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“Perfect in Palm Desert”
Review of Embarc Palm Desert

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Embarc Palm Desert
Ranked #9 of 23 Hotels in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 4, 2011

We are Intrawest members and August 2009 (not 2011) was our first visit to Palm Desert. We stayed in a 2nd floor, 1 bedroomed self-catering apartment with outside patio over looking the adult pool at Palm Desert for 7 days. The apt was clean, comfortable and very well maintained; as was the entire resort. The grounds & landscaped grounds gardens were beautiful. The front desk staff were very helpful and knowledgeable about the local area and attractions and we did day-trips early in the day to explore the area and shop. We spent every afternoon at the adult 'refrigerated' pool. Yes, ...the pool had a cooler which keep the water nice and cool and refreshing in the 114' F heat. After the first day, we wore wide brim hats in the pool so we wouldn't sunburn our faces & heads. We used the gas BBQ area on 3 different occassions. It had lights for evening BBQ-ing and a seating area plus was well maintained and clean. As the supermarket was only 2 or 3 minutes away, we found it easier to pick up fresh fruit, vegetables and bread, etc. each day on the way back to the resort. We took our own cooler with ice from the insuite ice-machine to the pool each day using the plastic cups provided. While very hot in August, the air conditioning in our unit worked very well. The wild rabbits were huge & road-runners fast ...and a constant source of entertainment. We are looking forward to returning again soon.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kmaccoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 - 218 of 250 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2011

We had a fabulous time at this hotel. We enjoyed the pool area so much it was hard to tear ourselves away and go exploring. Staff that we had contact with were very friendly. We loved our room which was a two bedroom suite, it was so spacious the children spent a lot of time playing hide and seek. The pool area near our room was nice too and lots of families ended up sat around chatting in the pool and hot tub. We did have a really early alarm clock wake up in the kids room from the previous guests but it taught me to always check the alarms in the room because it may not be done for you. One thing that would have made it perfect for us would have been a bar at the main pool area. My son loved the arcade and my daughter loved the kiddie pool.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank EMUP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2011

I have been going here the last five Summers with my family, and have a lot of good memories here. The grounds are beautiful, I love the ducks, rabbits, hummingbirds and other wildlife you see here. The rooms, are cool, spacious and shady. Patios off your unit are nice to relax on when the sun goes down. Beds are okay, but we always bring our own sheets (their bedding is not what most 4 or 5 star hotels would have). Ground units near the family pool have been very enjoyable and relaxing.

The last time we checked in however, we had a horrible experience. Not only when we checked in very late and were given the room key, could we not unlock the door to our unit (which means a drive back to the club house for another room key, then again when the second one didn't work)... then when they finally sent out a handyman with us to open the room, it turned out to be occupied. He quietly tiptoed out and closed and locked the door behind him. Poor guy was as shocked as we were. Apparently the couple was only supposed to be in the lock-off, but went into the main unit. I like how they (Mr. front desk guy) tried to blame the guests, instead of their own staff who obviously didn't prepare the room correctly... what's with that?

Because the ground floor unit we had requested was now 'occupied', they could only give us a room that night on an upper floor (stairs with kids and bags and no direct access to the pool). It had a tub in the middle of the bedroom (not what I want for a family vacation) and an outdoor shower on the patio. The indoor shower didn't work properly and had scalding water (with no temperature control). When it is past midnight with two little kids in tow, the last thing we needed is this gong-show of a check in and a sub-par room. I also didn't want to take advantage of their offer to clean the room we were supposed to get (kicking the couple back into their side of the suite), and move the next day. Too much upheaval for us and the other couple.

The sun came up each morning to fill the master bedroom with light and heat (there are no curtains, just blinds), and I realized that the other rooms I had been in always had the master on the front or would get the evening sun. There would be no sleeping in past 6 am in this room. There are a lot of units over the large complex, and obviously some of them are situated better than others. We were nowhere near the family pool, so we could enjoy scorching ourselves on the walk to the pool with the kids. It was a real 'trip' to get to the pool, instead of just running out the patio door to the pool, and returning for a drink whenever the kids wanted. You can call the front desk to send out a golf cart & driver (to get you to the pool), but it is very inconvenient.

In conclusion, because this is a time-share you can only 'request' rooms and nothing is guaranteed. I don't know if I can vacation like this anymore -- as at least if I book into a resort, what I pay guarantees my room type and often the location too. Some of the rooms are fantastic, but I can see how someone can be unimpressed by a stay here. If this was my first experience here I would have never returned.

Meh. Double meh.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank epicureangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We stayed in a 2 bedroomed self catering apartment at Palm Desert which was perfect. The accomodation was very clean and comfortable and the landscaped gardens were beautifully maintained. The staff were very helpful and knowledgeable about the local area and attractions, recommending appropriate activities for us as a family. On site cinema was fun with 'premiere seats' at the back. The selection of pools was good and scattered around the complex. Each garden area had a gas BBQ area which was well used and cleaned meticulously each morning.
No site shop or bar available but supermarket across the road. It is worthwhile getting the loyality card for the supermarket as it gave immediate discounts.
Guests were encourage to bring their own drinks to the pool area and plastic cups were provided.
Very hot in August - 117 F but we escaped to the nearby San Jacinto National Park which is accessed via a cable car and was 30 degrees cooler.
The wild rabbits which lived in the grounds where a source of fascination for our youngest child and humming birds were frequently seen in the garden.
Club Intrawest is a timeshare resort but no attempt was made to sell us timeshare during our 6 day stay.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Happytraveller15001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

This is our 3rd year at this resort. Our kids know it and love it and can't wait to get there every summer. We go in June and July. The resort is smaller than most timeshare resorts and feels private and intimate. During the day, we mostly have the pool to ourselves. The bbq is kept extremely clean. The rooms are so uniquely decorated. We think of it as our own secret getaway. The only thing to make it better is if they had a few organized activities for kids. Ralph's is within walking distance for groceries.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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2  Thank LTsandiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Second time to Club Intrawest Palm Desert. If you are looking for a relaxing place to go this is it. Very well equipped kitchens in the one bedroom and larger units. This time we stayed in a studio, last time was a 2 bedroom unit. The studio units have basic supplies, fridge, microwave, etc. We found our fridge a little loud, being that it is in the same room you sleep in. Bathroom had a shower on one side, sink area in the middle with a seperate toilet area with a door on the other side. The unit had a beautiful patio area with a gas fireplace outside. We were visited daily by a curious road runner that started taking crackers from our hands by the end of the stay. The grounds are beautiful. Very much the desert theme with many local plants, palms, etc. It is located right on a golf course as well. Although we didn't golf, the course looked to be in very good shape. The pool area we used the first time there was very family friendly. This time we used the adult pool which was much quieter. The hot tubs were nice as the weather was a little cool at the time.
Very close to the resort(you can walk to it) is a large Ralphs grocery store. Being from Canada where we pay much for our drink, I must say they have a very large and reasonably priced liquor area. Also well stocked in all kinds of fresh produce, meats, cheeses etc. Tip: Get a free Ralphs card and save big time!
All in all we love going to Palm Desert and Club Intrawest never disappoints!

Room Tip: Look to get at least a one bedroom.
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  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank solsearch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2011

Our family of four (2 adults and 2 children) loved this club. It was very quiet and peaceful. Seemed like we had the place to ourselves but we knew there were others there. Very secluded and yet close to so much. Staff always greeted us with a warm hello and were always helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank weetravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embarc Palm Desert

Address: 1 Willow Rdg, Palm Desert, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92260-0619 (Formerly Club Intrawest - Palm Desert)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Palm Desert
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
#5 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range: $177 - $524 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Embarc Palm Desert 4.5*
Number of rooms: 65
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Also Known As:
Club Intrawest - Palm Desert Hotel Palm Desert
Hotel Intrawest Palm Desert
Intrawest Palm Desert

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