I realize us Californians don’t have it anything like those across the nation as far as winter weather. It’s what you’re used to and our central California dry, cool winter has our family wanting to be modified snowbirds in the winter. Just after ringing in 2014, we packed up our car for a road trip down to Palm Springs to enjoy some mid-to-high 70’s weather! Our destination was the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells, and during our 3 days and 2 nights there, we were doubting ourselves that it was actually January!
In the shadows of the Santa Rosa mountains, down the road from the towering 10K foot Mt. San Jacinto, and adjacent to the Indian Wells Golf Course, the Renaissance Esmeralda is paradise among palm trees in the heart of Coachella Valley! The exterior was so beautiful we couldn’t wait to park and head inside! Customer service at the Renaissance Esmeralda was top notch, it’s no wonder it’s an award winning resort and spa 10 years running. I was able to check in a bit early, they were friendly and helpful with maps and restaurant suggestions. The lobby is on the second floor and the staircase heading down is even beautiful!
My daughter asked short of 100 times how soon she could change into her swim suit once we arrived. She had seen the photos on the website, but her mouth went agape when we saw the pools in person. The resort has 3 heated pools, one with a sandy beach for the little ones to enjoy! There’s a waterfall in one section, unfortunately you can’t play in it and from what I hear that water is cold! There are two whirlpools nestled in semi private cabana area with great views.With a bar in the middle of the pool area and many waiters ready to help, you can order food and drinks poolside to enjoy out in the beautiful weather!Now back to the rooms, we were only in there a split second to change before the pool! With 560 rooms in the resort, our executive suite was large with a sitting room and bedroom with a lovely king bed and we got an adjoining room for the kids with two queens. The girls were happy to share one of the beds and they had plenty of space. Our rooms had balconies with views of the mountains as well as the pool area, at night when the pool is lit up, it’s so pretty! With 3 televisions in 3 rooms, our short down time had everyone happy with what was on the tube. I loved the desk area to get some work done, and each room had a large bathroom with plush robes, dual sinks so we all could essentially get ready together. There’s some neat art in the separated-by-a-door toilet area by means of wall paper with old Palm Springs area homes. I took one look and immediately thought of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby era.
Our first night we had dinner as a family at Cava. With patio and indoor seating, we dined inside to a full menu with plethora of choices as well as a great kid’s menu. Soup, salad, burgers (shared), and sandwiches were just right for our evening after a day in the sun!
We dined the next morning at the same spot but chose a sunny poolside table. Coffee, juice, and fruit smoothies started our morning as well as my husband and son sharing a breakfast burrito (it was plenty large and perfect to share) and the girls loved their pancakes. I enjoyed bacon and eggs cooked to perfection with potatoes that were crispy and seasoned with a slight kick.
On-site there is also a Zagat-rated Italian restaurant, Sirocco, Glo Lounge has cocktails and small plates and dining in the evenings outdoors around the firepits. Glo Sushi Bar is available, as is Cafe Biscotti both in the grand lobby areas.
After breakfast we toured the property and learned about Camp Oasis, a kid’s club that children aged 5-12 can attend for a fee during the day or evening with fun events and activities planned throughout. Resorts with these features allow families to spend quality time together and apart, even if it’s just for a few hours while mom gets a pedicure at Spa Esmeralda!
Some evenings during the summer and warmer temperatures, outdoor movies are shown by the pool, a spot you can literally watch from. Due to winter, the movie planned for our weekend was moved into a conference room as informed by the pleasant staff at reception.The property is gorgeously lit up at night. The palms and pool are highlighted with areas where you can enjoy a cozy fire! My daughter and husband basically had the pool to themselves at night.Views from our room were spectacular.Sunrise made for amazing photo opportunities.Our getaway down south proved to be a perfect pick me up of the cooler California weather up where we’re from. It was hard to believe it was January, but we took full advantage of the warm temperatures! If you’re in the Indian Wells area, staying at Renaissance Esmeralda is a great family location that will put smiles on everyone’s face year-round! For more information, visit http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pspsr-renaissance-esmeralda-indian-wells-resort-and-spa/.
Our two-night FAM experience was hosted, gratuities and opinions were our own.