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“What's not to like?” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Casa del Zorro

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La Casa del Zorro
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Borrego Springs
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“What's not to like?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

My wife and I spent three nights here for a desert getaway, and it was hard to leave. If you forgot to pack some item, you may have to drive into town (about five miles). Otherwise, just relax--or you can play ping pong, bocce, horseshoes, etc., or you can swim. And one of the pools has roped-off lanes for serious swimming.

The guest rooms are very nicely appointed. I believe each has a patio or balcony (for those on the second floor). Ours had a small patio with a table and two chairs in case we wished a private meal. There are also casitas ranging from one to three bedrooms, useful for family getaways, and most with a private pool or spa. The guest room rates were reasonable-under $200 plus tax and a small resort fee. i know I'm sounding like a shill for the place, but we had a marvelous time.

All the meals we had were excellent. Our stay included New Years Eve, and a four-course dinner was part of the package for that night. There were probably about 100 diners, and yet the kitchen was able to serve an excellent dinner for that large a group.

OK, let's get to my one negative--the wine list. The selection was minimal, and the decent wines were quite pricey, especially the two sauvignon blancs. Several wines were available by the glass, but no sauvignon blanc or pinot noir. For an establishment that has so much to offer, that situation should be and can be easily remedied. In the mean time, one might ask what is the corkage fee.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rivetcatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, January 24, 2014
Dear Rivetcatcher:

Your kind words of support and encouragement are appreciated. Thank you for your detailed descriptive of La Casa's accommodations and activities. We have a 7,500 bottle wine cellar to work on and fill. We apologize for the missing selections during your visit. They are now available on our wine list. Now, back to the 7,500 wine cellar. We look forward to your return visit.
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439 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
Date | Rating
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English first
Waverly, VA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Our family of four stayed in a casita at the Casa for three nights in late December. Based on several memorable stays in past years under the previous (pre-spa) ownership, we were happy to hear it had re-opened and our expectations were high. As it turned out, they were too high for what the facility currently offers. The facility reportedly underwent millions of dollars of renovations during the "spa owners" era, but apart from the really lovely xeriscaping and probably some invisible infrastructure upgrades (new windows, etc), there were no obvious big changes.

Housekeeping and maintenance still need fine-tuning. Our casita demonstrated a number of "care-worn" features. At nearly $700 per night for a two-bedroom casita (including the odious resort fee of $25 per day), one might expect a carpet without visible tears and stains, for example. We sent a lengthy list of issues and suggestions to the manager, with no reply yet (admittedly only 24 hours ago). The "deluxe rooms" on the other hand appeared quite nicely arranged and furnished. Maybe the casitas are further down on the priority list, but quite frankly they are what sets the facility apart as an ideal family destination. Ours at least was not ready for prime time.

The outdoor activities include pools, giant chess, ping-pong, horseshooes, bocce and croquet. Sadly, the former bocce and croquet lawns died and have not yet been replaced with either new grass or more environmentally sound artificial turf. Playing in the dirt is less than satisfying. The old Casa offered bicycles for guest use - no sign of that.

Dining options for vegetarians are extremely limited.

The Anza-Borrego State Park is nearby and a wonderful attraction, as is the "dark-sky" sight of the Milky Way and thousands of stars. Do your research online because there was no/is not yet any tourism info in the rooms.

Customer service is also still a work in progress. The staff seem cheerful and willing but lack a sense of "ownership" or understanding of what brings people back. As an example, they had no guidance on how to handle a complete lack of water for several hours one morning. No apologies ("not our fault, it's a water main break"), no expressions of sympathy, no pro-active offer of compensation. When we checked out, we weren't even asked that standard "Hampton-Inn" question, "How was your stay?"

If you only need a room, the deluxe rooms looked good. If you want a casita, I'd advise waiting a while until they have the facility running more smoothly. And even then, I'd check the reviews and ask a few questions. We are unlikely to be back any time soon, but hold out hope that we might consider it if management is able to address these many issues.

Room Tip: The "deluxe" pool-side room with fireplace looked lovely.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank gtd123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Dear gtd123:

Please accept my apology for the inconveniences you encountered while re-visiting La Casa del Zorro. Your observations will certainly assist us in getting ready for that "prime time". Thank you for your very valuable input.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
275 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

This historic Inn in Borrego Springs has always been a favorite of those wanting to get away from the crowds of the CA Coastline... After being sold some years ago by the original owners... publishers of some sort... it fell into the wrong hands... It's now back and better than ever.. If you ever have the chance to visit... do so and you won't regret it. For the outdoor types.... especially cyclists... it's a fabulous place to ride bikes...

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bmwbillk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Dear bmwbillk:

Magical - Experiential - Tranquil.

Thank you
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Bonita, California
Level Contributor
165 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

We spent 2 nights here with 2 other couples right after Christmas and had a delightful time. The grounds are well-groomed. There are many outdoor game facilities--tennis courts, ping pong, bocce ball, croquet, etc, that we enjoyed. The many pools and hot tubs made for great relaxation. We got free breakfast with our room, and enjoyed the food. We also ate one dinner onsite. The breakfast was fine, but the dinner was pricey. Only the Scottish salmon seemed worth the price. The lamb and wahoo were okay but not outstanding. Service was spotty. Several items we requested were forgotten. Next time I'd try the Fox Den bar which has a small but appealing menu and fine ambiance.
However, the rooms are comfortable enough, and the grounds have enough entertainment that we did not feel the need to go into town. If we had stayed longer we would have.

Room Tip: We stayed in an ADA room on the 1st floor by a pool. It was spacious (good for my wheelchair and bro...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Nancy L:

Thank you for sharing your experience at La Casa del Zorro. Your kind words of encouragement are very much appreciated.

The availability of our outdoor activities, which you list so well, provide a wonderful opportunity for our families and groups to spend enjoyable hours with one another. I can confirm that we have a total of 26 pools on property.

I regret that you had a less than satisfactory experience in our Butterfield Room Restaurant for dinner. Our Fox Den Bar and the adjoining Cantina are also available for lunch and dinner.

Sincerely,
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2013

La Casa del Zorro reopened in late summer and now is back in perfect form! My family celebrated Christmas at this resort and we had a great time. The rooms almost looked brand new and all the facilities are back up to speed. The Butterfield Room served excellent meals (for breakfast, go for the pancakes). The landscaping is all xeriscaping which is fitting for the desert.
And the stars - no light pollution - brilliant!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jjjeeefffeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Jjjeeefffeee:

A very large part of the magic of the Anza-Borrego Desert and of La Casa del Zorro - The Stars! One of my school motto's was "Sic Itur ad Astra" - The way to the Stars. They had nothing on what we enjoy nightly here in this desert.

We look forward to welcoming you back.
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2013

We wanted to see the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and decided to stay at this hotel because they said they would accept my medium-size dog. We decided to use their special offer for a delux room with breakfast for two and we stayed there for two nights at the beginning of December. Our room was HUGE and we had more than enough space. The breakfast was delicious and served in generous portions. The hotel ground was so beautifully landscaped that I had fun walking around with my dog on the hotel ground. The food from the bar was also good. Everyone at the hotel was friendly and helpful. I would like to go back there when the wildflowers bloom in the desert. One thing I did not realize until I got there was that the hotel is a little away from the center of the town of Borrego Springs.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TMLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, December 25, 2013
Dear TMLA:

Thank you for choosing to stay at La Casa del Zorro during your visit to the Anza-Borrego Desert. Your kind words are sincerely appreciated. La Casa is situated on 42 acres with every desert plant species represented.

We are located 6 miles from the center of Borrego Springs. Our bell staff would be very happy to provide complimentary transportation to any destination within 12 miles of our resort.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013

This was a fabulous property under Copley family ownership: beautiful grounds, fine dining, elegant lounge, a great location to serve as base camp for exploring the Desert State Park. Then a new owner kicked kids out of it by converting it to an adults-only resort, so we hadn't been back for years. It emerged recently from bankruptcy with a new owner; only just started full operations in September or so after a "soft opening" earlier in the summer.

I was excited to return to La Casa del Zorro as a resort that allows kids. It's still an attractive property but has minor kinks to work out. The grounds are improved (there are more well-manicured pedestrian areas rather than big parking lots), the facilities are gorgeous (the spa wasn't open yet but should be soon), the staff are warmly cordial and attempt to be helpful; they're on the young side on average but more enthusiastic and outgoing than the previous staff under the old regime (who seemed to be an odd combination of Germans and West Indians).

Upon check-in our casita had some annoying but not fatal deficiencies: the phones didn't work, the Wi-Fi transceiver required an 8-digit ID but the front desk insisted it should not need a password, some of the pillows were mildewed, the DVD player for the larger TV wasn't working, and the patio light was burned out. There was no hot water, and we weren't excited about cold showers only.

Maintenance was able to fix the Wi-Fi problem in a couple of days and the lights immediately. After three maintenance calls over two days about the missing hot water a competent staffer figured out that the circuit breaker had been installed upside down and would trip off before the water heater could warm things up, and fixed it. Housekeeping replaced the pillows in a couple of days. The phones and DVD player never did work during our stay; I had to use my cellphone to call the front desk and my laptop to play DVDs into the TV set using an HDMI cable.

I credit the staff with trying hard and partially succeeding in remedying issues with the room. I speculate that the problem is just that this particular room hadn't been used since reopening. So probably the resort needs some more months of shakedown to bring it up to standards. It's a lot to pay for a room with no hot water.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Rkatsiteli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick S, General Manager at La Casa del Zorro, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Dear Mr. Rkatsiteli: It was my sincere pleasure to have shared the Thanksgiving week with you and your lovely family at La Casa del Zorro. We are working diligently to identify a Spa Operator who will elevate this critical amenity to the "Best in Borrego".

Your kind words of encouragement are sincerely appreciated. We were fortunate enough to have been able to identify several "Copley" Staff members who have joined us in the re-birth of San Diego County's most historic and magical resort. Many had tenures exceeding two decades with us. We are also very proud of our Borrego Springs community who have joined us.

Please accept my sincere apology for the obvious technical and electrical difficulties you encountered in your casita. While, from your report, all issues were resolved, two to three days certainly fails in regard to our own acceptable response standard. I apologize.

I will be contacting you directly so that you might provide us with another opportunity to demonstrate the true levels of service intended for all guests of La Casa del Zorro.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Casa del Zorro

Property: La Casa del Zorro
Address: 3845 Yaqui Pass, Borrego Springs, CA 92004-5000
Location: United States > California > Borrego Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Borrego Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Casa del Zorro 4*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Casa del Zorro offers 44 deluxe poolside rooms, each with oversized bathrooms and large dressing areas, patios or balconies. Four King Garden Rooms are offered. The 19 rustic and private casitas, spread within the 42 acre property, feature a private pool, spa, or both, and are available in one to four-bedroom floor plans. ... more   less 
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