Desert Princess to get a makeover, and branded as a Doubletree

January 30th, 2014 | by Skip Descant | Comments
The Desert Princess Golf Resort is planning a multimillion-dollar renovation to begin this summer. Tamara Stone/The Desert Sun

The Desert Princess Golf Resort is planning a multimillion-dollar renovation to begin this summer. Tamara Stone/The Desert Sun

A top-to-bottom renovation will soon be underway at the Desert Princess Golf Resort in Cathedral City.

The renovation  of the 285-room resort is set to begin in May and should be wrapped up by September or October, said Rick Ross, the hotel’s general manager. The Desert Princess is not anticipated to be closed at any time during the construction.

“It will be done in wings. Certain areas will be not accessible for very short periods of time, that we will work around,” said Ross.

Following the renovation, which will include new carpeting, bedding, window casements, artwork, bathroom tile and more, the property will be operated as a Doubletree brand hotel.

The property changed hands several months ago when it was purchased by Tarsadia Investments and Evolution Hospitality, both in Orange County. Evolution Hospitality is a hotel management firm best known for properties like the Queen Mary, the ocean liner-turned-hotel in Long Beach and the Long Beach Hilton.

The improvements are intended to make the property — which was last updated in the late 1980s — a more upscale hotel, more in keeping with other resort properties in the desert.

“The new restaurant bar will have a new trendy open-air bar that opens out to the pool area. It’s going to be dramatic,”  said Ross, reflecting on some of the changes to come.

Improved hotel stock should be a welcome addition to Cathedral City, which has some of the fewest and low-cost rooms in the valley. The city has suffered when it comes to attracting hotel guests, according to industry-collected data.

Hotel occupancy in the Cathedral City / Desert Hot Springs market was down 4.6 percent for the first 11 months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, according to Smith Travel Research. And occupancy in these two cities, which are grouped together by STR, averaged only 34.4 percent January through November, the lowest in the Coachella Valley.

 

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