Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Hotel Review: Pepper Tree Inn
My wife and I have now been to Palm Springs twice for mini-vacations away from the kids, and both times, we've stayed at the Pepper Tree Inn.
While planning our first trip to Palm Springs in 2006, I found the Pepper Tree Inn on TripAdvisor, where it is still ranked #8 out of 74 hotels (and, knowing me, you won't be surprised to learn that it is less than half the price of the seven hotels ahead of it).
If you read the traveler reviews, you'll see that many people are repeat customers, and for good reason (and in fact, the hotel offers a special discount to returning guests).
I have stayed in many of the finest hotels in the world--the Four Seasons, the Mandarin Oriental, the Diamond Resort--and I still consider the Pepper Tree Inn as providing the best bang for the buck.
The best way to put it is that at the Pepper Tree Inn, everything is done right. The rooms are in perfect order (we always reserve a room with an in-room hot tub) and the cleaning staff keeps them immaculate. All the little things are done right, including the toiletries, which include just about everything you'd ever need and are of the highest quality.
Here's an example: One morning, as I went out for a scenic run, I noticed the staff carefully wiping down all of the poolside lounge chairs. Note that the outside temperature was about 50 degrees, and I'd seen exactly two people in the pool my entire stay. Doesn't matter--the lounge chairs are kept spotless so that they're ready in case the urge strikes one of the guests.
Speaking of the pool, one of my favorite things about the hotel is the outdoor pool. The pool uses salt rather than chlorine, which leaves the water crystal clear and eliminates the typical chemical stench. The staff seems to clean it obsessively--I've never seen a stray leaf in the pool. It's got a gentle set of steps on either side for lounging in the water. And most importantly, it's got a hell of a view.
I ended up swimming, despite the cold temperatures. The pool was a pleasant 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it gave me an intense sense of well-being to go for a run, take a quick shower, and soak in the warm water while gazing at the nearby snow-capped peaks.
The hotel is also conveniently located on the main drag, Palm Canyon Drive, just a few blocks from where the main downtown shopping area begins.
We'll definitely be returning again.