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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa Review by Palm Springs Resident

Updated: Jun 8

Flamingos in the water at the entrance of the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa
Entrance to the JW Marriott Desert Resort and Spa Photo by Kathy Condon

Living in Coachella Valley, residents drive by beautiful resorts and hotels. However, since we have our residences, we rarely have the opportunity to experience the ambiance and amenities of these outstanding resorts.

I was offered the opportunity to spend a night at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa to help unveil its JW Desert Springs Spa enhancements. I checked my calendar and was delighted I could accept the invitation.

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Water and fountain in foreground and in the distance two pools, palm trees and hotel building off to the right.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa View from Guest Room Photo by Kathy Condon

Arrival at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa

The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa is the largest in Palm Desert, with 884 guest rooms, which include 101 luxury suites, 400 King guest rooms, and 383 Queen Guest rooms.

As I checked in, someone said, "This a city within a city."  I would find that observation accurate as I explored the 450 acres surrounded by mountains on three sides. Everything you would need can be found at this resort.

With an activities list and a map, I headed to my 8th-floor room, with its breathtaking view. In the distance, snow-capped mountains provided a backdrop for the scene before me. The beautiful golf course, pools, and brilliant sun made for a tourism bureau's dream photo.

While unpacking, there was a knock at the door. I opened it, and there was a beautiful welcome gift of fruit and vegetables. The creative presentation and the makeup of the cuisine were my first hints that it would be a stay unlike any others I had experienced.

Reception at Rockwood Grill

After a quick nap under the fantastic comfy linens in the king-size bed, it was time to get dressed for the welcome reception at the Rockwood Grill on the water's edge.

I was great to meet people I had communicated with via email. Meeting fellow journalists and travel writers from the Los Angeles and San Diego area was fun, sharing our experiences and reactions to the welcome thus far.

Scallops prepared on small dishes that are under heat lamps. Surrounding the table is the Bakery Chef, Sous Chef and Assistant at the Rockwood Grill at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa
Bakery Chef, Sous Chef and Assistant at the reception at the RockWood Grill Photo by Kathy Condon

Cuisine Served at the Reception

It was a delight to have Chef Eric Theiss share his thoughts on creating the evening's outstanding buffet on the Rockwell Grill patio.

For the first time, he and his staff produced a buffet using foods from the Blue Zones, those five areas of the world where people live the longest.

Let's use a cliché: He and his staff " Hit it out of the ballpark." Each dish seemed better than the previous one I tasted. The delightful dessert of sorbet was made before our eyes. The lemon flavor danced on our tastebuds.

Evening view with two pools lit up in the distance and building off to the left.
View from Guest Room of the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa Photo by Kathy Condon

The Official Welcome

Jan Hulahan, Director of Sales and Marketing, welcomed us and introduced Dawn Ferraro, the JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa Director.

Dawn shared that the next day, we would be one of the first to see their new coed lounge and have the opportunity to experience the chairs using the latest technology. We could relax and rejuvenate as we relaxed in the lounge and enjoyed the amenities of a Day Pass for the Spa.

Plus, we learned this particular Marriott is the first in the world to debut the first JW Wellness Lounge and the Barker Wellness product for the exclusive Barker Wellness CBD Massage.

The following day's activities loomed fairly early in the morning, so I took my leave from the reception.

I wandered some of the many paths and eventually headed to my room. Sitting on my balcony patio made me feel and appreciate the world surrounding me in Coachella Valley.

Pedestal glasses filled with oatmeal, a sauce and topped with pansies at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa Bistro Room
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa Bistro serving breakfast. Photo by Kathy Condon

Morning Began at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Spa

Walking into the bistro, a part of the Palm Desert JW Desert Marriott Spa, caused me to break into a smile. On the long counter was a variety of breakfast items waiting to be scooped up by fellow travel writers and taken to the set tables waiting for us.

Chef Theiss greeted us and said he carried on the theme and that all the food options were vegan. He shared they are testing recipes, and many of the items we had the opportunity to taste may or may not be on the resort's menu in the future.

In any case, they are working to ensure the menu has some vegan options throughout the resort, including around the pool. However, the standard hamburger and hot dogs will still be available for those who want it.

Gold, yellow and white sofas surrounded by white sheer curtains in the coed lounge of the JW Marriot Desert Springs Spa
Coed Wellness Lounge at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa Photo by Kathy Condon

Entering the JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa Coed Wellness Lounge

We were broken into groups and directed to one of the new relaxation chairs. We changed chairs every 20 minutes.

First Chair-- A separate piece was placed over your stomach, noted to help with digestion. With numerous settings, you could adjust which area of your body you wanted massaged.

Since I had just returned from a trip to New York City and had walked miles, I appreciated how it massaged my still sore hips.

Burnt orange-colored lounge chairs drapes with blankets. The screen to selection music for the headphones is by two of them at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa.
JW Marriott Desert Springs High Technology Chairs Photo Courtesy of JW Marriott Desert Springs

Second Chair—With headphones on my head, I sat back, chose the setting "Emotional," and relaxed to the soothing music.

Third Chair—And, perhaps, my favorite chair. Wearing a mask, I soon felt the heat, and then it gently started massaging my sinuses. Oh my, with the weather being less than perfect lately, I appreciated how I could feel my sinuses clearing. I enjoyed every aspect of this particular experience.

A hot tub, and two massage tables covered in pink in a room for couple massage at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Spa
Couples Massage Room at the JW Marriott Desert Springs

On to A 60 Minute Massage with CBD

The JW Marriott Spa Palm Desert offers 60-minute massages instead of 50-minute ones. Be sure to book a Barker Wellness CBD Massage to ensure CBD will be used for your treatment.

The warmth of the oil and the excellent therapeutic hands of my masseur were what I needed to create the final scenario for me to recover from a seven-day trip that included four airplanes and walking miles.

Alas, the rain was moving in after the massage, and flooding streets was predicted. Thus, I chose to leave the soothing oil on my skin, changed into my street clothes, and headed back to the safety of my home 10 miles away.

The overnight stay opened my eyes to several features of this magnificent resort in our Valley:

· The cuisine is varied, and there is something for the pickiest eater I may have to entertain in the Valley.

·  If you want a resort with all services on your vacation, you cannot go wrong at the spa JW Marriott Palm Desert.

·  I've become a linen snob—you won't be disappointed with the feel as you crawl into one of their very comfortable beds.

· If you want a spa day with friends, this is one of the top spas in Coachella Valley using the Barker Wellness product line founded by renowned musician Travis Barker. These products elevate the massage experience with both CBD and CBC Muscle Therapy Cream and Cannabiond-infused Body Oil.

The timing was perfect for me to experience the food and treatments of the resort. However, even more importantly, my awareness of its amenities will be helpful as I continue to share the resources available to visitors in Coachella Valley.

Kathy Condon in a white shirt with large gold beads.
Kathy Condon Journalist and Travel Writer

Kathy Condon is a Journalist, Travel Writer, and Award-winning Author. Her niche is luxury experiences and communities living in the shadows of larger ones.   ABOUT KATHY        Publications can be viewed here. 760-902-3094

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