My girlfriend and I had to do two nights (Thurs – Sat) in Vegas for an obligation, and we wanted to extend the weekend, but given how much we both love the craps tables, we figured it best to leave Nevada in order to preserve our wallets. We wanted to find a spot with a great pool and easy access to an airport so we could fly to San Francisco in the morning. We settled on Palm Springs, always a favorite destination of ours.
I know Palm Springs isn’t exactly a short drive from Vegas, but we figured that we would wake up early on Saturday, rent a car, drive down there, stop at the outlets on the way, and be at our destination in time for an afternoon swim. My favorite place to stay in the Palm Springs / Palm Desert region is the JW Marriott Desert Springs. That is one of the classiest hotels I’ve ever been to, but in the interest of earning SPG Platinum and seeing what else was out there, I checked the SPG website. The Westin Mission Hills Villas had a pre-paid rate for only $98/night! We had to jump on that. So while we were sad to not stay at our favorite place over there, we were excited to try out the Westin.
Driving up the Westin, it looks like pretty much every other Palm Desert complex: a gated community, two story high villas, a golf course, etc. Our room included a queen bed, but since it was part of the villas, not the standard hotel, we also had a living room and kitchenette. I have read some reviews saying that the rooms need renovation, but I found them to be quite nice. We had plenty of space, and the bathroom was large and clean, in typical Westin fashion.
The resort is separated into two sections: the villas and the hotel. The villas are timeshares, I believe, but they also rent them out as hotel rooms. Even though we stayed in the villas, we had access to the hotel pool, if we chose to use it. We ended up not. The villas have their own set of pools, and the primary pool there is nearly as nice as the hotel pool. The only difference is that there are more kids in the villas pool, and the chairs have better cushions at the hotel pool.
The gym at the villas is good, but given the family nature of the resort, and the fact that there isn’t any supervision, it can get overwhelmed by kids trying to play around on the treadmill. Also, it should be noted that the villas do not include free housekeeping.
And that’s pretty much it! Besides a great dinner at Acqua Pazza, we mostly just laid out at the pool for two days straight! This place is not as nice as the JW, or even the villas that are part of the whole JW Marriott Desert Springs complex, but the Westin is a great place, and if the rate is right, I’d be happy to return! But if the price is the same as the JW, then I’ll go back there :-).