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Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa: The Perfect Desert Getaway

The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa is a luxury property in a spectacular desert location.

Taking a break from cold and, yes, rainy Portland, my wife Karen and I set off for the California Palm Springs desert area to take in the BNP Parabas tennis tournament and chose the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa as our home-away-from-home while attending the tournament. It was a great choice – luxury in a spectacular setting and just right for a weekend getaway.

The Renaissance is located in Indian Wells in the heart of the Coachella Valley. The beauty and grandeur of the desert and the adjacent Santa Rosa Mountains are breathtaking and the Renaissance Esmeralda takes full advantage of the majestic setting.

The Resort & Spa cover some 100,000 square feet of space. It is truly grand in scale, fitting with the grandeur of the desert and the surrounding mountains. While the hotel and spa are luxurious and monumental in scale, the property isn’t pretentious. The spaciousness of the hotel interiors provides a sense of roominess that’s conducive to relaxation and lends a feeling of peacefulness and quiet. The grand staircase leading from the lobby level to the terrace level captures the majestic scale of the hotel and, at the same time, the absence of crowds of people. The terrace level contains a lounge and casual dining areas which look out across the grounds and pool areas. This spaciousness extends to the main dining room where there is sufficient room for tables to be placed well apart, allowing for quiet conversation and easy unobstructed traffic through the dining room.

Renaissance Esmeralda exterior

Everything at the Renaissance Esmeralda is on a grand scale.

The Choice of World Class Athletes

The Renaissance Esmeralda is a popular destination much in demand for meetings and a popular getaway for leisure and vacations. Many of the world class tennis players participating in the BNP Parabas tournament chose the Renaissance as the place to stay. During tournaments like BNP, don’t be surprised to find one of the top players riding in the elevator with you. Or you might chance upon one of these top players practicing on the hotel tennis courts. For tennis buffs like me, it’s an awe inspiring experience to stand within a few feet of these world class players.

Marriott Renaissance Palm Springs guest room

Every room captures the beauty of the spectacular desert setting.

However, tennis isn’t the only sport the resort embraces. There are golf facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and three swimming pools, one with a sandy beach and one with a waterfall. The hotel charges a $28/day resort fee that covers: internet service, fitness classes, local telephone calls within 12 miles, bicycle rentals, and two bottles of water per day.

The guest rooms are spacious and have all the amenities that a guest would want. Best of all, there are magnificent vistas from the guest rooms and throughout the hotel.

We were also impressed with the staff. To a person, they were friendly and helpful. This all seemed very genuine, relaxed, and without the slightest hint of obsequiousness.

Glo lobby bar, Marriott Renaissance Palm Springs

You’ll never feel crowded at the Renaissance.

Additionally, the Renaissance Esmeralda is a “green” hotel. The Resort has established several eco-friendly initiatives in recognition of the fragility of the desert environment. All business operations are overseen by the Environmental Committee. They emphasize energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and waste reduction. There is an artificial lake adjacent to the golf course that is inoculated with microbials and molasses which naturally treat algae and provides a food source for all of the landscaping areas. Organic water treatments improve the nutrient quality and availability of nutrients for seed germination and root development.

Spa outdoor area, Marriott Rensissance, Palm Springs

If you’re not busy at a tennis tournament like we were, you can while away the hours at the two pools or outdoor spa.

Visitors traveling by air will need to get to the hotel by car or taxi. There are no hotel shuttles to and from the airport in Palm Springs. Taxi fare, one way, ranges from $45 to $70, depending on the season.

Real bottom line: The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa is a luxury property in a spectacular desert location that offers a relaxed atmosphere and friendly, attentive service. Whether you’re there for world class tennis or golf or just to unwind, the Renaissance Esmeralda won’t disappoint. – Kirby Griffin, RFT Contributor

Interested in other great hotels and resorts? Check out these:

Gleneagles, Scotland

Four Seasons Biltmore, Santa Barbara, CA

Rowleys Bay Resort, Wisconsin

Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan

El Portal Sedona

Hotel 5, Seattle

Hotel Aldearoqueta, Castellon, Spain

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at

2 thoughts on “Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa: The Perfect Desert Getaway

  1. Charlie Romo

    Thank you for this write-up, Bobbie! We will be staying at the Renaissance from April 16-20th, 2015 for the Coachella Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 2) and cannot wait to savor the ambiance of this property. Can you comment on your particular guest room? I was unable to secure a corner room – which I know is larger than the others – so am hoping for the best with a traditional double-queen guest room. Thanks!

    1. Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT EditorBobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor Post author

      Hi Charlie,
      Thanks for writing. You’ll love this part of the world and the Renaissance. I can’t comment on our guest room as I didn’t personally stay at this lovely hotel, but I suspect their website has plenty of information. Let us know what you think when you get back. Cheers! Bobbie, RFT Editor

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