As odd as it sounds, sometimes I think we all need a little reminder as to how lucky we are as desert lovers, whether we live in or simply visit the magnificent city of Rancho Mirage. Just take our options as regards accommodations, for instance. Yes, Palm Springs may have its charming, retro boutique inns, but those aren’t for everyone. And yes, Down Valley has some striking guest properties. But none of those is as central to the Palm Springs Valley action as Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, and The Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage. To be sure, this quartet is the one I endorse heartily to every friend, family member, colleague, acquaintance, and stranger who requests my recommendation as to places to stay.
As any first-class resort must, each of our grand hotels has sumptuous guest quarters and elegant common areas, spectacular sports facilities, crystal clear heated pools, and luxurious spas and services. Also of note is the fact that there is never any need to leave these properties to dine like a king or queen, what with Agua’s The Steakhouse, Rancho’s bluEmber, the Westin’s Pinzimini, and the Ritz-Carlton’s State Fare Bar + Kitchen or The Edge Steakhouse. And remember, any of those is an ideal spot for a romantic or convivial holiday dinner at Thanksgiving or between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m in fact getting hungry just typing (on my famously, perennially gluttonous empty writer’s stomach).
But what I think I find most fun and fascinating about Rancho Mirage’s resorts is that each has not only a distinct décor and character but quite specific special amenities. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of high-rise Agua’s love for the gambler’s games, hacienda-like Rancho Las Palmas’ Splashtopia and phenomenal tennis program, the Westin’s world-class Pete Dye and Gary Player golf courses (and many top-rated golf clinics), and the Ritz-Carlton’s globally venerated brand and stunning summit setting that overlooks the entire Palm Springs Valley.
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my own little desert nest, but I can’t say it doesn’t cross my mind now and then that it would be heaven to check in permanently at one—or all four—of our pristine resorts. Hey, I could do one week at each every month. Now there’s an idea…