We stayed at the Palm Springs Renaissance on points back in January and I have been meaning to publish a positive review ever since. It's all too easy, at least for me, to quickly complain when things go wrong and I often don't make public mention when things go right. And boy did things go right in this case...
Background: lifetime platinum using points to stay in a 2-queen room for three nights as a family of 4 (kids 8 and 10) so that we could explore the desert, including Joshua Tree National Park, starting 2 January 2018.
We arrived at the hotel about 7pm, self parked, and were quickly made aware that the Palm Springs Film Festival was starting that night as there were dozens of limos, tuxedo clad men and evening gown wearing women everywhere. Having just come from hours of hiking in the dusty desert my crew and I looked like complete hell. "Oh boy", I thought to myself as we approached the check in desk. I left the Mrs and my oldest with our rag tag pile of bags, luggage and other gear (we arrived in PS after spending 5 nights in San Diego so were quite unorganized) and my daughter and I were greeted very warmly by the 2 young women at the desk.
The BEST check in of my 20 year traveling career. The women found our reservation, commented on my platinum status and then asked about how many were with us. My daughter took over and told them that it was the four of us on vacation and that it was her first time in California and that she loved it so much and that we had a great day of climbing rocks and that she couldn't believe all the fancy outfits in the lobby and that she was super excited by the huge pool she could see through the lobby and etc. etc. etc. and kept carrying on in the way only an excited and veteran traveling 8 year old girl can be.
That's when the women started poking their screens and told me that we would be upgraded (Score!). But I didn't immediately say yes as I was worried that an upgrade could mean king-suite with pull out instead of the needed 2 proper beds. Before I could finish asking this question I was cut off and told that we were being upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite, which one of the women stated was her 'favorite room in the hotel'. (Super Score!). I thanked them profusely and we continued with the process.
I was told that there was no lounge (which I knew already) but that I was eligible for breakfast vouchers for 2 people each day at the restaurant. Because we were 4 people, I asked if there were any other options for perks thinking maybe I'd just get some points plus we planned to be up and out early each day for exploration, to which one of the the women said "I'll just give you 4 vouchers for each day". Free Food Score!
They informed me that the parking lot was being paved the next day and that I would need to have my car out by 8am and then park at the next door convention center for the remainder of our stay. I said sure, no problem, as we planned to be gone early anyway. Without any other conversation one of the women said 'I'm going to waive the parking fee because of the inconvenience'. Parking score!
After many more thank yous, we collected our dusty selves and headed to what turned out to be a fantastic room: a large sitting area with efficiency kitchen, splitting off into 2 bedrooms: 2 queens in one room and a king in another. Giant closet and single bathroom. I often find myself getting an upgrade to a suite (and even once to a 2 level apartment in Ft Worth) when I am by myself and it's kind of a waste. Getting this with my family in tow was awesome. If I was trying to find a problem I suppose the room could have had a better view (it was exterior looking at parking lot instead of the mountains or interior looking at gardens/pool) but since we didn't plan to be in the room except to shower and sleep it made no difference to us.
Turned out the hotel was maybe about half full based on the pool and restaurant crowds and we loved our mornings and evenings spent there. Everyone we came into contact with was pleasant and I am still glowing at the treatment from the front desk crew months later. The breakfast buffet was wonderful and we ended up starting all of our days later than planned because we couldn't tear ourselves away. Pool was huge and heated but I can't really give a true review of it as we only dipped in it after dark each night when it was deserted so I have no idea how crowded it could be or how well the sun hits it in its courtyard setting. Easy walk to the main drag for food and shopping and on Thursdays they close the road for a street fair type thing, which was very cool.
I cannot think of a single thing they could have done to make the experience better or to treat me and my family as more valuable. It really was fantastic. I left $10 on our table at the buffet every morning and $40 in the room when we left and told the crew at check out how wonderful everything had been. We also brought back some cookies for the check in crew after our dinner that first night! Best stay we have had anywhere.