Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa Indian Wells
I took the Westjet direct flight from Vancouver that leaves at 1 PM and arrives in Palm Springs shortly before 4 PM. The taxi ride from the airport to the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort Indian Wells is about half an hour. Check in was quick and key in hand, I was soon on my way to my room. I have a rule that "if I can't carry it myself it can't come with me" so instead of enlisting help I lugged my own luggage down seemingly endless corridors to the room. But it was worth the effort for the room location.
My room, the basic resort view room with a king bed, was large and spacious. The view over a golf course was of lush greenery and trees, with the muted grey-blue of the mountains in the distance.
And having the resort view room rather than a room with a pool view meant it was also blissfully quiet, no music, voices or splashing from the pool area.
I liked the spacious counter top round the double sinks in the bathroom. Lots of room to stand toiletries and make up. I also like the brew system that Marriott provides though I use it just to get hot water and filter-press my own coffee.
Amongst other perks like fitness classes and resort bicycles, the daily resort fee includes two small bottles of water, suitable for use in the room coffee machine, and wireless internet in your room as well as public areas like the lobby or pool.
The temperature on arrival in Palm Springs was 46 ºC - 115ºF but the dry heat made it bearable. The thermostat in my room was set to a comfortable 21ºC or 70 ºF - basically the temperature I live at in my apartment at home. I decided to unpack and settle in before exploring the hotel and finding somewhere for dinner.
The inner atrium section features a dramatic staircase leading from the lobby level to the terrace lobby level where the restaurants and pool are located.
There are three main restaurants in the Renaissance as well as the Cafe Biscotti coffee shop that serves up Starbucks coffee. Sirocco, the Italian restaurant was closed for the first three days of my stay but I had the choice of Cava - the poolside restaurant serving American home style cuisine, or the Lobby Bar and Glo sushi bar serving sharing plates and sushi.
I opted for Cava for supper that first night and then for a light supper on my second night at the hotel I wandered down to Glo Bar and Sushi Bar for some sushi.
My dining experiences at this hotel are posted in Supping Away: Indian Wells: Renaissance Esmeralda dining.
I was surprised to find that despite the heat, the pool area was quite crowded even around the noon hour. I spent about an hour or so at the pool on two mornings, and managed to find a pleasant shaded area but by noon, even in the shade I was burning so I retired to the cool of the hotel interior for the rest of the afternoon.
My only caveat was the elevator problem. When the hotel was quiet there was a problem with rapid arrival of the lobby elevators but once the hotel filled up there were crowds of people waiting for the elevators much of the time. Many elevator systems have intelligent programming that coordinates elevator flow. It was definitely not working here.
Overall I really liked this hotel. I found all the staff from the bell hops to the servers and the pool staff very helpful and pleasant, the room was great and all my dining experiences were excellent.