As a celebration for my wife's new upcoming job, I reserved a Deluxe Room at the two week old Agua Caliente Resort for May 1 2008 at the introductory rate of $89... amazing! Keep in mind that there's tax and a resort fee that bumped it up to about $120 for the night. Either way, a steal! We had a room with floor to ceiling windows on the 11th floor overlooking the beautiful pool and the view to the west of Mt San Jacinto. The room was of course brand new and well-equipped with a 42 inch flat screen TV, cozy king bed, a decent amount of storage including a lighted amoire in the room, a sofa and a desk with chair. Also, coffee pot and closeted mini-fridge. In the bathroom, a nice granite double sink, deep soaking tub just big enough for two (nice!), a large two person glass shower, a separate toilet room, a frosted glass door and neat towel storage shelves behind the door... luxurious in every way!
The casino was nice... felt pretty close to a smaller newer casino in Vegas. However, we were mostly there for the sun, and the pool did not disappoint! A large rambling faux-stone deck, towel cabana, rental cabanas that looked really nice, large jacuzzi, wait service from a cool bar... we ordered salads for lunch day 1/wraps for lunch day 2... delicious! The barmaids were delightful but the drinks were quite terrible... the bartender had no idea how to make midori coladas, the margaritas were terrible, etc. Ended up just sticking with beer... no problem!
What was especially attractive to us was that we valeted in the first day at noon and valeted out the next afternoon... never had to leave! Made it fun (and safe!) to drink up and party. Only issue is that there's nothing currently outside the hotel complex as far as eateries within walking distance. Maybe the construction site across the street will change that? I hope so!
All in all, an amazing place. Front desk service was great, valets were friendly, not to mention the personable bell boys. As for comparisons with other Coachella Casino Hotels... it's the best. Fantasy Springs has a great pool but the casino's smokier and the rooms are maybe HALF the size of the smallest Agua rooms (not to mention the bathroom at Agua... ELEGANT!). We've never stayed at Spa Casino Resort or Morongo... wouldn't want to be stuck in the old ugly section of the Spa... and Morongo looks nice online but the wind can really kick up and that makes for a loser pool scene!
Needless to say, we'll be back!