Everyone at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs (and at the other Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos locations worldwide) is well aware of its reputation.
“We know that the perception of Hard Rock Hotels is that we are focused on a younger demographic, that it’s only about hard rock and roll, that it’s one big pool party and it’s not a place to conduct business. And really, none of that can be further from the truth,” says Greg Naylor, director of worldwide sales, hotels and casinos, in a conversation that took place in the Palm Springs hotel’s Palladium meeting room. Naylor says the brand is striving to change its reputation, yet retain its core musical identity
“What we are is a music-inspired brand. Music is in our DNA and is our differentiator,” he continues. “And what we know is that meeting planners are challenged with trying to find something new, something fresh and something different. They are tired of vanilla and are looking for new venues, changing things up a bit and going outside of their comfort zone. And that’s where we’ve been immensely successful.”
The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs had its grand opening in March 2014; in June 2016, it came under the management umbrella of Hard Rock International, which recently announced, as Naylor describes it, “a global branding initiative for all the Hard Rock Hotels, creating a cohesiveness among all of our hotels in all aspects.”
That translates to consistent service levels, top-notch dining and spa experiences and dedicated staff focused on the meetings and events aspects of the hotel. At the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs specifically, an acclaimed new chef, Kalych Padro (formerly executive chef at the Staples Center), is bringing haute cuisine to events held in any of the meeting spaces available at the hotel, including the Woodstock Ballroom and The Club, a nightclub lounge with state-of-the-art sound equipment.
The hotel offers about 30,000 square feet of meeting space, which is “unusual for a 163- room resort,” Naylor says. “Here, you can buy out the hotel and have full run of the space, with branding options that come into play as well. That can go all around the space—poolside, static items that attach to the mirrors—it runs the gamut. This is a venue you can take over, as opposed to a larger hotel where a company has less freedom to do that sort of thing.”
Plus, there’s plenty for groups to do in the Palm Springs area around the hotel, from riding the breathtaking Palm Springs Aerial Tramway 2.5 miles straight up to 8,500 feet above the Coachella Valley, enjoying fine dining at one of the city’s famed eateries like LG’s Prime Steakhouse or Spencer’s Restaurant, heading on a desert excursion to Joshua Tree National Park or taking a three-hour guided culinary walking tour to various foodie favorites around the city with Desert Tasty Tours.
Meeting planners shouldn’t be surprised to find it all at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. And for those who love the edgy vibe that the Hard Rock has always represented: Every Sunday is DRG BRUNCH at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, The Kitchen, presented by local performer Arial Tramway, co-owner of popular Palm Springs attraction Carnival Cabaret, plus many more performers.