Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa hosted Ciao Bambino to facilitate a comprehensive review of the property for families. As always, our opinions are our own.
Palm Springs’ history as a playground for the rich and famous began in the 1930’s when Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope discovered the desert getaway just two hours from Los Angeles. Today, this area is a popular year-round getaway for holidaymakers who flock to the plethora of Palm Springs family resorts with kid-friendly amenities and elaborate pools.
The Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa was the first hotel that friends recommended to me when I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago with a baby-in-tow. The baby thinks he’s a teenager now, but during our three day stay he played in the pool all day with his sister while his parents relaxed under an umbrella.
The Coolest Pool for Families
The Renaissance Esmeralda’s large pool is divided into different sections including a kids’ pool, a three-foot deep pool and a sand beach zero-entry into the main pool that is heaven for toddlers and their parents. While the pool does get crowded there is always another area you can experience. There is no pool slide, but running through the cold waterfall quickly becomes a rite of passage for any pool-loving kid.
Spacious Rooms with Mountain, Golf Course and Pool Views
The first thing you’ll notice when you enter your room is the size as they are large with plenty of space for kids to play on the floor. Guest rooms have a view of the pool, golf course or the mountains (spectacular at sunset). Some of the golf course/mountain view rooms have a water area around them where ducks and geese swim.
Relaxing Areas throughout the Resort
While there are areas to walk, bike (complimentary rentals) and let kids run around on the grass there are also very comfortable areas near the pool and Glo lobby bar to relax with the family. Outside, the cushioned lounge areas, some with fire pits, surround a graduated waterfall that mutes pool sounds and creates a shaded oasis. Inside at Glo, there are banquet tables where families hang out and dine on casual kid-friendly food including sushi.
Kids’ Favorite Features
It’s always interesting to see what kids have to say when asked what they like best about a hotel. They aren’t thinking about guest room space or functionality; they focus simply on what’s fun for them.
Squeeze Bar at Cava Restaurant. The Squeeze Bar aka the do-it-yourself juice bar at the indoor/outdoor poolside restaurant Cava is an instant hit with kids (and adults). Noticeably, green vegetables were not added to my son’s juice. The high powered juicers are sturdy and safe enough for school age children to operate by themselves.
Camp Oasis. My 10-year-old is starting to feel like he’s too old for the kids’ club and as I left him at the one room Camp Oasis for my parent’s night out I wondered as well. Fast forward three hours and I picked up a child that didn’t want the UNO game to end and wasn’t ready to leave. There are no computers or video games at Camp Oasis and instead the counselors engage the kids in crafts, board games and outdoor games on the lawn.
Dive In movie. The minute the kids heard about the dive in movie they were begging to go; there is something exciting about watching a movie outside on a big screen and it doesn’t matter if they’ve seen it five times. Dive-in movies are seasonal and during holidays.
Pool waterfall. Once the kids discovered that the waterfall was colder than the pool it became the loser’s prize for whatever game they were playing although the loser didn’t seem to mind.
Parents’ Favorite Features
Parents Night Out at Sirocco. Rarely do my husband and I spend a leisurely three hour dinner with no interruptions. Our parents night out at top-rated Sirocco restaurant was a treat; Camp Oasis conveniently operates on Saturday nights from 6- 10 PM. Sirocco serves authentic Italian food and has an extensive wine list with over 200 choices. The setting, alongside the golf course waterway with a view of the mountains in the background, sets the stage for a romantic evening.
Unlike many fine dining restaurants, the portions at Sirocco are generous and are perfect for sharing and trying a little bit everything. The servers are knowledgeable and we asked ours to surprise us with a wine choice and dessert; a good decision on both accounts. The quality of the food is outstanding; full of flavor that comes through in the freshness and the high quality ingredients. You’ll leave with a souvenir of house made biscotti.
Spa Esmeralda. Who can resist a spa? Not many apparently as the spa is very busy with hotel guests and locals. The desert hot stone massage is a good choice if you like heat. The spa has an outdoor relaxation area and in cooler weather it’s a peaceful start or end to your spa day.
Want to Know More? Read the review of the Renaissance Resort & Spa, now part of the Ciao Bambino Approved Hotel Collection. Our Check Availability Form goes right to the hotel for best possible rooms and pricing. If you go this route, our family travel expert booking service will help ensure all needs are met and answer any outstanding questions.
Photos by Kristi Marcelle