The last time I was in Palm Springs, I lost my voice. Well, to be exact, I lost it in the Coachella Valley screaming along to the Rolling Stones at the Desert Trip event in October.
It’s the second time this year that I’ve stayed in Palm Springs while attending a musical festival nearby. Other than that, my jaunts in the desert have been a quick weekend getaway either spent lolling by the pool at the Ace Hotel or at an Airbnb with friends, with the occasional venture to a restaurant or a bar in town.
So when I was invited to go on a three-day road-trip this month I went with fresh eyes. On the one hand it was a getaway designed to test-drive the new 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. On the other I was being offered a different Palm Springs experience and this is what I found:
A favorite of celebs (actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler wed there this year) The Parker is a fun mix of Bohemian quirk and old school Hollywood glamour. I’m not seduced by the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr. are reportedly fans. But the Moroccan-style décor inside my hotel suite, dotted with black and white photos of screen legends like Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich is the sort of quaint juxtaposition that I love.
The croquet lawn, the life-size chessboard and set, the meandering maze that reminded me of wandering around Hampton Court Palace in Britain were all charming.
Like most four-star hotels The Parker’s chefs can whip up fancy eats, but not every establishment can make the simple delicious. The bar’s hand cut estate made potato chips for example are moreish and are as far removed from Lay’s as you can get.
Rooms and suites range from $219 to $8,229 a night. TheParkerPalmSprings.com
I’ve never associated Palm Springs with hikes but on this trip I went on a short, guided trek of the Andreas Canyon. Roughly a 1-mile loop it’s a great option for a group of people with varying abilities. (We saw a couple with a baby and a toddler on the trail.)
About a 15-minute drive from The Parker, you’re not going to break into a sweat on this hike but it’s a feast for the eyes. The mix of vegetation alone – palm trees, cacti, lavender plants, for example – make it more than just your run-of-the-mill trek.
Try a ranger led hike to educate you on the area and the history and lifestyle of the Agua Caliente Indians who have called the Indian Canyons home for generations.
Taking a quick golf lesson at the PGA West Golf Academy was not on my bucket list but I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to test my swing.
It’s probably not the ideal setting for a beginner learning the basics, as it can be a tad overwhelming. But if you’re a golf fan who wants to brush up on his or her skills and take the game to the next level, it’s definitely worth booking a session. A private one-hour class with a “master instructor” ranges from $175 to $225.
Based in La Quinta (which is roughly a 30 to 45-minute drive from Palm Springs) golf fans can tap into their inner Tiger Woods on one of the six courses and at least pretend that they’re competing in a top tournament.
I have no idea what my next trip to Palm Springs will look like but at least I know now that if I ever get bored of lazing around the pool sipping on cocktails all day, there’s plenty more for me to see and do.
Contributed by Marissa Charles for Marissa Charles Media 001 310 463 8164