In Palm Desert, two hours east of downtown Los Angeles, the 884-room JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa completed in early December a $50 million renovation, its largest upgrade since the 450-acre property opened in 1987.
Each of the 884 guest rooms were stripped bare to receive new wallpaper, furnishings, and carpet, and to expand the bathrooms, which will now offer not just larger showers but also bulk amenities and hydration stations to eliminate plastic waste. Further, there are now 101 more suites; the new Griffin Suite category features a king bed with a separate tub and rain-style shower, hardwood and carpet flooring, and mountain views. And for small groups, the 1,768-square-foot Chairman’s Suite has plush living room seating, a formal dining area, private service entry to the kitchenette, and a 350-square-foot balcony overlooking the resort’s 18-acre lake.
The property’s 234,000 square feet of meeting and event space now features mid-century modernist design, while various shades of blue adorn the Sinatra Ballroom to honor frequent Palm Springs visitor Frank Sinatra. A dozen outdoor venues are available for breakout sessions; some are patio spaces that are newly resurfaced, while others are graded lawns. In all, the 37 indoor meeting rooms and the 12 outdoor spaces can accommodate a 3,000-person meeting.
The largest informal gathering space on the property is the multi-story atrium lobby, which now has water displays at the entry, artistic installations throughout, and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall at the far end that looks across the resort’s Venetian-style waterways to the Santa Rosa mountains. The lobby offers classic arcade games and a JW Activity Table to promote interaction, while the space can also transform into a group workspace or reception area around the centrally located bar and lounge.
Banquet dining has been refined, featuring diverse recipes using sustainably sourced “unconventional” protein and “alternative” seafood, imperfect produce that reduces waste, and untraditional food stations such as food trucks and mobile pizza ovens.
To support the growing interest in attendee health and wellness, an on-site nutritionist and fitness director now team up to host wellness workshops and active team-building sessions. The property also has a 38,000-square-foot spa with 48 treatment rooms, and two 18-hole golf courses.