by Lissa Poirot
One of three Marriott properties surrounding 36 holes of rolling golf course in Palm Desert (in the greater Palm Springs area), the Marriott Desert Springs Villas I is a perfect place for families, providing all of the comforts of home in spacious villas as part of Marriott’s Vacation Club. Its sister property, Marriott Desert Springs Villas II, offers the same amenities, but in smaller configurations, making this location our favorite of the two. Each property shares a check-in desk in the main clubhouse.
Villas are outfitted with two bedrooms, dining areas, breakfast bars, living rooms, and full kitchens, as well as in-villa washers and dryers. The villas are best suited for families who need a lot of space and are staying for a week. Scattered throughout both villa properties are a number of pools, but the main pool, the Palmeras Pool, is the star attraction. For family games, children’s activities, a movie theater and a teen lounge, The Shade is the place to be. Although the only onsite dining is a bar and grill open for lunch and afternoons at the Palmeras Pool, guests who don’t want to cook or BBQ at the many grills across the resort can easily pop into the neighboring JW Marriott Desert Springs, which offers four restaurants.
Villas I turned 25 in 2015 and received renovations during that time. Its sister property, Villas II, is the newer property, and began undergoing renovations in early 2015. In combination, there are 638 villas with 1,276 rental configurations on the resort’s 55 acres.
For more information, read about Marriott Vacation Club Resorts and Hotels.
Our Editor Loves
- Seven pools
- Suites with full kitchens
- Kids activity center and teen lounge
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The villas are located in buildings with 10, two-bedroom units on two stories. Elevators to the second story are not available, so if you have little ones and strollers, ask for a ground floor villa.
Guestrooms feature two double beds, sleeping a total of four guests, mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, dishware, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.
One-bedroom villas feature one king bed and one sofa bed, sleeping a total of four guests, with all of the same amenities as standard guestrooms, but with full kitchens, too. A washer and dryer, DVD player and an additional TV are also located in one-bedroom villas. One-bedrooms connect to make the two-bedroom villas.
Spacious two-bedroom villas feature a main door leading into a foyer with two doors leading to separate spaces. The larger space is a one-bedroom suite with a full-kitchen offering serving and cooking ware, an oven, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, full-sized refrigerator, dishwasher and garbage disposal, as well as a breakfast bar. The open-concept space connects to a dining area for six and a sunken living room with a wraparound couch with a queen sofa bed and a chair. A bathroom with a shower is connected to the living area and the bedroom, which also has a private sink and soaking tub. The bedroom features a king bed and ample closet space. Both the bedroom and living room feature large flat-screen TVs, and a full-sized stacked washer and dryer are located near the bathroom. A large balcony or patio is connected to the living room and bedroom.
The second room, which can be locked off if only needing the one-bedroom suite, is a room with two queen beds, a kitchenette with a mini-fridge and a microwave, a bathroom with a separate shower and tub, and a chair. These rooms are sometimes available as standalone rooms, but as the property is a timeshare resort with nightly rental programs, most often the rooms are only available as a second bedroom option. While the locked foyer means families can keep the doors open between rooms for a full suite, kids may still close their door, so be sure to keep a key on you just in case!
by A Zorel P
We reside in Los Angeles. At last minute decided to visit one of our favorite areas in California. Made a reservation for 3 nights at Marriott Desert Springs Resort - a time share property. Pleasantly surprised with the grounds and facilities. We had a Studio unit, two queen beds (very comfortable) large bathroom area (Shower and Tub) ample area for breakfast and necessary utensils (coffee maker, refrig. etc)
Nearbye pool and tennis court - great area for walks. Hotel nearby with Shuttel service. Hotel has two golf courses.
The staff were exceptional. Very Responsive to needs.
by Christine C
This place was so beautiful! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful . Very close to many activities, or just enjoy the resort and it’s many activities. Great and friendly guests. Great golf for those that play. Shopping very close.
The resort's recreational center is home to the Maze Kids' Club, an activity center where kids ages 4 and up can enjoy the facilities and programs with their parents. The center does not offer supervised kids' programs, with the exception of occasional Kids' Night Out programs for children ages 4 to 12. The center offers bicycle rentals, fitness classes, Wii, iPads, a rock-climbing wall, table tennis, Foosball and a 15-seat movie theater. A demonstration kitchen is also located here, with special sessions for families like candy sushi making and pizza cooking lessons. The Shade is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For teens, the Den, also located at The Shade, provides a place to get away from their parents from 4 to 8 p.m. daily. The Den features a flat-screen TV, Wii, Xbox and iMac computers for connecting with friends back home.
Villas I, as the older of the two villa properties, was the first to create a connection with its neighboring sister, the JW Marriott Desert Springs. Mondays through Fridays, guests of Villas I can enjoy the JW's expansive pool and tennis courts at no additional charge. (Villas II guests only receive free tennis court usage.)
The resort offers seven pools, two of which are considered "quiet" pools (best suited for adults). The resort's main pool, Palmeras, offers two large pools, one temperature controlled to both heat and cool (for those hot summer days). Three hot tubs and a wading pool are also located at this pool center, making this the spot families like to hang out at throughout their stay. However, the smaller pools are scattered about the resort and your family may prefer one within steps of your suite.
The resort offers a small playground on Bougainvillea Circle, a sports court, fire pits and bicycle rentals, with 2.5- and 3.5-mile trails available for biking and walking. Social events are held in a pavilion near The Shade, including wine and cheese nights and brats and beer nights, as well as special events.
The Water's Edge Bar & Grill
The only onsite dining is available at the Water's Edge Bar & Grill at the Palmeras Pool. The menu features lunch items like burgers, sandwiches, salads and a full bar. As a seasonal poolside grill, hours vary.
The Marketplace, located at the Clubhouse, features Starbucks coffee, made-to-order sandwiches, breakfast pastries and grab-and-go items from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The store also features sundries and a selection of groceries for in-villa meals and snacks. A second Marketplace Express is located in Jasmine Court, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Free Wii is available for all guests.
Pets are not allowed on the resort.
Onsite parking is complimentary.
Check-In is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 10 a.m.
The villas are part of a timeshare property with nightly rentals offered and maintained by Marriott Vacation Club. To learn more about the Vacation Club, with locations around the world, visit Marriott Vacation Club.com.
The Art of Smart Timing
The villas are timeshares and mostly owned by an older crowd. During the winter months, it's a sleepier community, with families visiting on weekends. The villas' peak season for families is the summer, when temperatures in Palm Springs can soar to 120 degrees. Visit in the winter months to enjoy milder temperatures.
Desert Springs Villas I is located in Palm Desert, 13 miles from Palm Springs International Airport. The small airport connects to multiple airports in California and the west. Palm Springs is located less than two hours from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, California via highway routes.
The Greater Palm Springs area is a destination resort area, where most families prefer to stay on property when visiting. Guests of the Villas can enjoy free shuttle service around the resort, and shuttles to the JW Marriott are also available. Taxis are plentiful in the area, if you'd prefer to mainly stay on the resort, but rental cars are available from the largest rental chains at the airport.
For Mom and Dad
Guests of the villas will be hard pressed to ignore the 36 holes of golf tucked throughout the resort (not included in resort costs). Parents should also enjoy the events that are often hosted at the resort, such as wine and cheese nights at the outdoor pavilion.