I Think They Call This “Living Your Best Life”


I didn’t have tons of expectations going into this weekend, because the sum total of the the research I did when I was contacted by a publicist asking me if I wanted to go on a press trip to Palm Springs was to say “yes,” and then go there.

But had I done the research, I would have a) been geeking out over the fact that this is the hotel from the Saved by the Bell wedding episode, and b) been even MORE excited, if such a thing is possible, because the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa is a total retro-luxe fantasyland.

jw marriot palm desert resort and spa reviewjw marriot palm desert resort and spa review

The Hotel

I feel like the only thing you really need to know here is that there are actual gondolas that float through the lobby on an actual river, and then transport you to the doorstep of whichever restaurant you’ve chosen for dinner. There is also a little hummingbird who hangs out around the 7th floor; he and I became quite good friends over the last couple of days.

On a more logistical note, the hotel is sprawling and gorgeous, with lakes and pools and golf courses and fun retro Palm Desert-y touches everywhere (midcentury-inspired furnishings, crystal waterfalls, swans, a fleet of parrots in the lobby, and so forth). I also was into the boutique situation – there’s a whole little shopping area that’s a mix of touristy offerings (which I skipped) and cute clothing shops (which I did not).

white jeans with nude heels

Me, in the bathroom at Rockwood Grill. THIS is how you do journalism, guys.

(I do have to say, though: pretty psyched about that whole look up there.)

The Restaurants

There are a whole bunch of on-site restaurants – plus a poolside grill, a candy shop, a sushi bar, and a nightclub (which I skipped for fairly obvious reasons, like sleeping) – but my favorite was Rockwood Grill: excellent American-style cuisine served waterside (we made friends with a duck).

I also tried Mikado, a communal-table-style Japanese Steakhouse, and was that weirdo wanting to hang out with the little girl seated next to me, because…I dunno, kids are fun and it appears I was missing mine a bit.

jw marriot palm desert resort and spa review

jw marriot palm desert resort and spa review

The private Sanctuary Spa Suite is INSANITY.

The Spa

Oh my GOD. The spa. I’m going to throw it out there: If any of you have a bachelorette party in your future, you need to head out to Palm Springs and book yourself the Sanctuary Spa Suite. It’s essentially a private spa-within-a-spa. If you book it, you have it all to yourself (and whoever you choose to bring with you) that you get to yourself all day long. It’s (significantly) bigger than my first apartment, and comes with both indoor and outdoor lounging areas, a outdoor hydrotherapy tub for two (and a second tub inside), a rainfall shower, a private changing area, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, and a personal butler to bring you things like champagne. (I am aware that champagne is not the ideal pre-facial beverage, but on that point I will refer you back to the title of this post, thank u.)

About that facial: I’m not entiiiiirely sure what happened, but I think a jade roller was involved, and I’m certain that I passed out fairly early on in the process. Which seems like a good sign.

rent the runway accessories earrings

#Zenface featuring the Rent the Runway earrings that I will have a very hard time giving back. (You can read my review of Rent the Runway Unlimited here.)

TL;DR: I had a pretty freaking good weekend. One regret: I sort of wish I had ventured into Palm Springs proper – I mean, it’s really right there – but the hotel made it a little difficult to want to leave. Next time.

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