When people look for a beautiful resort destination they typically think of the beach or the mountains. This overlooks one of my favorite places: the desert. Southern California is home to the Coachella Valley, best known for Palm Springs, that is full of natural beauty, a rich art scene, world renowned golf course, music festivals and great resorts.
My favorite resort in the desert region is the La Quinta Resort, about 20 minutes from Palm Spring, set on PGA West and only a few miles for the Empire Polo Grounds which is home to the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals.
The Property & Rooms
The second you step onto La Quinta you are tucked into your own world. La Quinta is unique from the other desert resorts as it backs up directly on the desert hills which are best described as detailed mini mountains. They are one of my favorite sites and make me feel like I’ve traveled much further than just an hour from inland Southern California.
The property itself is expensive and they have chauffeurs that you can call to pick you up at your room and drive you around or drop you back off after an evening enjoying the restaurants. This comes in handy since it can be hard to find the right room in the dark after a few glasses of wine.
Each room is a suite that feels more like your own home than a hotel room and most all overlooks a small pool. The rooms have giant bathrooms with a perfect tub to soak in. A gas fireplace to enjoy if it’s a chilly desert night. And a Keurig to start off your morning right. Each room also has its own little patio area whether it’s a deck on the second floor or chairs overlooking the pool on the first. All of this with rates as low as $150 a night.
Eats & Drinks
The property is home to three restaurants and a cafe. These range from a formal steakhouse to a Mexican grill.
A top tier steakhouse with great flavors. The food is great, but this spot is also perfect for enjoying a cocktail whether for happy hour or late night. There are two patio spaces with comfy chairs and fire pits where you can order a drink and appetizer to start the night or a dessert to end it. The perfect place to enjoy a desert evening.
A solid Mexican restaurant with fresh squeezed margaritas and some of the best guacamole I’ve tried. The plates are filling and full of flavor, its fun to watch the waiter make up the guacamole right at your table. Eat inside the restaurant or out on the patio where you can enjoy live music acoustic every night.
You cannot miss this spot for breakfast. They have over a dozen different types of eggs benedict. Try a different one each morning you are there and they won’t disappoint. The rest of the day, it’s worth stopping in for a burger or salad. If there’s a game on the bar or high tables inside make it a great place to watch with friends.
The property has two of its own courses, Mountain, and Dunes. Beyond that, the La Quinta Resort is associated with PGA West which are six different courses tucked alongside the mountains designed by some of golf’s greatest, including Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman courses. Each course has its own style and all are kept up to tour quality. I had the chance to play the Greg Norman course and it was breathtaking, challenging and fun. If you’re not the best golfer I recommend playing scramble to keep the stress level down a little.
If you’re looking to improve your game there is also instruction at the PGA West Academy. A unique opportunity to learn from top tier pros.
While it might not be an activity I partake in unless you count joking around on my college courts, La Quinta is a great destination for avid tennis players with the opportunities to play on both hard and clay courts as well as the resort’s sunken tournament style center court. With a top-tier pro and staff, the resort offers a variety of lessons on top quality courts.
A resort stay without the expense
From my experience, La Quinta is the best resort at the best price throughout all of California. You receive a high-quality property, top notch service, and access to countless amenities with weekend nights under $200.
The best time to visit this property is before the high season kicks in, but the weather is still on the cooler side, late spring and early fall. You can get great deals and enjoy a real resort experience in the middle of the beautiful Southern California desert.