I recently went to Palm Springs for the first time on a girl’s trip and had a fantastic time – laying by the pool, wining, dining and shopping what’s not to love! Usually before I go on vacation to a new place I do a ton of online research to get a feel for a place and to arrive with a list of recommendations from people who have been there. One of my girlfriends visits Palm Springs often so this time I relaxed and let her show us around to all of her favourite places – I call her my Palmcierge.
What really struck me about Palm Springs was the high level of customer service and the experience in each and every place we went into; restaurants, shops, taxis, poolside bars, art galleries – all at the very least were efficient and courteous but many to most treated us with genuine interest and care. Owners introduced themselves and chatted with us about their business and went well out of their way to help us get what we were looking for. Waiters told us how they came to live and work in Palm Springs (always a good story!) and an artist took the time to tell us his story and took us on a personal tour of his gallery. As a visitor and a customer I felt like all of these businesses truly wanted me to have a great experience.
This really left an impression on me – pride in your business and genuine attention to your customers is the heart of word of mouth marketing – if it’s great, people will share and recommend you to their circles. When people can connect and influence their circles of thousands to hundreds of thousands in an instant to recommend (or not recommend) a business or product, the philosophy of word of mouth marketing stems from just being great. A great product, great customer service, a great experience will be shared favourably.
Palm Springs businesses do it right. Here are my favourites I would recommend to all my friends:
Movie Colony Hotel – this boutique hotel built in the 1930′s has tons of charm and a great history of celebrities who have stayed there. We loved how intimate it was – laying by the pool felt like being at your cool celeb’s friend’s home and the communal bar and kitchen was fully stocked so you could help yourself. Dean Martini happy hour was awesome. @moviecolony
Jakes – I loved loved this place! Casual vibe with an eclectic customer base of regulars this felt like ‘real’ Palm Springs. I had the Pear Cactus Margarita and Fish Tacos (both fantastic) and could have people watched all day.
Workshop - a cool industrial looking restaurant that is both indoors and out centred around a long shared table. Interesting dishes with fresh ingredients, great wine list and service. In high season you’ll need a reservation for dinner. @workshopkitchen
ElMirasol - right beside our hotel this quaint Mexican restaurant was hopping every night – we loved the staff and would recommend the pitcher of fresh on-the-rock Margaritas to share, um, very strong.
Colony Palms Hotel – an intimate boutique hotel with 5 star luxury makes this the place celebs go (word on the street was Jack Black, Zoey Deschanel and Kate Bosworth were all staying here while we were there!) and it just oozes cool. We had old school bourbon cocktails here for happy hour poolside made by our fantastic bartender Brendan. Colony Palms was definitely one of my absolute favourites. @colonypalmsPS
Michael Weems Gallery - Michael (a lovely man and a complete character!) dropped what he was working on when we came into his gallery to tell us of his artistic journey and took us on a tour of his work which I found amazing! My favourite was his collection of American landmark signs that he photographed and then imposed on the hoods of classic American cars. So cool.
Trina Turk - a clothing, accessory and households brand of amazing quality and a great staff who helped us make many purchases (I got the most beautiful dress!). @shoptrinaturk
Koffi – our favourite morning hangout that we could walk to and a locals favourite. They have fantastic coffees (cold and hot) and the cutest dessert courtyard out back where people hangout and chat or stop on their dog walks.