Desert Luxury at the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage

The Ritz Carlton resort in Rancho Mirage offers an array of amenities and services for guests all year round. During the summer when the heat rises to 100 degrees, the elegant room rates drop. As the sun sets and the temperatures cools, guests gather at both swimming pools and on the recreational lawn. Activities include swinging a golf club at the putting green, aim and throw at ladder ball and building Jenga towers. A staff member leads a Serenity under the Stars yoga class on the Vista lawn, while another staff member takes guests on a sunset hike for spectacular views. Mountain bikes and hiking maps are also availale. On Friday and Saturday evenings the staff hold an informative stargazing astronomy experience.

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Walking into the lobby of this desert oasis near Palm Spring, the concierge desk offers an array of complimentary candy for guests to enjoy during check in and throughout the day from noon to 5 p.m.

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Entering room number 1334, I slid open the sliding glass door and stepped onto the balcony with two chairs and a table. Looking out, I appreciated the palm trees, desert, majestic mountain and the main pool views. The spacious room features a king size bed with Frette luxury bed linens, 55-inch LCD flat-panel HD television, mini refrigerator and small sitting area. In the closet there is a safe, two plush white hooded bathrobes and slippers.

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Inside the oversized bathroom is a custom designed 19-inch HD television with a remote control on the bathroom vanity. One can watch their favorite television show while taking a warm soaking bubble bath using luxurious Asprey bath amenities. There is also a marble tiled shower.

Dining at State Fare Bar & Kitchen for dinner, the menu by Chef Bruno Lopez is an ode to California-sourced food and wine. The upscale dining venue overlooks the Coachella valley, and offers an exhibition kitchen. There are tables outside for al fresco dining.

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On Wednesday through Sunday, The Edge Steakhouse is open in the evenings for dinner serving premium dry-aged prime steak and fresh seafood paired with wines from all over the world. The glass window cliff side setting offers spectacular sunset and twinkle light views.

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Walking back to my room, the Reflection Fountain had three large blue orb balls that changed shades as they floated on top of the water.

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The next morning I went down to the reception area for complimentary morning coffee and tea before joining others for a staff member guided morning hike. There are more than 20 miles of mountain and hiking trails originating right from the hotel. For guests who prefer to hike on their own, the concierge desk has towels, bottled water, apples and a hiking map to guide guests on three different trails from the resort. The Jack Rabbit is a moderate 0.9 trail, the Roadrunner/Bighorn overlook trail is a 1.5 moderate hike and the Chuckwalla Trail is 1.6 miles with steep drop-offs.

Ready for a swim in the main pool, guest already rented many of the cabanas. They are available for the day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cabana package includes a dedicated cabana attendant, seasonal fruit bowl, bottled water, sunscreen, two personal lounge chairs, flat screen television, resort WIFI, refrigerator, personal safe, ceiling fan, misters and electrical outlet.

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Other resort activities during the day include a visit to the famous Jose Eber Salon, an indoor spa treatment, and workout in the fitness center. Nearby desert activities and sightseeing include air conditioned Modern architectural tours of Palm Springs, and taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to soar up to a cooler 8,500 feet mountain to dine, hike and explore under towering pine trees.

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The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage is conveniently located to the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and 60 minutes from Ontario International Airport (ONT). It’s two hours from the Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA) and San Diego (SAN) International Airports.

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Stay here during Greater Palm Springs dineGPS Restaurant Week.

For reservations go to http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/rancho-mirage or call (760) 321-8282.

This review was published in JustLuxe on June 1, 2019.

dineGPS Restaurant Week is a Real TREAT

It’s Restaurant Week in Palm Springs to La Quinta! This year there are over 120 casual to fine dining restaurants launching special value lunch and dinner menus from May 31 to June 9, 2019. Two-course lunches are priced at $15, $20 and $25. Dinner menus offer a choice of three items starting at $29, $39 and $49.

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While attending a preview of the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week “TREAT your heart out” at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, President and CEO of Greater Palm Springs Scott White, welcomed over 200 guests to a festive evening showcasing some of the desert’s favorite chefs and eateries participating this year.

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This year $1 will go to FIND Food Bank for each reservation booked on dinegps.com. FIND regional food bank helps nourish thousands of hungry Coachella Valley seniors, hard-working adults and school aged children.

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At the entrance of the event, the LA Roller Girls welcomed guests before entering a large ballroom to kick-off the event featuring the participating restaurants:

La Quinta

Solano’s Bistro is a chef owned and operated restaurant in Old Town La Quinta. Dine inside or out, while ordering from the $29 Dinner MENU. 78075 Main Street Suite 105. Phone: 760.771.6655.

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Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewery is known for salads to steaks, bbq pulled pork sandwiches, craft beer & cocktails. During dineGPS they are offering a $20 Lunch MENU and $39 Dinner MENU. 71800 Highway 111 Suite A176, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. 760.346.8738

Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant located in Rancho Mirage. Chef Drew Davis prepares a variety of Spanish-infused dishes in a rustic yet modern setting. 70026 Hwy 111 Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.(760) 770-9508.

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State Fare at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage – Chef Bruno Lopez and his team made a watermelon mint gazpacho, fish ceviche with caramelized sweet potatoes and a tender veal shank with celery root puree. During Restaurant Week they are offering a $20 Lunch MENU  and $49 Dinner MENU68900 Frank Sinatra Drive. Phone: 760.321.8282.

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360 Sports at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage – Lively Sports Bar is offering a $20 Lunch MENU and $29 Dinner. At the event they made a raspberry cocktail with Absolute raspberry vodka, fresh lime juice, topped it with ginger beer over ice and garnished with a balckberry and lime wedge. 32250 Bob Hope Drive. Phone:  888.999.1995.

Indian Wells

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Chef Paul Hancock crafts unique and unexpected pairings to delight the taste buds at Citrus & Palm at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa.  Order from the $20 Lunch MENU and $39 Dinner MENU45000 Indian Wells Lane. Phone: 760.341.7200

Palm Desert

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AC3 Restaurant & Bar features Chef Andrew Copley’s passion for new American cuisine. He is offering a $39 dineGPS Dinner. Here’s his menu45350 Larkspur Lane. Phone: 760.227.3400.
Palm Springs

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Lulu California Bistro is offering a $20 Lunch MENU and $39 Dinner MENU. 200 S Palm Canyon Drive. Phone: 760.327.5858

Grand Central Palm Springs is offering a $20 Lunch MENU and $29 Dinner MENU160 La Plaza. Phone: 760.699.7185

Bon Appetit during TREAT Week – Visit Greater Palm Springs.

 

 

YAPPY Hour at the Westin Mission Hills

As the sun sets at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, guests bring their dogs out of their dog-friendly guest rooms and walk along the paved and grassy golf course paths, to socialize with other guests during “Yappy Hour.”

The Westin Mission Hills is an upscale dog-friendly resort that caters to canine guests year-round.  Dogs up to 50 pounds are welcome to stay in guest rooms for no additional fee. Upon check-in, the resort will collect a refundable $100 deposit in case of damage to the room. Dogs have the opportunity to sleep in a signature Westin Heavenly dog bed and have miles of lawns and paved walking paths to explore while on a leash. There is even a special “pooch menu” for dogs dining with guests on the patio of Pinzimini and Fireside Lounge.

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Through their partnership with Animal Samaritans, the resort presents an adoptable dog in the lobby. The furry and friendly pooch lives in an elaborate doghouse, which is a replica of the hotel. Guests of the resort can sign up at concierge and front desk to meet, walk and play with a new four-legged friend.

While adopting a dog on vacation might seem like an unlikely choice, visitors throughout the country and Canada have adopted 120 furry friends in the last three years.

The best time of the year to visit Palm Springs and the surrounding communities is from late October to May. The temperature is pleasant and cooler than during the summer months. However on August 24, the resort is having a special reunion for the guests who have adopted dogs through their program. The resort’s bartenders will create cocktails with names like the Salty Dog, made with New Amsterdam Vodka and grapefruit juice; the Frisky Chihuahua Margarita made with jalapeno-infused tequila and the Pit Bull made with tequila, orange flavor liqueur and grapefruit juice. Guests can pair their drinks with appetizers, while four-legged furry guests receive house-made dog treats.

This reunion includes speeches and a special screening of The Secret Life of Pets at the resort. Vendors from local pet stores and pet foundations will join this celebration, providing supplies and information about adoption.

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Tom Scaramellino, the General Manager at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa adopted his dog, Wyatt, through this partnership. Various employees of the hotel have also found their beloved pups through the program. “Guests love being greeted with a furry friend in the lobby. When you travel often, you leave many important facets of your life at home, and our program allows guests to enjoy some puppy love that might have been left behind.” Scaramellino said.

For more information, visit westinmissionhills.com.

This articles was featured on August 6, 2018 in LuxeBeat Magazine.

 

Play a Round of Golf and Tennis at Westin Mission Hills

During October through April the community of Rancho Mirage offers the ideal weather and temperature for sports enthusiasts to play a round of golf or a few hours of tennis. One of the best resorts offering both experiences is the Westin Mission Hills. The resort offers two championship golf courses designed by Pete Dye and Gary Player. Both well-groomed courses are set among a picturesque desert setting with gorgeous mountain views. They are fun and challenging for golfers of all skill levels.

Every morning at 9 a.m. and afternoon at 2 p.m., the Westin Mission Hills offers an 45 minutes to one hour golf clinic for $25. It’s a great way to experience the championship Pete Dye golf course. The tune-up lesson comes in handy before or after a round of golf. Professional golf instructor David Curtis meets guests at the Pete Dye Driving Range. There is a bag of Callaway clubs and about 50 golf balls per participant to hit. Curtis patiently helps each guest find their correct tempo by teaching a proper four-step fundamental swing.

After golf, unwind from a busy week by staying overnight at the Westin Mission Hills resort. Starting on Friday night at sunset, guests are welcomed near the lobby with a complimentary sangria and small bites. Beer and wine is also available for a nominal cost. Guests have multiple dining options at the resort prepared by Westin’s James Beard honored Executive Chef Joel Delmond. Breakfast, lunch and dinners are served inside Pinzimini and the Fireside Lounge. Both locations offer patio dining for al fresco meals.

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Looking for a good night’s sleep, Westin Mission Hills offers plush Heavenly Beds with high thread count sheets, two down and/ or feather pillows and a lavender spray for aromatherapy.

On Saturday mornings, there are tennis clinics, private lessons and games arranged at The Westin Mission Hills by Director of Tennis, Kevin Connolly. With over 25 years of coaching experience, he offers an array of fun tennis oppotunities on the beautifully landscaped seven-court comples. The Westin Tennis Club is home to a celebrity charity Desert Smash Pro-Am tennis tournament. It’s held before the annual BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Hollywood celebrities and professional tennis players play for charity while entertaining guests and spectators.

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The resort is also pet friendly. Dogs up to 50 pounds are welcome to stay in guest rooms for no additional fee. Upon check-in, the resort will collect a refundable $100 deposit in case of damage to the room. Dogs have the opportunity to sleep in a Heavely Dog Bed and have miles of lawns and paved walking paths to explore while on a leash. There is even a special pooch menu for dogs dining with guests on the patio of Pinzimini and Fireside Lounge. It can also be ordered through room service.

For guests who left their dog at home, the Westin Mission Hills offers an Adopt-a-Pet program in partnership with Animal Samaritans. Inside the reception lobby is a dog available for walks, cuddles and adoption. To date the Westin has found forever homes for 97 dogs. Their goal is 100 found homes by the end of 2017.

This review was featured Dec. 14, 2017 in JustLuxe – Click here to read this on JustLuxe

 

Weekend Fun at the Westin Mission Hills

I picked the best weekend to drive out to Palm Springs to stay at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage. The day I arrived was the beginning of the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival and a dozen trucks were on the Pete Dye resort course setting up for the Pinzimini Balloon Glow Dinner.

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Arriving on a Friday night, we joined others for the weekly “Hello Weekend Reception” in the Oasis Courtyard. It’s a new hotel tradition, every Friday night for guests to get into the vacation mood. The hotel staff serve complimentary sangria and light appetizers. Beer and wine is also available at a nominal fee.

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Afterwards we walked over to the Master’s Plaza and found our table near the three- piece jazz and funk band. As the sun set, the hot air balloon flames lit the course providing a light show. Various stations were set around the outdoor patio displaying an array of Tuscan-inspired flavors from the resort’s Pinzimini buffet. Each guest received a glass of sparkling wine to pair with a variety of salads, antipasto dishes, entrees, carving stations, side dishes and desserts. One of the most talked about dishes was the Polenta with Fontina cheese, foraged mushrooms, herbs and veal jus. After dinner they cleared the tables next to the band to create a dance floor for guests.

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Walking back to our room, we learned about the Westin’s Pet Adoption Program and met Coco. Launched in May 2015 in partnership with Animal Samaritans. The Westin assists in finding forever homes for one dog at a time. Coco is their 97th hosted dog and resides in the main lobby in a wooden kennel with blankets and dog beds. Guests can sign up at concierge throughout the day to take Coco for a walk and bond with this furry friend. The Westin hopes that by the end of 2017 that 100 dogs will have found homes due to this program.

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On Saturday morning we were up early to go for a balloon ride. There were a dozen seven-story high colorful balloons inflating on the golf course. Guests watched or climbed into baskets to go for a ride. The one hour experience was $200, however guests could also ride a tethered balloon for $25. Climbing into a balloon with pilot Rolando, we soared up above the resort and floated peacefully to Palm Desert enjoying exquisite views of the Coachella Valley.

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Afterwards, we visited the Las Brisas pool with a waterslide and rented three bicycles for one hour tour around the property. There are paved pathways that weave along Bob Hope to De Valle. Afterwards we took a quick dip and slid down the curly waterslide before lunch at the nearby Pinzimini.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, on the weekends they offer a full breakfast buffet until 1p.m. The James Beard honored Executive Chef Joel Delmond has been working at different Westin resorts for 35 years. He makes a SuperFoods breakfast and Italian-style lunch and dinner. During lunch we enjoyed a Portobello burger, chicken panini, pizzas and salads.

Afterwards I participated in the daily 2 p.m. “All Aspects” golf clinic. Our instructor David Curtis patiently taught us how to find the perfect grip, and showed us a four step swing. Located on the Pete Dye Driving Range, the one hour lesson includes a bag of clubs, bucket of balls, instruction and all day driving range privileges for $25.

At 4 p.m. on the weekends Westin staff members bring fishing poles to the Swan Lake and families can bait a hook with chicken and try their luck in catching a fish. The hour long session is complimentary to hotel guests.

At 6:30 p.m. we had a “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” reception with the musical artists starring in Gooves at the Westing Jazz Concert and Dinner. I was excited to hear the featured guest Deniece Williams. In 1984, she had two number-one songs that included “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.” It was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Footloose, and climbed to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Other musicians included Michael Paulo & Friends with Jazz all stars Gregg Karukas, Freddie Washington and Land Richards.

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The next morning after breakfast at Pinimini we took a Bee Apiary Tour to learn the importance of honey bees and how Chef Joel nurtures and lends his bees to farmers to pollinate their crops.

The Westin Mission Hills offers special weekends all year round. To learn more about the resort, click on this link – The Westin Mission Hills.