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The Renaissance Esmeralda, One of the Best Travel Destinations in California

The Resort and Spa Offer Everything Vacationers are Seeking - Ideal for Romantic or Family Getaways

Whether you're looking for a romantic vacation place or a family getaway idea, The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa at Indian Wells is one of the best travel destinations in Southern California. The Resort recently completed an exciting and dramatic multi-million dollar makeover of its 560 guest rooms, including 103 suites, to create one of the most breathtaking resort locations in the Coachella Valley.

The mid-century modern inspired design embraces the iconic spirit of the Palm Springs vibe and offers some of the largest accommodations in the Greater Palm Springs area. Set on 23 acres of lush Mediterranean-inspired grounds featuring eco-conscious gardens, beautiful waterfalls, and surrounding emerald-colored lakes, the property features the largest pool in the desert. It's a sandy beach pool for the win with oversized cabanas and plenty of space to relax and enjoy some quality vacay time.

Only about a half-hour drive on the 111 from Palm Springs, it's a favorite of weekend travelers escaping out of L.A. or San Diego. Travelers can also fly into the Palm Springs International Airport, about 14 miles away. You'll be able to find so many things to do at this gem in the desert, that is if you even want to leave this fabulous resort.

The Climate

The desert climate is ideal year-round and we love the heat in the early spring through late fall. There is virtually no rainfall during the year and the average annual temperature in Indian Wells is 23.0°C | 73.5°F. If you visit in the winter, you'll get those cold desert nights, so pack a jacket at that time. Otherwise, bring lots of bathing suits, sunscreen, and hats because when it gets up over 100°F, you'll love spending time at the pool. For the most part, the desert is never crowded, unless you are planning a trip during Coachella or another music festival. Plan and reserve way in advance if you think you might want to come at those times of the year.

The Stylishly Chic Hotel and The Extremely Large Rooms

SFA Design, the team that transformed this 30-year old resort, including all guest accommodations, corridors, and the lobby. Inspired by the Esmeralda Coast of Italy and mid-century modernism, the chosen color palette and furnishings create a retreat bursting with life. The grand staircase I'm standing on, inside a seven-story atrium with an indoor fountain and 280-piece crystal-metal chandelier, is quintessential Palm Springs. In keeping many of the original elements, including the wood of the staircase, the quartz, and marble floors, they gave a nod to the hotel's star-studded legacy while intriguing new and up-and-coming generations of icons.

Oversized guestrooms, boasting private balconies with scenic resort views start as large as 380 square feet and are divided into sleeping and lounge zones. Suites measure up to 1000 square feet with living rooms and dining areas. The art around the hotel and rooms, all commissioned and vintage photos, could be nowhere else but Palm Springs. Bathrooms are pearly white with double-sink vanities and le toilette has the coolest wallpaper, vintage photos of mid-century modern Palm Springs homes collaged around the room. We loved this unique detail to the rooms!

The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells features a host of luxurious amenities in every room including:

•Lush Terry robes

•300-thread count sheets

•Double marble sinks

•Spacious closet

•Temperature monitoring


•3 phones

•Keurig machines

•B + F on demand

•In house laundry

•Dry cleaning


An Incredible Spa, Golf, Tennis, Resort Dining, Kids Camp, and The Largest Pool In The Desert!

The suites offer a bedroom, living room, dining area, huge bathroom, bar area, two closets, two televisions, and two Juliet balconies. We loved the soft, muted, color palette!

The Pool

The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa boasts the largest pool in the desert and it's massive. Having a cabana is ideal for a family. However, if it's just the two of you, they will also reserve 2 chairs for you in the VIP section. With that said though, a private poolside cabana is AWESOME!

Lounge all day in one of the main beach cabanas, right on the soft white sandy beach next to the shallow end of the enormous pool. Shaded from the sun, a ceiling fan will cool you with a gentle breeze. Up to 6 people can fit on the large cushioned sofa or use any of the four lounge chairs with umbrellas in front of the cabana. There were plenty of towels, complimentary waters, and a giant fresh fruit plate.

The circular H20 Bar in the middle of the pool area offers poolside food service and the attendants come by often so you can satisfy your cravings without leaving the pool area. Guests can also watch TV if they would like to, but you'll be having too much fun in the pool. When you go, don't forget to swim near the incredible waterfall and play some of the fun lawn games. Pro Tip: Make a cabana reservation in advance as they book up quickly!

* Cabana times: 8am - 8pm (8 total) $150-$300

* 6-person Beach Cabanas on a sandy beach

* 6-person Copa Cabanas tranquil with views of lake and mountains

* 6-person H2O Cabanas in the middle of the action

* 8-person or more Santa Rosa Cabanas by the pool

* Poolside lawn games - ping-pong, foosball, corn hole

* Complimentary wi-fi + self-parking

Other Amenities

The Fitness Center boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a stunning redesign as well. The views of the Emerald lake while you work out are amazing. Hours: Mon-Sun: 06:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Equipment and Services

Cardiovascular Equipment

Free weights

Additional equipment: Peloton Bikes

Fitness classes: Complimentary

Fitness services: Yoga, Barre, H2O Aerobics, Tone it Up

Special guest privileges: Complimentary outdoor yoga classes with resort fee

Yoga classes take place in the Olive Grove and the instructor is awesome. Nearby are the tennis courts. Indian Wells is a luxury oasis in the desert and home to the award-winning BNP Paribas Open. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which contains the second-largest tennis-specific stadium in the world is right down the street. The Indian Wells Golf Resort is one of the few properties to have two courses ranked in the Top 25 Best Municipal Courses in the United States by Golfweek Magazine. The 18-hole championship golf courses are The Celebrity Course and The Players Course AKA "Beauty and the Beast". Discounts are available to resort guests through the purchase of golf packages. Tee times may be reserved through the Golf Resort directly. The "Shots in the Night" experience at Indian Wells Golf Resort opens a half-hour after Sunset Thursday through Saturday nights.

For biking enthusiasts, bikes and helmets are available to trek miles of breathtaking scenery and cool places of interest to explore. We make sure to go on bike rides every time we're in the desert.

Movie Theater Rental - Enjoy a wide variety of movie titles from Disney to family favorites in the comfort of your own theater. Popcorn and bottled soda are included. The theater is sanitized between each booking and there is a 10 person maximum. Pro Tip: Book in advance!

Camp Esmeralda - On the weekends, your kids will love a Craft Hour for an afternoon of fun! Check website for schedule! Currently, they have outdoor activities set up and parents are required to be nearby. As things open up, they will start using the indoor Camp Esmeralda area.

The Renaissance Esmeralda has thought of everything you might need and it's all there at the resort. We always seem to make stops at the gift shop when we stay at hotels and this time we stopped by when we ran out of sunscreen. I love being able to purchase necessities without leaving the property.

The Spa

The Spa Esmeralda is located near the lobby of the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa and it is heavenly! It's the best way to spend a relaxing weekend without kids, and really enjoy yourself! Start your day with a California-influenced farm-to-table breakfast at CAVA, coffees from the grab-and-go Cafe Biscotti, (both onsite), and then head over for a spa day! Has it been a year and a half since you've been to a spa?!

The newly renovated spa is both incredible and serene. From the waterfall jacuzzi to the aromatherapy treatment rooms, everything was meant to soothe and relax you. Walk down the long hallway with the soft, glowing lights and the tinkling water fountain leading out to the beautifully landscaped "chill" lounging area. They do offer treatments outside, but not on the weekend we were there. Either way, it was so peaceful and calming; the perfect place to decompress and unwind.

My husband got the Signature Deep Tissue Massage with the Aroma Hot Stone Therapy and he said it was the best massage ever as we sipped champagne afterward in the garden. I received the Pro-Collagen Age-Defy Facial with marine charged Padina Pavonica Red Coral. My skin was hydrated and radiant even 3 days later after using their preferred Elemis products. Because of this facial, I'm now a huge Elemis fan! Absolutely love their products! Most of all, we loved our day at the spa!


The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa offers multiple dining options on-site. All are accessible via a QR code from your phone, which can be given to you at check-in or it is always on the back of the elevator doors, something I found to be incredibly ingenious! Besides the 'H20 Bar', 'Cafe Biscotti', and 'CAVA', which I've mentioned, 'CAVA' also turns into 'CAVA NOCHE', a Mediterranean/Spanish tapas restaurant after 5 pm.

There is 'The Place' in the atrium lobby, an innovative cocktail lounge, and a light bite menu. I recommend one of their signature cocktails and the fish tacos, which were delicious. Sitting on comfortable sofas underneath the incredible glass and metal chandelier feels very intimate and it's the perfect place to reflect on the incredible couple of days we're having while staying at this luxurious desert resort. Of course, if you're looking to dine off-site, Indian Wells has some excellent restaurants, all within a 5-mile radius. Our favorites are Cuistot, Cliffhouse, Jillion's, Mitch's, Thai Smile, and the Vue Grille and Bar.

The Olive Grove

The Olive Grove is a beautiful and expansive outdoor space on the property. It's versatile in that it could feel both large and intimate, especially for a wedding or special event. Six Manzanillo Olive trees were transplanted here to create this lovely place. With the purplish Santa Rosa mountains in the background and the soft, twinkling lights encircling the trees, look into the ambient glow of the sunset and appreciate all the natural beauty of the resort. It's charming!

The ornate gate could serve to separate the ceremony and reception spaces for a "big reveal" if you so desire. It's a spectacular outdoor gathering spot amidst palm trees, a rose garden, emerald green lakes, and surrounding purplish mountains. The lush gardens and green lawns create a captivating space brimming with romance. Have fun watching the sunset and reminiscing about your special day and enjoy a lovely evening!

Knowing the property is conscientious of the environment is important as well. While everyone may have different reasons to go green, the idea of saving our planet's resources for future generations is the most important one for us. Having a cleaner breathing environment, safe foods, and safe water systems are important and the global benefits of going green are prodigious.

The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort promotes many environmentally-friendly practices, including LED lights throughout the hotel and electric car-charging stations. The award-winning landscaping team makes use of the recyclable and naturally occurring aquifers underneath the property to create environmentally-conscious irrigation and natural fertilizers throughout the emerald-green waters of the property, including the golf course and the Olive Grove. We can't wait until they start making their own olive oils.

Explore the Area

We've been visiting Indian Wells for years; it's like our second home. So here are some of the things we love doing when we're in town:

Living Desert Zoo

Indian Wells Art Festival

BNP Paribas Open

Fantasy Balloon Flights

Joshua Tree National Park

El Paseo for shopping

San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour

Coachella or Stagecoach Festival

Agua Caliente Casino

A Special Place

The Renaissance Esmeralda is ideal for romantic or family getaways; the resort offers everything vacationers are seeking – impeccable service; a choice of elegant, comfortable guest rooms and suite configurations; satisfying dining and drinking venues featuring local ingredients and seasonal menus; Spa Esmeralda; nearby championship golf courses; fitness center; a host of exhilarating outdoor activities; and an array of exciting adventures for you, your families and friends. Currently, the Living Desert Staycation and Discover More Family Time are two packages that are perfect for a getaway.

To learn more about these packages and any other special offers going on right now, please check their website or call directly to the resort. Be sure to check it out soon and you can Book Here! Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa - 44-400 Indian Wells Lane - Indian Wells, CA 92210-9971

Phone: 760-773-4444 -

Chanin Victor, the Travel and Lifestyle Editor at the Santa Monica Observer, presents her column "Travel Trends" bi-weekly in the print edition, offering readers a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of travel. Become a Subscriber Today! Beyond her role at the Observer, Chanin is a versatile freelance travel journalist, crafting engaging narratives that transport readers to intriguing destinations. In her 9-5 role, she serves as a creative director, dedicating her expertise to promoting tourism destinations across Southern California, blending her passion for storytelling with her professional pursuits. Based in Los Angeles with her family, Chanin seizes every opportunity to embark on new adventures. Discover her travels and insights at - PLUS - if you're interested in Chanin's family-friendly travel stories, inspiration and travel tips, look HERE: at the Santa Monica Observer!


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