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.
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.
- 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