JW Marriot Desert Springs, a Crowning Jewel in Coachella Valley

Most visitors to Palm Springs, California never think to venture beyond its fringes. Definitely the jewel in the crown of the famous Coachella Valley, it is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak.  If you’re on a little road trip to the California “desert” as its affectionately referred, do yourself a favor and drive the winding Highway #111 corridor from end to end. Plan a stop in the stunning village of Palm Desert and spend a weekend. As a local myself, I’ve driven by the expansive JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa many times. There were times when I stopped and showed visitors the flamingos in the long pond at the end of the flower-festooned, tree-lined driveway. Recently, I had the chance to stay there and explore the fully-loaded property. The resort is the largest in Palm Desert, located on 450 acres, nestled amidst mountains on three sides. With 884 guest rooms, including 101 luxury suites, 400 king guest rooms, and 383 queen, you’ll be hard pressed to pack up and leave.

Two Golf Courses 

Jenny Klein | Travel Squire JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa Gondola – Photo by Kathy Condon

Renowned architect Ted Robinson designed two 18-hole golf courses on the premises. They are cleverly integrated through and around the numerous buildings and villas accessible by gondola, which carry guests from the expansive main building. Leaving the lobby, the gondolas pass under bridges leading to two immense pools and float by golfers enjoying the game under the beautiful cloudless Coachella Valley skies. 

Resort Rooms

JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa View from Room Photo by Kathy Condon
Jenny Klein | Travel Squire JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa: View from my room – Photo by Kathy Condon

My 7th-floor room did not disappoint.  Stepping out onto the terrace, I marveled at the stunning view with snow-capped majestic mountains in the distance. Below, one of the restaurants was dotted with colorful umbrellas shielding guests from the blazing sun. Off to the right, a fountain and bridge graced with red geraniums on both sides led to a gigantic pool, perfect for an energizing swim. Or guests can just stretch out on one of the many lounges, and order a drink or a meal while relaxing and working on their tans.

Luxury Hotel and Family Friendly

JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa Play Area Photo by Kathy Condon
Jenny Klein | Travel Squire JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa Play Area – Photo by Kathy Condon

The entire family is welcome at this resort, including pets, who must be under 50 pounds. An additional $150 per stay, plus $20 per night, will be charged for this special amenity. 

Children will love the space to frolic in the pool and even try a round of golf on a miniature course with large balls to the right of the resort’s entrance. For the smaller ones, check out the space with the giant Legos and a rocking chair for the nanny.


The Rockwood Grill

Consider dining at the water’s edge; the Rockwood Grill is the perfect place. Here is where Chef Eric Theiss is continuously creating new menu options using local produce to prepare his elevated American cuisine. Healthy vegan offerings offer all family members something that fits their dietary plan. 

Mikado Japanese Steakhouse

The upscale Mikado Japanese Steakhouse features exotic cocktails, sushi, and a chef showing off his knife-wielding skills. His outgoing personality creates an atmosphere where conversation and laughter are part of the unique experience. 

Aquifer65 & JW Sushi Bar

Located in the Atrium, Aquifer65 & Sushi Bar is a great place with Japanese fare on offer.  Meet a friend here at one of the barista tables, then segue to a lounge sofa for relaxing.

Other restaurants dot the property. Don’t miss the smoothie stop – my try is the Mango and Ginger one. 

Starbucks in the Lobby 

The rooms have a Keurig but rejoice, a Starbucks is in the lobby! Located near the elevators and the hallway to the conference rooms, you can grab your favorite latte or macchiato every morning before work. 

JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa

The spa is housed in a separate building, a short walk from parking, easy for locals to access. It’s a whopping 38,000 sq. ft, with 48 treatment rooms, a salon, VIP suites, a fitness center, and a saltwater lap pool.

JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa Photo by Kathy Condon
Jenny Klein | Travel Squire JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa – Photo by Kathy Condon

At check in, the staff will take you on a tour where you’ll notice the beautiful dark wood everywhere, from the hallways to the changing rooms. It is co-ed in most areas. A new addition is a lounge in a curtained space where a variety of chairs serve a different function. My favorite was one where you position your chair in a comfortable position and apply a mask that massages your sinuses. Another one massages all areas of your body, including your tummy. 

This spa is on the move and popular … you’ll want to make a reservation, essential for a treatment. If you decide on a regular massage, try the CBD Wellness Massage. A Day Pass is available for $125 which includes access to all areas of the Spa. 

If you get hungry, no problem. The Spa Bistro offers healthy options and standard fare. 

My stay at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa was a sublimely pleasurable experience. This resort is a gem in the Coachella Valley and has diverse cuisine, impeccable service, and innovative spa treatments. 

JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa, Night Scene- Photo by Kathy Condon
Jenny Klein | Travel Squire JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa, Night Scene – Photo by Kathy Condon

Plus, the resort is stunningly beautiful with an outstanding staff. If you’re a golfer, pool worshiper, foodie, or family looking for a resort with plenty of activities or reveling in the idea of a spa day, you’ll find it here.