The JW Marriott Palm Desert is a top pick for many when considering the Palm Desert area. For me, this was my first travel review and first JW Marriott property stay. All firsts aside, It was a great stay and a beautiful property but in need of some work. Continue reading to see what’s to love and what’s not to love!
I booked my stay online directly through Marriott. I did this because this trip was also part golf outing and they have a great deal where you can get unlimited golf for the duration of your stay bundled with your room fee.
It came to $349/ night with a poolside room. $329/ night gets you a desert landscape view. The included room is a standard 1 king or 2 twin bed setup. Without the bundle, poolside is $289 and desert side is $239. If you’re even considering one game of golf, buy the package as one round of golf will run you $49-$69 a round.
I purchased my stay using my Chase Marriott Rewards Premier credit card. This gave me 6x points on my Marriott stay. My stay totaled just over $1,000 which included valet, resort fee, rooms, and food.
I earned 12,080 points for the stay. 2,400 points came from my Silver Elite status which is given to you every year by being a card holder as well as passing up on room service which gave me 500 “Green Points.”
For further discussion regarding my rewards credit cards, please see my article here.
Located in the heart of Palm Desert, the JW Marriott is well positioned and constructed beautifully to show off the stunning desert landscape in epic fashion.
Snuggled into the heart of the desert, it connects you to the local attractions of Palm Desert including Coachella Valley, over 100 local golf courses, multiple local museums, outdoor hikes, and the local outlet mall.
Fly or drive, the JW Marriott is quite accessible and well positioned.
From San Diego, it is two to two and a half hour drive depending on your location. Hop on the 15 and then get on the 79 to 371 and enjoy the scenes drive through the mountainside. It really gets fun when you descend into the desert on the 74, winding through the slopes of the mountains. Some great vista points are along the way if you have time to stop.
From Los Angeles, it is just around two hours without traffic and upwards of three hours with traffic. It is a simple drive along the 10 through the wind farms in between the mountains.
By air, you would land at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). Most major carriers fly into PSP including American, Alaska, Delta, and United. The drive from the airport to resort is only 15 miles. Ride sharing and taxi’s are present in the Desert and easy to use.
Driving into the JW Marriott, you instantly feel refreshed with the palm trees and plenty of water on the property.
Valet was quick and friendly up front. Valet was $34 daily and self park was free for hotel guests. Self park wasn’t far away so if you’re trying to save money, it’s not bad if you don’t have much luggage. Golf clubs were taken to the club house and are free to store.
The lobby is nice and open and certainly welcoming. The large windows look out onto the pool and lagoon which is refreshing to see after you get out of the heat. The hotel was renovated in 2012 and still holds its classic feel. The lobby area is nice and open for large groups who need an area to meet up.
The lobby has a full bar with multiple eating areas including bar food and appetizers with a small sushi bar. Live music is occasionally in the lobby and is a pleasant addition adding a nice atmosphere to the social area. There is also a Starbucks for your coffee fix or quick breakfast/snack.
I was able to check in through Marriott’s mobile app and it was quite simple and easy. It was nice to be able to head straight to my room and get my things dropped off. The mobile app also gives you the ability to use a mobile key. Using your phone’s bluetooth technology, you just hold your phone up to the door and you’re in. Probably the coolest feature of the room. You can also use the mobile app to chat with guest services, request room service, and make modifications to your reservation prior to arrival.
The rooms were recently renovated in 2012 for their 25th anniversary. The standard pool side room with one king or two twins was what you would expect.
The beds were very comfortable and had no issues with sleep. Power plugs were hard to find near the bed other than in the nightstand. A 32 inch screen TV with a mini fridge were in the credenza with your standard channel lineup.
The bathroom was spacious with a full bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet. The granite is a little outdated but still a nice touch.
The deck was what pulled the room together. Although it is small, it is large enough to enjoy a nice drink with a great view of the lagoon, pool, golf course, and mountains.
It is also worth noting that staring in late 2018, full room renovations will be taking place. The hotel will remain open and it is not entirely clear how service will be impeded but the new room concepts do look pretty nice.
One great perk of the JW Marriott is the wide variety of onsite amenities that come with the brand. Some of the notable amenities include a full spa, two onsite golf courses, fitness center, multiple pools, and fantastic on site restaurants.
While visiting on my trip, I was able to play both golf courses, visit the pool, and ate at one of the onsite restaurants.
The pool was very refreshing as it was 100 degrees Friday and 110 degrees on Saturday. After a long day on the course, the pool could not have been more perfect. In the middle of the day, you can expect the pool to be packed with a live DJ on site.
I was unable to visit the spa but I have heard great things about it.
Costas, the onsite club, is one of the finest in town if you’re looking to get out and have some fun at night. It is a hit of the town and can get packed on your weekend nights. Drink prices are a bit steep for what you get so be ready for that.
The JW Marriott Desert Springs is an all around great venue. For the price you pay, the wide array of amenities, level of service, and location are more than enough to enjoy your stay in Palm Desert. Next time you plan on visiting, move this Resort to the top of your list.
Book your next stay here.