Go Now: The Parker Palm Springs Celebrates 10 Years of Cool Kitsch

As both a self-described Mid-century modern design-obsessed gal and a Jonathan Adler superfan (his designs have graced my living room, my bedroom and even my iPhone case), it’s only natural that I would feel a near primal urge to make seasonal pilgrimages to, what I like to call, Chez Adler, otherwise known as The Parker Palm Springs.

suit of armor

The renowned Palm Springs property, operated by Le Meridien and designed by Adler, once belonged to Hollywood titans Gene Autry and Merv Griffin, and this year marks the 10th anniversary of the $27M Adler-directed reboot. While the hotel is now a hot spot for fashion events, Coachella parties and L.A.’s cool cats, it’s been credited with being the nucleus for the Palm Springs renaissance that has also taken place over the past decade.

With the 10-year on the horizon, I was eager to celebrate and get my Parker fix during a time that the hotel wasn’t besieged with fashion events. We showed up right after an unexpected downpour of summer monsoon-style rains that seemed the perfect welcome to the hotel’s brand of irreverent magic.

Given Adler’s penchant for colorful and kitschy products, the property has all the trademark playfulness one would expect with iconic Adler pieces such as his ceramic horse lamps and needlepoint pillows which adorn the guest rooms. But no more is his clever sense of humor more on display than in the lobby and lounge area, where eye-popping vintage furniture sits alongside full suits of armor.

And yet it’s not all kitsch. The resort ambiance still manages to retain not only its relaxing, rustic ranch-influenced beginnings, but also a strong sense of Mid-century modern. Don’t be surprised to find yourself relaxing in an Eames lounge chair, or sitting on a perfectly worn-in chesterfield sofa.

We have a bit of a routine at The Parker, which always starts with a proper chowing down at Norma’s, the property’s high-end diner, and this time was no different. Our go-to: the Irresistible Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks. And this was our lunch. Of course, at The Parker, things such as lunch for breakfast and a suit of armor just make perfect sense.

While it’s impossible to describe the Parker without discussing its decor, it also offers plenty of opportunities for supreme relaxation and fun. Our pool happened to be right outside our room, which made for an extremely convenient walk right out the sliding glass doors and into the glistening pool.

Croquet mallets and wickets abound, and every time we stay we swear that we will use them, but never quite get around to it. If the Parker offered lessons, we’d gladly sign up! We did, however, make use of the gigantic chess pieces and squeeze in some ping pong. And the cabana cafe, located near the chess pieces, which feels like a hidden gem on the property, became a go-to for a quick drink and tacos.

The Parker Palm Springs, Fashion Trends Daily,

Michelle Dalton Tyree at the Parker Palm Springs.

Hammocks placed around the grounds and bonfires that burn inside and out even on hot summer nights, add to the property’s cool quotient. But our favorite activity is the people watching, which is always five-star. Our routine: Grab a Pimm’s Cup and plop ourselves in the hanging wicker chairs in the lobby because the fashion sense among the guests is every bit as eclectic as the property itself.

We didn’t make it into PSYC this time, the nautical-themed spa affectionately known as the Palm Springs Yacht Club, but those looking to be pampered won’t be disappointed by the Parker’s wide range of body treatments and, of course, the fabulous Adler-decorated decor and humor carried throughout the spa as well.

While the hotel has not released specifics, it’s rumored that expansion plans for the 10-year are in the works, and may possibly include more dining options. While we were initially bummed to find that the resort’s fine dining restaurant, Mister Parker’s, (a fave of ours) was closed during our visit (It’s closed on Mondays & Tuesdays), it turned out to be our lucky day. After ordering poolside for lunch, we returned to Norma’s for dinner just as a refreshing downpour cooled down the property and the desert rain was simply the perfect end to a perfectly quirky chic stay.

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.