The stand-alone villas are 1-bedroom villas with a private patio. Here, too, is the historical follow-through from its heyday as a Hollywood hideaway. “With us, it’s all about the confidentiality and the privacy that we are known for, so it allows us to do service through the patio so that you will never be disturbed and don’t ever have to see anybody if you don’t want to. And then, of course, we have the private residence, which is completely secluded and you can come and go as you please; there’s private access from the back. It’s completely self-sufficient and stand-alone,” Meding says.
But it’s the fun part The Parker really puts the emphasis on. “We have different brands on property that are all connected by the synergy of what we call ‘happy chic’ luxury that should be nonpretentious, comfortable, approachable and all about the good life—just really having fun with it,” Meding points outs. “And that’s what we really set out to do. We have Mr. Parker’s, which is our dinner restaurant that is kind of sexy, dark and seductive where guests get fantastic bistro food, yet it reminds you of being taken back to Studio 54 with the ambiance and the music that’s playing. Then you have Norma’s, and when you really boil it down, it’s a five-star diner, that’s what it is. It serves absolutely fantastic comfort food where you can indulge and no matter what time of day it is, if a guest is craving breakfast at dinnertime, they can get that too. There’s also the Lemonade Stand, which is the pool bar where guests can also order light fare.”
That same laid-back ambiance is also apparent in the recently renovated spa, whimsically named the Palm Springs Yacht Club, a 16,500-sq.-ft. world-class facility with indoor swimming pools, saunas, and steam and therapy rooms. Guests choose from a spectrum of spa services that include massages, facials, body and hydrotherapy sessions, as well as a personal trainer. It is ranked as one of the “Top 10” spas by Conde Nast Traveler, but here again, forget the pretension.
“Most spas that you go to these days are very holistic—they tell you if you have a treatment there, you’re going to be changed forever. Well, you know what? I can’t promise you that. You’re still going to be the same person, but what I can promise you is you’re going to have a treatment that’s absolutely second to none,” the general manager says. “And you know what, if you want to have a martini during your massage or after, we’ll bring you one. This is all about the good life—there’s no incense burning here, there’s no water dripping on a stone, no hand holding while singing Kumbaya. Really with us, it’s all about giving you fantastic treatments and I promise you’ll be much happier and you’ll feel better, but you’re still going to be the same person.”
Not surprisingly, The Parker has also become one of the most popular venues for weddings in the region, averaging at least one wedding every weekend in a market segment that’s grown steadily over the past couple of years. “We also have our own wedding website, parkerweddings.com, and it’s really kind of fun. It gives you all the different options and like everything else we do, it’s done in a kind of witty way. We just don’t do anything in a cookie-cutter way.”
packages The resort is offering some very attractive mid-week packages that clients will love. The Spa Junkie offers a mid-week rate starting at $199 that includes a $200 spa credit; the Gluttons Delight offers the same rate with a $200 dining credit; and the Lushettepackage, starting at $199, is a girlfriends’ getaway program in an estate room with a $200 bar credit. For $750, clients can take a 1-night Hollywood Hideaway deal that includes a villa stay with morning coffee service, dinner for two at Mr. Parker’s and two spa treatments.