Park It at the Parker


Sometimes, vacations call for exploring, activity and roaming. If that is your style, flip to G Retreat to learn how to tear up Palm Springs from end to end. But if you are looking for a one-stop place to park yourself and your bags, read on for a first- hand review of how to enjoy a very long weekend at The Parker Palm Springs.The Parker Palm Springs

This location is steeped in Old Hollywood nostalgia, which is threaded throughout the desert. Founded as the Melody Ranch by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, neither Autry nor the many others who graced these lawns could have envisioned the transformation Jonathan Adler had in store. Though some of the buildings are original, they have provided the base on which to grow. The front entrance is clearly a very recent and dramatic addition. Think you hate cinder block? Think again. A two-story white wall of carved cinder blocks creates a crisp and clean aesthetic to the main entrance. Once inside the lobby, the lower ceiling, macramé owls and rattan swings snap you back into mid-century marvel.

The Parker Palm SpringsThis main building is where most of the standard rooms are located. Further out on the expansive property is where you will find the suites and freestanding homes. Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with a huge group, The Parker has accommodations that will be more than adequate.The Parker is definitely filled with personality but not necessarily attitude. Who else would name their spa in the middle of a desert, PSYC? Yes, Palm Springs Yacht Club, located just a mere 121 miles from the closest open water! More on the spa and services is detailed in G Retreat, but suffice it to say, you must treat yourself to at least one customized massage to experience this nautical- themed, country club–inspired respite in the desert.There are two pools on the property: a family pool and an adult-only pool. During our stay, the place was never overrun with children, but I think this is an excellent option for those of us who are more engaged in our books and silence than Marco Polo and cannonballs.The Parker Palm Springs

Just outside the adult pool is the deceivingly named Lemonade Stand. The name is deceptive not because lemonade isn’t served but rather the lemonade provided contains a more than healthy dose of alcohol. Think Norman Rockwell setting with French Quarter pours. Deliciously dangerous!

Perfectly situated just outside the main lobby, Norma’s is as much a restaurant as a social gathering spot. Strategically placed awnings and umbrellas provide needed shade from the hot desert sun. Yet the outside location provides ample access to the breeze and low humidity that makes year-round dining al fresco a reality. We opted to sit just adjacent to the restaurant and enjoy our first cup of coffee while admiring the orders that were coming out to the table. The waffle topped with a heaping pile of berries tasted as delicious as the presentation looked.

The Parker Palm SpringsAs the evening comes to a close, feel free to venture out on the town, but there really is no need to leave. The fine dining restaurant, Mr. Parker’s, is tucked into the belly of the main house and gives you the feeling that you are entering the private dining room of some secret society. A baby grand piano and dark wood accents only perpetuate the clubby feel. Although many in the desert flock to dine here, you have the upper hand because of the very short commute to dinner and then back to your bed afterward.

If after your meal at Mr. Parker’s, you aren’t quite ready to turn in, be sure to stop by the bar just outside. To say the property has a bar is a bit of a misnomer. Think of it as more like being at home. Use the bar as the central collection point for your cocktail and then spread out over the property and enjoy your desert-based retreat.


Story by Lynn Yeldell
Photos by Lynn Yeldell
L Style G Style – Storyteller of the Austin LBGT Community.