During this years trip to Coachella, we stayed in Palm Springs & chose the Hilton Palm Springs. We narrowed the search of many, many beautiful hotels in this little city in the desert from the list recommended when you buy your tickets, which is basically all the hotels where the shuttle to & from the festival will the stopping.
There is no way around it, staying in a hotel anywhere in the Indio Valley/Palm Desert area is gonna be a little pricey & unfortunately, prices can triple over Coachella season, but the hotels try & make up for this at least by throwing pool parties & day clubs to give you a little bit more for your money. Also, now after doing it, I can't tell you how amazing it is to be on the shuttle route, so would still recommend this.
As you can see from my own pictures, we decided on the Hilton Palm Springs as is looks to be everything you could want from a desert bolt hole, beautiful pool area, bright & airy, palm trees everywhere & pretty outdoor space you can shade from the 100 degree sun. Also, being a global brand there isn't often too many nasty surprises.
I'm going to start with the positives, because there are some. The pool area is STUNNING, we had a garden room (despite having booked a pool view upper level but it worked out ok). This meant we had an outside eating area and sun loungers as well as a little gate straight in to the pool, which in fairness is where we spent 90% of our time while at the hotel. The room was big, with a nice bathroom & decent dressing area too and a HUGE plus was a mini fridge that we empty for you to stock up which for us was amazing as we were traveling between states/cities so were traveling with road snacks and also to keep bottled water cold *an absolute Coachella essential. The a/c was great, the beds super comfortable, it was very clean & the housekeeping staff couldn't do enough.
Now for why this post is a little different to any of my others. On arriving we were told that the room we had booked months in advance & partially paid for wasn't available, we were told we were going to have an 'upgrade' to a garden room. This was a little bit annoying, but fine we were there to have fun & had been driving 8 hours. Next we were told that the pool would be closed from 10am - 6pm everyday of our stay for the day club. Slightly less ok, as that was 95% of the reason we booked, we then however were told we'd be able to attend the pool party we just had to go & get wristbands in the morning. Again, this was fine, not ideal but would be fun. The last part to our check in experience, was something I've never experienced at a hotel before, we had paid half of the total stay before even arriving at the hotel, we were then asked to clear a credit card at the front desk for any charges, fine this is totally normal, however then on top of this we were asked to pay the entire first night again via debit. I explained, even showing statement we had already paid but they were not having it. Eventually, I just gave in & paid again, but this put me hundreds out of pocket for the weekend straight away.
We settled in, forgot about it & just has a great night. The nature with Coachella is people, or those who aren't quite as tough in the heat (me) head off a little later, so we settled into the pool early just to make the most of the beautiful weather before heading to the festival. The music started & all was well, then after a couple of hours as it started to fill up we were asked to go & get a wrist band, fair enough. We went to the desk & were told it would be $30, we explained we were hotel guests & they said we still has to pay. We were sure there was a mistake so went to reception, they didn't help, so went to the desk again explaining & were asked to wait. After sitting in reception for 20 minutes, we went up again, still no wrist bands. We headed back to the room, to find out gate to the pool had been locked and security were now on every door. As all the pool bar was also closed for the day club, we ordered room service & got ready for Coachella (& had the first of the three best days ever). Day two, we again got to enjoy the pool & a few moments of the day club in the morning before being told we needed wristbands, we tried at the desk again, thinking we would just suck it up & pay, despite not being ideal to just enjoy it, Skrillex was also playing this day so it would kind have been worth it. The price had doubled to $60 though & we thought for a couple of hours it wouldn't have been worth it, so again headed back for lunch & to get ready for the festival. It should also be noted, my heart was absolutely broken, when an adorable little old lady walked by with her walker as the bass blasted through the hall, not an issue for us, but for her weekend away in Palm Springs without any prior notification to guests I imagine she was pretty disappointed. Just before leaving to go out this day, I had a phone call to the room saying we needed to settle the room service bill, I explained we had a credit card on file & they said this was for the first night room charge not additionals, meaning at this point we had paid for 4 nights, having only stayed there for two. With no use of the pool.
I went & paid as we didn't really have a choice, but now my back up card was maxed out. The final day we decided to head to some of our friends hotel in the morning & had a beautiful day by the pool (Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel) & ate lunch at their poolside restaurant. *I will say this was so nice to have a relaxing pool day & the hotel is beautiful but this is the polar opposite so if you want a bit more of the party I would recommend the Hard Rock or another listed hotel. It was great to have the available, but it would have been even better to have been able to enjoy the pool at the hotel we had paid for.
I never, ever normally share posts of negative experiences, I think omission of any publicity is enough, unless people directly ask me as it's not nice to spread negativity. However, this was an exception & the Hilton have done nothing since to help rectify the problem, even after showing them statements of the over charge. It was a catalogue of issues that made them all see bigger, the biggest disappointment was the pool. The whole reason we chose the hotel, having looked this year, I think the dayclub tickets are included BUT this doesn't help everyone this year who couldn't go & weren't told in advance. It also would have been better if we has a higher room so could have properly watched the sets, but if our 'upgrade' once the gate we closed we couldn't see a thing.
Back to normal, happy, experiences & tips soon.
*I just wanna say we still had an AMAZING time, because the my friends are awesome, the pool when were allowed in it is stunning, Coachella is the best festival in the world & California never fails to deliver on every level.