Now officially known as the Double Tree by Hilton Golf Resort Palm Springs, the Cathedral City, Calif., property has modernized its look by updating rooms and meeting spaces, while adding new restaurant and bar areas, expanding its gym, and offering cabanas and firepits around the pool.
The 289-room Desert Princess, officially now known as the Double Tree by Hilton Golf Resort Palm Springs in Cathedral City, Calif., is nearing the completion of a $12 million renovation that touched nearly every inch of the property, the Palm Springs, Calif.-based Desert Sun reported.
The renovation upgrades the hotel to a full-service property with modern rooms and meeting spaces, along with new restaurant and bar areas, an expanded gym and other perks like cabanas and firepits around the pool, the Sun reported.
The Desert Princess Country Club features 27 holes of championship golf, divided into three nine-hole courses, The Vistas, The Lagos and The Cielo. A driving range, putting green, and pro shop are available as well.
“The unique opportunity at this hotel, with this location, is we’re going to kind of play in both markets,” said General Manager Martin Greenwood referring to both the Palm Springs Convention Center group-meeting market and the down-valley convention market. “So we can participate in a lot of the city-wide business, the corporate stuff, that wouldn’t have come here before because of the condition of the hotel. But also, we’re the closest resort to downtown (Palm Springs).”
To chart the history of the Desert Princess you have to return to the mid-1980s when the Princess Cruise line followed the Coachella Valley trend of building large golf resorts in desert communities outside of Palm Springs. Properties like the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort in Rancho Mirage or JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert have gone through numerous “updates” over the years, while the Desert Princess remained stuck in an era that saw the openings of movies like “Out of Africa” or “The Breakfast Club.”
“And it had not been touched since,” Greenwood said. “It looked like the ‘80s in here. It had green carpeting, green carpet base, plastic palm trees.”
Evolution Hospitality has been operating the hotel since it acquired the property in August 2013. Renovation plans began soon afterward. Company officials admit its condition had relegated the Desert Princess to one of nearly last resort for convention and other travelers, the Sun reported.
“I’m really excited about what this does for the destination,” said Greenwood as he pointed out features like Hilton Suite Dreams Beds, 49-inch TVs and of course those incredible views seen from one of the fourth-floor 400-square-foot rooms. “This was the hotel that only got any business when everything else was full. It was the hotel of last resort.
“And now, we have one of the nicest room products in the market,” Greenwood said.
The Desert Princess will finish the year averaging about 32 percent occupancy, largely because about half of the rooms were out of circulation at any given time during the renovation and the hotel was not investing in marketing efforts. Evolution Hospitality officials are projecting 58 percent occupancy for next year, the Sun reported.