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“A Relaxing Desert Oasis” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

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Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   44-400 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210   |  
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Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Indian Wells
Los Angeles, CA
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“A Relaxing Desert Oasis”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2005

This past June of 2005, my boyfriend and I braved the blazing Palm Springs summer heat and trekked out to the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in search of a tranquil, relaxing weekend getaway to the California desert. Despite the weather, we had a wonderful weekend at the Esmeralda and left feeling pampered, rested and serene --- ready to face the Monday blues back at work.

- Located in upscale Indian Wells, CA, which is about 13 miles from central Palm Springs.
- Features 560 rooms and suites, 3 pools, a full-service spa, and 2 on-site restaurants.
- Completed a $31 million dollar renovation in 2002.
- Listed as one of the "500 Greatest Hotels in the World" by "Travel & Leisure" magazine.

The interior of the resort is very open and airy and centers around a sweeping, twisting staircase located in the center interior "courtyard" area of the resort. Once you walk this staircase down from the lobby to the lower level of the resort, you will find the exit to the pool area (pool area discussed further in a below section). The pool is surrounded by a floral-laced mossy green man-made lake that encircles the resort. Overall, it is a pretty environment --- not the most amazing and beautiful hotel grounds I've witnessed in my travels, but certainly comfortable enough.

For our stay, we had originally booked one of Esmeralda's standard rooms. When we arrived at the room, we found it to be clean and comfortable with well-appointed modern furnishings. However, after a short while in the room, we realized it was very noisy as our room was facing the pool area. When we telephoned the Front Desk to let them know this problem, they were extremely kind and apologetic and before we knew it, we were upgraded to a Suite! The standard room was lovely, but the Suite was naturally even more so ... we were even greeted by a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries (I was told these could also be requested free of charge for "special occasions"). The Suite was spacious and featured a very large dual-sink bathroom and a balcony overlooking the lake surrounding the resort. Bathrooms feature products by Bath & Body Works (the ladies will be pleased!). The beds at the resort (both in the Suite and the standard room) are very comfortable and clean --- we slept very well. The hotel's 2002 renovation shows in the updated, modern furnishings and contemporary design of the rooms.

The Esmeralda features 3 adjacent pools that surround a center Pool Bar where you can order food and drinks. One end of the pool is geared towards younger children as it features a simulated shallow "beach" for them to play in. There are also cascading waterfalls that flow into the pool on the opposite end (the adults mostly hang out here). Rounding the perimeter of the pool are a few jacuzzi hot tubs in little gazebos. There are plenty of lounge chairs and also a booth to rent floating devices, rafts, etc. We were initially worried about the many children that were in the pool area and the potential noise they might incur, but we soon found that the pool area is large enough and features enough secluded areas to avoid any noise issues.

We had the opportunity to experience the on-site Spa Esmeralda and had a wonderful time. The Spa is full-service, beautifully designed and very quiet and serene inside. The staffers are very friendly and accommodating. The interior mens' and womens' locker rooms are nicely decorated, very clean and adjacent to secluded "relaxation lounges" filled with comfy couches and recliners, soothing music, assorted beverages and magazines. Behind the spa, you can enter the private outdoor area, which features more lounge chairs and a hot-and-cold tub --- a divided jacuzzi tub that is cool on one side and warm on the other. There are also several shaded outdoor cabanas if you would prefer an outdoor massage. Prices for services are typical spa prices. Overall, we found the Spa Esmeralda to be one of our favorite highlights of our weekend stay --- it was truly a relaxing and pleasant experience.

The Esmeralda features two full service on-site restaurants (the classy Italian "Sirocco" and the casual outdoor "Charisma"), a coffee bar called "Cafe Biscotti", and the "Las Estrellas Lounge", which features live music, drinks and appetizers. There is also full room service and poolside food service. We ate at "Sirocco" our first evening and loved it --- the restaurant was beautiful and elegant and the authentic Italian food was delicious. The prices at "Sirocco" veer toward the higher end, but is well worth it --- I believe the restaurant was voted "Best Italian Restaurant" in the Coachella Valley by Zagat in 2005. The next day, we ordered poolside service and had a surprisingly good, affordable and filling lunch by the pool.

The resort is a very child-friendly place and offers several complimentary daily activities for kids. I believe there is also a perpetual promotion that "Kids Eat For Free at Dinner!", so you can see that the resort makes an effort to accommodate the children set. For the grown-ups, there are two Ted Robinson-designed championship golf courses adjacent to the resort.

The resort is located in a quiet suburban town and thus doesn't feature that much to choose from when looking for entertainment outside of the resort. I suspect most people who visit the resort plan on staying mostly inside the grounds, so perhaps that is not a big factor. There are a few chain restaurants nearby, but nothing spectacular. We had travelled a few times to central Palm Springs before and had fallen in love with downtown Palm Springs, which features a bevy of interesting restaurants, shops, and bars. From the Esmeralda, our drive down there was a good 20 minutes (it's about 13 miles away), so that was a bit of a detraction. Indian Wells is a lovely little community, but if you are looking for more action outside your resort, I must admit the location of the Esmeralda isn't optimal.

It is advisable that you drive your own car or rent a car to utilize during your stay --- most visitors do. I don't believe the resort offers a shuttle around town and public transportation might be a headache, especially in the Summer heat.

The area is extremely hot in the summer months and if that bothers you, I would definitely avoid travelling here during that time. The heat really is scorchingly excessive. To avoid the arduous weather, I'd recommend travelling to the Esmeralda in the earlier Spring months or in the Fall. You would probably avoid the children-heavy family crowds that frequent the resort in the Summer.

The Renaissance Esmeralda is a lovely resort and should certainly be considered if you are travelling to the California desert. The hotel's relatively recent renovations make for comfortable living and the prices are very affordable for a four-star resort such as this.

Hope this has been helpful! Happy Travels!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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835 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Stockbridge, Georgia
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Renaissance for 5 nights 7-7-7-12-05. The hotel was great. The room size was nice the bathrooms were large. The staff at the hotel went out of there way to make sure we were happy. We had a mountain view room that was beautiful. The pool area was large with 3 seperate sections to swim and 2 whirlpools. The gift shop was very large and had very nice things. The truffles in the coffee shop were excellent. The workout room had nice equipment. They have a lounge that had live music nightly. At the pool area they showed movies at night for the kids. Room service and the resturant was good. We got a great deal for $481 per person round trip and 5 nights at this excellent resort hotel through Sams Club Travel. We will be back!!! The hotel is right off the main street in Palm Springs.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2005

We were at the hotel from July 8-11, 2005. We wanted to get away for just a few days and do nothing, but relax and lay out by the pool. We are a family of 5. As soon as we entered the hotel grounds, we knew that we would have a great mini vacation. I booked a deluxe/2Q bed with balcony. Got the first 2 nights for $114.00 plus tax and 3rd night for $89.00 with AAA rate. This hotel is beautiful. Everyone is so friendly. Our room was an average size room. We had room 6019 and noticed that the rooms 6017-6020 had an oversized balcony. Meaning that there was a table with 5 chairs and plenty of room left. We were on the 6th floor and had a very nice view of the main entrance and view of the mountains. There are 7 floors. All floors on our same side had the oversized balconies. All other floors, even pool view balconies were very small were you can only, maybe fit a couple of chairs. Our main conern was the pool. Our 3 kids enjoyed the pool for hours. The pool is very beautiful. It is only 3 - 4 feet deep. There were a lot of families. Friday and Saturday were very crowded. The hotel has 2 restaurants. Charisma they have a little of everything. A little expensive, but very delicious. On Friday they had seafood buffet for dinner for about $22. On Saturday we went to Palm Desert to the California Pizza Kitchen. We also had the breakfast buffet at Charisma which is very delicious and is about $12. We ate there on Sunday for dinner they had an early bird dinner special for $10.95 which you can pick from 3 entrees. They also had an Italian restaurant called Sicorro. We did not try it. There was a mini fridge in the room. They also have 2 robes and a variety of toiletries. 2 sinks and a coffee maker which are added bonus'. They also had a Spa. I did not try it out this time. You know that something always goes wrong, but I can't believe that we had no complaints whatsoever. Everything was perfect. This resort was top notch! I can honestly say that since we do travel quite a bit. Hawaii, Florida, Cancun and locally. This will be our weekend getaway from now on! Email me if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to answer whatever I can.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2005

The was my second stay at the Esmeralda. Grabbed an awesome AAA rate of $84/night. (June Heat might have something to do with the rate --but I was going there to golf and relax in the desert sun). Staff is friendly and helpful. I am a Marriott Rewards memeber and received an upgrade to a poolview room. The view of the mountains is spectacular. Concierge was very helpful for golf recommendations and giving good directions. Rooms are tastefully decorated and the bathrooms are large. I Dined at the restaurants twice during my stay. The meals were good value -portions were ample and the food was good. The pool was great -lots of kids but you have to expect that in June at most hotels. Whenever I return to the area -the Esmeralda is first on my list. Thanks again for a great stay

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2005

I stayed at this hotel for a work conference May 31 - June 4, 2005. First, I'll mention the good. Most of the staff were extremely friendly - almost to the point of being a little strange. I mostly ate food catered for my conference by the hotel, but it was pretty tasty. The room decor was fresh and updated, the bathroom was big and the bed was very comfortable.

Now, onto the not so good. As I travel frequently, I am a Marriott rewards member and upon check-in was told that because of my Marriott status I was being upgraded to a pool-view room. I thought this sounded suspicious (why is looking at a pool an upgrade?) but just smiled and took my key. Well, I can't imagine any room in the hotel with a worse view - the hotel is sort of C-shaped and my room was one of the inside corner rooms. From 90% of my room, including anywhere on the bed, all you could see was the hotel building itself. When you could see the pool, what you saw directly behind the pool was the main highway through Palm Springs/Desert area. As they were hosting a large conference, they said they were unable to give me another room. My recommendation would be to request a view of the golf course - which would be on the long side of the "C" and not obstructed by building or highway. My other complaint is with housekeeping - they did not come until 3 or 4 each day, usually when I was returning to shower and dress for dinner. They seemed very annoyed when I asked them to "come back later" despite the fact that they could have cleaned my room anytime in the previous 7 hours! My last major complaint is that the single elevator at my end of the resort (also the same end as the conference) went out of service the day I arrived and was not repaired until I left. When it was there, it was very convenient, but without it I had to walk several minutes to the main elevators, and then once downstairs had to walk back the length of the resort to the conference. This sounds minor, but it is a huge pain if you forget something in your room or want to brush your teeth after lunch or something.

I got the $149 conference rate, which my work paid, so I had a pretty decent time overall, but the resort has more potential that it could live up to.

  • Stayed June 2005, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

I visited the Renaissance as part of a family trip. I was amazed to see that the hotel was soo big! Our rooms was very nicely decorated and our bathroom was average for this type of resrot. We also had an adjoining room which was nice and I really liked that option. The pool was packed ruing the day and we always found a little spot. We did swim at night which was fun and the pool was dead. We ventured into the resturaunts which were very tasty and played golf at the golf course. I enjoyed my time there and the service was friendly and fast. All in all, it was a very relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2005

My wife and I stayed at the Renaissance Esmeralda from 5/6-5/9. First the good news: the food and service at the restaurants and lounge is excellent; the spa is wonderful.
Now the not so good news: most of the rooms, including the corner room we stayed in, face Highway 111 which is very busy and very noisy. We had to keep the air conditioning on at night, which would have been fine, except that the unit is so noisy that it was little better than keeping the window open. The room itself was large and furnished in a comfortable if somewhat drab style.
Despite what the web site said, there was no mini-bar (they are redoing their mini-bars or something like that); a refrigerator was brought up at our request.
Also, NO in-room movies were available Friday night; the excuse being that the hotel was fully booked and all the movies were being watched. I got several different stories when I complained; the bottom line being that the system is inadequate.
The fitness center is fair; half of the TV's did not work properly and were not fixed despite my complaint. The equipment is good but not state of the art.
The pool is great for kids and families but not for adults, especially if you really like to swim rather than play.
Overall, I would stay somewhere else and go back to the spa and the restaurants at the Esmeralda.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

Address: 44-400 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Indian Wells
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Indian Wells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 560
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel Indian Wells
Renaissance Esmeralda Resort And Spa
Renaissance Indian Wells
Indian Wells Renaissance

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