Ah, the Parker. It seems to be a loaded question when you ask people what they think of it. Regardless of how they feel about the decor (which I love, personally) or the service (come on, what guy would want to wear those hot pink pants?) I have never had a bad breakfast in their dining room and I think virtually anyone would have to agree that the grounds are absolutely gorgeous.
By some sort of landscaping miracle, they are both lush and drought tolerant - with lots of meandering pathways, citrus trees dripping with fruit, and plenty of shady spots, fountains and grassy bits to ameliorate the heat.
After wandering for a little while among the pampas grasses, you come to a cute little "Lemonade Bar" serving lemonade, of course, and other "beverages" too.
A shaded lane between two petanque courts shelters a row of tables and chairs, and just beyond another hedge lies one of the two swimming pools on the grounds.
The sensibility of the Parker is sort of Morocco meets the beach - having a weakness for whimsy myself, I dig the oversized chess set and the peaked umbrellas, though someone with less tolerance for this sort of thing might not...
I also love their huge bougainvilleas that climb up the outside walls of the rooms overlooking the other pool - closer to the center of the complex.
And the vast swaths of grass punctuated by some Moroccan lawn furniture and an ancient olive tree remind me of the even-more-whimsical Delano in Miami Beach.
Since their rates are a little higher than some of the other places in town (around $300 per night) I haven't stayed there yet, but I could definitely be talked into it, despite what some have said. Maybe a girl's weekend this Spring? Who's in?
More photos can be viewed in this set.