Oasis [ōˈāsis]- a fertile spot in a desert where water is found. Westin Rancho Mirage is a true oasis in the Coachella Valley, California. The lush 360 acres make this one of the best Rancho Mirage hotels.
The luxurious Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort and Spa underwent an $18 million, 2-year reimagining, with a grand re-opening in late 2021. Covering 365-acres of the Coachella Valley floor, The Westin’s renovation touched every aspect of the property, focusing on the resort’s pillars of ‘Sleep Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Play Well, and Work Well.’ Come along with me as I check into one of the most iconic Rancho Mirage hotels and explore how the classic resort offers an oasis in the desert near Palm Springs.
Westin Rancho Mirage Hotel Offers a Welcome Retreat
Driving across the desert on Interstate 10 outside Palm Springs is an intriguing study of the Southwest landscape. The San Jacinto Mountains rise abruptly from the desert floor to a height of more than 10,000 feet. Tall windmills dot the flat desert as far as the eye can see. But as you drive off the freeway and approach the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, the landscape changes and an oasis awaits. There is little wonder why the AAA four-diamond resort is one of the most popular of all the Rancho Mirage hotels.
The Pete Dye-designed golf course runs down the center of the property and is edged with plantings of trees, palms, and flowering shrubbery. Buildings have magenta bougainvillea climbing columns between balconies and patios. Scattered about the property citrus trees will tempt you to pluck an orange or lemon.
But, as you would expect in an oasis, palm trees are the stars of the flora show. So many varieties everywhere throughout the resort. I love the tallest that are so slender you have to wonder how they don’t fall over. Their silhouettes are striking against a pink, purple, and gold sunrise.
Palm trees greet you when you arrive at the oasis. Regal palms line the long driveway that leads to reception. Once you arrive in front of reception, the beautiful Moroccan-inspired architecture welcomes you to this beautiful Rancho Mirage hotel.
Take a Walk During Your Stay at this Rancho Mirage Hotel
While walking the property, you are rarely away from the sound of water in pools, fountains, and ponds. It’s hard to imagine the desert surrounding the resort. During the hot summers, cool down from the mist from the water features. Sitting outside, surrounded by the many water features, truly feels as if you’re in an oasis. The property is dotted with sculptures, sunset benches, and quiet places to enjoy the ever-changing mountain vistas.
The grounds are remarkable in the sunshine, but there’s an entirely different look from dusk till dawn. The lighting emphasizes structural design, landscaping, and water elements. Pathways are beautifully lit. They are inviting for an evening stroll under the desert stars.
Your Escape Pod
Guest rooms come in several sizes, from a comfy queen with a pool view to two-bedroom apartments with a golf course view and various designs in between.
My junior suite was the perfect escape pod. Pops of color and texture highlighted soft desert tones. The cool, shaded ambiance in the room provided a perfect escape after a day in the desert sun.
The king bed was the proverbial cloud of elegant linens with seven pillows. (Did I mention I’m a pillow geek?) The design included plenty of electric outlets and USB outlets near the bed.
A stylish sleeper sofa, easy chair, and coffee table made for a comfortable seating area. An indoor table and chairs are ideal as a workstation or for dining.
Outside, my covered patio had a table and chairs that I used each morning for my usual cup of Earl Grey. I found the view of the sun rising over the golf course inspirational. It led to some early morning photo shoots, including one where I followed a coyote looking for its breakfast among the rabbit holes on the edge of the course.
Editor’s Note: Publisher Susan Lanier-Graham enjoyed a stay at The Westin Rancho Mirage and enjoyed the Presidential Suite. This is an ideal retreat for either a longer vacation, or perhaps a working a vacation. It has a spacious bedroom suite and an adjoining living space with wet bar, living room, dining room, and spacious patio.
Take Time to Play While at this Rancho Mirage Hotel
The Westin has so much to do you may never leave the property. Multi-generational and pet-friendly, everyone is welcome. You can enjoy golf, tennis, pickleball, swimming, walking, cycling, fitness center, bowling, game room, sports bar, and more at the resort. New is the 75-foot waterslide at Las Brisas pool. Rent a comfy cabana and let the kids play while you relax. The pool attendants ensure you have everything you need.
A favorite escape is Pins and Pintz near the reception area. This beautiful lounge is filled with fun. There are ten beer taps, brewpub eats, and classic arcade games along with four lanes of duckpin bowling.
Be sure to check out the “Let’s bowl” photo opportunity at Pins and Pintz. So much fun for all ages!
Rent bikes for the biking trail. Work on your putting skills at the miniature golf green. Get a family game of volleyball or table tennis tournament started. The Kids’ Club Discovery Room, open near Las Brisas Pool, is a space for younger guests to enjoy arts, crafts, and other activities.
Stop by The Turtle Den to meet Scooter and Shelldon, two African Spurred Tortoises. The giant turtles are the last remaining residents of a small zoo that once was a part of the resort. Their feeding times are posted at their Den. It’s incredible how fast they can move when they have full food bowls.
Get Your Groove On
During the recent renovation, the resort dedicated The Backyard, an outdoor concert venue. The space is magical with the trademark exquisite lighting and palm trees. For the Back Yard’s opening night, Westin hosted a Jazz concert.
The following day balloonists and their floating vessels gathered on the golf course at sunrise for an early morning balloon race. I found it exhilarating to walk down among the floating giants as they prepared to ascend.
Spa Time at The Westin Rancho Mirage
The restful spa at this beautiful Rancho Mirage hotel is an oasis within the oasis.
Practitioners are on hand to help you choose which splendid spa treatment will most benefit you. Tranquility and wellness are the themes for your massage, body wrap, facial, therapy bath, fitness class, or signature Westin Spa treatment. Therapies are offered for men, women, and couples. I thoroughly enjoyed a full massage, then a visit to the steam room. It was the perfect start to my first day at the resort. After that, I slowed down and let go of my travel stress.
Eat Great Food at Westin Rancho Mirage
My first experience at this Greater Palm Springs oasis was food. After a long day of travel, I arrived on a late flight expecting to find hotel eateries closed. Thankfully I was wrong. Pinzimini was open and serving the full menu. I relished the best Margherita pizza ever. The crust had a nice crunch on the outside but was tender inside. Tasty, oven-roasted San Marzano tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella with fresh basil leaves were satisfying.
The Italian restaurant serves more than pizzas. Small plates to full entrees are available for lunch and dinner. James Beard Honored Executive Chef Joel Delmond specializes in European flavors, but with local, California produce and products.
Editor’s Note: Publisher Susan Lanier-Graham had a tasting menu at Pinzimini and the flavors were exceptional. Each course, created with the freshest ingredients, paired perfectly with both California and European wines.
You can enjoy a breakfast menu and breakfast buffet, ideal with an adult beverage from the Breakfast Cocktail menu. I recommend the Mimosa. Also, try the complimentary Gloria’s Renewal Juice. The brilliant green juice, brought to your table each morning, not only energizes you, but it tastes great. I had to ask for seconds.
Libations at The Westin Rancho Mirage
Libations are a treat at the Westin. Westin’s mixologists will make your favorite cocktail or introduce you to a new one. In addition, they can help you choose a wine from their collection of domestic and international vino or serve you an ice-cold cerveza after a round of golf. You can get drinks in the Pinzimini bar, Pinz and Pints, Fireside Lounge, and the poolside bar. In the evening, find a cozy spot around one of the firepits and order up your favorite cocktail to enjoy under the night sky.
Editor’s Note: Fireside Lounge also serves up delicious bites, making this a casual spot for an evening meal.
For a glass of wine in your room, head to Coffee-ology, an onsite deli, and coffee shop, with a lovely selection of bottled wines to enjoy in your room or a sunset sip on your patio. Coffee-ology is also home to Starbucks for coffee and tea.
Getting to The Westin Rancho Mirage
Coachella Valley is also home to Palm Springs, about 9 miles from the Westin. If you prefer, you can fly into Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). The lovely open-air airport sits six miles west of Westin Rancho Mirage. If you don’t plan on leaving the property, I suggest taking a rideshare to the resort. The area is also ideal for road trips and long weekends from nearby areas. Rancho Mirage is 5 hours west of Phoenix, 3 hours east of Los Angeles, and less than 3 miles off Interstate 10.
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Visiting The Westin Rancho Mirage
The Westin Rancho Mirage is a true Coachella Valley oasis, whether for a family vacation, golf weekend, or solo spa retreat. The 365-acre Palm Springs retreat is ranked one of the Top 50 Golf Resorts in North America by Golf Digest. With something for everyone, from food, drinks, and fun to golf, spa, and kids’ activities, it will definitely be your go-to oasis when looking for the ideal Rancho Mirage hotel escape. Be sure to check out more articles on Wander for what to do when you visit the Palm Springs area and other places in California.
Westin Rancho Mirage: A Coachella Valley Oasis