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dining in the desert

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socal
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955 posts
41 reviews
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dining in the desert

I will be staying at the Renaissance Esmerelda midweek the first week in April.

Its spring break for my teen (14) daughter and a girl friend is coming down from lake tahoe for her birthday. so its a girls trip.

we most likely will not be dining much at the hotel, but i'd love some dinner suggestions and lunch too in the area.

indian wells seems to be centrally located so to go to la quinta and to palm desert, rancho mirage would be really easy for us.

asian, mexican, continental, great atmosphere, price not an issue...thanks!

California
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1. Re: dining in the desert

We had a fantastic dining experience at Le St Germaine which is really close to the Esmeralda. Four of us (women) stayed at the Esmeralda and then went to dinner at LSG and were treated to great food and really terrific service.

Had a great meal in downtown PS (Palm Canyon) at Al Dente.

Had a truly horrible meal at Blue Coyote Grill.

Fun lunch upstairs at Chops called the Deck also in down town PS on Palm Canyon.

Too much food, but good stuff at Falls on Palm Canyon. We were lucky enough to get one of the balcony tables so we could see all the goings on below us.

At the Esmeralda we had room service for breakfast and had drinks in the bar but we didn't eat in the restaurant there.

socal
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955 posts
41 reviews
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2. Re: dining in the desert

suzie...did you like the esmerelda? we've never stayed there, we usually stay in a villa at la quinta.

or in a small intimate place called the andalucia in palm springs, but teenagers need more action and we thought being more central to shoppping etc, would be good.

i'm concerned that the esmerelda won't be that nice, but the pictures of the rooms look like they've been upgraded.

did you try the spa? if so, any recommendations?

California
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11 reviews
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3. Re: dining in the desert

Actually we loved the Esmeralda. We had a corner room overlooking the pool. It was a really big room. There were 4 of us and it was quite spacious. The pool is very nice. We didn't try the spa but we had intended to. We weren't very good time managers that weekend but we managed to eat well!

Indian Wells
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4. Re: dining in the desert

I live here, around the corner from the Esmerelda. It is a very nice hotel, and you will certainly enjoy your stay. The pool is great. A place we have frequented with our own 2 girls over the years. They are now 13 and 16. The post you received from another traveler suggested places I don't recommend for teens. Definitely plan on visiting The River in Rancho Mirage. Great shops(my girls love Ulta) and dining. From Baja Fresh to Yard House. Good food, great atmosphere, and a nice movie theatre, book store etc. Other fun dining for kids; Califonia Pizza Kitchen on El Paseo in Palm Desert, Macaroni Grill located in the Westfield Shopping Town Center. Pat and Oscars inside the mall, with fun stores to shop for teens as well as a large food court.

Knotts Soak City (large water park) is also alot of fun, and will be open mid March. I think you will have lots of fun.

socal
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955 posts
41 reviews
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5. Re: dining in the desert

Thanks Beanerboo.

I definitely am planning on going shopping as per your suggestion. My daugher likes the El Paseo shops too, but I'm sure she and her friend will love the mall experience. I have driven by it a few times and never have gone, so a movie, Chang's and shopping sounds really good.

My daughter may bring a friend along...we have one of the corner rooms Suzie had mentioned, so I thought 4 would be tight for one room, but hey, its only for a few days!

Thanks for the restaurant suggestions. Our teens like the places you mentioned, but we have those at home.

They are more the P.F. Chang's, Las Casuelas, Mikado types. And even more upscale than that. We usually stay at four Season's or Ritz Carlton properties, so my teen is used to more upscale dining and accommodations.

They like action and atmosphere more than "kid friendly food"...the kids now a days are more into sushi than pizza.

The last time we were in the Desert we tried the Lodge at Rancho Mirage --- had their nicest suite and it was a dump! That is just an awful place to stay...filthy dirty and we had to wear shower shoes because of all the mold in the shower.

The nicest thing they have going for them is the view, so I'm really hopeful that the Esmerelda is nicer. The architecture is a bit modern and strikes me as dated at the Esmerelda, unlike timeless treasures like La Quinta Resort.

At La Quinta there just isn't enough going on for teens and they don't quite have the service thing down after all these years, but you can't beat the ambiance.

I've always wanted to try Jillians restaurant...since you are local, do you have any comments or reviews on Jillians?

thank you for your input.

Indian Wells
2 posts
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6. Re: dining in the desert

We are friends with the owner of Jillians, and it is one of the finest this valley has to offer. The ambiance is wonderful. Quiet, romantic, intimate. The food is high-end, and very good. Jay Trubee is the owner/chef, and his wife June is the Hostess, they usually feature some special that Jay has whipped up for the night. You would have to make reservations now, due to peak season and limited seating. This is not a place I would take my kids, but since you say your daughter enjoys the finer side of life, maybe it would suit her!

If you like Sushi, Maki-Maki at the River is usually pretty good, but somewhat inconsistant. There is a new and very good Sushi House in La Quinta, just behind the Cliff House, across from the Vons center on 111 and Washington. It's tucked behind, and I can not remember the name at the moment, so you will have to look for it!

The Esmerelda will not compare to the La Quinta Resort Hotel, but nothing really does, that is a very special place. Hope you enjoy your stay.