Tag: Desert Retreats

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The JW Marriott Desert Springs Gets Spiffed Up (But The Awesome Boat Rides Remain)

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  Site Where: 74855 Country Club Drive [map], Desert Springs, CA , United States, 92260
November 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. recently underwent a $25 million top-to-bottom renovation that saw the spiffing up of its 884 guestrooms and suites as well as the vast lobby atrium and upgrades to its two championship golf courses. But don't worry, the quaint boat rides that go around the resort's lakes remain, dock and all, at the far edge of the lobby. Oh and of course the exotic birds that line the bottom of the lobby are still there, providing endless entertainment for passerbys.

The resort also introduced a few new dining concepts including the Rockwood Grill (previously the LakeView Grill), the Blue Star Lounge, and a Fisherman's Landing outpost. While Rockwood serves an out-of-this world breakfast buffet and the Blue Star Lounge has cozy outdoor seating and fire pits, it's still Mikado's Japanese Steakhouse, which will be packed on weekend nights (seriously, do not go without a reservation.)

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Stay Cool in Scottsdale with the W Hotel's Cool Corner Suite

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  Site Where: 7277 East Camelback Road [map], Scottsdale, AZ, United States, 85251
February 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Headed to Scottsdale for the weekend and plan on staying at the sleek-looking W Scottsdale? Here's an in-depth look at where you will be staying.

We toured the property the other day and it's clear the room to book is the Cool Corner Suite. We peeked into one of these suites on the 5th floor and the star of the suite was the private balcony overlooking the hotel's sexy pool scene along with views of Zen Garden and Camelback Mountain.

The suite itself is about 600-sq.ft. with a floating signature W Bed (all rooms feature a floating bed look), a fully-tricked out desk with a personal computer, a giant flat-screen TV and a spa-style bathroom featuring a natural stone vanity, a shower with crushed glass flooring, the always-in-demand Bliss toiletries and a bonus W amenity kit that includes toothbrush and toothpaste, razor kit, nail kit, shoe shine and more.

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Places to Get your Glamp On: The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

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  Site Where: Dubai Conservation Reserve, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
February 10, 2011 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe with HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen as he tells us about the most exciting new glamping experiences out there. From the savannahs of Africa to the shores of Western Australia to the peaks of Patagonia, this is a full-fledged, five-star adventure to the most thrilling and luxurious camping resorts in the world.

Today we’re upping the “glam” in glamping, and taking you to a tented desert resort in broad and barren sands of Dubai that has us dreaming of camel caravans and verdant oases. It’s called the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, and word has it that it’s one of LA-based fashion designer Catherine Malandrino’s favorite places on earth. That’s good enough for us.

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Rancho Las Palmas' Fall Sale Offers Rooms for 30% Off

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  Site Where: 41-000 Bob Hope Drive [map], Rancho Mirage, CA, United States, Rancho Mir
August 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love autumn for lots of reasons, but one of the biggies is for the onslaught of sales. But it's not only clothes and back-to-school supplies that are up for deep discounts; some hotels get in on the sale action, too. Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa will throw its fall sale September 12 to 19.

The seven-day sale will get you a 30 percent savings on a room at the Rancho Mirage hotel in the Coachella Valley. That translates to rooms starting at $189 a night midweek.

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Forget Liposuction! Just Take a Trip to The Miraval Resort

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  Site Where: 5000 E. Via Estancia Miraval [map], Tucson, AZ, United States, 85739
July 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're going to follow Kim Kardashian's Twitter advice and steer clear of plastic surgery, the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa offers another option. The resort is partnering with integrative medicine trailblazer Dr. Andrew Weil for a new health and wellness program.

So instead of doing lipo, Miraval will teach people about weight management and how take charge of their overall health in a program that will launch in August.

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The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Opens Today

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  Site Where: 15000 N. Secret Springs Dr. [map], Marana, AZ, United States, 85658
December 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM | by | Comment (1)

Ritz-Carlton just keeps rolling out properties these days it seems, and today, it’s opening its 72nd property, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in the hidden hamlet of Marana, about 30 miles north of Tucson. The Dove Mountain resort is the chain’s first property in Southern Arizona, and is getting the full Ritz rollout.

Over 300 new staff members were hired, and have been undergoing a rigorous training regimen under the guidance of over 40 Ritz-Carlton managers from around the world. The goal is to be ready to open the doors to the public at 4:00pm. That means all the restaurants and the spa, as well as the 250 guest rooms, suites and multi-bedroom casitas will be available for bookings.

We tried checking rates for opening night, but it looks like the hotel is already completely booked. Looking at the following week, we found rates starting at $299 for a standard guest room, $329 for a Casita guest room, $469 for a one-bedroom Executive Suite, and $629 for a Casita Suite.

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Aw Snap! The Gingersnap Egg Nog Martini at The Camelback Inn

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  Site Where: 5402 E Lincoln Drive [map], Scottsdale, AZ, United States, 85253
November 25, 2009 at 11:00 AM | by | Comment (1)

You know how much we love our cocktails here at HotelChatter. We'll find any reason to celebrate with a cocktail and fortunately for us (but not for our liver), hotels feel the same way. We've slurped down Summer Cocktails and Halloween Cocktails and now we're ready for the main event, Holiday Cocktails. We'll be taking a look at these concoctions all season long. If you have a suggestion, don't hold out on us. (Photos, recipes and prices are helpful too!)

It's understandable that those who live in a "Winter Wonderland" year after year, may want to hightail it to the desert for the holidays to get some sun on their skin and to ditch the layers, even if it's just for a few days. But just because you're celebrating near the pool overlooking the landscape of mountains and cacti doesn't mean you can't indulge in a little festive cocktail.

The Camelback Inn in Scottsdale is serving a Gingersnap Egg Nog Martini ($12) at their R Bar, which also has outdoor seating, a circular fire pit and live music. And in case you drink too much egg nog, room rates start at $189 a night.

If you can't make it to the desert, we've got the recipe for you after the jump.

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Desert Chic for Cheap(er) at Borrego Ranch Resort & Spa

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  Site Where: 3845 Yaqui Pass Road [map], Borrego Springs, ca, United States, 92004
November 20, 2009 at 1:29 PM | by | Comment (1)

Okay. There are officially 31 days until Winter Solstice (a.k.a. the shortest day of the year) and we’re already going a little stir-crazy with the decrease in daylight and the plunging temperatures. The solution? Head to warmer locales, like Borrego Springs in the Southern California desert.

Sure, springtime may steal this remote desert destination’s tourist thunder with its insanely beautiful display of wildflowers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, but wintertime temps that hover around 70 degrees are what call our name. Right. About. Now. Besides, is there anything more spectacular than seeing the moon come up over the desert? Nah, not really.

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The Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Turns a Desert Mirage Into a Proper Retreat

September 29, 2009 at 4:24 PM | by | Comment (1)

Not everyone heads to Dubai with mall shopping and indoor skiing on their minds, or if you do, you quickly get tired of it. For this reason, more and more retreats are being built outside of the city, either in lush green environments like the Westin Golf Resort near Abu Dhabi or flat out in the desert, like the soon-to-open Anantara Resort at Qasr Al Sarab.

Due to open on October 25, the Anantara is 90 minutes away from Abu Dhabi and three hours from Dubai in the Liwa Desert, and boasts 206 rooms, although some are flat-out palatial villas with private pools and commanding views over the sand dunes. Face it: if you're coming all the way out here, you're coming to relax and just go between a hammam, a chaise lounge and your hookah all day (and night) long.

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Taste the Tequila Not the Floor at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort

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  Site Where: 3800 W Starr Pass Blvd [map], Tucson, AZ, United States, 85745
December 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM | by | Comments (4)

While we've been obsessing over some of the holiday cocktails hotels have been offering, we shouldn't neglect the year-round offerings of other resort. Especially when it comes to our favorite poison--Tequila.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Ariz. has dedicated every afternoon to tequila.

Every afternoon, guests are invited for a complimentary tequila toast to the “Legend of Arriba, Abaja” 5:30 p.m at Salud, the resort’s indoor and outdoor bar overlooking the Tucson Mountain Park and pool.... In addition, in November, the resort started offering tequila tasting classes offered by two Academia Mexicana del Tequilas (AMT) Tequilier Ambassadeurs. There are only a handful of people in the United States with the AMT distinction.

Salud even hand-crafts a new infused tequila each week using fresh fruits, berries, spices and other exotic flavors. This hotel certainly knows that the way to win our hearts is to do it with tequila.

The Weekly Tequila Tasting will be offered for $25 per person. The price includes the tequila tasting, light appetizers, education and materials. The topic of each tasting will change weekly, focusing on various tequila houses, styles, regionality, aging, and more.

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La Posada Ready To Unveil Expensive Renovations

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  Site Where: 330 East Palace Ave [map], Santa Fe, NM, United States, 87501
April 1, 2008 at 10:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

We're thinking that the La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa made a stack of dough out of their $5,000 painting deal, because they're currently spending $6.2 million on a renovation. Due to be completed by May this year, the redesign also includes a new restaurant.

The redesign on the interior includes the influence of indigenous cultures--the Museum of New Mexico Foundation got involved to design indigenous fabrics and prints for the guest rooms and public areas. They're also going for a more customer-friendly feel in the lobby, including individual check-in desks rather than one long check-in counter.

The new restaurant is the Viga, which will be open for all meals and have a casual atmosphere. This will leave their four-diamond restaurant Fuego to get a furniture upgrade and to concentrate on serving fine dinners only. It will also get a new street entrance so non-hotel guests can easily access the restaurant. Or is that so that hotel guests don't feel disturbed by any locals? Whatever the case, you can check it out yourself from next month.

[Photo: SFGRL3731]

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El Tovar Hotel: Sleeping on the Edge

Where: Apache Street and Center Road [map], Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, United States, 86023
March 24, 2008 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been around 1905 and hosted Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein, yet standard room rates at the El Tovar clock in at a shockingly bargain $166 for being perched about 100 feet from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The El Tovar and its scattered lodges along the edge of the Grand Canyon were built for the classic National Parks family road trip. They offer hearty breakfast buffets, unbeatable views, free parking, and immediate access to the head of the popular Bright Angel Trail (an 8 mile, 4000+' descent to the Colorado River).

If you opt for the hike down, be forewarned that it is very strenuous and splurging on some Nalgene bottles and a souvenir walking stick is necessary.

Return to rest in the El Tover lobby, both a haven for wide-eyed foreign tourists and the terminus of the never-ending dining room queue, furnished predictably in mission-style.

Indeed every postcard, tchotchke and T-shirt in the hotel gift shop induces a wave of nausea-nostalgia, so that it's impossible to forget your family reunion/senior trip/friend's wedding reception and the heavily-syruped side dishes at each.

If staying at the El Tovar, remember these two rules: print a very detailed set of driving directions, and remember that pleat-front khakis with cargo pockets are de rigeur.

[Photo: Matt Bargar]