It can be incredibly challenging to find a weekend getaway or vacation spot that will satisfy everyone’s needs but we had the chance to check out the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa and may have found a destination that is not only close to LA (within 2.5 hours), it’s sure to satisfy the entire family for a number of reasons. Located just twenty miles outside of downtown Palm Springs, this resort has so much going for it, that we felt like we had been on vacation for a week. Check out what two days of fun in the sun looks like and put this stop on your must-go list STAT.

photo: Andie Huber

Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

The hotel has a number of features worth noting off the bat: the largest pool in the Palm Springs area (more on that below), there is a newly revamped Camp Oasis kids program that is totally worth checking out for some parent-only free time, and if you are into golf, the 36–hole Indian Wells Golf Resort is located right next door — ranked on Golfweek’s Top 20 "Best Courses You Can Play" in California. No matter what you are into recreationally though, the real scene-stealer is the view of the Santa Rosa Mountains sitting right outside the resort. 

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photo: Andie Huber

The Rooms

A regular room can absolutely accommodate a family of four that doesn't mind tucking in all together. The beds are seriously luxe, with some of the softest sheets we've encountered in a hotel, and the bathrooms are stocked with Aveda products that even the kids couldn't get enough of. When your kids ask if they can live there, you know even they are impressed. Want to upgrade your rooms? The hotel has 32 suites that vary in size and a duplex governor's suite that has a master bedroom on the top floor with separate dining and living room below, a totally novel idea for kids who don't live in a home with stairs. 

photo: Andie Huber

Zero Entry Pool

The pool, touted as the "largest hotel swimming pool complex in the desert region including three distinct pools, cabanas, a waterfall and hot tubs" is located in the center courtyard. This is where all of the things happen, at least during our stay. The pool's zero-entry is a parent's dream come true. Located in front of the cabanas where soft sand gently ramps down to the water's edge, this feature allowed our four-year-old to play in the water independently. Of course we kept an eagle-eye on her the entire time but she adored the freedom to play and make new friends independently.

photo: Andie Huber

Nightlife

At night, the resort takes on a much-appreciated after-dark vibe when the sun sets behind the mountains and the fire pits light up. Grab a sweater, a drink from the bar, a s'mores kit from the hotel and get ready to get cozy next to one of the firepits. It was awesome to be able to explore the hotel after dinner and keep the fun going well into the night. 

 

photo: Andie Huber

Fireside Desserts

Graham cracker, Hershey's Chocolate Bars, and marshmallows melt together after being toasted at an outdoor fire pit...can you say #YUM?! There are multiple fire pits around the property but they are also large enough that sharing with other guests isn't a problem. We totally dug the laid-back feel and appreciated sitting outside under the lights, sitting on the cozy outdoor furniture while the kids enjoyed their desserts. Okay, I had a s'mores too. Who can resist a toasty marshmallow sandwich? 

photo: Andie Huber

Cooking Class

Depending on availability, jump into a pizza making cooking class or a dessert-making class with the chef at SPC, Sirocco Pizza Company, the Italian restaurant that serves up brick-oven pizzas and wines. We couldn't wait to experience firsthand this incredible opportunity—especially poignant since our son is totally into cooking.

Chef Alon, who has traveled the world for Marriott hotels, walked us through the pizza-making process that thrilled both kids and adults alike. A few of his professional tips: Don't make the dough too thin (it will burn), don't add too much cheese (it will glob over the edges and burn on your oven) and don't be afraid to try new toppings! Mangia!

photo: Andie Huber

Professional Chefs In the Making

Unlike some resorts with only one restaurant, the Renaissance has three restaurants to choose from on the property. SPC (mentioned above), Glo Sushi and Cava which is a great casual family-friendly dining spot. At Cava, there are enough interesting options on the menu to keep you coming back both morning, noon and night. It was our kid's first experience with a breakfast buffet and we were really happy with the fruit options, omelet station, waffle maker and more.  

 

Pool Time

After the cooking class, we took our leftovers and headed to the pool! The property has two cabanas you can reserve, complete with a sofa under the shade, four reserved chairs in the sun and a stocked cooler full of drinks. The rest of our day was spent splashing in the water in the incredibly big pool or watching the kids make new friends with other kids staying at the property. We loved how much space everyone had to play and swim. Bonus: Communal beach balls and sand toys were already out and just added to the fun.

 

Pool Service

Don't miss the walk-up bar next to the pool but if you do, don't despair! Friendly waiters walk around and can help with drinks and food if you don't feel like walking over to the gazebo. Virgin piña coladas for the kids and some strong Mai Tais for the adults all got two thumbs up. 

photo: Andie Huber

The Resort Details

This experience was one of the most relaxing vacations we've taken as a family—and we didn't even hit the spa (which we heard is fantastic)! You can literally drive up to the hotel (self-park or valet) and forget all about your daily life and simply relax here. Driving into Palm Springs is an option but we really didn't feel like leaving the resort since everyone was happy and entertained at the hotel.
 
Sprinkled throughout the property are ping-pong and foosball tables, corn hole sets and some hanging egg chairs we loved sitting in. All in all, the resort has a great getaway feel but without getting on an airplane or leaving the country. Whether for the weekend, spring break or a longer family getaway, this resort definitely feels like a vacation and was just the re-charge our family needed. Rooms vary depending on the season but right now (Spring 2018), they start at $210.
 

photo: Andie Huber

Living Desert

If you do pull yourself away from the hotel, the Living Desert Zoo is just five miles away. From feeding the giraffes and riding some camels to checking out one of the best miniature train installations we've ever seen (trust us), this zoo is a fun place to run around before heading back to the pool. 

Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
44-400 Indian Wells Lane
Indian Wells, California 92210
Phone: (760) 773-4444
Online: renhotels.com

 

Where do you like to stay in the Palm Springs/Indian Wells area? Let us know in the comments below!

—Andie Huber

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Thanks to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort for hosting; while portions of this trip were paid, the opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.