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“Good... So long as you know its a TIMESHARE” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott's Shadow Ridge

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Marriott's Shadow Ridge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   9003 Shadow Ridge Rd, Palm Desert, CA 92211   |  
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Ranked #10 of 22 Hotels in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence
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9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good... So long as you know its a TIMESHARE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2011

My sympathies to anyone thinking this is a regular hotel. It is a timeshare resort. Which means limited housekeeping, no room service, no upgrades based on status, etc. With that said, it really was perfect for our family of five. Nice accommodations, great pools, cool splash pads, responsive service, even a kids movie theatre! Only gripe was that the walls were a bit thin as one other review noted. However we would gladly come back. 4 thumbs up!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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Escondido, California
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188 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

We stayed at Marriott's Vacation Club Shadow Ridge I over the Memorial Day Weekend, Friday May 27-Monday May 30. We used Vacation Club Points that we had leftover, so that was handy. Check in went really well and since it was really my first visit to the area, I was surprised when the person checking me in told me that this was the busiest weekend of the year. I guess we were lucky to get in on short notice! He explained that the resort was completely full and that the pools would require wristbands, which were provided to us. I was a little worried that the pools would be totally out of control as we had planned to spend some time at the pools.

We were put into building 2300 on the ground floor - at the end of the buildings in Shadow Ridge I. He told me that we were in a building that was remodeled last year and would have a "lake view" and our patio overlooked the end of the little lake between the building and the golf course It would have been nice if the table and two chairs weren't completely dusty and not very comfortable, but we put towels on the chairs and used the large decorative pillows off of the bed as cushions. Instant comfort. The room was very nice. Had a 32" LG flat screen in front of the bed and also a couch bed off to the side of the bed. That was the only weird thing in the room, you had to be in bed to watch TV comfortably which was NOT a problem for me since it was only my husband and I on this trip. The small kitchenette included a small refrigerator that was quite loud whenever it was on, a microwave, a coffee pot, and a toaster. There are dishes and silverware for four and a sink. Everything was clean and looked new. The bed and bedding is nice, although I find the beds at Marriott resorts a little soft for my liking. With the exception of the loud refrigerator and the rattling exterior light (it was VERY windy at night), our studio room was awesome.

The room was almost half way between the main pool and the Enclaves pool. It was about a five minute walk to the main pool and maybe a 4 minute walk to the Enclave pool. Friday night we headed to the Enclave pool for a visit to the jacuzzi before it closed at 11. Even though the pools are open until 11 it was REALLY dark around the Enclaves pool, but the jacuzzi was nice and the pool was warm enough to get in on a cool windy night.

Saturday, we headed to Costco to by movie tickets for the Regal theater just across the street from Costco. Then went to the movies. After the movie we returned to our room and then headed to Fantasy Springs Casino, about 13 miles to the east, where they have cover bands play on Saturday nights in their venue, Rock Yard. Rock Yard is outdoors and also right outside of the buffet, so you can actually eat at the buffet while enjoying bands playing. I recommend if you want to eat at any of the nicer restaurants at Fantasy Springs, that you make a reservation. They seem to get confused if you don't have a reservation and you have to stand there and wait until a table opens up in order to eat at those places. Really bizarre system, which is why we ate at the buffet. Really recommend the free Rock Yard concerts. Very fun.

When we left the casino, we stopped to check out the Spotlight 29 Casino briefly. Its seems a little bigger than Fantasy Springs and a little more expensive. More 5cent than 1cent slot machines. If you like playing the slots, this can add up.

Sunday, we headed to the main pool on the Shadow Ridge property. We arrived before 8 hoping to get a cabana so we didn't get sunburned immediately and were lucky enough to find one left when we got to the lounge pool. Those at the main "family pool" were all taken already and I was actually kind of glad, because later that pool was CRAZY with kids. The main family pool also has a water slide which I was looking forward to using when it opened at 10. Unfortunately, its super tiny and really made for the little kiddies - I'd say up to maybe 10 or 11. We went on it anyway, because it was there, but not what we had hoped for. We spent about 4-5 hours at the pool enjoying the lounge pool and the jacuzzi and just relaxing. At 11, the bar & grill opened and we had some burgers. It was $21 for two burgers and fries and the burgers were pretty good, but I don't know if they were $21 good! About 1pm we headed to our room to get ready to watch Nascar's Coca Cola 600 race, which we had planned to do in our room so that we could enjoy our own food and drinks and relax during the 6 hour race. Unfortunately, when we got to our room we found out that the Direct TV was out on the property. My husband called the front desk who told us that someone had been on site for an hour working on it and that it was expected to be up within the next two hours. Since the race started at 3, we thought we'd be okay. At 3 there was still no TV. My husband called again and we were told we could watch it at the Nick Faldo Bar & Grill as they had a separate satellite. We called the Faldo Bar & Grill to ask if they would be showing the race. They said they didn't know, but to call back and they would let us know in five minutes. Since we had to leave the room anyway to see it we went to the Faldo Bar & Grill and found that they had several TINY TVs high in the air around the bar and ONE 55" TV in the lounge area that was tuned to golf... since we were at a golf course, it was unlikely they would change that to a Nascar race. We talked to the bartender about putting one of the small TVs on the race and he showed us the TV lineup he had access to, which did NOT include FOX, a basic channel. We then went to the concierge to ask if they could refer us to somewhere else to go to watch. The concierge did not even know that the Direct TV was still out, but she did refer us to a place called Burgers & Beer less than 2 miles from the resort, near the Regal theater we had visited the day before.

We went to Burgers & Beer and that is a great place to watch sports. Not only do they have a LOT of large TVs everywhere, the booths have small TVs in them that you can tune to whatever you want to watch AND adjust the volume. The food was also good and they had decent beer prices. Of course, it was a lot more expensive than the free beer that was in my room. Plus, since it was a 5 hour race, it's difficult to sit in a restaurant that long - one is expected to order food or drinks and one can only eat and drink so much! My husband continued to check with the resort, finally being allowed to speak to a manager, who agreed to call us when the Direct TV was repaired. He did and we headed to our room. After watching about 10 minutes of the race, the TV went out again. I realize that not everyone goes on vacation planning to watch TV, but we are big Nascar fans and this was a big race and it was a huge disappointment to miss the end of the race, not to mention the $50 extra we had to spend at the bar we went to. The manager did try to make it right and comped our $21 burgers that were on our tab, but the whole experience, really dampened the day for us. The frustration was that none of the staff really knew what was going on. Each person told us something different and it was a bummer not to get to enjoy something we were really looking forward to.

It's Monday morning now and we're sitting on the deck enjoying the view, which is not windy for the first day of the weekend. We'll be heading out soon, as check out is 10am and everyone was informed that there is no late check out! But, we were also invited to stay and use the pools for as long as we wanted today, which is really nice.

Overall, I like the resort. It's only an hour and a half drive from San Diego, which is nice for a weekend getaway. We would definitely return here. There is a lot to see and do in the area even if you do not golf and the resort itself has a lot of amenities. Be prepared for lots of kids running around because this is a family resort, but it is still nice. The only thing I wish they had, that they don't is a somewhere to grab breakfast onsite. But, you can always head to CJ's, which is about 5 miles away and has GREAT breakfast.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nipomo, California
Level Contributor
178 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2011

We booked a studio unit as it best met our needs when we stayed there in the past.

We arrived about 1 PM on Monday April 25th and were greeted by a clerk at the check-in desk. She told us that she had picked out “a really nice room” for us and suggested that we would have to wait. The room was not ready until almost an hour after check-in time, just before 5 PM. When we went to the room we were horrified. It was a handicap room, modified for disabled vacationers. Neither my wife nor myself can vacation in such a room; the grab bars, lowered furniture, a shower head that required bending-down, a makeup mirror that was too low; and particularly the removal of the walk-in shower do not lend themselves to either the physical or psychological atmosphere we expect on vacation.

We immediately called the front desk, informed them of why the room was unsuitable, and were told that no other rooms were available as it was late. I asked to speak to the manager, and the acting managercame to the phone. He claimed no other studios were available and refused to upgrade us to a larger room unless we paid more. He claimed that in his experience (five months’ worth) the Shadow Ridge never upgraded people who were unhappy with their rooms. We countered with saying that it was standard industry practice when a room was unsuitable for a client who had made reservations months before. He replied that as they were a time-share facility they were not bound by the practices of the hotel industry. A few minutes later our son, who owns several weeks at Shadow Ridge, also called the manager, but he remained obdurate; telling us that the facility was geared for weekly stays. If that is so, then you should not rent it be the day, as advertised on your website.

After 6 and exhausted from the day’s travel, we had no other choice but to pay for a one bedroom unit. The manager put us in a unit that was in poor condition and needed serious maintenance. The front panel of the bathtub was cracked, and we feared to the microwave as the cover was also cracked. The furniture could best be described as ‘tired’ and the shower was dingy.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2011

This is the 2nd time we have stayed at Shadow Ridge. We have three children, ages 8, 5, and 2. We stayed here for a week over Spring Break, which is the peak season for this hotel.

Check-in was smooth. We arrived at 5:30 pm and our room was ready. We requested a room as close as possible to the pool, and on the first floor. (FYI, this resort is very large and spread out, with as long as a 10 min. or more walk from the furthest building to the main pool. Each building has three floors.) Neither of our wishes was granted. We were about three buildings away from the main pool, and on the second floor. I didn't make a big deal out of it, as I realized this was a busy time for the resort.

Our 2-bedroom was spacious and clean. The kitchen area is somewhat small, but had ample supplies. There is a full-sized oven and refrigerator, as well as a microwave, toaster, blender, and coffee maker. The overall decor seemed a bit tired, and could use some updating. Consistent with most of the rooms, we had a nice view of the golf course and an adjacent waterway right behind us. I also had requested foam pillows in our room upon our arrival, but found this request had been forgotten/ignored as well.

We stocked up on food at a nearby Super Wal-Mart, which was about 1/2 mile north of the resort. A Costco, Kohl's, and a movie-theater are all within a mile of the resort as well.

The weather was in the 70's the first two days, then sunny and in the 80's for the rest--just perfect. We went to the pool several times. There is one main pool in the middle of the resort, as well as a smaller, but still large one at the Enclaves. In the back of the resort was a small "quiet pool", which was nice for those who didn't want the kids splashing around them.

The kids enjoyed the main pool with the nearby water slide. The water slide was pretty slow, and probably won't be enjoyed much by older kids. I liked that kids with floaties are allowed to go down the slide. There are two hot tubs at both ends of the main pool area. One of the hot tubs broke down on our last day, which was a bummer, making the other one pretty crowded. The water temperature at the main pool was just about perfect.

We tried out the other pool located at the rear of Shadow Ridge in the "Enclaves" section. The main problem with this area was the temperature of the pools. The zero-entry pool, which was great for children, was freezing cold. The hot tub next to it was scalding hot. There was another pool there, however, that was the perfect temperature and we hung out in that one. Luckily too, there was a second hot tub, heated to the right temperature. Like the main pool, there is a water spray area for the little ones. Also, there was a large sand box for the toddlers. Both the main pool and the Enclaves pool have a bar/eating area and showers.

Our first day at the resort was a little cool for the pools, so my boys and I headed to the 16 complex movie theater just up the street for an afternoon show while my daughter took a nap. We enjoyed ourselves, finding the theater to be large, clean, and modern.

Since this was our second time in Palm Desert, we were able to explore a little more. We found a real gem that my children absolutely loved. It was called The Children's Museum of the Desert (www.cmod.com), located about two miles away from the resort. Admission was $8.00 a person (ages 2 and up). It was not crowded at all and they had so many neat exhibits that would appeal to kids from ages 1-9, in my opinion. All my kids loved this place, and we literally had to bribe them to get them to leave, as my husband and I were ready to go to the pool! We packed a lunch and ate it at the picnic tables outside of the museum. What a fun days for my kids. We'll definitely go back.

The other activity we did that everybody really enjoyed was our trip to the zoo. I didn't even know a zoo existed out here, let alone such a nice one. We are from the San Diego area, and of course have one of the nicest zoos in the world here, so I probably have higher expectations than most. The zoo, called "The Living Desert", exceeded my expectations! It reminded me of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, but on a smaller scale, easier for families to walk through in a single day. Admission was $14,75 for adults and $12.25 for kids 2 and up, with AAA and military discounts. We really enjoyed seeing the cheetahs, giraffes, ostriches, camels, birds, the butterfly exhibit, the petting zoo, and lots more. If you have any children that are into trains as my 5 year old is, they have one of the largest model train tracks set up that I've ever seen. I could hardly get him away from the trains as he watched them run.

As far as activities on the resort, the main one is golf, which I do not play. However, the golf course looked beautiful and almost made me wish I did! There is a kids center right next to the zoo which is great for all ages. Outside, there is a play structure, rock-climbing wall, and a fun teeter-totter. Inside are multiple video games, ping-pong, air hockey, WII games, toddler toys, checkers, craft area, and a movie theater. It is really well set up for the kids. They offer different movies playing at certain times throughout the day, as well as activities and crafts to keep the kids entertained. My kids also loved feeding the ducks and the geese that congregate on the water behind the resort.

There are two work-out areas. One is located in the Enclaves area, with cardio equipment only and no free weights or nautilus. The other one, which I used several times, is next to the front desk area. It was very clean with ample cardio machines and a nice view of the golf course. The nautilus area was a little too small, and somewhat crowded. There are free weights, but only room for about two-three people at a time to use any of them. However, all of the equipment was newer and in great condition.

Overall, we love this resort and will be coming back next year again over spring break. It is very beautifully landscaped and did not seem overly crowded, even for being in the platinum season. Two things we did not like which we hope can be changed: 1) There is no longer a mid-week cleaning, as there used to be. 2) There is only one DVD player in the 2-bedroom villas. This makes for a lot of fights among the kids. Luckily, we had a lap top that played movies with us that helped make up for it.

During our stay, our microwave broke down. We called the front desk and it was immediately replaced. They housekeeping was also prompt when we called for more towels and more garbage liners.

As far as the beds, my husband and I have bad backs, and we found the beds way too soft. Both of us had back aches a couple of times from the mattresses. Using lots of pillows helped, however. The rooms were quiet, and well-insulated. We occasionally could hear noise from the hallways, but nothing from the neighbors.

My overall impression of Shadow Ridge is that it is a great value for a vacation, and very family-friendly. This place has become a new tradition for our family. We'll be back!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermosa Beach, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2011

I'm a Platinum Elite member of Marriott Rewards (Highest Level) but I was treated like I was a burdon to them since I was using points for my stay instead of cash.

We got shoved in a small room, away from the main pool. I got no help from the front desk when I discussed this over the phone as soon as I checked in. Again, felt like a burdon to them.

A nice pool area for kids but you'll be treated much better at the JW Marriott or Esmerelda Resort just a few miles away.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

After driving 9 hours to Palm Spring our room was not ready. We arrived at the resort at 3 p.m. and did not enter our room until 4:45 p.m. Check in time was 4 p.m. The room was nice and what we expected of a Marriott Resort. The next day we were out for the day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When we came back to the room it had not been cleaned.
At 4:45 p.m. we got a phone call from housekeeping and they wanted to clean our room. We were tired and said it was not convenient. I called the assistant manager two times to complain about the late check in and the late hour for room cleaning service resulting in no cleaning. No one returned our call. We dried our towels on the patio and called the day we were leaving for some coffee for the coffee maker. It was delivered two hours after our phone call. Management needs to be changed at the Shadow Ridge Marriott, Palm Desert, CA and service returned.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2011

My family and I were here for two weeks and loved the place. So many pools for the family and lots of amenities for the parents and kids. The pools were beautiful and the grounds were meticulous.
Rooms were excellent and the staff were also great.
Will be returning next year...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Shadow Ridge

Address: 9003 Shadow Ridge Rd, Palm Desert, CA 92211
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Palm Desert
Business Center with Internet Access Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Palm Desert
#7 Romantic Hotel in Palm Desert
#10 Family Hotel in Palm Desert
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marriott's Shadow Ridge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 848
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southern California's magnificent mountain ranges serve as the breathtaking backdrop for Marriott's Shadow Ridge. Spacious villas overlook rolling fairways and sparkling lakes weaving throughout the landscape. Beautiful master suites feature a king bed and oversized soaking tub while the spacious living and dining areas, and fully kitchen offer convenience and comfort. Swing by the Faldo Golf Institute by Marriott and try your luck on the championship course. Then relax at Nick Faldo's Bar & Grill. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Shadow Ridge Hotel Palm Desert
Marriotts Palm Desert
Marriotts Hotel Shadow Ridge
Marriott Palm Desert
Marriott Shadow Ridge
Marriotts Shadow Ridge

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