If I were to tell you how it happened that I was fortunate enough to find myself on a private tour of the work-in-progress that is the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage—the new 260-room resort located on a plateau 650 feet above the desert floor—I would have to dispatch a hit man to your door to ensure your silence. Suffice it to say that the guided visit I recently enjoyed, courtesy of general manager Doug Watson, has not only left my chin on the travertine floor but whetted my appetite in a very major way for this hilltop enclave, which is sure to become the place to see and be seen in the Palm Springs Valley.

First of all, please allow me to dispel all rumors floating from the Salton Sea to Desert Hot Springs and beyond. The latest and greatest luxury hotel to hit our communities is not opening on Thanksgiving. It is not opening on Christmas. It is not opening on New Year’s Day. Interested parties may therefore stop making calls and attempting to make reservations online. The property is set to make its debut in March of 2014. And if that seems like a long time away, think of how fast we got from Memorial Day to Labor Day of 2013. We will be cavorting with the desert who’s who on top of that hill in no time.

While many of the last-minute details concerning the Ritz have yet to be carved in California limestone, there are things I am able to share with you. And here, I borrow liberally from the press materials to which I have been privy:

Changes to the original Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage will include completely redesigned guest rooms (each boasting 400-plus square-feet). There will be new lobbies, public spaces, and meeting rooms. The pools will be updated. Luxury design elements will include stone, wood, copper, and other elements representative of our breathtaking natural desert landscape, and the 24,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa will offer patios in many of its treatment room. Two restaurants will treat guests to dining with a view, including one cliff-side location, which will be known as The Edge. Look for a curved bar in the main restaurant. It’s sure to become a hopping local watering hole. There will be 10,000 new plantings in the entrance areas alone!

To say I’m looking forward to the grand opening is a gargantuan understatement. I can already picture myself at sunrise or sunset, sitting outside on the main plaza overlooking the valley as I enjoy food and drink and watch the desert light glimmer over the our beloved mountains. Won’t you join me?www.ritzcarlton.com

Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage

Photo by: DavidALeePhotography.com