Thompson Coming To Palm Springs, Replacing Andaz

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

It looks like Hyatt has a new plan for opening a luxury hotel in Palm Springs.

The abandoned Andaz Palm Springs

Back in 2015 it was announced that an Andaz would be coming to Palm Springs. At the time the plan was for the 150-room hotel to open in 2016. For those of you not familiar with Andaz, this is Hyatt’s luxury(ish) lifestyle hotel brand, with properties in popular destinations around the world.

The reality is that this property was already in the pipeline long before it was announced that it would be branded as a Hyatt, as the four acre property has been under development in some form for nearly a decade now.

To this day the project still isn’t completed. The development seems to be cursed in just about every way — there have been endless allegations of breach of contract, lack of payment to contractors, etc. In mid-2020 it was announced that the hotel had landed in bankruptcy court, with the controlling entity selling its stake in the property.

Up until this point there have been no real updates, and based on what I had heard, the project was more or less dead, at least as a Hyatt.

Thompson Palm Springs now in the pipeline

It’s my understanding that a new company has now taken over this project, and there are plans to open the Thompson Palm Springs. When you go to the Hyatt Development webpage, you’ll see the Thompson Palm Springs listed, and when you click the “view website” button, it brings you to the website of the Andaz Palm Springs.

Only time will tell if the project moves along a bit faster this time. The fact that construction is mostly complete means that in theory it should be possible to complete this project within a year or so, assuming paperwork and permits don’t cause big delays.

For now there are more questions than answers, though it’s nice to know that this project isn’t fully canceled, and that it will remain in the Hyatt ecosystem.

There are still only renderings of the Andaz for now — Andaz and Thompson are largely comparable Hyatt brands in terms of the size of properties, level of luxury, and crowd they’re going after. The major difference will be the finishes, though that shouldn’t be much of an issue to change, since no work has been done on the interior yet.

Andaz Palm Springs lobby rendering (soon to be Thompson)

Andaz Palm Springs lobby lounge rendering (soon to be Thompson)

Andaz Palm Springs pool rendering (soon to be Thompson)

Andaz Palm Springs pool firepit (soon to be Thompson)

Andaz Palm Springs guest room (soon to be Thompson)

Andaz Palm Springs guest room (soon to be Thompson)

Another awesome California addition for Hyatt

A few general notes about this property specifically, and about Hyatt’s overall footprint in California.

First of all, I like Palm Springs, but it’s not my favorite place in the world. There are a few reasons I’m excited about this property:

  • I wouldn’t travel cross country to visit Palm Springs, though what I love so much about California is the geographic diversity, so this would be great as part of a bigger trip to California; this will also be awesome for those in SoCal who are looking for a weekend getaway
  • Palm Springs is desperately lacking luxury points hotels; I still miss the Parker Palm Springs belonging to Starwood Preferred Guest; the hotel still exists, but it’s no longer affiliated with a major hotel points program
  • While I’m generally excited about this development, I wish this were a more secluded resort with a bit more land, rather than a four acre development right in the heart of the city

Parker Palm Springs room

On top of that, I can’t help but point out how beautifully Hyatt’s luxury portfolio in California is starting to develop:

  • As of this month there will be three Alila properties in California, between the Alila Ventana Big Sur, Alila Marea Beach Encinitas, and Alila Napa Valley
  • For Hyatt loyalists, you have luxury hotel options to enjoy the beaches in SoCal, the nature in Big Sur, and wine country in Napa Valley, plus this Palm Springs addition coming soon
  • Hyatt still has lots of room for improvement when it comes to luxury hotel options in cities in California, though, as Hyatt’s footprint is still largely lacking in Los Angeles and San Francisco; it’s improving slowly (like the addition of the Thompson Hollywood), but there’s still lots of potential

Alila Marea Beach Encinitas

Bottom line

It would appear that the much delayed Andaz Palm Springs will now become the Thompson Palm Springs. I love the Thompson brand, and am thrilled to see this hotel will be joining the Hyatt portfolio.

Here’s to hoping that this project actually gets finished this time around, because it has been delayed endlessly.

Are you excited about the Thompson Palm Springs?

(Tip of the hat to Tom)

  1. Guess you don’t consider the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage a “points associated hotel that is more secluded.”

  2. As someone that loves Palm Springs and Hyatt this is great news, as the Hyatt Palm Springs is a well located but extremely dated hotel. While the HRC/Welk property is a decent location for visiting the area, especially as a queer traveler, nothing compares to downtown Palm Springs, especially not anything in Cathedral City.

  3. There’s actually two more Hyatt’s coming up in SoCal (Oceanside) and as I surfer, I am really excited about paying them a visit. Their opening is stated for May/June on their website. One is a Destination hotel (The Seabird) and the other one a JDV property (Mission Pacific). Looks great overall and I look forward to paying them a visit soon.

  4. It’s worth noting that Hyatt is only the management company, not the developer, so the contract disputes and non payment to contractors is a result of the developer and owners negligence, rather than that of Hyatt’s. The hotel has a surprisingly minimal input into the actually development process.

  5. The locator pin on the development website for the Thompson Palm Springs actually references another different hotel, namely that dream hotel at the corner of Calle Alvarado and Amado Road. The Andaz is at Alejo, Indian Canyon Drive and Palm Canyon Drive.

  6. Who is the “developer” and who is going to pay the contractors for the work that has been done so far? If Hyatt is buying this building isn’t it their responsibility to make sure the developer has settled it’s debts? I work for one of the subcontractors on this building & it’s a travesty that they have not been paid for work they did two years ago!

  7. Christian, Rancho Mirage is not Palm Springs. They are two different cities. That’s why they have different names.

  8. Hi. The Hyatt Development website gives the location on Amado Road and Calle Alvarado, which is the site of the abandoned Dream Hotel project, and not the Andaz location on Alejo Road. This proposed Thompson is across from the PS Convention center.

  9. With Palm Springs being what it is, I’m surprised you don’t like it. Would think it would be up your alley.

  10. @Teo, I’m not being snide when I say if that’s how you feel about the Andaz brand, you will absolutely loathe Thompson.

  11. A little confused by your comment about Hyatt’s footprint lacking in San Francisco, as they have two of the largest hotels in the city (Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and Grand Hyatt Union Square). Plus the old Westin in SoMa is now affiliated with Hyatt as the Park Central — another big, higher end hotel. And then there are a few old Joie de Vivre props in addition to a Hyatt Centric and Hyatt Place also in the downtown area. I feel like Hyatt is one of the better-represented chains in SF, actually.

    Also, that Andaz property in Palm Springs is hardly almost finished. It’s a big hulking shell of concrete and metal beams and looks very much abandoned. Someone should at a minimum remove the signs saying “opening early 2019” or whatever it says, such an embarrassment to the Andaz brand.

  12. @ Diane
    As I understand these things, the developer pays or files for protection. Ultimately someone else might own and finish the property and reach a deal for management under a Hyatt or other label. Hyatt is involved in neither ownership nor construction.

  13. @TK spit out my coffee laughing at your comment. That was hilarious, thank you.

    Based upon these comments I’m now starting to wonder if Ben might be mistaken and the Thompson and Andaz will both concurrently be built? They do seem targeted at the same audience so it would be odd for them to exist right next to each other. But then again, maybe Hyatt’s betting on the Andaz never working out, the current hotel owners going with a different brand eventually, and now Hyatt is putting a new horse in the race.

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