Desert Luxury within Reach – Esmeralda Renaissance Resort and Spa in Indian Wells

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Fire pits, Waterfalls and Lounges at the Resort Pool Enterance

Fire pits, Waterfalls and Lounges at the Resort Pool Enterance

The Esmeralda Renaissance Resort & Spa was listed in Conde’ Nast as one world’s best places to stay, so the quality of the property and the service should not be a surprise.  The surprise is just how low a price a savvy shopper can get to experience such world class hotel.  Choosing off nights, using services like or and checking out rates specific for military and government employees may land you in the lap of luxury for as little as $90 a night.

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Lower Lobby Decorations





Located in the exclusive community of Indian Wells just outside of Palm Springs, CA, The Esmeralda Renaissance is positions at the highest end of the product offerings from the Marriott Corporation.  The grounds co-mingle with the Indian Wells Golf Resort as seen on the Golf Channels “The Big Break”.   The location has beautiful views of the course and surrounding mountains, and truly feels like a vacation oasis.  Entering the drive that the resort shares with the Golf Resort and the Hyatt gives the visitor the same feeling that some areas of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida only with a decidedly more “adult” flare.

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Mezzanine

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Mezzanine, Grand Staircase and Bob Hope Fountain

The lobby, lower lobby and pool area of the resort are sleek, elegant and modern, with plenty to explore. A grand staircase connects upper and lower lobby with rooms surrounding the towering atrium above.  Branching from the lobbies are a full service spa, a quasi-Starbucks, a dance club, convention space and other meeting spaces that are stylish and unique to the property.  The lower level features a full bar, but on occasions it is closed, alternating time with the poolside bar.

The resort does feature a restaurant, and food available at poolside.  The biggest downside to the area is that outside food is a bit of a drive away and the hours of most restaurants (even fast food) are not friendly to late arrivals.   Room service has a very limited menu after 10 pm and cuts off at midnight during the week.  Anyone driving in from the LA area should make sure to stop along the main highway for dinner before heading into the Indian Wells/La Quinta area or they may be in for a long hungry night.

The pool area is simply stunning, featuring three pools, plenty of lounge chairs, a great bar and a beautiful waterfall.  There is a mini-beach play area for kids.  The downside is that for some reason every area of the pool is very shallow.

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Pool

Most parts are as shallow as 3 feet, and some areas are even miss-marked to say 4 feet when they may be as much as 5.  This seems very odd but it is still a good place to float around, cool off, have a cocktail and relax.  Many guests seem to gravitate to the side of the pool next to the bar to have a drink, which seems like a missed opportunity for the resort to notice this and modify the pool to have a swim up bar like some Sandals resorts do. The hotel does have a moderate “resort fee” but it includes access to equipment such as bicycles, the workout room and includes parking.

The rooms are of a good size, not too large not cramped.  They are impeccably furnished and in amazing condition (i.e. carpets look brand new, nothing out of place in terms of paint, tile etc.).  They feature a mini-bar, large LCD TV, great selection of programming.   Depending on your choice of room views vary from pool, to golf course to mountain view.  Most views will be relaxing and luxurious and the windows do open to a very small railed balcony in many cases: Not enough to stand on but something to enjoy the desert air and the view.

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Room

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Basic Room

The greatest thing about this resort is its proximity to the LA area yet how remote it feels.  Within a short drive from anywhere in southern California and a reasonable drive from northern California, the resort provides the full-on vacation feeling that usually requires a five hour flight and a few thousand dollars.  Be a Savvy traveler, pick the dates correctly and live in luxury for the price of a Holiday Inn Express.

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort View

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort Typical Mountain View

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort & Spa

44-400 Indian Wells Lane

Indian Wells CA 92210-8708

Phone: 760-773-4444
Fax: 760-346-9308
Spa Phone: 760-836-1265

Esmeralda Renaissance Resort

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07 2011

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: An Immersive Star-Treatment Vacation

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Tower

The Hollywood Roosevelt: Mash-up of Old and Young Hollywood

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has had it’s ups and downs over it’s history, but if a traveler is looking to immerse themselves in the celebrity experience, it’s a great place to stay.  Situated at the center of the revitalized Hollywood Boulevard, the Roosevelt performs an amazing mash-up of silver screen glamor and insta-celebrity edge.  Swim in the pool Marlyn Monroe loved, party in the ballroom location of the first Academy Awards, or catch a trendy upscale burger with David Arquette and his co-horts from Beacher’s Madhouse.

The atmosphere and decor of the original  hotel lobby and the guest rooms could not be more diametrically opposed at the Roosevelt.  One enters the hotel through the stylish pacific fusion design of the new check-in and sub-lobby. Heading up a set of stairs to the original lobby, ballrooms and Teddy’s bar, the visitor will find themselves transported to the very specific California/Mediterranean architectural design of the 1920′s.   The lighting is deep in mood, furniture is updated enough to feel contemporary and lush without ruining the original effect of the towering lobby and chandeliers.

Traveling to a guest room is an entirely different experience.

Beachers Madhouse Marque

The Roosevelt Hotel is now the Home of Beachers Madhouse a Burlesque Review and Club

The ultra modern(yet somehow slightly dated) design features dark chocoholic walls, stark photos, large chrome fixtures and smoked mirrors.  The floors are hardwood, the beds are very low, the one piece of furniture in the “Cabana” room in which we slept was a stark black table serving as everything from a desk to the tv stand.

Hollywood Roosevelt Lobby

Dark Classic Hollywood Lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The walls of this room are a combination of treated concrete and billowing fabric.  Travel to these guest rooms is through hallways of the same dark brown, all the windows are frosted glass with a slight sea-foam green.   The over all impression is that this is a really great place to party hard and crash with more people than are intended for each room.  The particular room we stayed in had a patio almost half the size of the room itself with a high fence and an orange, full-size bed lounge (not too clean from it’s stay in the elements).  The style of these rooms alone is the reason that it would be extremely hard to recommend this hotel to just anyone.

The pool area is the classic palm tree lined Hollywood sun spot.  The Tropicana bar at poolside sits below what was once Marylin Monroe’s hotel residence.   The drinks are expensive, but what are you doing drinking here if you can’t afford it? During our stay it seemed that the hotel makes an effort to manage the party atmosphere of the hotel by opening and closing this bar on certain evenings.  The giant pool is surrounded by lush seating and covered lounges.  On the night we drank there we suddenly became surrounded by the after party of an independent film premiere, mingling with actors and film makers who simply assumed we were part of the event.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Pool

The Palm Springs Meets A-List Hollywood Vibe at the Pool Featuring a David Hockney Underwater Mural

Monday night’s guests may need to make their way past the Paparazzi and TMZ correspondents to enter the hotel.  The main lobby is transformed into a bass heavy club, or as the doorman described it “where young Hollywood likes to party on Mondays”.  Standing on the Mezzanine is a voyeurs paradise watching the interactions of the likes of Chrispen Glover or Jack Osbourne mingling with wanna-be starlets, middle-aged producer types, rappers and reality TV stars.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from the Chinese Theater

View of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from the Footprints at the Chinese Theater

The Hollywood Roosevelt is a tough hotel to categorize.  The rooms are not romantic but could be considered sexy.  There is nothing business-like about the rooms, but there were plenty of amenities for business.  The best way to describe staying at the hotel is an experience, an experience that a visitor should go full in on.  Experience the style, experience the party, experience the A-list service and prices.  Live the fantasy of celebrity!

Twitter: @hwood_roosevelt

Hotel Website:





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02 2011