This was our third time visiting the resort. The first time was back in the 90s with our parents. The second time was just last year. That time, we loved our killer spa villa suite but we thought the dining options were in need of a major overhaul. The good news? That's all in the works. We contacted a hotel rep to see what would exactly be changing and this is what she told us:
To start, we have put in place a great new culinary team. Our new F&B Director is Jay Kriske, who was previously with the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale and our Executive Chef is Jeff Lunak, who was most recently at the Parker Palm Springs and also served as executive chef of the high-profile restaurant, Morimoto in Philadelphia, working under the famed "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto.
The (sort of) bad news? The team has just been put in place so it will take a few months for guests to see the changes. Also, the resort's fine dining restaurant, Azur, suffered an electrical fire last year and has been closed since. It will re-open later this year as an entirely new restaurant.
In the meantime, our friends recommended the Spa Bistro next to the resort's famous Spa La Quinta and more specifically, the falafel salad. Also worth ordering? The flat-bread pizzas from the Twenty6 restaurant. The hotel's Mexican restaurant, Adobe, was "good" according to our friends but nothing spectacular. Besides, margaritas and chips and guacamole aren't very hard to screw up! (The restaurant plaza at the front of the hotel has live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights as well.)
Coming up in February 2010, the resort will be hosting the third annual Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance, a classic car extravaganza (which means the hotel should be all spiffed up by then).
So we're quite pleased to see all that's in motion for the resort since last year; it wasn't really living up to the Waldorf-Astoria cache. Then again, we're not so sure what the Waldorf-Astoria cache is all about these days. The New York hotel has seen some better days.
Room rates at the La Quinta are going for as low as $89 this summer. But note: there is a $27 resort fee that includes internet, parking, fitness center and some phone calls.