I stayed at the Fairfield Inn during a recent trip to Joshua Tree. This hotel provides a good value for a new and realatively modern facility! The rooms are large(great for families) and they have a small pool and spa. They have free breakfast and a small gym. It is a few miles from the Oasis entrance to Joshua Tree and about 15 miles east of the Johua Entrance.
29 Palms does not have much is anything going on. The hotel itself is accross from a mediocre strip mall. In the mall, there is a Stater Brothers (grocery store). Subway, Burger King and a Dollar Tree. Down the street is a Pizza Hut and Dollar General. If you are going to Joshua Tree, there arent any facilities to buy food so you can stock up on water and snacks before you go.
If you are going to Joshua Tree, this is by far the best place to stay! You can arrive off the 62 from San Diego or LA and enter into the Joshua Entrance. From there you wind around the park and exit the Oasis exit and end up a few miles from the hotel. The only other hotel that looked ok is the Holiday Inn Express. It also has good reviews on TA. The next day you can enter back into the park from the Oasis Entrance. One $15 pass is good for 15 days. There is also a good trail right by the hotel called the 29 Palms Oasis Trail if you want a hike that is close to the hotel.
What I wouldnt recommend to anyone going to Joshua Tree to stay in Palm Springs, It is too far and you have to enter from the South which is FAR LESS interesting than the East and West entrances.
I think this is a great base hotel!
As a tip, it was very cold when I went so I would bring scarf, glove and hat to stay warm.
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