Cal­i­for­nia Cool at Ho­tel Paseo

PALM DESERT DE­LIGHT

Golf Vacations - - Contents - by Terry Ross

While the Palm Springs re­gion of the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia desert has long-been a pop­u­lar va­ca­tion fa­vorite for golfers and any­one else look­ing for a laid-back at­mos­phere to get away, the City of Palm Desert has grown into the hub of this Coachella Val­ley area as the cen­tral city for not only golf, but ev­ery­thing from shop­ping, art gal­leries, fine din­ing and any num­ber of events.

While the Palm Springs re­gion of the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia desert has long-been a pop­u­lar va­ca­tion fa­vorite for golfers and any­one else look­ing for a laid-back at­mos­phere to get away, the City of Palm Desert has grown into the hub of this Coachella Val­ley area as the cen­tral city for not only golf, but ev­ery­thing from shop­ping, art gal­leries, fine din­ing and any num­ber of events.

The El Paseo area of Palm Desert--which has be­come fa­mous as a world-class shop­ping and din­ing venue along this one-mile stretch that has been called the Rodeo Drive of the Desert—has be­come the cul­tural, com­mer­cial and night life cap­i­tal of this area. And now the last re­main­ing el­e­ment has come on board to make this a truly unique va­ca­tion spot.

The Ho­tel Paseo, which just opened its doors this past spring, has brought a splash of style and lux­ury to the El Paseo area that hasn’t been seen be­fore in terms of lodg­ing ac­com­mo­da­tions, and is be­ing called the first lux­ury ho­tel to open in the city in at least 30 years. It is part of Mar­riott’s Au­to­graph Col­lec­tion of bou­tique prop­er­ties. In its ef­fort to em­brace this en­ter­tain­ment district of over 250 shops, restau­rants, art gal­leries, jew­elry stores, beauty sa­lons, home fur­nish­ing stores and more, Ho­tel Paseo is lo­cated near the eastern end of this unique and pop­u­lar area and is within easy walk­ing dis­tance of just about any of these at­trac­tions. Saks Fifth Av­enue, Tumi, Gucci and St. Johns are among the shops; along with Sul­li­van’s Steak­house, Tommy Ba­hama, Paci­fica Seafood Restau­rant, Mas­tro’s and Le Paon Restau­rant—just to name a few.

For those less in­clined to walk, the ho­tel even of­fers its guests a Mercedes shut­tle to just about any­where you want to go within the area.

The pedes­trian-friendly feel of this venue—even in the mid­dle of a desert oa­sis--is at­tract­ing visi­tors of all ages, but so is the mid-cen­tury mod­ern de­sign of the ho­tel and grounds that this desert has be­come fa­mous for. From the time you ar­rive at the ho­tel framed by two pow­er­ing palm trees ris­ing through the an­gu­lar porte­cochère that fits right in with the desert’s retro look, to the lobby fea­tur­ing a ro­tat­ing art gallery and vintage art pieces, you feel like you are in an ex­ten­sion of the El Paseo desert vibe.

One of the unique fea­tures of the Ho­tel Paseo is the Back­yard Lawn that is a great place to re­lax dur­ing the day or af­ter sun­down dur­ing the sooth­ing desert nights. In ad­di­tion to a putting green, there is the ho­tel’s vintage 1950 Airstream trailer fea­tur­ing stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances, an eight-foot re­claimed black wal­nut bar and porch with lounge chairs--that has been re­stored and will be avail­able as one of nine spe­cialty suites in the 150-room ho­tel.

Next to the Back­Yard Lawn is the crys­tal blue pool and spa, pri­vate ca­banas with tele­vi­sions, snacks and re­frig­er­a­tors and the Le­mon­drop pool-side ca­bana bar. There is even an out­door stage for week­end en­ter­tain­ment with A/V ca­pa­bil­i­ties for live mu­si­cal per­for­mances. In­ter­ac­tive games are also avail­able. This is a great area to re­lax af­ter a round of golf and en­joy the tran­quil­ity that the desert of­fers.

An­other way to re­lax is in the newly-opened Spa LA LÉ, an in­ti­mate space with seven treat­ment rooms, pri­vate show­ers, lounge and co-ed Dis­cov­ery Re­lax­ation Room.

Un­der the guid­ance of Ex­ec­u­tive Spa Di­rec­tor Stella Chung, Spa LA LÉ of­fers an ar­ray of re­sult­sori­ented treat­ments, in­clud­ing or­ganic fa­cials, full body treat­ments, cou­ple’s mas­sages, nail and wax­ing ser­vices in a 3,000 square-foot-com­plex.

The re­sort rooms are ex­pertly adorned in mod­ern art­work by lo­cal artists and fea­ture a sooth­ing pal­let of gray, white and light blue tones—and have all the com­forts of home. The Oa­sis gue­strooms fea­ture free­stand­ing, oval-shaped soak­ing tubs, while the spe­cialty suites in­clude the Bil­liards Suite, of­fer­ing a pool ta­ble, wet bar, lounge area and a Shi­nola Run­well record player com­plete with a cu­rated col­lec­tion of old and new vinyl; along with the Grand Desert Suite fea­tur­ing a mo­tor­ized ex­pand­able board­room ta­ble for in­ti­mate meet­ings.

All of the gue­strooms and suites have 55” smart tele­vi­sions with Net­flix, Hulu Plus, Pan­dora and YouTube, while most rooms have pri­vate bal­conies over­look­ing the pic­turesque views of the San Jac­into Moun­tains and val­ley palms.

The AC3 Restau­rant + Bar lo­cated next to the lobby of the Ho­tel Paseo has al­ready be­came a fa­vorite spot for both lo­cals and trav­el­ers in the short time it has been open with its em­pha­sis on Amer­i­can cui­sine. Un­der the di­rec­tion of co-own­ers Tony March­ese and cel­e­brated chef An­drew Copley and his wife Ju­liana, who are all long­time veter­ans of the restau­rant busi­ness in the desert and be­yond, they have be­gun to carve out their place in the busy El Paseo neigh­bor­hood with fa­vorite dishes like Jumbo Crab Cakes, the AC3 Wedge, the Lob­ster Hash and fresh steaks. Other menu high­lights in­clude starters like Seafood Ce­viche with co­conut, lime, jalapeno, corn and fried corn chips; or Blis­tered Shishito Pep­pers with Fire­cracker Sauce and se­same seeds; fol­lowed by op­tions like Roasted Ji­dori Chicken Breast with brown but­ter pan­zanella, heirloom toma­toes, zuc­chini and basil vinai­grette.

The mod­ern-de­sign and the free-flow­ing na­ture of this in­door-out­door bar lends it­self to the desert life­style with mis­ters, fire pits and moun­tain views to go with an ar­ray of cock­tail in­no­va­tions, lo­cal craft beers and a wine list fea­tur­ing se­lect bot­tles from fam­ily-owned vine­yards such as Lewis Cel­lars in Napa Val­ley and Fox­trot in British Columbia, Canada. Happy Hour is a fa­vorite time here – and one of the high­lights af­ter a day on the links.

Ho­tel Paseo has em­braced the golf trav­eler in many ways, but its part­ner­ship with city-owned Desert Wil­low Golf Re­sort--that is just over three miles away-- in pro­vid­ing door-to-door trans­porta­tion and pre­ferred tee times to what is ar­guably one of the premier places to play in a val­ley filled with great golf op­tions--is a real plus.

From the time your driver takes you from the ho­tel to the Desert Wil­low com­plex, you feel like you are get­ting the white glove treat­ment. With the spec­tac­u­lar club house at Desert Wil­low to the two cham­pi­onship golf cour­ses de­signed by Dr. Michael Hur­dzan, Dana Fry and PGA Tour Pro­fes­sional John Cook, a day spent here is in­deed a treat.

Of the two cour­ses at Desert Wil­low, the Fire­cliff opened in 1997 with great fan­fare with a tour­na­ment that in­cluded for­mer Pres­i­dent Ger­ald Ford. Of the two it is con­sid­ered the more chal­leng­ing lay­out as it winds through the pic­turesque desert land­scape that ex­pertly blends na­tive desert plants and lush green fair­ways. The Fire­cliff can be played from five sets of tees, rang­ing from 7,056 to 5,079, de­pend­ing on your skill level.

The newer Moun­tain Course was de­signed to be a tran­si­tion be­tween the Fire­cliff’s desertscape look and the tra­di­tional fence to fence tur­f­grass look. It is more user friendly than the Fire­cliff but still has plenty of chal­lenges from 6,913 yards and a slope rat­ing from the Black Tees of 132. It also of­fers five sets of tees to ac­com­mo­date many skill lev­els and can also be played from the Green Tees at 5,040 yards. This course of­fers more wa­ter fea­tures, but like its sis­ter course is al­ways found in top play­ing con­di­tion—no mat­ter what time of year.

The plush club house has sev­eral din­ning and postround re­fresh­ment op­tions avail­able, in­clud­ing the Ter­race Restau­rant, which of­fers ex­cel­lent lunch fair, along with Cook’s Grill and the Vista Bar.

And of course, your concierge/driver to take you back to the ho­tel is just a phone call away—with all the ameni­ties that Ho­tel Paseo and the and the El Paseo en­ter­tain­ment district has to of­fer. Just as the ho­tel asks its guests to “find their own path,” there are a lot of paths to fol­low on a va­ca­tion here. To learn more about the Ho­tel Paseo and golf pack­ages or to look at va­ca­tion op­tions, visit: www. hotel­paseo.com

Ho­tel Paseo Gue­stroom

Ho­tel Paseo Back­yard Lawn

Spa LA TE Treat­ment Room (right) AC3 Restau­rant + Bar

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