Most hotels probably prefer not to deal with too much drama, especially from their staff. But Bravo’s upcoming reality docu series “Welcome to the Parker” will “delve into the relationships and drama of the hotel staff and their guests” and “take viewers into the world of the luxurious Parker Palm Springs hotel.” Jonathan Adler’s over-the-top interior design provides plenty of eye candy for the one-hour episodes, produced by Snackaholic, which did the “Tabloid Wars” series. This real-life version of “Hotel” airs on Bravo later in 2007.
Soul in the Springs: The desert is jammed with steakhouses, but for something different, try Simba’s Rib House in downtown Palm Springs. Opened by a former backup singer for Ray Charles, Simba’s cooks up slow-smoked ribs, jambalaya, mac ‘n’ cheese and catfish, with live jazz and R&B on weekends. 190 N. Sunrise, Palm Springs, 760-778-7630
Art direction: Spend some time exploring the area’s more unusual attractions. Desert Hot Springs’ Cabot Museum is a folk art monument built in the 1940s by an eccentric homesteader in the form of a three-room Hopi-style pueblo. cabotsmuseum.org
Wild rides: Visit the mysterious Integraton or interact with wolves on Hummer-equipped tours that leave from the Palm Springs area. Tours of the desert at night and the San Andreas Fault also are available. elitelandtours.com
Desert sounds: Pappy & Harriet’s Saloon in Pioneertown, a former Western film shooting set north of Palm Springs, draws patrons from as far as Los Angeles for alt-country and other types of down-home music. Musicians including Daniel Lanois, Lucinda Williams, Eric Burden and Jonathan Richman frequently make the trek to the remote roadhouse. pappyandharriets.com
Much of the land on which Palm Springs is built is owned by a sovereign nation, the Agua Caliente band of the Cahuilla Indians. The tribe was wealthy even before it opened the Spa Resort Casino, which includes the Spa Hotel. The tribe recently announced plans to tear down the midcentury style hotel on Indian Canyon Avenue and replace it with a twice-as-large, 420-room resort and a 60,000-square-foot addition to the casino. The hotel was built on top of natural mineral springs, so demolition will have to proceed carefully to preserve the healing waters. The giant Agua Caliente casino in nearby Rancho Mirage also is run by the tribe.
At the fest, the tribe is sponsoring the closing-night screening of John Boorman’s “The Tiger’s Tail” and the wrap party at Palm Springs High School.
OTHER STORIES FROM THE PALM SPRINGS INTL. FILM FESTIVAL REPORT