As the lyrics of the famous Irving Berlin song goes “If you’re blue and you don’t where to go to, why don’t you go where fashion sits? Puttin’ on the Ritz.” When the Ritz-Carlton resort re-opened in 2014 in the Greater Palm Springs area of Rancho Mirage, the desert community embraced it for its luxury beauty, un-wavering commitment to service, dining and wellness options.
Built in the late 1980s as the Lodge in Rancho Mirage, the resort offered the most desirable panoramic views of the Coachella Valley. When it was slated to become a Ritz-Carlton, the financial backer Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, and plans to refresh the Lodge into a 244-room hotel stopped. It sat empty and forlorn for quite some time until the Ritz-Carlton came to the rescue.
It’s a gem in the desert with spacious rooms and suites overlooking the Santa Rose Mountains, oversized soaking tubs, and flat screen televisions. One television is in the main room and the other is in the marble bathroom. Inside the closet is a in-room safe, plush white robe and slippers. Many of the ground level rooms have an expanded outdoor shaded terrace and personal fire pit for warmth and stargazing in the evening.
The two restaurants and room service are overseen by Executive Chef Bruno Lopez, a longtime chef working at Ritz-Carltons in Toronto, San Francisco, Marina del Rey, Half Moon Bay, and Dubai.
The all day elegant, yet more casual restaurant State Fare Bar + Kitchen offers California-sourced food and wine. There is a large glass exhibition kitchen, and outside on the al fresco dining patio, guests and locals enjoy a meal during the day and at sunset when the temperature cools down.
Near the main pool is The Edge Steakhouse teetering on the edge of the hill offering spectacular evening views. Open for dinner service, the menu offers premium dry-aged prime steak and fresh seafood paired with wines from all over the world.
Guests have two pools and a bubbling whirlpool to soak and relax after a morning hike, round of golf, tennis clinic or mountain bike ride. The main pool has daily cabana rentals for guests to escape from UV rays and gain some privacy. A dedicated cabana attendant delivers a seasonal fruit bowl, bottled water, sunscreen. Comforts include two personal lounge chairs, a flat screen television, resort WiFi, a refrigerator, personal safe, ceiling fan, water misters and electrical outlet for recharging cell phones and laptops.
The quieter serenity Vista pool is available for guests 18 and over. Besides beautiful mountain and valley views, there are colorful inflatables for floating in the water and relaxing in the sun.
In the center of the resort is a great lawn with a putting green and various lawn games. During the day the infinity fountain reflects nearby palm trees and in the evening blue lit spheres float on top of the water.
The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage is a two hour drive from Los Angeles. For those flying into the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), it’s about a twenty minute drive. From the Ontario International Airport (ONT) it’s a one hour drive. From Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA) and San Diego (SAN) International Airports, the drive to the resort will take about two hours.
Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, 68900 Frank Sinatra Drive; (800) 241-3333.