From the moment the initial sign went up, people asked.
“What does the D stand for?”
“Whatever you want it to be,” answered Michael Hargett, who co-owns The D Resort, a six-room boutique hotel in north Palm Springs, with his partner Daniel Doiron, who make their full-time residence in Orange County.
“People told me to keep the name simple,’ Doiron said.
Considering the property has taken on several looks over the years – ranging from a hotel to a Thai restaurant – the hope is that they come to remember the name.
The resort is still in its growing stages with a restaurant currently under construction. However, the duo have already made a positive impression in the first couple of months since opening the resort portion, creating a buzz on travel websites with one of those amenities often overlooked because of their commonality.
Each room comes equipped with a Bellagio bed, which retail for as much as $5,000 apiece. They sit higher than most hotel beds and the mattress includes a plush pillow top.
“I knew they were comfortable, but didn’t realize how comfortable,” Hargett said.
Doiron recalled one older couple who arrived at 4:30 a.m. looking for a room because the one they had booked had been sold due to their late arrival.
“We put them in a suite and they asked us to wake them up at 10 a.m. because they had a meeting,” Doiron said. “They didn’t get out of their room until 2 p.m., and all they talked about was the bed and the shower.”
Hargett has designed each room using color as a theme from the bedspreads, furniture and accessories to the artwork. Each exudes the same comfort as the beds and provide easy maneuverability. The showers are oversized, particularly the one in the handicapped accessible room that can fit two wheelchairs.
“I learned how to decorate in my own style,” said Hargett, whose background includes real estate development, vacation rentals and restaurant management. “I just did it the way I liked.”
The investment has been purely their own, beginning when Doiron was hired as a consultant by a bank to determine why the tenant was behind in mortgage payments. When the bank moved to foreclose on the property at 2249 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Doiron bought it.
“It was just luck. I was actually looking for another hotel,” said Doiron, who spent much of his career in the hospitality industry, primarily in Las Vegas. He also has a Palm Springs connection when he worked as general manager of the Ingleside Inn under Mel Haber.
Hargett used to come out to the desert from Orange County to unwind.
“Every time I came here I felt relaxed,” he said. “I originally came out here to write a book because I always enjoyed the peacefulness of Palm Springs. Obviously my book is on the backburner.”
Once it’s completed, the restaurant will be called 78 Degrees, which Hargett will run initially until the staff is trained. Hargett wants to ensure the idea of having a good time resonates in the restaurant, with dessert items like candied apples, cotton candy and gourmet cup cakes planned.
There is also a bar area where guests can play ping pong, pinball machines or darts, and future plans include bringing in live entertainment.
The pair plan to be environmentally conscious from incorporating used furniture, like mirrors from the Circus Circus warehouse in Las Vegas, to green cleaning products, toiletries and adding a solar system for the utilities.
“By purchasing used, every year things will be changed, every couple of years the furniture will come out and be changed,” Doiron said. “So the customers know the money they pay here is going toward changes. If they see changes, they will keep coming back.”
The D Resort, 2249 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, (760) 699-8340, www.thedresort.com