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Beyond the Bathrobes: Inside the Colony Palms

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  Site Where: 572 N Indian Canyon Drive [map], Palm Springs, CA, United States, 92262
February 2, 2011 at 9:36 AM | by | ()

Apologies for the shaky video. Our camera was obviously as excited by the color palette as we were

Yesterday we waxed lyrical over the bathrobes at The Colony Palms, but toweling doth not make a hotel stay alone, so it’s time to delve into the rest of the set up. As we said yesterday, we scored a major deal on Hotwire - $66 for a room that normally would cost $199. As we were coming straight from a stay at the swanky Parker (more on that to come) we thought we’d be in line for a massive downgrade. Here’s what we found.

Check in:

A rollercoaster of slight emotions, was check in. We pulled up outside the entrance, by a sign saying valet only – but there was no valet, so we judged it ok to leave the car there as we checked in. Slightly antsy, we walked into the lobby – white and purple walls, antique-looking furniture and old Hollywood style pictures. It looked Mexican crossed with Moroccan, and we had a glimpse of a lovely looking garden and pool. We relaxed. Then we heard the people ahead of us complaining about their belongings having been removed from their room, even though they hadn’t checked out. None of the staff seemed to be apologizing and the family was getting more and more irate. We got concerned.

Then it was our turn and the same guy who had seemed unconcerned about the angry people’s predicament turned out to be the perfect checker inner. He told us our room had been upgraded, asked about our journey, said he hoped we’d like it here better than the Parker, and recommended us places in town to go get our drink on. His name was Cesar and he was fabulous. Phew! Our emotional rollercoaster ended on a high.

Room Reaction:

We were excited to hear we’d been upgraded, but less thrilled with the position of our room. While the hotel isn’t exactly sprawling, it’s spread out over various buildings and gardens – and our room was on the far edge of the building furthest from check in/the pool/civilization. Ordinarily, we’d like that, but, weirdly, the hotel was completely open on our side – you could wander in off the street into the grounds – and the stairs to our room were pretty much open to the road. Tempting for bad people, alarming for those of us staying alone with only pretty Macbooks containing our last three years' life for company.

The room itself was lovely – especially for what we paid. We dug the Moroccan-y decor (to go with the bathrobes, we’re sure). In a world of greige hotels we adored the blousy headboard and the striped curtains and the fan making us feel like we were somewhere exotic.

The bed was comfy, we liked the TV on the wall – barely noticeable unless you pull it out and make it so – and we loved the mirrored minibar area, which took up an entire corner of the room and even included cocktail shakers and martini glasses as well as full size bottles.

The bathroom was beautifully rustic/exotic with red, antique-looking tiles for the main and a pattern that mirrored the headboard in the middle. It’s unusual you get a bathroom with the same scheme as the bedroom, and we dug that a lot. The shower was huge and yummy. And those bathrobes made our day. There was a balcony with no real view (the back street behind the hotel) but two chairs. And there was an ashtray to smoke on the balcony.

Amenity Madness:

In the bathroom: CO Bigelow FTW! Generous portions, too – 70ml bottles rather than 50ml.

Public Areas:

The pool area was pretty lovely – plenty of seating, nooks and a hot tub. Our only issue was that the restaurant takes up one side of the pool, and if you’re remotely self conscious, the last thing you want is someone staring at your orange peel or Twilight tan over breakfast.

The gardens were extremely pretty, but other than by the pool and the small firepit, there weren’t many places to sit. To be honest, though, we had been spoiled by the vast gardens at the Parker – if we’d come here first, we would have been enchanted. In short, it all looked absolutely gorgeous – it was just compact, and when occupancy is high, we’d worry it’d feel cramped.

Internet Connect:

In-room WiFi was included in the resort fee ($23) and worked without problems. We saw people on their laptops by the pool, too, so assume it works throughout the resort.

What We Liked:

The little touches – like the swish Colony Palms coasters and the fact that there was a letter addressed to us personally on the pillow (see gallery). That made us feel very wanted, seeing as we’d paid a third of the rack rate. As did getting upgraded (which, the letter on the pillow proved, had been done before we arrived and opened our charming mouth at check in). Upgrading when there are rooms available always seems like a no-brainer – it immediately gives you love for a hotel – so we don’t understand why it doesn’t happen more often.

The location was excellent – a five minute walk from Palm Canyon Drive, and about 10 minutes from Pinocchio’s, which we shall refer to as The $3.95 Bottomless Champagne Place.

And the gardens were gorgeous. If this had been our first Palm Springs hotel, we’d have been pretty stoked.

What We Didn’t Like:

There was no valet in evidence during our stay, but it was ok because we prefer self park anyway. The bathroom doors were old and a little rickety with a slight gap on the top – if you’re not totally comfortable with your roomie, this might be the aural equivalent of a peekaboo bathroom. And we were a little uncomfy having our hotel room door accessible from the street. That was a bit motelly for our liking.

And breakfast was shoddy in the extreme. But so shoddy that we’ll save that for a whole other story.

Bottom Line:

For $66, even with the $23 resort fee, this was an absolute steal. For $199 – well, taken alone, it’s a decent price but (spoiler alert), it doesn’t compare to the Parker. But we keep getting alerts for a four star, boutique property going for the $65-70 mark on Hotwire. So if you can bag it that way, definitely go for it. It’s pretty delightful.

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