Palm Springs Area Invests Nearly $2 Billion

The thriving hospitality industry in the Palm Springs Desert Resorts is at an all time high

The thriving hospitality industry in the Palm Springs Desert Resorts is at an all-time high, reflected in nearly $2 billion in new product that has recently opened or is in progress throughout the eight desert cities.

During early 2007 and continuing on through 2011, hotels and businesses in each of the desert’s cities – Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage -- will have introduced a new hotel, newly remodeled hotel product, golf courses, restaurants or other amenities, collectively totaling nearly $2 billion.

To date, tourism product that is newly completed, presently under construction, or proposed includes:

Palm Springs

Ace Hotel & Swim Club: Slated to open in winter of 2008, this 4.5 acre property will feature a classic mid-century desert aesthetic blended with folk-modern interiors designed by LA-based visual curators Commune. The property will encompass 180 guest rooms to accommodate both budget and luxury travelers, a diner and the Amigo Room bar with seating for up to 100, one private pool with 4,000-square foot event space, spa and fitness room, one public pool swim club with lockers and showers, outdoor fireplaces, green technology, and native desert landscaping design by William Kopelk. Ace Hotels also maintains properties in Portland and Seattle.

Colony Palms Hotel and Purple Palm Restaurant: Now open, this $16 million historic-style Palm Springs property evokes a sultry experience evoking Spain and Morocco. A spa is also slated to open soon.

Desert Riviera Garden Resort: The remodeled resort reopened in January 2007.

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs: Planning is underway for this new $200 million Hard Rock Hotel to be located in downtown Palm Springs, adjacent to the Palm Springs Convention Center. Plans for this nine-story, 494-room property include three restaurants; a three-acre pool area with 38 cabanas, fire pits and a beach; a 6,500 sf nightclub, 25,000 sf recording studio; 25,000 sf, two-story spa; 35,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space; and a 500-car parking garage. The hotel is slated to open in 2010.

Hilton Palm Springs Resort: The resort completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its tranquil ‘Elements’ Spa. New services include a eucalyptus infused steam and state of the art Swiss shower, with 9 adjustable body jets; use of ecological materials and organic professional products; and nine treatment rooms.

Holiday Inn Palm Springs City Center: The resort opened in January of 2008 and features 229 spacious guestrooms and 20 suites, a full-service restaurant, Olympic size swimming pool with poolside cabana bar, dive-in movies surrounded by cool deck, fitness facility, more than 8,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, and onsite catering.

Hyatt Place: Planning is progress for proposed 180-room hotel in Palm Springs; part of Museum Square project.

Marriott Residence Inn: Planning in progress for proposed 126-room hotel in Palm Springs; part of Museum Square project.

Mondrian Hotel & Condos: To be located adjacent to the Palm Springs Convention Center, the Mondrian, part of the Morgan's Hotel Group, will include 200 guest rooms, 50 condo-hotel units, and up to 150 condominiums. The 153,695 square-foot, five-story property will also feature a Skybar, 8,000 square-foot ballroom, meeting rooms and associated facilities, a 10,780 square-foot spa and fitness facility, pool, restaurant, and 2,014 square-foot gourmet market. The hotel is slated to open in 2011.

Riviera Resort & Spa // (c) 2008 T
Riviera Resort & Spa

Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa: Opened October 1, 2008 after an estimated $70 million rejuvenation. The historic resort includes 24 acres of lushly landscaped gardens and courtyards with intimate fire pits, sparkling pools, and signature dining. The Riviera also features SpaTerre, an 11,000-square-foot signature spa with 22 treatments rooms, full service hair and nail salon, relaxation rooms, and fitness center, plus more than 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.

Palm Desert

Candlewood Suites: Palm Desert City Council recently approved plans for an 88-unit hotel to be located on Gerald Ford Drive near University Park Development. The ground breaking is slated for October 2008.

Desert Springs, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa: The resort completed several property and spa renovations in 2007, including Spa Desert Springs, which recently earned a spot on CondéNast Traveler’s covered Hot List. The 38,000-square-foot spa features 48 treatment rooms, a new VIP area, co-ed relaxation lounge, fitness center and yoga studio overlooking the 17th green, new Spa Bistro, full-service European-style hair and nail salon, and a spa retail shop. Treatment features include dry saunas, wet steam rooms, Vichy showers, aromatic Hammam steam chambers and desert rain showers. Property renovations also included a new porte cochere, renovated reception area and Atrium lobby with new sushi bar, and expanded boat docks for the resort’s unique waterway.

Fairmont Avanterra: Fairmont Hotel & Resorts will make its first entry into the Palm Springs market when it breaks ground on the Fairmont Avanterra hotel in 2009. The hotel is a part of the $2.5 billion environmentally progressive, master-planned community called Avanterra and will be located adjacent to the Classic Club golf course. The hotel development will offer 300 rooms and 125 Fairmont Residences, Fairmont Gold concierge rooms and lounge, a variety of dining outlets, 26,000 square feet of indoor function space, as well as outdoor event areas, and a 45,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa. Ground breaking is planned for 2009 and the resort is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Homewood Suites by Hilton: This 127-unit hotel will be located on Cook Street near the University Park development.

Larkspur Hotel (working name): Planning is in progress for a new four-star, 154-unit, three-story hotel adjacent to the upscale El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert. Initial plans include roof gardens with solar paneling, spa, modern bar and restaurant, 24-hour room service, and 16 luxury suites with full kitchens. This hotel property is potentially slated to open in fall 2009.

Marriott Fairfield Inn, Palm Desert: Fairfield Inn completed a $1.5 million renovation in February 2007.

Rancho Mirage

Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa: The resort has completed a $35 million property remodel that includes a new porte cochere, refurbished lobby area, Internet marketplace, new lounge, signature dining, enhanced guestroom features such as 41-inch plasma televisions and slab granite countertops, a new family pool called Splashtopia with water features, including two 100-foot water slides, and outdoor meeting space.

Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa: The resort now features a new $2 million+, 340-room luxury hotel, which opened in April 2008. The contemporary hotel features 314 deluxe guestrooms, 24 executive suites, and 2 presidential suites. New resort amenities also include the 10,500-square-foot Sunstone Spa; six eateries including The Steakhouse and wave-inspired Waters Café (open 24/7); 13,000-square-foot conference center, plus meeting rooms, pre-function and outdoor meeting space; and a 50,000-square foot pool area with two pools, ten state-of-the-art cabanas, and full-service outdoor bar and grill. In February 2009, the resort will open a new, high-tech, 2000-seat headliner showroom.

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage: Slated to open in fall 2009, the resort is situated 650 feet above greater Palm Springs, offering one of the area’s most awe-inspiring views. The $500 million, 40-acre project property will include a completely new 244-room resort; a multi-million dollar, 24,000-square-foot La Prairie Spa with designated spa suites; Pinot Mirage, a culinary collaboration with famed chef/restaurateur Joachim Splichal to feature an exhibition kitchen; an intimate wine bar called Split and Lounge6Fifty; and The Edge, a contemporary steakhouse situated Cliffside for unparalleled views. The luxury property will also offer two signature pools, 18,000-square-feet of indoor function space, more than 40,000-square-feet of outdoor venues, a golf/tennis concierge, and a hiking butler overseeing more than 20 miles of hiking trails. What’s more, guests will have access to a powerful roving telescope equipped with an oversized monitor to take advantage of the Desert’s heavenly stargazing opportunities.

The Westin Mission Hills Rancho Mirage – Currently undergoing a $20 million total room and exterior property renewal, slated for completion in the late fall of 2008. The extensive revitalization will feature all-new guest room interiors with 37” plasma televisions and wireless internet, combined with modern furnishings, fixtures, carpeting and paint along with oversized work and eating areas. Each guest room will include the world-renowned Westin Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Shower. Thirty new resort suites, as well as all-new Presidential suites are included in the revitalization project along with the property exterior.

Indian Wells

Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Villas & Spa: The resort opened 24 new luxury villas in November 2007. The one- and two-bedroom luxury villas, plus three new presidential villas, include a variety of upscale amenities such as 42” flat panel TV with HDTV capabilities, personal butler service, villa-exclusive dining and spa packages, and private patio with stainless steel BBQ and whirlpool spa. These new luxury villas bring this resort’s total villa inventory to 43. Hyatt Grand Champions also opened the new Lantana restaurant, a contemporary fine dining experience.

Indian Wells Golf Resort– The resort completed nearly $80 million in dual golf course renovations and added a brand new $35 million clubhouse.

Miramonte Resort & Spa: The Tuscan-inspired 215-room resort recently reinvented itself with a $1.4 million remodel of its poolside experience. The new signature pool features direct connection to its acclaimed WELL Spa, upscale furniture, five new private cabanas complete with individual sound systems and a fully equipped outdoor bar with flat screen TVs. In 2007, the resort also added a 6,000-square-foot, $5.8 million Mediterranean Ballroom, which includes a 3,000 square-footevent lawn with fire pits, adjacent courtyard, water fountains, and lush landscaping. The property has also completed a number of guest room renovations. In the summer of 2009, the resort will break ground for the Grove Artisan Kitchen, a new contemporary California dining experience.

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa: The resort completed a $9 million transformation in spring 2007 adding a spacious California wine and cuisine-themed Cava Restaurant. Also opened were Glo, a new lobby bar, Stir Lounge and a refurbished lower lobby and pool area.

Desert Hot Springs

Two Bunch Palms Resort: A massive expansion is planned for this legendary destination spa resort that will include more than 700 homes, 315 timeshare units, and 285 hotel units. Plans also include 121,500 sf retail, wellness, and spa complex which will house health and wellness businesses.


Fantasy Springs Resort Casino: The resort has opened POM, its new multi-million dollar restaurant. The new eatery features state-of-the-art lighting and audio, plus sleek and stylish design and décor. Executive Chef Freddy Rieger fuses traditional California cuisine with tastes from Latin America and Italy, offering a global feast for the palate. Cocktails can be enjoyed in the POM bar amid a two-story high art wall that features 16 unique, hand-blown glass sculptures. POM is located on the mezzanine level and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Spotlight 29 Casino: The resort recently opened JEM Steakhouse and JEM Bar, home to an expansive wine collection and host of several wine dinners.

La Quinta

Embassy Suites La Quinta Hotel & Spa: Opened adjacent to Old Town La Quinta, the Embassy Suites features 146 all-suite accommodations and 120 condominium units.

Homewood Suites by Hilton La Quinta: Opened in August 2007 with 130 suites, Homewood Suites is located across the street from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Cathedral City

Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center: Plans are in the works for a new 300-room Sheraton hotel with a golf course. The construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2009 with a tentative 2010 open date.