Monday, September 17, 2007
Welcome To The Parker: Part One
Several years ago, when the upscale Meridian chain purchased the hotel, the property was in need of a face lift. After months of renovations and changes, they re-opened as The Parker Palm Springs. To be quite honest the first time I visited it I was horrified by what they had done. Prior to the renovation, even though it needed to be refreshed, it was an elegant grand hotel with luxurious appointments, beautiful rose gardens and fine touches throughout. The new Parker was a throwback to the late 60's, mid 70's. At first, I just didn't get it; some of the furnishings are downright old and worn. But as it turns out, that's exactly the look they were after. Shabby-chic, 1970's glam. The crystal chandeliers were replaced by hippy-esque light fixtures, and the elegant rose gardens were nowhere in sight. Instead, The Parker is a more approachable, relaxed atmosphere. It is designed to make you feel as though you are staying at someones home. Specifically Mr & Mrs Parker, perhaps your older wealthy aunt and uncle. The hotel and its grounds are like taking a journey through time, with many pleasant surprises throughout. Although I have dined at the hotel many times, recently I spent some time at The Parker, exploring and taking photos for this blog series. Our journey into The Parker Palm Springs starts where all good stories should: at the beginning...or in this case at the entrance...
Above: The entrance sign of the Parker Palm Springs is surrounded with beautiful bouganvillia
Above: the property has a sense of arrival from when you pull into the main driveway. It feels like you have arrived at a private estate, the home of someone fabulously wealthy...
Just like on the Bravo TV show, the doormen, dressed in pink pants, are always at the ready. As my car pulled up, they opened my door and greeted me with their signature: "Welcome to the Parker". I beamed as I handed them the keys to my car. As I approached the over sized pink doors, the doors magically opened. A doorman inside was watching my approach and opened them precisely as I was within reach of the handle.
Above: This is the first view you see when you pass through the front doors. It's a 70's time warp for sure.
Above: This cozy sitting area is just inside the front door.
Four Facts on The Parker Palm Springs (from the hotel website):
1. Originally it was the Gene Autry's Melody Ranch and most recently Merv Griffin's Givenchy Resort and Spa.
2. It is situated on thirteen acres of landscaped gardens surrounded by the desert and mountains.
3. There are 144 guest rooms, including 12 very private villas, and the Gene Autry residence, a two-bedroom home, with a living room, dining room, full kitchen, two-bathrooms, extensive closet space, and an outdoor lawn area.
4. There are four clay tennis courts, two Pétanque courts (boules) and perfectly manicured croquet grounds as well.
Come back tomorrow for the second installment of this four part series on The Parker Palm Springs.
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