Meetings at the Oasis

Palm Springs provides event facilities in the midst of the desert

By: Terra Judge

With its own airport and easy access from nearby Los Angeles, Palm Springs and surrounding desert communities are a simple and exotic option for events. The natural scenery and great weather it rarely rains assure a pleasant stay. Numerous hotels, many of which have been recently renovated, and unique alternatives provide a range of options for events from outdoor weddings to business conventions.

A Cool Drink of Water
With its own man-made lake, two championship golf courses, 18-hole putting course and a full-size sushi bar in the lobby, the Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Palm Desert beckons groups to settle in. The 884-room resort recently broke ground on a $30 million renovation, and the atrium lobby refurbishment has already been completed, now offering almost 30,000 square feet of space for guests to relax and mingle. The lobby is also the start of the resort’s lake, where gondolas pick up guests to take them to one of the five restaurants or to simply enjoy the view of the mountains and black swans.

Weddings are popular, and the bride can make a grand entrance by boat to a grassy point jutting into the water.

Renovated Renaissance
After a $9 million renovation, the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells has improved its dining offerings and meeting spaces to better host groups.

New dining options include Cava Restaurant, which offers California cuisine and an extensive wine selection; Stir, having replaced Las Estrellas as the lounge; and lobby bar Glo, which offers a tapas menu.

The refurbished Crystal and Valencia Ballrooms and 45 individual meetings rooms add to the existing Emerald Ballroom and the Rose Garden to bring the total available space to over 100,000 feet.

Mellow Yellow
For smaller events, try the modern and swanky Viceroy Palm Springs. Decked out in funky black, white and yellow, the 85-room Viceroy has welcomed a variety of Hollywood A-listers that come to relax at the indoor/outdoor Estrella Spa or enjoy custom parties at the four-pool property.

A free-standing banquet facility is available, and an on-site planning and catering team can create full-service events for up to 210 guests.

Starlets like Paris Hilton have partied here, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have also relaxed at the property.

In True Desert Style
The Palm Springs Convention Center and hotels aren’t the only spaces for events.

The Living Desert is a zoo and garden that houses everything from camels to giraffes. Group tours range from narrated tram rides to walking tours. Events can be arranged in the Village WaTuTu area in a glass-walled structure that overlooks a pair of leopards.

The Palm Springs Air Museum exhibits vintage automobiles and aircraft in a 67,500-square-foot building. Groups of 30-3,500 have been hosted, with tables set up right under the wings of the aircraft.


Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort & Spa

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa

Viceroy Palm Springs