Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, California - Hotel Review

Tennis, Tees and Treatments

The sun sets over the plaza of Omni Rancho Las Palmas, a resort for all ages in Rancho Mirage, California
The plaza of Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California

Casual vacation resorts often fall into the Goldilocks and the Three Bears trap. There is either too much (think noise and children) or not enough (think pampering and luxury). Finding balance is a fine art, and it is this mastery of holiday equilibrium that makes the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa just right.

Set against the Santa Rosa Mountains, the hacienda-style property resides in the Palm Springs bedroom community of Las Palmas. It is a great place for families: dad can play golf, mom can spa and the kids can frolic in Splashtopia, the hotel's own water park. This shouldn't scare off non-kid-toting travelers, though, since the resort is surprisingly, subtly sophisticated. Public areas are adorned with flowers, fountains and terracotta tiles, and bedrooms and suites are housed in individual, Spanish-style buildings which, united with plazas and courtyards, make you feel like you're in a small village.

Sophisticated comfort in the King Golf View guest room at Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, California Relax by the Tranquility pool at Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, California
King Golf View guest room
Tranquility pool

The 444 rooms include 22 suites. Their décor is a contemporary, residential take on early California Mission design. They are tastefully done and come with all the goodies like high-speed Internet access, voice mail and weekday newspaper, to name but a few. All of the Resort View, Poolside and Deluxe Rooms have small sitting areas, and the suites feature separate living and bedrooms. French doors opening onto balconies or patios can be found in all accommodations.

For adults, the resort highlights the three Ts: tennis, tees and treatments. The 20,000-square-foot Spa Las Palmas is tops for Palm Springs vacationers, and many stay here solely for the facials and massages, which incorporate Native American and European traditions. There are relaxation rooms, an outdoor heated sanctuary pool with underwater music, whirlpool, sauna and steam rooms. The daily membership fee to the spa is waived if you're having a treatment and includes use of all spa facilities, personal locker, terry robe and slippers, body and skin care products and use of the fitness center.

The Palm Springs area is renowned for golf, and the 27-hole Omni Rancho Las Palmas Country Club course holds its own in good company. It was designed by Ted Robinson and features six lakes, 80 sand bunkers and beautiful, Bermuda grass fairways lined with a total of 1,500 palms. Mountain views come free with every stroke, while extras include an acclaimed Golf Pro Shop, lessons, clinics and a 16,000-square-foot Clubhouse. For those who prefer volleying to teeing off, there are 25 tennis courts, including eight lit for night play. Daily tennis clinics are offered.

Enjoy mountain views and palm trees while golfing on the West Course at Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, California Outdoor dining with fire pit at bluEmber restaurant at Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, California
Golfing on the West Course
bluEmber outdoor dining

While not all guests bring little ones, many do, and this raises the question of what to do with them while you're treating yourself to some R&R. On weekend mornings, there is a Kid's Camp for ages 5-12. Scheduled events include arts and crafts; there are also lots of activities taking place both indoors (board games, color sand art, picture frame decorating) and out (feeding the ducks, golf putting and hula hooping.) Once you're done unwinding, the family can meet up at the pool at Splashtopia, which is great for the under-four-foot crowd (there is a more secluded pool if you're looking for tranquility). Along with water pop-up jets, sprinkling clay turtles and a separate play area, there are two 100-foot waterslides that appeal to folks of all ages, a lazy river, a splash pad with spritzers and water cannons and a sandy beach with cabanas.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas features a wide range of dining experiences. You'll find a lounge for cocktails and a big screen TV and a casual, poolside bar and grill. As for the signature restaurant, it is unlike those found in many big resort hotels, which tend to follow an unspoken law that dictates generic menus. Instead, it offers seasonal, local fare. bluEmber is a colorful venue where guests can dine indoors or al fresco around outdoor fire pits. bluEmber features live entertainment five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday, and the patio is a favorite locals' spot for outdoor dining. Also available is Palms Café, overlooking the Plaza and quieter Tranqulility pool, and serving house-style breakfast, Starbucks coffee, made to order sandwiches and pizzas baked in their own pizza oven.

Not to be overshadowed by the abundance of recreation are the notable conference facilities, particularly the 10,000-square-foot Starlight Terrace and two adjoining ballrooms big enough for trade shows. There are also a handful of specialty gift shops, just in case you don't feel like leaving the property. And why should you, when you have everything you need for a comfortable, rejuvenating holiday right at your doorstep?

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
41-000 Bob Hope Dr.
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Visit the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa official website



Going to Palm Springs? Check out our Travel Guide and
72 Hours in Palm Springs.



Sip your way through wine country with GAYOT's list of charming inns and resorts, featuring vineyards from Napa Valley to Long Island, New York.
Go off the beaten path and explore GAYOT's Top 10 Extreme Hotels, which feature one-of-a-kind accommodations for a truly unforgettable experience.