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Panamint Springs Resort
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Reviewed 7 March 2014

This is a motel stop off if you are on the way through Death Valley or coming in too late to get to Furmace Creek. It is bare ones, i.e. all the things like beds, pillows and towels are there and it is clean, but bless its heart it has seen better days. Even what could have been a beautiful view of the Panamint Valley is spoiled by the intrusion of the porta potties of the RV Park below. As well, there was no cell phone service, no wi fi and no phones. On the other hand, the food, although a little pricey, was tasty and the waitress friendly AND they have a large cooler that is well stocked with imported and specialty beers. Just a little warning, don't plan on gassing up there unless $6.00 a gallon gas seems reasonable to you

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Melody_L938
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamint_springs, Manager at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Thank you for your review. Panamint Springs Resort was named is 1937 and we are hesitant to change the name since it has been called that for so long. The word resort has definitely taken on a different connotation today than it had in the 1930's.

We do set up porta potties at certain times in the spring when we have large groups in the campgrounds. Sorry it obstructed your view. We will definitely be aware of that and hopefully find a better location.

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Reviewed 23 February 2014

My guidebook made Death Valley's three "resorts" sound more or less similar in quality, which is a gross misrepresentation. In reality, there is a clear hierarchy: the best is Furnace Creek, which is both centrally located and has wireless reception; second-best is Stovepipe Wells, which is centrally located but has no wireless reception.

Panamint Springs is the worst of the three. It is quite far from Death Valley itself (it's on the other side of a mountain range in the Panamint Valley). Location is very important in Death Valley, where sites are usually 25 miles apart and take longer to reach than you might expect. Starting your day from Panamint requires a significant drive at the beginning of your day, limiting your options and making it harder to see desert sights in the morning light (which is great for photography). Additionally, there is no cell reception or landline phone in Panamint. The other resorts make up for this by having a 24-hour front desk that can reach 911 in case of emergency, but Panamint totally closes up at 9:30pm, after which you're on your own.

Panamint is a satisfactory option if everything else in Death Valley is booked, but I would not make it your homebase if you plan to spend more than a day in the park.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ReadyForThisJelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamint_springs, Manager at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Thank you for your review.

Panamint Springs is on the western edge of Death Valley National Park. We are 55 miles from the visitor center in Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Park is very large it is wise to take driving times into consideration, especially if your only objective is to see the sites in Death Valley proper. HOWEVER, there are many people who actually make the Panamint Valley their destination due to it's remote wilderness, and many hiking, biking, and 4-wheeling trails. ALSO, many people who are spending extended time in Death Valley National Park will spend 1 or 2 nights here so that they can explore this area, then spend the rest of their stay at other motels in the park.

We are too small to justify having an overnight desk (we only have 15 motel rooms). We wish we could provide that for people, but it is not feasible. The other 2 motels have a hundred or more rooms, and therefore they are capable of providing that.

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Reviewed 22 February 2014

If I could do it again, I'd stay at Stovepipe Wells. We ate at their restaurant and their staff was ten times friendlier and the food was way better. What bothers me most about Panamint Springs is how little they seem to care - their rooms are falling apart, their food is mediocre, which would be ok except they charge through the nose for everything. A salad is almost 20 bucks, if you want to make a local call it's 5 plus 2.50 a minute. The quality is seriously one notch above camping, but they feel entitled to charge you like you are staying somewhere nice. I'd spend a little more and actually stay somewhere nice. That said, if the park is full, and Panamint is your only option, I'd probably rather stay there than drive in from a bordering town. And I'll give them one thing, the location is stunning. I guess that, combined with the lack of accommodation in the park, is why they just don't have to care much about quality.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank agifford14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamint_springs, Manager at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay at Panamint Springs. It is surprising to hear you say that you did not enjoy the food or staff. Many folks say we have the best food in the park and the friendliest staff. In fact many employees at competing resorts come to Panamint Springs to eat at our restaurant and enjoy our beer selection.

We very much DO care about our family owned business. Our prices are competitive and in many cases less than the competing resorts. Our prices reflect our extremely difficult circumstances. Unlike Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek, we are without the advantage of public utilities, such as water, electricity, and phone service. We have to pipe our own water from a spring 5 miles away and treat it here. Our electricity is produced via a diesel generator (which is extremely expensive to run). Our phone is a very expensive satellite setup (thus the high fees to use our ONLY phone line for reservations).

Considering the above, I hope one would realize our prices are not meant to "charge through the nose" but are meant to keep us afloat. That being said we do our best to provide guests with highest quality whenever possible. Our restaurant food is of the highest quality available, our towels in the rooms are large and heavy-weight, our bedding is soft and comfortable. Our rooms are older and rustic (which many think add to their charm), but several have been remodeled and we put our hearts into fixing them up whenever possible.

You'll pay more for your room and food at Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek and we have many travelers who prefer Panamint Springs for it's authenticity, laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff, great food, and awesome beer selection (over 150 varieties).

Again, we are sorry you did not have a good experience, but everyone has a different perspective and opinion.

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

If you are exhausted from hiking Death Valley, and well prepared, this is an excellent place to stay coming or going. It is at the West end of the park, accessible by either Lone Pine, or newly re-opened Panamint Springs Road from the South. Gas here is $6 and a gallon of water is $4 at the gas station--be prepared. Coffee however was a reasonable $2.75 for large, and the 32 oz beer at the restaurant was $10, which was more than enough for two of us. Food was actually very good, albeit expensive. You are not allowed to cook in your room likely for fire reasons, so again, be prepared. Another reviewer said hot water for showers was 50c, but we found the water hot, plentiful and free. Darwin Falls is only 2 miles to the West and makes a good short hike for late in the afternoon. Even in dry California, there was ample water flowing over the Falls in mid February. If you are exhausted from the drive or day hikes, you won't mind the noise from the air conditioner fan from the restaurant. The walls are paper thin, so be polite to your neighbors. The rooms are cozy, ie. small, no TV, no radio, but clean. The bathrooms are clean and most important after hiking, the shower is really nice.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank rjmronster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panamint_springs, Manager at Panamint Springs Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Thank you so much for your honest and informative review! Yes, some of our prices are high when compared with city prices (such as gas and some food items) due to our extremely high off-grid operating costs. We are always honest with people when they ask where they can find cheaper gas and we are certainly no gouging.

Panamint Springs Resort was so named back in the 1930's when the word resort had less implications than it does now. We still feel it applies, as the dictionary definition of resort is "a place to which people frequently or generally go for relaxation or pleasure." However, definitely don't expect to get a massage or soak it the hot tub (at least not yet!). We hope to grow our business to include these "resort" amenities, however at this time we are a rustic resort.

Thanks again for your review and we hope to see you again in the future!

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Reviewed 16 February 2014

We'd eaten at PSR a few times while passing through but this was the first time for us staying there. We were able to easily reserve the three rooms we needed a couple days in advance, they are very good with email response times. My riding partner and I got room #8. The beds are different heights which looks odd but they and the pillows were comfortable enough for a good night's sleep. The bathroom was fully modernized and there were NO issues with it. All-in-all the six of us all felt we got a good deal for what we paid. The restaurant serves up tasty food but the prices are a little hard to swallow. For some we thought they were a little closer to reality in previous years, maybe just poor memories. Like everyone has pointed out, the beer selection is phenomenal.

I would recommend PSR to friends and family but I would also tell them what to expect. If they want pampering there are alternatives. We liked the solitude and family atmosphere.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Tom S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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