We took advantage of a promotional offer to visit at a reduced rate for four days. We added three days at a very good additional rate to make a full week. The month of May is great for relaxation because it's after Spring Break but before schools are out, so during the week the crowds were non-existent everywhere. One day we were the only people at the pool about 6:00 p.m. Likewise, we had the whole spa to ourselves at 10:00 in the morning. Following a stressful month our plan was to do nothing but relax all week. Staying at the Villas gave us full privileges at the adjacent main Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa. They are operated separately, but together they make up a huge resort. Between the two sides we had several pools to choose from and several restaurants. A shuttle ran regularly between the Villas and Hotel sides or you could call the front desk to request a run. Although the Villas and Hotel are adjacent, the overall shape of the resort is very long and slender, so that from one end to the other is about a mile and a quarter. In 100 degree plus heat, that's a long walk.
So you must be wondering what the promotion was for. It's to preview the resort and you are invited to attend, but do not have to attend, a presentation for the Starwood Vacation Network--a timeshare. They offer you a substantial gift for your time. As timeshare presentations go, I thought it was relatively low pressure. The sales rep was a very pleasant young lady and the finance manager was also a nice lady. Somehow it worked for me compared to high-pressure male sales reps. We decided it made sense for us, so yes, we bought in at the nearby Westin Desert Willow Resort in Palm Desert. The Westin Mission Hills Villas are now sold out, but they still use it to market the Starwood Vacation Network of resorts and hotels.
Now back to the Villas. They are not new, but still well kept except for the rugs. They either need more regular shampooing, or it's time for replacement. The one bedroom suite we stayed in was well maintained and we have no complaints with housekeeping. The one apparent flaw with the unit we stayed in was the dirt and sand that blew in from the front door. This was our first visit ever to the desert area and I guess wind (sand storms) is a regular evening feature in May and for a few days out of the week, we would wake up in the morning to a dust pan full of dirt and sand that blew under the door. I would think the door could have been better sealed to keep it out. We considered this a minor inconvenience and certainly didn't let it ruin our stay. I took it as a new experience.
Having access to the entire resort and hotel gave us the option to use several pools and several restaurants. We went off reservation a few nights, but the restaurants at the resort were also very good. In addition to the main pool, there's an adult pool and at the Villas there's a more quiet pool at the far end away from the main pool. The main Villas pool had a very fun, but short water slide. I think the kids loved it, but the adults had fun with it too. There is bar service around the pool and a "drink of the day" was only $6. Specialty drinks went from about $9 to $14 for top flight margaritas. There are plenty of lounges around the pool and finding shade was not a problem.
The Resort Spa is available to all guests and you can get massages, facials, and such, but you can also just go for the steam room, jacuzzi and showers without charge. The locker rooms are very nice and there's relaxation areas with fruit and lemon water. Relaxing music is piped throughout and it creates a very serene environment. Next to the Spa are tennis courts. We don't play tennis, but they looked nice and very well kept.
One warning: when we first got to Rancho Mirage and looked for a Costco for groceries, booze, and a discount restaurant card, my iPhone highlighted the Costco in Indio 16 miles and about 20-25 minutes away. We found out from the hotel concierge that there is another Costco just down the road about 5 minutes or less from the resort but I didn't see the pin drop on my Iphone. Overall, we had a wonderful week and we will return. Not because we bought a timeshare, because you can stay anywhere in the Starwood Network, but we'll return because it's a different area and we have more of the desert to explore.