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JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, USA
While there is no shortage of things to do in the surrounding area, this vast hotel has plenty on its doorstep to keep guests entertained. The sporty can play tennis, golf or visit the gym, while those wanting total relaxation can spend hours in the spa. There are dozens of bars and restaurants on-site, making it even harder to leave.
Rooms available from £228.14 per night
The hotel sits in the Coachella Valley, not far from Joshua Tree National Park and the nine 'cities' - in reality, they're more like small towns - that make up Greater Palm Springs. These include chi-chi Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City, where Frank Sinatra is buried. Behind it loom the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, which offer scenic hiking trails. El Paseo, the main street of the local town, Palm Desert, is lined with boutiques and art galleries. Don't miss a stop at Shields Date Garden in Indio to learn about the area's biggest crop, and enjoy a thick date milkshake.
By plane: flights to Palm Springs take 14 hours from London with a stop in Phoenix, Arizona. The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs $39 per day. Book flights to Palm Springs.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
The entrance lobby is simply huge, and reaches up to the level of the highest floor, with glass-fronted panels and palm trees adding to the sense of light and space. Otherwise, the décor in the public spaces is largely neutral, with no memorable stand-out features. An army of friendly, well-meaning staff is around to attend to every need.
From a round of golf to an Ayurvedic massage, there is plenty on offer. You can play tennis, volleyball or croquet, take a free fitness class, swim in one of four pools or park yourself (or a child) at the JW entertainment zone, packed with contemporary and retro arcade games. For kids and adults alike, the daily flamingo feeding session at one of the smaller lakes is fun.
- Swimming pools
- Tennis courts
- Fitness suite
- Paid parking
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
Rooms are unfussy yet comfortable, with pale blue and white patterned carpets, an abstract mural behind each bed which evokes the desert, light blonde wood furniture, crisp white bedding and a small terrace. The bathrooms are in sand and stone tones, with terrazzo tiling above the sinks and oval, standalone tubs.
Room types: Guest, Springs Building, Signature View rooms; Griffin, Signature, Executive, Vice Presidential, Presidential, Chairman's suites
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, bathrobe, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, desk, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
This is one of those places where you're spoiled for choice, with nearly a dozen bars and restaurants on offer. From tasting menus to classic American fare, seafood to steak, it's pretty much all available, with some restaurants situated right by the lake.
Rockwood Grill: local California dining. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mikado Japanese Steakhouse: steaks and sushi. Open daily for dinner.
Aquifer65 & The JW Sushi Bar: Japanese small plates and craft cocktails.