Second visit to Marriott's Shadow Ridge, The Villages. Last visit was Memorial Weekend in 2011 and on that occasion, we liked the resort quite a bit, but had some annoying customer service issues. What we did remember was really enjoying the pools and since we were headed out to the desert to hit up the RockYard show at Fantasy Springs this weekend, we figured we'd stay at Shadow Ridge and get some more pool time in! We used our Vacation Club points so it worked out great to book two weekend nights in a studio for 450 points. I did search online and it looked like you could also book that for about $135 a night for this weekend, which is pretty cheap for a resort of this caliber, but I assume it's a summer in the desert thing.
We arrived late on Friday night, checked in at 7:30 which went really well. What I loved is that Marriott asks you in advance if you want to request any preferences. In this case, I actually knew that I wanted to be in a room as close to the main pool as possible (so I could run back and forth to make drinks as needed!) and I always prefer the highest floor for the good views and less lurkers around your doors and windows. In this case, I got both requests fulfilled. VERY refreshing after out St. Thomas fiasco when my request due to medical needs was completely ignored, so kudos Shadow Ridge for that and thank you.
We got settled into our room which was clean and ready for us, and the balcony was clean and had a nice view of the golf course and a pond below us where we could watch the ducks and bunnies. We had a mini kitchenette, with a small refrigerator, a small sink, a microwave, coffee maker and toaster. We laughed because the bathroom was bigger than the kitchen, but it was great for our short two night stay. Also, free wi-fi, with code. The only negative is you dn't have an ice maker in the studio rooms because of the small refrigerator and the icemaker in our building 1400 did not work properly and was 95% of the time, empty. That sucked having to go to another building to get ice.
That night after we returned from dinner, we headed over to the Enclaves pool, to check out the jacuzzi. It pretty much was exactly the same as last time and we had one of the jacuzzis all to ourselves. There were a few kids playing in the pool and we went in their briefly, but all of the pools and jacuzzis over there were cloudy and dirty. Also, there was no one handing out towels! Not good. Marriott needs to get this towel thing figured out because it is pushing my buttons.
On Saturday, our plan was to hang at the main pool all day and that's exactly what we did, from 10-4. When we arrived at 10am, almost ALL of the chairs that were in the shade were gone, we nabbed, two of the last four! Of course, there were lots of nice people saving many chairs for people who never showed or didn't show for hours, but I'm not whining or anything. I was disappointed to see that they have removed the cabanas from the main pool, but I do understand that they did so because they are installing covers that will allow many more people to get shaded from the crazy hot desert sun.
With exception of some annoying people at the pool, we had a great time. One thing we learned is that while you can bring in a cooler, you cannot bring alcohol into the pool - they say it's for safety, but we all know it's because they have a bar there and they want to make money. I really didn't like that.... as owners, you should be able to bring your own drinks and food, etc. You can easily get around that rule by bringing your drinks in cups. Yea for Tervis! I made us some delicious rum drinks that we brought in our own cups. It's a bad rule and very rude. It would be nice if they spent more time doing chair checks so that people can have a place to sit at the pool, but they really don't do that much unless you complain. I saw them do it at 1pm... a little late, but whatever.
I do like that they have servers that bring you food and drink from the bar & grill, we ordered buffalo chicken strips and they were tasty and HUGE portions for $10! The server was friendly and would bring waters around for people without even being asked.
It was a nice day at the pool, but the water was REALLY dirty. I would go in the jacuzzi after the pool just so I could rinse off!
The only negative for me was that we happened to be in a room under some extremely loud people. I'm assuming it was a roomful of kids because they were running and jumping all over the room until after 1am. I finally called the front desk and they sent security over and at 1:30 they finally quieted down. Two nights of that was rough on the sleep. I hate to complain, because I get that they are on vacation, too, but I'm getting old... I need my beauty rest!
We had a nice time, the resort is really nice. I didn't even mention the pool with the water slide because that thing was even MORE full of kids than the main pool! But, it's a nice way to spend a summer day, especially since I don't have a pool at home! We'll be back, but next time, we might try out the neighboring Marriott Desert Villas.
- 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