The Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa was the perfect desert playground for our "Five Generation Family Reunion" celebration. The prestigious desert enclave of Indian Wells, California nestles along the foothills of the spectacular Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, and the San Jacinto Mountains to the west.
The smallest of the desert getaways, Indian Wells, a mecca for sunworshippers, is recognized for the healing powers of its mineral hot springs, revitalizing air of spiritual energy, and is equally famous as the golf and tennis capital of the world.
A Great Family Reunion Destination for All Ages
Looking for an extraordinary desert resort experience that would anticipate and deliver everything for our big, fun-loving, five-generation family (ranging in age from an adventurous 96-years to 5-months), we chose the luxurious Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa just minutes from the myriad wonders encircling Palm Springs.
Stunning Esmeralda Resort Accommodates All Size Families
The moment we entered into the visually stunning lobby we were delighted in the sensory experiences of endless tchotckes to touch, sprinkles of aromatic smells and soothing sounds, all the cool aspects of the Renaissance brand.
The Esmeralda’s décor features a stunning blend of African ash wood (Anigre) accented with hand-laid marble and stone walkways, an eight-story atrium lobby with spectacular grand staircase, stretched sofas, deep plush seats, and special commissioned works of art throughout.
The resort offers 560 beautifully appointed guestrooms (many with connecting rooms) and 22 suites all designed to complement distinction with comfort and convenience. Our family had a variety of accommodations each with a private balcony. They were all spacious and able to accommodate two adults and up to three children in easy comfort, and rollaways and cribs were available on request. The piece-de-resistance however, was the gorgeous duplex Governor’s Suite which also became our gathering place.
All guest rooms include the luxurious Marriott bedding package with 300 thread count sheets, plush terry robes, temperature monitoring system, fabulously convenient spacious double-sided closets, high speed wireless and hard wired Internet access, LCD television, minibars, and coffeemakers with complimentary Starbucks coffee and assorted teas.
All of the extremely caring and friendly staff at the Esmeralda, including the Navigators, a concierge team, went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and to help in every way possible during our stay.
Inviting Amenities & Facilities at Esmeralda
We were thrilled to uncover an experience that allowed the whole family to have fun whether they were seeking adventure or craved relaxation.
The lush grounds feature blissful garden settings, fountains, lakes, waterways and inviting lounge areas with fire pits. Outdoor sitting areas, and nooks and crannies were where most of us gathered to catch up on some news and gossip, while other family members chose to simply curl up with a great book.
When it was time for a swim there were three amazing outdoor pools to choose from. In addition to the huge main pool, there’s a one-of-a -kind sandy beach which the little ones loved, a stretch gazebo with a dazzling water curtain, and oversized hot tubs.
On the pool deck the state of the art fitness center that’s open 24-hours, features cardio and weight machines, free weights, as well as men’s and women’s saunas and steam room. This was a welcome site for many of our family members who enjoy working out. There are also two tennis courts lit for nighttime play, and for the golfers the Esmeralda is just steps away from two 18-hole championship courses.
Camp & Kid’s Activities at the Esmeralda
Although we all opted to stay together, we did check out Camp Oasis that is available for children ages 5 to 12. Led by a skilled and creative team, the program offers dynamic activities including arts and crafts in the craft zone (nominal fees apply), tennis and golf lessons, sack games, musical chairs, limbo contest, poolside face painting, freeze dancing, nature hikes, drive-in movies and more.
The Oasis Essentials Gift Shop was a sought after “in and out hangout” for our group with their fine selection of souvenirs, sundries, resort wear and toys. Everyone found something they needed to have while at the resort, as well as one-of-a- kind treasures and artisan pieces to bring home.
Esmeralda Spa for Relaxation & Rejuvenation
At one time or another all the adults gravitated to the Spa Esmeralda to relax and unwind. The serene earth tone palate with Zen-light lighting and soothing sounds of a trickling stone fountain immediately put us into a spa state of mind. The lush gardens offered a calm and peaceful ambiance, and tranquil water features include a yin and yang hot and cold Jacuzzi, with a waterfall shower.
Featuring 11 indoor treatment rooms, and 8 treatment cabanas, we were all easily accommodated at the times we requested. The spa’s diverse selection of therapies include an extensive menu of massages, body treatment and facials, all with personalized consultation to address your specific needs. Particular favorites include the signature classic massage, the Thaiyurveda herbal massage, Desert Waters Body Treatment, Vitamin C Facial as well as the Jadience Compression Wrap. For couples there’s the Couples Retreat and Couples Floral Ritual
The full service Agim Salon, located within Spa Esmeralda is overseen by the salon namesake and renowned celebrity stylist Agim Rakipi who provides a full service haven for style.
Everyone emerged invigorated and glowing.
Terrific On-site Dining Options
Esmeralda has a choice of unique beverage and dining venues with distinctive Californian flair, perfect for a casual meal or fine dining experience and ideal for anyone planning a reunion.
Sirocco, the resort’s signature restaurant, opened for dinner only, offers a menu of authentic Italian cuisine created by Executive Chef Eric Theiss, who also manages all of the resort’s on site restaurants. Honored as the Zagat Top Rated Italian venue in the Coachella Valley, Sirocco provides the perfect atmosphere to celebrate a romantic, candlelit dinner.
Because of our dynamics, our family’s choice was Cava, the resort’s bistro-style all day eatery with indoor/outdoor dining options, which our family loved. Surrounded by a stunning orchid garden and with views of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the scene was perfect for our culinary experiences.
We were always accommodated with a beautifully set large table, highchairs and booster seats, and although there were taste-tempting menus, our group chose to go with the buffets (that were half price for kids under 12). We found that this made mealtime more pleasurable, as everyone could eat as little or as much as they chose from the wonderful selection of dishes featuring special stations and made-to-order cuisine to delight every palate.
Café Biscotti,located in the lobby, lured the young and old for afternoon gelato. It also serves Starbuck’s coffee, homemade muffins and pastries.
The Pool Bar is where we ordered our lunch while lounging on our chaises and around umbrella covered tables. There was an adequate selection of lighter fare, grilled specialties, and salads and refreshing beverages. We all seemed to crave the signature frozen Arnold Palmer, (named after the golf legend) a mix of iced-tea and lemonade, perfect for cooling down in the desert. For the adults there were cocktails available ranging from elegant martinis to festive Mai Tai’s.
The Glo Sushi Bar offered an innovative menu of signature rolls, sushi and fresh fish, along with top shelf sakes for the adults. Glo Lounge is a chic area with an eclectic selection of small plates filled with culinary delights, and an imaginative selection of treats such as yummy homemade donuts, S’mores and more. A popular hangout with the happy hour and late-night crowds, that enjoy mingling indoors or outside around the inviting fire pit areas.
Reunion Planning Details for a Renaissance Esmeralda Getaway
We all left with lingering memories of the love, laughter, and stories we shared during our glorious time together at the beautiful Esmeralda.
Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa, a member of the Marriott group, is at 44-400 Indian Wells Lane, in Indian Wells, California. The resort is ideal for a long weekend retreat because it's located l3 miles from Palm Springs, 16 miles from Palm Springs International Airport and an easy two-hour drive east of Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.
Rates vary by dates of travel, room size and configurations, and number of people in your reunion group. You can get more information by phone (760/773-4444), through your travel agent, or by visiting Renaissance Esmeralda online. You can also follow Renaissance Esmeralda on Facebook and Twitter.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.