Getaway: Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa

What do you get when you combine sunshine, cold drinks, great shopping, fun pools, delicious restaurants and enough old people to make you feel pretty young? Palm Springs.


Spring, summer, winter or fall, you really can’t find a wrong time of year to visit the area. Just two hours east of Los Angeles, the desert getaways of Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and Indian Wells offer lots of sun, a wide range of accommodations, an excellent selection of restaurants, and fun for both families and couples.

I recently had the chance to visit the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa which is located in Indian Wells, CA just a little bit south of Palm Springs proper.


The Renaissance Esmeralda is a 7-story, 560-room resort that offers accommodation options and activities whatever your vacation plans.

For Families – The Renaissance Esmeralda provides lots of amenities to make it easy and fun for families to visit. One of the biggest draws for families has to be the unique pools. There is one large pool with lots of segments to it, but the entire thing is 3-feet deep making it ideal for kids to play. There is a sandy beach at one end of the pool, a separate 1ft. deep pool for younger kids and a jacuzzi if the Palm Springs sun just isn’t hot enough for you. Waitstaff are constantly circulating with refreshing ice water, tempting drink menus and delicious lunch trays.


On Friday evenings nearly all year long, the Renaissance offers its Dive-In Movie Night, showing family-friendly films on a large outdoor movie screen set up on a grassy field adjacent to the pool. The hotel also offers Club Oasis, a kid-centered camp where children aged 5-12 can play, craft, snack and have fun while parents indulge in a spa treatment, meal alone or a moment of peace and quiet by the pool.

You can see their entire line-up of family-friendly activities for March and April here including a bounce house, s’mores and game night. cava

The Renaissance has two main in-house restaurants – Cava, an indoor/outdoor bistro open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sirrocco, an award-winning, white-table clothed restaurant that serves Italian cuisine. Cava is very family-friend, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking my kids to Sirrocco without expecting some raised eyebrows. When we visited there was only one child in the whole restaurant – a 9 or 10 year old sedated with an iPad and headphones while his parents ate.

If you don’t mind leaving the hotel grounds, there are a handful of more casual and less expensive dining options at the Westfield Palm Desert mall or The River promenade in Rancho Mirage, both just a short drive away.

For Couples

I visited the Renaissance Esmeralda without my kids and got to experience all that they offer for couples. In addition to their standard guestrooms, the Renaissance has eight types of guest suites if you’re looking for even more room or some added luxury. The Spa Suite where we stayed offered the perfect setting for a little kid-less R&R – relaxation and romance. (Why yes, that is a spa tub in my room.)


While Sirrocco isn’t very suitable for kids, it provides the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner for two. Private tables with plenty of space, a gorgeous view of the desert hills and a fountain, and a mouth-watering menu of re-imagined Italian favorites.  My husband and I shared the delicious Colorado lamb and the filet mignon in a mind-blowing gorgonzola-pistachio sauce. I’m a fan of Italian red wine, and Sirrocco has an extensive wine list of bottles from all over the world. If you’re not looking for a heavy meal or want some libations before or after dinner, the hotel also offer the Glo Lounge, Glo Sushi Bar, the hip Stir Lounge.

If you get weary of laying by the pool, sleeping, and eating, you can always head inside to the Spa Esmeralda to choose from an array of massages, body treatments, facials and other beauty treatments. Be sure to arrive early and stay late to enjoy the pre-treatment relaxation lounge, steam room, and private jacuzzi at the spa.


Thinking about a getaway for spring break or this summer? Be sure to check out their Specials page for current deals. For a family getaway or for time alone with your partner, the Renaissance Esmeralda can offer the perfect vacation experience.


Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and reviewer based in Southern California. Visit her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Contently. Thanks to the Renaissance Esmeralda for hosting a visit. As always, opinions expressed are the author’s.



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