Parker Palm Springs

Martyn White

Posted on July 24 2020

Explore the luxurious and quirky interior designs of the Parker Palm Springs, one of the city's most luxurious and exclusive hotel destinations. 

Recognised for its beautiful sunny weather, towering avenues of palms, and signature mid-century modern architecture, Palm Springs is a design destination that attracts visitors from around the globe, looking to experience its unique glamour and charm. One hidden but not so secret jewel in the city's crown is the Parker Hotel. Nestled behind a tall wall of palms, foliage and blooms, one could drive by and be unaware of beautiful grounds and hotel concealed from their view. Those that do venture down the driveway, however, are greeted by 5-star luxury, quirky style and a world that they couldn't possibly forget.

Constructed in 1959, the 144-room hotel has had a fascinating history. The site was originally home to California’s very first Holiday Inn before being purchased in 1961 by Gene Autry to house his baseball team, the California Angels, during their spring training. It was in 1998 when the hotel was purchased by Merv Griffin and renamed Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel and Givenchy Spa.  It was at this time that the resort became known for its celebrity guests. Five years later, Hotelier Jack Parker purchased the resort and hired designer Jonathan Adler to complete a $27 million remodel, transforming the resort into an internationally recognised design destination. Jonathan Adler returned to the hotel in 2017 with the task of updating the interiors, introducing cheeky hedonistic luxury and a lot of  Californian glamour. 

Parker Palm Springs Hotel ExteriorParker Palm Springs Hotel LobbyParker Palm Springs Hotel Lobby and stairs

Top: Entrance, Middle: Central seating area, Bottom: Staircase in the lobby.

Every space of the hotel, from the rooms and suites to the restaurants and communal areas, is defined by a characterful personality and style. Eccentrically beautiful curations of antiques, art, and mid-century gems inspire the colour schemes, patterns and materials used, giving every item a sense of belonging. From the moment guests walk through the 23-foot breeze block brise soleil and iconic orange front doors, one cannot help but smile as the Parker transports you into a world that is anything but ordinary. 

The lobby stretches the length of the main building, grouped into several seating areas that allow guests to sit back, relax, and socialise in a more intimate setting. At the entrance, the reception desk is located to one side, allowing attention to remain on the decor. Plush rugs in a range of colours, shapes and, styles, frame varying collections of sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables. At the heart of the lobby, adjacent to the 'Mini Bar', is a double-height seating space, arranged beneath a large mid-century gold chandelier. The hugely photographed 'Drugs' artwork hangs above an alcove that features 30 decorative lanterns in a range of colourful hues. A guest favourite in the winter months is at the back of the lobby; a cosy lounge area with an essence of a log cabin, complete with swing chairs and comfortable leather seating that surround a mesmerising crackling open fire pit. 

Parker Palm Springs HotelParker Palm Springs Hotel Counter ReformationParker Palm Springs Hotel Norma's Restaurant

Top: Far lobby lounge, Middle: Counter Reformation Bar, Bottom: Norma's 

The Parker contains five main food and drink destinations, allowing visitors to cool down and fill up around the clock. 'Normas' is the brightly coloured open-air terrace restaurant that serves breakfast in style (all day it is worth noting) boasting beautiful views out across the hotel's private grounds. Vibrant pops of burnt orange upholstery used on the booth seating are accessorised with multi-colour button cushions, adding a striking contrast to the greens of the garden and blues of the sky the restaurant's terrace frames. 'Mister Parker's' puts the fun in formal with its dark, discrete and decadent decor. Mirrored ceilings reflect the restaurant's geometric carpeting and vibrant upholstery in a dizzying array of glamour. The interior's dark wood-panelled walls showcase an eclectic collection of artworks to entertain and fascinate guests during their visit. The lower ceilings and dark colour palette create an intimate setting, a perfect and romantic getaway for the evening. 

Parker Palm Springs Hotel Norma's RestaurantParker Palm Springs Hotel Lemonade StallParker Palm Springs Hotel Silicone Valley Pool

Top: Norma's Terrace, Middle: Lemonade Stand, Bottom: Silicon Valley Pool

Black glossy running bond tiles and an impressive decorative black tin tile ceiling provide a dramatic backdrop to 'Counter Reformation', a bar described at the 'shrine to great wine'. The interior draws attention to the bar with decorative red cement tiles with matching weaving on the wooden bar stools. This secretive space also has no tables and chairs, prompting socialising and movement throughout the room, from the guests seated at the bar to the ones 'ledge-leaning' on the side. The 'Mini Bar' is a jewellery box of delight, accessed directly from the lobby. Gold studded blue velvet doors slide back to reveal dark emerald stone-clad, ceilings, walls and floors with inset mirrored accents. The centrepiece is the beautiful line of golden Art Deco bar stools. This small space glistens in golden hues and depicts the ultimate in Hollywood glamour. Heading out into the sunshine, guests can cool down at the 'Lemonade Stand'. Located next to the Pétanque court, the Lemonade Stand lures our inner child with its classic yellow and white striped awning and multi-coloured Bertoia barstools. Serving up, you've guessed it, lemonade, as well as a range of cocktails, this is an exclusive experience for registered estate guests only.  

Parker Palm Springs Hotel Palm Springs Yacht ClubParker Palm Springs Hotel GymParker Palm Springs Hotel Palm Springs Yacht Club Pool

Top: PSYC (Palm Springs Yacht Club) Entrance, Middle: PSYC Gym, Bottom: PSYC Indoor Pool 

The nautical-themed spa, 'Palm Springs Yacht Club' continues the eclectic, mid-century style from the hotel but pared-back, opting for a limited colour palette of white, blue and red hues. As one would expect from a spa, there is an immediate essence of calm as visitors walk into the entrance and lobby. Double-height ceilings and metallic wallpaper create an impressive sense of space and grandeur with decorative wall mouldings and trims add to the 'yacht club' vibe. The centrepiece is the indoor saltwater pool decorated in uniform nautical stripes. The thick outlines used on the textiles, awnings and drapery is a fascinating and effective touch, creating an almost comic-book-like style that distinguishes itself as a world away from life, an escape and a moment to enjoy one's self. 

Parker Palm Springs Hotel VillaParker Palm Springs Hotel VillaParker Palm Springs Hotel

All images courtesy of the Parker Palm Springs. 

For a private escape and time to yourself, Parker's villas, suites and rooms do not disappoint. As if gallery spaces in themselves, the curation of mid-century antiques and art fill these spaces, providing a home away from home and a style iconic to the Parker brand. The hotel offers eight variations of accommodation with guests having the opportunity of staying at the grand, private gated 'Gene Autry Residence' that boasts two bedrooms, two baths, a private treatment room, sauna and a large terrace. The equally beautiful 'Hammock Rooms' are another alternative, offering a private space to relax in the sun, surrounded by gorgeous blooms and manicured gardens. Whatever option one chooses, every meticulous detail ensures that the style and experience of a stay in the world of Parker is unforgettable.  

For more details on the hotel, rooms, restaurants and facilities, click to view the official Parker Hotel website via the link. For information on the interior designer and project, click to view the Jonathan Adler website. 


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