee and had a ball.

Eat at the Mikado right in the hotel: a Japanese restaurant that does the teppan thing to perfection. Bring an appetite, too: the servings are very generous and cooked to perfection with flare. A decent saki menu, too. Enjoy, but bring some money. Prices are high but the quality is astounding. Don't miss the Fisherman's Landing adjacent to the pro shop, either. Great food here too, and a family oriented menu. Try the seafood tower: $70 but enough to feed everyone.

Palm Desert itself is cleverly laid out on a very comprehensible grid. Most streets bear familiar names, (Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, etc.), and they all connect very logically, joining the several desert cities that comprises the greater Palm Springs area.

If playing in the desert is appealing to you, then you must put this destination on your to-do list. If you can acclimate to an average temperature of 105 degrees F, then you are in for a treat.You can adjust to a cost comfort zone by using the local Walmart superstore and Costco creatively (we did). Nearly everything is 10 minutes away. Of course you will have a car.

Just make the whole place your own.

Travel tip: We flew from NY's JFK into LAX via JetBlue, non-stop. We rented a car, a GPS, and took the 2 1/2 hour adventure into the desert. We would have preferred flying into Palm Springs International Airport, but we could not find a flight itinerary that made sense for us. Perhaps you will find a way to do it. It will save time and gas, so long as you don't have to exchange that for ridiculous layovers and connecting flights. Good luck!

Room Tip: If you can swing it, get to the Villas II: they are even more beautiful than Villas I.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank SemioticSymphony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

We arrived late to the property and checked in with Levi at the front desk. He was super accommodating and asked all the right questions and got us the perfect villa. While we checked in we saw an award being displayed for this being "Resort of the year in 2011."
Well... They should get the award this year again.
Service is top notch from everyone. They have plenty of activities for hte entire family from kids to the elder. They have different pools throughout and the villas are spaciocious.
Great snack minimarkets and deli on-site. Great security and groundskeeping.
Awesome all-around.
We also got discounts at local stores and restaurants through the hotel.

This is a family-oriented property. Not high-end but rather for a relaxing family vacation.

Only drawbacks...
Check out is at 10AM
Pools close at 10PM.

Room Tip: All villas are good. Get a second story to enjoy great mountain sunset views.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank lalotp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We travel fairly often as husband is with airlines. Usually only to a destination once as there are so many great areas to choose. Palm Desert is so beautiful (even in heat of August) and the Desert Springs Villas 1 so grogeous. I wouldn't cll it high end. 4 star but the kids kept asking why only 4 stars? The 2 bdrm villas are exceptionally large 1650SQ Ft. Kids love having their very own section away from adults but connected by hall. Our unit this year had just as stunny view as last year. Dow the golf course to the mountains. We were happy that the membership to The main Marriott Springs Hotel has been allowed again. The tennis facilities are excellent (Top Ten in US) and the pools are fun to lounge by with the kids. Order some frothy drinks and splurge on a floaty. We didn't go to Mikado this year but last year loved taking the boat from the lobby to the restaurant. This year we simply enjoyed our villa and all of the resorts complimentary activities. It was a really relaxing stay. Thx!

Room Tip: View away from road.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed here for 5 nights using our Vacation Club points. We bought those points last Christmas. This is the first time for us to use our points. We chose this place because it costs very little to stay here. So glad we did! We booked a one bedroom villa, when we got into it, we just can't stop staying "Wow" because it's very spacious and it's been newly decorated. Very very nice. When we get out to the patio, it's facing the golf course! More wows. Everything inside our villa and throughout the resort was well maintained. We tried several pools in our resort and also phase II, even though smaller than the pool at the adjacent JW Marriott, the resort pools are all very nice and clean, much cleaner than the hotel one. We love this place and regret that I didn't plan my holiday well enough so that my family can stay in this resort longer.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank travelalotwithfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This was a very special celebration of mine and my husband's 10th aniversary .We booked a 1bdr villa and requested an early check in , i undestand they are not garanteed ,but this hotel made it obvious that they wont check you in , till check in time starts on purpose.As we arrived at noon , so the they say no rooms are ready please give it 45 min , ok we wait an hour , so i go ask again, no . they say it may be another hr . ok we wait again , hot 100% . outside and cant sit in lobby for over 2 hr . pools too full to go cool off while wait. so it is 3-15 .WTF. it is our special day we waisting in some lobby . i get a call " ohh sorry , there was a flood in the room that was getting cleaned for you , so the room will be available some time later this evening ( are you serous it already pased 3 ) so i ask isnt any other other room availble by now ? so she say oh no there wont be any other people checking out , this is your only option , i have let her know why i am here , and shouldnt they offer a free upgrade to 2 brd in cases like this ,( like all other respectfull hotels do ) she smurked like if this was a joke . so i was mad i went to complain to superviser that was at front desk , and guess what he said we have rooms availbe and gave a great view room , that the other lady ( young asian lady ) said there are no rooms at all gona be ready today.lied to me , to waiste my time and wait till proper check in time . the property and the villa are amazing , but unprofetional staff that dont know how to use their system to tell availability on room or make people sit in lobby for 3 hr when we could of been enjyoing our aniversary , ruined my whole stay. and pools are way too full to enjoy your swim . The check out time is 10-00 am , that is crazy for people that just want to come to resort for 1 night to enjoy the DAY time at resort . If they check you in at 4 pm or alter it is alreay the end of the day . And to check out at 10 am is completly redicules , You paying at least $200 a night to enjoy resort just for 1 evening ( a few hours ) is a rip off. I loved the villa ,but i will not be reutning to this hotel again , becuse of my experience. I love to travel to Palm Springs and i visit it at least 3 times a year . Next time i will be returning to La quinta Resort and club . I have been there 7 times and never have been let down like this. They always have find choices and i leave as a satisfied guest . Lat time i was there for our 5th aniversary and they brought a free champaine to the room . With out any unconvinient situation . Marriott's Desert Springs Villas I
didnt even appoligise for ther inconvinience. My suggestion is if you are going to for a 1 night get away , dont waist your money on sitting in lobies. book else where .

Room Tip: Buiding facing Jw Marriott's have the best views
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lewis40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The Villas were spacious, well maintained and nicely decorated. We had a great view of the mountains from our balcony. We enjoyed having access to the Desert Springs Resort, which was an easy walk or quick shuttle ride away. The staff was friendly and attentive. It is also conveniently located, minutes away from restaurants and shopping in the Desert Springs/Rancho Mirage area. We had a fun week there.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank FJP-TEX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Desert Springs Villas I

Address: 1091 Pinehurst Ln, Palm Desert, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92260-1636
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Desert
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Palm Desert
#4 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
#6 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range: $149 - $425 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Desert Springs Villas I 3.5*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Palm Desert serves as the exceptional setting for Marriott's Desert Springs Villas. Beautifully designed on 400 acres. Adjacent to the JW Marriott Resort & Spa. Enjoy 36 holes of manicured fairways, exquisite tennis facilities, a lavish European spa and tempting cuisine. On-site, soak up the sun and relax with 7 luxurious pools. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Desert Springs Villas i Hotel Palm Desert
Marriotts Palm Desert
Marriott Palm Desert
Palm Desert Marriotts

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