I Could Live Here: Parker Palm Springs


In Palm Springs, prices drop dramatically after Memorial Day weekend so I grabbed a last minute flight (only $161 direct on United) and within two hours, I had left the 50-degree muck of Karl the Fog and landed in the 90-degree desert oasis. Hotels also participate in fare chopping so I got a sweet deal at the luxurious Parker Palm Springs. As soon as I walked through the towering orange double doors, I knew I could stay here for a while.


Designed by Jonathan Adler, the hotel has a glamorous calmness about it. There’s enough bling to sate luminary appetites, yet the overall composition is pragmatic. A bold, global chic emanates from bright textiles juxtaposed with textured whites.

Photo courtesy of Allyson Magda Photography

The expansive grounds are meticulously manicured and ripe for exploration. Lush gardens, ample palm trees, and high hedgerows reminiscent of the Hamptons surround the Parker, all of which takes the edge of the heat and provides some much needed O2 (a welcome respite from the concrete-clad city itself). The heat can climb into the 110s easily, so a reprieve at the spa and indoor pool at Psyc is always an option.

This is just the spa lobby, wait til you see the rest of the place!

 If I lived here, I would reside in the swanky Gene Autry residence. The singing cowboy actually did live in this sumptuous two-bed, two-bath abode. Estate rooms in the main building are smaller but every bit deluxe and comfortable. Quarters are stocked with obscure novels worth diving into (these hanging nest chairs make a good spot):

Photo courtesy of Tina Frey Designs

 I had many plans to explore the Palm Springs area (golf! cycling! the aerial tram!) but the Parker is so well stocked with distractions I could hardly bear to leave. It’s easy to repose and melt away the summer heat upon a plush lounge chair. But there really is only so much laziness I can endure, and the Parker provides ample activity of the highbrow variety.


Four immaculate red clay tennis courts await your play as does a putting green, croquet lawn, and grounds for petanque (essentially the same as bocce but with origins in France instead of Italy). I chose to play Ping Pong barefoot in the sand because a tall hedge offered shade and I had the easy option of hailing a Shandy from The Lemonade Stand, a few feet away. As the temperature steadily rose and peaked at 106 degrees in the afternoon, the pool was calling my name. The swimming holes are amicably divided — one is kid-friendly and the other is strictly reserved for the kid-free.

Because nighttime outdoor dining is a rarity in San Francisco (unless a solid row of heat lamps exists), I eschewed trippy Mr. Parker’s for Norma’s al fresco so I could relish the warmth, sleeveless, whilst sipping rosé. The heat had diminished to a much more reasonable 92.


If I lived here, I would stargaze in the hammocks every night before retiring to bed, or perhaps swap tales from a butterfly chair surrounding the outdoor firepit. What’s not to love about life?