CALIFORNIA Desert Escape: Time to Relax and Rejuvenate at La Quinta Resort

A girls’ weekend at California’s iconic La Quinta Resort & Club, includes tranquil spa treatments, upscale culinary experiences and chillin’ in a swanky new casita.

044-La Quinta-Main Pool with Pink Hat

As spring fever set in, I decided that a visit to La Quinta Resort & Club was called for and arranged a trip with my 14-yr. old daughter. After a stressful few months, we were both looking forward to a reprieve, away from the monotonous schedule of school and work. Soon we were heading east on the 10, towards Palm Springs and the legendary resort.

Capra_SuiteAfter a multi-million dollar renovation, La Quinta Resort & Club is even more appealing and continues to be one of California’s top desert retreats. Our newly renovated Starlight Casita was inviting with modern touches and colorful desert influences, featuring custom tile work, wrought iron elements, new furniture, draperies and rugs. We loved the oversized, nail-head embellished headboard and found the neutral color palette pleasing with just the right amount of punch from citrus and blue-sky accessories. The resort’s signature casitas are clustered around 41 swimming pools, a unique feature that offers guests plenty of places to cool off.

KingCasitaPatioVert_LizLaingOne of the best features of our upper unit casita was having a large, private patio, perfect for alfresco dining with plush couches and a coffee table clustered around an outdoor fireplace. The view of the Santa Rosa Mountains was stunning and we found our patio to be a great place to watch the sunset or enjoy an early breakfast before the heat set in. We decided to take a walk around and explore a bit of the 45 acres of lush property, sprinkled with bougainvillea, roses and citrus trees, which complement the white buildings and Spanish architecture perfectly.

LaQuinta_pedipediThe award-winning Spa La Quinta is one of the only resorts that offers a menu of teen spa treatments. My daughter was thrilled with the idea of being able to get a junior facial or sports massage, while I was having a treatment at the same time. After our heavenly massages, we drank tea in the garden and swung gently in the hammock, wishing someone would push us every time we slowed down. Next time, we might try a fun, new spa offering called the Pedi-Pedi. After receiving a pedicure at the spa, a personal pedicab, topped with a blue canopy, will deliver you to your casita and protect your pretty feet. Check the spa’s website for a wide variety of treatments and call (760) 777-4800 for a reservation.

003-LaQuinta-MorgansEntranceAfter an afternoon of sunning and swimming, we were ready for an exceptional dining experience at Morgans in the Desert. Three-time James Beard award-winning chef, Jimmy Schmidt sources fresh ingredients from the Coachella Valley and produces mouth-watering contemporary cuisine. I started off with the Tangerine-Ginger Margarita and loved the citrus zing of fresh tangerine, lime and ginger with pomegranate juice and tequila (that recipe is going home with me!). My daughter tried one sans alcohol and agreed it should be our new drink of choice. We couldn’t resist the Crispy Baby Coachella Artichokes and our favorite dish was the lemony Artisan Linguine with Meyer lemon and grilled asparagus. Dessert was strictly to cleanse our palate (ha!) and the White Chocolate Crème Brulèe with mango sorbet was just what we needed, or wanted anyway.

Getting ready for a cruise at La Quinta. Credit: Liz Laing

The next day we decided to rent a couple of bikes to cruise around the surrounding area and exercise, after all the indulgences the day before. Bikes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis near the tennis center and can be rented for two hours or longer. The weather was beautiful and we knew if we worked up a sweat, a cool pool was waiting for us after our ride. We ended up working up an appetite and enjoyed a lavish breakfast buffet at TWENTY6, an American bistro serving classic comfort food. After one last dip in our semi-private pool, we fondly bid farewell to our desert retreat, and felt rejuvenated and ready to jump back into life.


Liz Laing

Liz Laing

Liz has been a freelance travel writer for nearly a decade, writing for multiple outlets such as Mothering, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, CBS Los Angeles, MadeMan and wandermelon, to name a few. Growing up in New Mexico, Liz also traveled to Japan and Europe, including touring with a modern dance troupe throughout France. She’s now also added photography and web design to her talents, but her greatest accomplishment has been raising her four wonderful kids, who have already been bitten by the travel bug.
Liz Laing

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