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“Resort Fee Suprize”

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Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Rancho Mirage
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Diego, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Resort Fee Suprize”
Reviewed June 18, 2008

We were there in May 08 and the room was fabulous. I MEAN GREAT! TV in the Bathroom and a 42" plasma in the room with HBO. Computer area with desk chair. In the morning we awoke to the paper and a BILL. The great grand opening special and GROWN to include a $15 Resort Fee and the tax was 14%

Guess thats what the mean be Redefining Spectacular. But for me the old definition was just fine.

1 Thank 3dayweekend04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Glendale, California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2008

Just returned from a weekend stay- 2 nights at this hotel- June 7- 9th.

My Brother-in law wanted to celebrate his birthday by going to the Agua Caliente. He called up reservations shortly before the resort opened and booked 2 rooms for 2 nights.

You can't miss the hotel off the I-10! It's like a beacon in the desert.
It is much more convenient to the entertainment and shopping along HWY 111, than the very isolated casino hotel in Cabazon.

Check in was very fast and easy. Our rooms were located on the 7th floor. Once inside our room, I loved how big the room really was. The sitting area was great, the bed very comfortable....the pillows not so much. But then, I'm used to temperpedic pillows-The bathroom was very good as well.

The casino itself on the ground floor had plenty of games, but as a non-smoker, an additional non-smoking area of the casino would have been a plus. Times are tough, the returns on the games aren't so great, so if gambling is the only reason you've come to this hotel, you'll be disappointed at the poor returns. I guess they still need to get their money back for building the place, right?

The buffet-
we ate here our first night after our drive from LA. The food is pretty mediocre with a few standouts. I myself, am not a huge fan of seafood buffets. Don't get me wrong...I love seafood, but giant piles of pink shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and a seafood stir-fry station- is pretty much the main event here.
There is a carving station- the turkey was excellent, the roast beef a little tough.

But the biggest disappointment, was the lack of any real vegetables as a side dish- they were essentially non-existent. The salad bar was basic, but serviceable.
Where was the bread? All I managed to find were some oyster cracker packets by the soup station- where one of two choices of soup was clam chowder.
Almost all the side dishes had some sort of seafood in them.
They had a very small mexican section, but it was mostly a nachos type station. There was also pizza, if one chose that.
The desserts were also kind of mediocre.

Overall- if seafood really rings your bell- you will most likely like the volume that you can get. If you like a lot of variety in your buffet choices, this isn't really the place for you.
cost $23.00 per person.
The service inside the buffet was pretty good.

My husband and I did eat in their cafe, off by the side near the exit doors to the pool. He had the BBQ sandwich, I had the hamburger sliders. Both were extremely good.
The service in this restaurant was almost non-existent. - I think they are still learning the ropes, and they are very nice, but also incredibly slow and somewhat clueless in what is good restaurant service.

We chose to eat at other restaurants in Rancho Mirage for our stay.- About 10 minutes away taking Bob Hope Drive to the main Hwy 111. There are plenty of options of places to eat and things to do once you leave the casino.
The Big Birthday celebration was at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
We've eaten here before. The service is very good, and the steaks and side dishes very good.
We ate breakfast at the local Mimi's Cafe, good standard above average chain restaurant.
Then went across the street to the Rivers shopping complex to see Kung-Fu Panda at the cinemas there. (Great Film, by the Way!)

On the way home on Sunday we stopped in Banning and ate at the I-Hop. Good for what it gets you. They do eggs and pancakes very nicely.

If you are using this hotel as a base to visit the rest of the area, it is a really good location and offers good value for money spent. The hotel rooms are comfy and spacious.
IF the casino is the reason to come here, you may want to consider it a day trip or only a one night stop over.

  • Liked — The great room
  • Disliked — smoking and poor buffet choices
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank glendalewanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South OC, CA, USA
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2008

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!

  • Liked — Everything But The Pool Bar's Drinks
  • Disliked — The Pool Bar's Drinks!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank bonesting69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2008

Was given a web special of $89/night. Go on the webpage I think they'll be offering the same rate for awhile.

I was highly encouraged to choose this Resort by a Rancho Mirage local and was NOT disappointed.

This Resort is brand new and is everything a person could want.

The exclusive interior room decor reminded me of the beautiful decor at the Red Rock Resort in Vegas.

An easy 2-hour freeway drive from San Diego. Right off the freeway-Bob Hope Drive turn off. Took valet parking ...quick and easy. Just tipped him each day. The self parking is next door...I would probable do self parking next time..once again, it was in walking distance. Catch the elevator of the parking structure, go thru the casino to the front desk.

The check-in was friendly and quick. Couldn't believe how beautiful the lobby was.

The Resort is also part of the Aqua Caliente Casino and was pleasantly surprised the place had GREAT ventilation...no smoky smell when you enter. I even commented to the front desk girl and she said that was one of the main priority the Resort wanted to accomplish. Everything is soooo clean and centrally located.

With the elevators within twenty steps, I was pleased to see they have over seven restaurants all around the Resort area. Four are close to the elevators. Try the Steakhouse and the 24-hr Diner...excellent food. They have a Java Caliente (Starbucks-like) right off the elevators. The Grand Palms Buffet was within the Casino area and had great food. The music at the Lounge was jumpin'!

The Casino had just about everything a Casino could offer without a smoky smell! My husband plays Texas Hold Em poker. He liked the poker room very much.

Another plus about being close to the elevators is the gift shop is right outside the lobby as well. We needed some sodas and weren't dressed that great but walked fast from the elevators to the gift shop then back to the room again.

The rooms are fabulous looking. The linens were sooooosoft including the bed itself. I slept great and could not hear any noise from outside nor next door to us. The oversized bathroom had an oversized soaking tub with an adjoining glass enclosed shower with a rain head shower head and great water pressure. Upscale amenitities thru out. You'll also noticed the unique lighting in the bathroom. Thought it was great!

The 42" LCD, flat screen TV made are lounging time bearable. Oh, there's also a smaller flat screen TV in the bathroom. A large desk area and intenet access assisted my husband in communicating with his office while on vacation.

Be SURE to ask for a room facing the pool, otherwise you might have a view of the back parking lot. Speaking of the pool area. ... Upscale all the way. Thick lounge pads, excellent drink and food service. Cabanas available, nice music playing and large jacuzzi. Speaking of cabanas, they also offered two "executive" cabanas, complete with they own private hot tubs..wa-hoooo. They have a special BBQ by pool side that cost $10 on Friday nights. It's worth every penny!

One thing the Resort should have thought of ...the location is in a windy part of Rancho Mirage and they should have thought of higher wind barriorsaround the pool area. The ones they have are not high enough to block the wind. Something minor.

All in all...STAY there...can't recommend it enough!!!.

  • Liked — The room decor and how convenient everything was.
  • Disliked — Absolutely NOTHING!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank TwinkieCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Desert, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2008

Beautiful Rooms! Better locally than the Westin & Rancho Las Palmas! But, with a brand new hotel, I came expecting that not all the "bugs" are worked out. Since my stay was not perfect, I can't give them an overall perfect rating! I let them keep above average because of the rooms and the pool. The bathrooms have huge oversize tubs, and large seperate showers, as well as TVs. The pool is easily accessed, with ample seating and great cabanas available for rent. We visited with kids and they enjoyed the large pool area.

The problems? 1st) We were given a room and the card key did not work. We went back downstairs and it was rekeyed. We returned to the room and clearly found it still being used (although the guest was not in their luggage and personal items were). I told a security guard on that floor, and he seemed perplexed as to how to help us so we returned downstairs. It was taken care of and we were assigned to another room. 2nd) In the evening, guests were asked to see card keys before accessing elevators on the ground floor. I have no problem with that, but they held up traffic by also asking name & room number. And a few times seemed to really grill large parties. If you didn't have a key in your possession, they asked for you to have someone come down with one even after offering name & room number. 3rd) In the casino restaurants, they had computer problems and were unable to make room charges. 4th) We spent a large amount of time at the pool bar. We witnessed waitstaff & bartenders haggling over charges and customers. We also felt that if we ordered more than two things at a time, we were bothering them. Food service was slow. We would order items and they would be forgotten. Even though we were sitting at the bar, only one of the two bartenders could handle our orders, and ours was also helping the cabana staff, while the other stood by with no customers needs. (This is not how they operate at their sister property - spa resort). Also no draft beer is a big negative. It would help to have a drink menu and make the staff a "team".

I expect things to get better and I will offer them another chance in a month or so. As I said, the rooms are far above the local Westin and Rancho Las Palmas in terms of quality and amenities. And far cheaper so far! I really enjoy the service we have received at Spa Resort (approx 2 dozen stays in two years), and it seems as if those standards have yet to be fully implemented at their sister property.

Stayed April 2008
Thank CoronadoFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa

Property: Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Address: 32-250 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92270-2704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Rancho Mirage
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Rancho Mirage
#2 Romantic Hotel in Rancho Mirage
#4 Spa Hotel in Rancho Mirage
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rancho Mirage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 340
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All the pleasures of a luxurious, four-diamond destination are yours at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. Our beautiful 16-story resort includes our wildly popular casino, and has pools and well appointed cabanas, an exceptional spa, and a state-of-the-art concert theatre. Located only seven miles from Palm Springs International Airport and 130 miles east of Los Angeles off I -10 and Bob Hope Drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Agua Caliente Hotel Rancho Mirage
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa Rancho Mirage, CA - California Desert

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