Monday, September 17, 2007

Welcome To The Parker: Part One

Today is the first installment in a four part series I have put together about The Parker Palm Springs. This hotel has a quite an interesting history, but more recently has become even more famous thanks to the hit Bravo show Welcome to The Parker.

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 P├ętanque 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.
-Rick Rockhill


bunnygirl said...

Wow, that sofa looks intimidating-- like I would need to be wearing a halter-top jumpsuit and Candie's to sit on it!

Kerry and Rachel said...

Tag! You're It!
Hi Rick! I got tagged for a blogging game. I am tagging you, next. Will you play along? I hope it's not too much of a bother. Visit my blog to see the rules for the Middle Name Game.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

it is lovely! and i especially love the guys in pink pants...

smiles, bee

Lilian said...

I love this post!! I have been most intrigued by this place because of the Bravo series. I've only watched two episodes [a while ago too, and I almost do not watch TV] but I wondered what was the origin of this place, why was it so relevant for Bravo to make an entire series based on it, etc.

Something else, [I apologize for the length of my comment, but I'm very excited with your post today...] I love arquitecture as I like art; am I wrong to assume that 70's structures and furnitures are highly appreciated right now? I have seen a trend toward those lines, in general. Look forward to reading the rest of the story.

marlupe said...

this is a great post rick. i love this show and can't wait for the new season.

Lena said...

In Britain there is this fictional drama called Hotel Babylon that is based on 70's glam but knowing Parker Palm Springs is for real is almost surreal!

Only in my dreams.....breathtaking!

Anonymous said...

oooo I like this post. I want to visit this hotel even more now!

Jimmi said...

You know I wondered when you were going to venture to The Parker... I watched a few episodes on Bravo, and it seemed fun. The HR manager seems a little ruff around the edges though LOL...

Naomi said...

I haven't heard of that tv show Rick but this certainly looks like a different kind of place to visit. It reminds me of a tv series we have here called Hotel Babylon. It's based on 70's glam theme.

Canadian flake said...

wow the hotel and pics look amazing. I always find your pics terrific as I have mentioned have a great eye!!!


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