When I lived in Palm Springs, the Esmeralda in Indian Wells was always one of my favorite places to go out for drinks and music (Melvyns was my other favorite nightspot). Since the Esmeralda is now owned by the Marriott hotel chain, there are spectacular deals in the summer which include a daily $50 resort credit and a free breakfast for 2 night stays. I HATE resort fees, but their $25 daily resort fee actually pays for daily fitness classes, two bottles of water in the room, free in-room coffee and tea, and wifi (ask them how to access it) so our entire stay for two nights only cost us about $120 each! They offer Valet parking for $12 a day, but you can self park for free (in a covered lot).

They are in the middle of a renovation, but the lobby is already remodeled and very comfortable.

The only element in the lobby and terrace that remains from the former resort is the magnificent staircase connecting the two levels.

As I walked to the front desk to check in I saw these complimentary containers of cool water infused with pineapple, cucumber, and strawberry. A wonderful thoughtful touch anywhere, but especially here in the desert where outside temperatures were hovering around 118F.

The spacious rooms were clean and modern with great beds and linens.

The bathroom was spacious and had a separate toilet area. Spa robes, soft fluffy towels, and Aveda products gave the resort an upscale feel. Thoughtful touches meant a lot, like a clothesline attached to the wall of the bathtub so you could dry your swimsuits over the tub, and the bathroom had a door to the closet so you could get dressed in the bathroom.

Rates for the summer are so low that the hotel was full of families enjoying the three pool areas; although the kids were well behaved, I still longed for an adult pool area. The poolside servers impressed me more than any other pool I have ever been to, including all the five star pools in Las Vegas; no matter what area I was seated in, someone always came by (more than once) to ask if I wanted either food or drinks! The menu is simple and the selections were reasonably priced, but it was too hot to stay outside for long or I would have ordered and enjoyed lunch by the pool. As with the in room touches, the pool area also had thoughtful touches like water containers and cups at several locations so you could serve yourself water.

The sandy “beach” area was full of small kids and fairly quiet.

The waterfall area was the loudest with screaming kids jumping in and out .

The view from the balcony of our room was tranquil and beautiful.

This view was also from out balcony but looking down instead of out. The small “river” with waterspouts alongside our building snaked around the side of the resort and is the view from the Stir Lounge as well.

Next post will be on the food, which was not as spectacular as the hotel, but the service was impeccable:)