I have always wanted to stay at the Parker Palm Springs. Even before it was the Parker, I recall driving past the sprawling property with my parents (first called the Autry hotel after its owner, Gene Autry; later the Givenchy), and wondering what lay beyond its slightly gaudy gates. It was such a curious place! Then, in 2004, news came that Jonathan Adler was renovating the Givenchy as the Parker. The white walls went up, photographs of its rooms and uber-stylish grounds were splashed throughout the travel magazines, and I thought… one day.
Last week, a mere twelve years later, Chevrolet invited me to a Palm Springs Wellness Getaway in celebration of the all-new Malibu Hybrid. The plan would be to drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and stay at the Parker. There were other details—al-fresco dinners, yoga sessions, spa treatments—but the Parker was ample draw.
A few dozen childcare arrangements later (a huge thank you to the grandparents, friends, and sitters who helped on that front) and I was cruising along the 10, temperature rising as the sun started to sink down into the mountains. Palm Springs is such a beautiful place.
When I landed at LAX, a page met me at the curb with the car. I signed a paper; he slid on a backpack and disappeared into the crowd of travelers at arrivals. If only all car rental scenarios were so seamless.
A quick note on the car: The 2016 Malibu is Chevrolet’s new hybrid, built using the technology from the Chevrolet Volt. It gets an estimated 47 miles per gallon, which is pretty incredible—my gas gauge basically held constant the entire trip!—and has a lot of great family features like Teen Driver and Apple Car Play. I thought it looked pretty sleek, too!
The hotel was all I could have hoped for: everything in the Parker is just so. You get the sense of incredible pains being taken for incredible layers of detail—from the Hermes and Aqua di Parm toilettries to the Peruvian jute weavings, from the clay tennis courts to the all lemon lemonade bar. I didn’t want to leave.
Mostly it was just really beautiful: meandering paths with dense bordering plantings with glowing desert sun.
As for the getaway, there were about 15 of us—all involved in media of some sort—and it was nice to meet so many new people and learn about their lives. I work from home, so it’s pretty wonderful to get to put faces to some of the names I see on my computer screen.
We had dinner at the Parker that first night and then got more comfortable with each other over Yoga and lox, bee stings (me) and pool time.
We also took a lot of funny photos of one another—as one on a media trip does.
This wall made me think of the opening song to Rocky Horror Picture Show. Did you know that those lips were filmed with just a black sheet cut-out? A little trivia.
In truth I’d been to one of the hotel’s two restaurants once before for dinner, with friends on a holiday trip. The food at the hotel is wonderful!
We spent our last evening at a nearby boutique hotel, the Colony Palms Hotel.
It’s just incredible to me to see all of these gems popping up all over the desert. Palm Springs has changed so much since my first date there, so many years ago!
Thank you to Chevrolet for inviting me and finally giving me that glimpse beyond the white walls (and those iconic orange doors).
P.S. Drive-thru Joshua Tree.