Poolside in Palm Desert
As a planner I know after a long successful meeting the best place for planners, organizers and attendees to spend time is the resort spa. The 38,000-sf destination spa at JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert does an excellent job at that. With 47 treatment rooms it can be arranged so that different groups might not even bump into each other. The Sanctuary Suite, with a private entry accommodates eight very comfortably, and often books 10, as a private oasis. There are two connecting treatment rooms, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, and a private garden with whirlpool and private dining area overlooking the beautifully landscaped golf course and mountain ranges on the horizon.
For a phenomenal respite from the dry desert air, book an aromatherapy treatment consisting of oodles of essential oils soaking into the pores of your dry thirsty skin and brittle follicles of your hair. Lying still while a slow continuous drip of warm herbal oil streams down the tip of your forehead onto your hair is a strange yet soothing experience.
The co-ed lounging area can be transformed into a private chic evening reception spot. Hanging from the ceiling, shear sheets of chiffon dangle and dance with the desert breeze. Leave the lounges in for more intimate groups. Take them away, open the doors and there’s room for 200-250 including the outdoor patio surrounding the saltwater lap pool.
Spa director Dawn Ferraro opened the spa, and she has worked with Marriott Spas for over 15 years. She is your main contact for helping create customized spa programs, and her staff is superb.
Our space-intensive meeting, requiring 28 breakouts with several flips, general sessions and sit down meal functions for 275, was orchestrated without a hitch. Kudos to meeting planner extraordinaire, Kim Ellis, for her expertise in contract negotiations along with the resorts dynamite team, headed by the new, earnest and hospitable GM, Ralph Scatina.
As a planner, I am always encouraged when the GM is visible and accessible, and this GM is at the top of the charts. Another added bonus for planners is the daily afternoon concierge break brought to the meeting planner’s office. We devoured delectable treats from cookies and hot cocoa to sensational sushi each day, including our setup and takedown days. Taking care of the meeting planners through the long days and nights is high on the hotel’s special services list. Nice job, JW Marriott Desert Springs!
Before the sun had awakened each day, we invited our attendees to an outdoor early morning breakfast showcasing the breathtaking dark starlit sky with the moon cascading over the Santa Rosa Mountains. And yes, Ralph was there to greet us with the prompt and proficient hotel staff.
A $30 million renovation completed in 2012 touched on all 833 guest rooms and 51 suites, two new restaurants and the Palm and Valley golf courses. Check out the new golf carts with state-of-the-art navigational and computing systems.
Total indoor/outdoor flex event space at JW Marriott Desert Springs is 201,000 sf.