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Advice and what Palm Desert/Palm Springs hotel to constantly stay in

Advice and what Palm Desert/Palm Springs hotel to constantly stay in

Old Jul 2, 13, 6:07 am
  #1  
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Advice and what Palm Desert/Palm Springs hotel to constantly stay in

Hi everyone,
Here is my situation. I took a job in Palm Desert and have a very long commute.
So I decided that my longest two days out there I can spend in a hotel (two non consecutive days thus two separate stay credits a week).

I will be paying for this out of my own pocket but will be spending around $150 per stay.

At this price range I have a variety of choices from marriott/hyatt/spg/ihg/hilton and want to maximize the return (in points& possibly lifetime status) as well as have the best experience as possible.

I am currently top tier at Hilton/igh and mid tier at hyatt and spg but have never done a plat/diamond challenge so I believe I would qualify for that.

I am currently looking at the Hyatt Indian Wells and the Westin Villas Palm Desert but am open to other suggestions. (I would like to see the price point of the Ritz when it opens later but will probably be much higher than I want to spend)

I mainly wanted to get the flyertalk opinion on the best way to maximize my earning potential.

Update: I currently cannot find a closer job to where I live which is why I am driving out there.

I am mainly looking into low season (i.e. hotels for Sept-Nov.) I know rates go really high beginning of the year.

Right now it costs me about $25 gas + over 3 hours every day to drive provided there is no traffic.(I usually am going against traffic)

Thanks for the input everyone.
FYI the Renaissance Esmeralda has several nights at $87+resort fee+parking+tax in the coming months.

I think I'll first try contacting the revenue manager at each hotel and see if they will give me a discount based on x stays at their hotel

Last edited by FOX85; Jul 2, 13 at 8:55 pm
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Old Jul 2, 13, 7:58 am
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I have no advice about which to pick but you might be able to negotiate at special rate at one or the other. If it were me, if probably let that be the deciding factor all other things being equal.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 8:40 am
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The Hyatt Indian Wells is fantastic. Its also undergoing Phase II of a major reno (but most of the work is being done out of sight of guests).

During low season, you can find rooms there for under $200/night. But during high season, no way, rooms go for $300, $350 or higher.

You might be able to negotiate a special rate if you can guarantee them a certain number of stays. I've done that before at various properties where I was going to be spending 50+ nights at a single hotel per year and have gotten some incredible discounted rates.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 9:10 am
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I really liked the Westin Desert Willow Villas. New construction, very spacious suites with full kitchen, strong internet. I know if I were staying somewhere regularly, the full kitchen would be a huge benefit as opposed to having to eat all my meals in restaurants. On the other hand, staying in a hotel room in a resort where they nickel and dime you for everything would drive me nuts over a long stay. Also consider whether you can park right in front of your room. You'll get really sick and tired of parking in a remote lot and making a long walk through a hotel lobby.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 9:19 am
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Sounds like you're looking at nicer/fancier places than this, but I stayed a couple nights at the Homewood Suites Palm Desert and it was very nice. Your Hilton Diamond status won't really benefit you much there, though.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 9:38 am
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the rancho mirage hilton garden inn is a nice property, room rates with aaa discount are 89 a night on week nights, the place is surrounded by good restraunts.. if i was on my own dime i would look here
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Old Jul 2, 13, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by It'sHip2B^2 View Post
I have no advice about which to pick but you might be able to negotiate at special rate at one or the other. If it were me, if probably let that be the deciding factor all other things being equal.
This. Or the other alternative - find another job close to home. I had a long commute job for a couple of years...the decision to find a job close to home was the best decision I have ever made. I took a pay cut, but by the time you figure in the commute I am actually making more on an hourly basis, not even mentioning the stress level drop from not having to drive as much and how much my home life has improved from the extra time.

I know that's not what you were looking for here, but I felt compelled to say it considering how much it has improved my life.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 9:49 am
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As someone who lived in PS and worked in PD for way too many years I suggest that at least "in season" you stay close to your work. The drive from PD to PS in season is a bear with the increase in volume and most are tourists. Enough said.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 12:18 pm
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Have you considered Choice? There's a quite decent Comfort Inn in Palm Desert that's well under $150 a night (saving you some signficant dough if it's on your own dime), and Choice currently (as they very often do) has a promotion where every 2 separate stays (at brands like Comfort, Clarion, Quality, and Sleep) get you 8000 points. During recurring shoulder season sales, 8000 points can get you a $200+ hotel in Euorpe for one night. Most anytime, 8000 points can get you nice hotel in Tokyo for one night. Most anytime, 16000 points can get you a $200+, maybe even $300+, very nice hotel in Scandinavia. (However, Choice is all about big bonus points, not so much about elite perks.)

I can't think of a constantly-recurring promo from any of the majors that's this "rich". BUT: If you're not going to use those points overseas in these circumstances, they're not as of high value. So it depends on what you do with your points as to whether this is a great value or useless to you.


As for your lifetime status question, at present, Marriott requires both points and nights for lifetime status, and if you're staying on your dime and cutting costs, then your ean nights much faster than points. So you may need many more years than Marriott claims, simply to earn enough lifetime points! (Also, Marriott doesn't get you to even annual status any quicker with stays than with nights.)

SPG lifetime status is nights only, but then SPG properties are often even more expensive than Marriott properties (and less likely to be able to be BRG'd down IME).

I do agree that for Hilton HHonrs the HGI in Rancho Mirage is an excellent value, with frequent "sale" rates (especially in low season).

... In general, the problem you're going to have is the giant difference in prices between lowseason (most of the rest of this calendar year) and high season (starting late in the calendar year and going into the following spring). The solution that works for you, on your own dime, in low season may not work for you in high season.

Btw, I do something similar to you (staying in hotels two to three nights a week just to reduce crazy commutes), but in my case it's in Orange County, not the Coachcella Valley.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by pssteve View Post
As someone who lived in PS and worked in PD for way too many years I suggest that at least "in season" you stay close to your work. The drive from PD to PS in season is a bear with the increase in volume and most are tourists. Enough said.

Ditto

I have family who have a house in Indian Wells Country Club. Spent a week there this past April to go to a conference, and stayed at their house. It was a minimum of 30 mins in the car each way from home to downtown Palm Springs. I guess it depends on where you work, but I would stay close. Also, the Date Palm Dr. exit off of I-10 was closed and looked like it wouldn't be opening anytime soon while I was there. Indian Canyon Dr. sometimes closes when the winds are high due to the sand buildup on the road. The Renaissance Esmeralda is a beautiful property. No ideas on what the rates may be for your timeframe.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 2:10 pm
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Priceline unless you come across smth real special (price match or travel zoo etc). Points perks earned from regulal rates are not worth the extra money spent. I routinely pricelined Hyatt grand champions for 70-80 when rates were 200+. There will be resort fees.
(I assume of course you don't get reimbursed)
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Old Jul 3, 13, 8:21 pm
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Pick the hotel you like best. Talk to the GM. Discuss your plans and the number of stays you're willing to guarantee. Negotiate. You will be very pleased with the final cost of the room.
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Old Jul 3, 13, 11:17 pm
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We have been able to pull a BRG out of the Renaissance every year we have gone there. Nice hotel and usually get a really good deal.
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Old Jul 4, 13, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by antignos View Post
We have been able to pull a BRG out of the Renaissance every year we have gone there. Nice hotel and usually get a really good deal.
Getting a BRG / LNF once a year is very different from getting it twice a week every week of the year. I know because I stay in the same area for work (even though it's a different area) two to three nights just about every week of the year. I keep requesting LNFs for the same hotels over and over, but more than half of the third-party LNFable rates get pulled (or at least raised a lot in price) after I've requested several LNFs in a row for the same hotel using the same site. So it's a challenge to be able to keep requesting LNFs for the same area over and over again.

The one thing keeping me sane is that I'm now pursuing Marriott points bonuses, rather than certs bonuses, so I can do three-night stays instead of hotel hopping. Which cuts the number of LNFs I need to do by 2/3. Which slightly reduces, though by no means eliminates, the problem I described above.

And, btw, Marriott one of the few programs in which you can do many BRGs in the same month. Many other programs (especially those whose BRGs give you one free night out of your stay, rather than Marriott's 25% discount) limit you to one BRG every 30 days or whatever. For you who needs the hotel only once a year, that's not an issue. For the OP who needs two hotel stays every week of the year, that's a very big issue!
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Old Jul 4, 13, 10:07 am
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I agree with penner42. I stayed Homewood suites in palm desert and it wasn't amazing but it has everything you need (kitchen, free breakfast, complimentary waters for gold members). I was also able to nab it at around 80 with a groupon.
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