Palm Springs is our happy place. If you’ve ever been, you know that the moment you step off the plane and into the open-concept terminal, the desert air immediately calms you. We have been visiting Palm Springs together for over a decade, loving it not only as a mid-century design mecca, but also a place where relaxation is taken seriously.
One of the most idyllic spots to visit in “Palm” is the must-see Parker Palm Springs. The glorious boutique hotel, formerly Merv Griffin’s Resort and Givenchy Spa, was re-designed by Jonathan Adler in 2004, restoring its reputation as the “it” place to visit, stay, and of course, do some celebrity-spotting.
The vibe is quintessentially Palm Springs, four-meter-high hedges, carved white blocks and oversized orange doors open up to an eclectic and retro getaway hotel with hits of the unexpected around every corner. Dare we say, it’s like no other hotel we have ever seen. Enjoy a cocktail in the bohemian lobby bar, dinner at ultra-glamorous Mister Parker, or a comfortable lunch at Norma’s. When you’re ready to take your experience to the next level – indulge yourself at the Palm Springs Yacht Club, a spa locating on the sprawling grounds of the Parker Estate.
As you enter it’s clear that every detail of this nautical-themed spa has been thought through. The lobby is grand and serene, with high ceilings clad in over-scaled shiplap, capped with crown moulding and then covered in silver and navy reflective wallpaper. The navy and off-white palette is accented with Adlers iconic furniture pieces, lighting, and artwork that add whimsical touch to the space. Even though every piece makes a statement, the palette is still calming and relaxing but unlike any spa we have ever experienced.
Adjacent to the reception lobby is a meditation and yoga space, a nice touch for those who were wise enough to give themselves extra time, which we did not. So, we opted to dive right into the experience.
We were given a captain’s welcome by the exceptionally good-looking staff and invited to enjoy a shot of chilled cucumber vodka before we entered – another surprising touch and affirmation that we had come to the right place.
After slipping into our white terrycloth robes and flip flops, we started to explore the massive common area, complete with a salt-water pool plenty large enough to swim a few laps, two spas and seating areas designed to allow for quite solitude before a treatment or a light lunch with your spamate.
A dip and steam later, we were ready to go on the “Yachtsman’s Voyage” – consisting of a deep tissue massage, pore cleansing facial and scalp massage. Naturally, they were all too happy to customize the experience for your individual preference in scents, pressure, and bed temperature.
For us, the highlight of our journey was the scalp massage. Not a treatment we normally partake in, but one that left us like puddles in the hands of the therapist. There may have been some light snoring at one point, they didn’t seem to mind and even applauded our ability to “let it all go.”
Fully relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for happy hour in the lounge, we left The Palm Springs Yacht Club with a sense that maybe we just found a spa that caters to men as much, if not more, than the ladies. Try it out for yourself.