Article Courtesy of Kathy Condon, Palm Springs Insider Guide, Subscribe Here
With few open days on my monthly calendar, I looked at it and wondered when I would have time to relax with no agenda. Then it happened: I got an email from a public relations firm and was wondering if I would be interested in staying at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage for a couple of days.
For those wondering, travel writers who have written a great deal and have a variety of places where their articles have been published get these invitations occasionally. In return, the public relations firm trusts you will write an extensive review. There are no restrictions by the public relations firm about the review.
Staycation at a Luxury Resort
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa
I have visited a large residential area connected to it, but the resort grounds are gated from that area. Thus, I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore except for a recent ribbon cutting of their newly open pool on the far side.
Packing List for a Staycation
· The first decision is to leave the computer behind. Oh, alright, I put in my iPad with my keyboard for it, but I’m happy to report I didn’t even pull it out.
· Swimming Suit
· My caftan from California Caftan has become a must-pack item for every trip. It is versatile because it can be a beach coverup and a morning wrap for coffee on the patio.
When I go to dinner, I add a couple of pieces of jewelry to the ensemble, making the caftan the perfect for everything from a casual dinner to an elegant setting.
· Kindle so I can read my Book Club selection.
· Casual clothes for daytime exploring
· Make-up – I did invite friends to join me for meals.
Frankly, the suitcase is lighter than it is when I head off to a dog-sitting gig.
Checking in for a Staycation at a Luxury Resort
I was anxious to start, so I arrived at about 1:30 p.m., hoping my room was ready. I was so glad to get this staycation started.
Pulling up to the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa makes you feel special: You enter the beautiful grounds and pull up to the fully canopied area to park while registering.
Registration was a breeze. Then Chris led me in the golf cart through the gate to my perfect parking spot under a shade tree. We grabbed my suitcase and were off to my room.
A room at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Photo by Kathy Condon
1. My Room for the Staycation
Since I am a person who likes a lot of light, I was thrilled one side of the room had a floor-length wall of glass with sliding doors.
The view is on one of the golf course fairways with a lovely pond with Canadian geese leisurely walking for a stop on their way South. They remind me that fall is approaching.
Amenities included a number of filled water bottles, a Keurig coffee maker, a refrigerator, a robe, delightful NEST soap and hair products, and lovely linens encouraging me to stay and luxuriate in the evening and morning.
Dinner with Friends at the bluEmber Restaurant
After a nap and realizing how wound-up I was, it was time to get dressed and head to bluEmber with friends I had invited to join me for dinner.
Two guy friends invite me frequently to dinner. Thus, I was delighted to ask them to join me to experience the bluEmber Restaurant. They hadn’t had dinner at the Bluember.
Unfortunately, eating out on the beautiful patio at the Omni wasn’t possible because it was too warm. It must be romantic and enchanting, with a customarily lit firepit and starlit sky.
We had delicious appetizers, which could have been a meal, but we persevered and ordered our entrees. Salmon, my braised short ribs were superb, and we would have changed nothing about this terrific meal.
Back to my Room for Dessert
Granted, not every guest gets this outstanding presentation sent to your room. But I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t mention this was delivered to my room during the afternoon. I saved it for our dessert after dinner with my guests.
We decimated together, for we, of course, had to try everything. The little rocks were chocolate. I don’t say this often, but they rival the taste of Belgian chocolate I have gotten used to from my daughter living in Belgium.
I learned each Omni has its signature presentation. This one with the sugar cookie in the form of California is used for this particular resort, which is covered with local products, including Brandi Toffee, dried apricots, jerky, and nuts.
The pool at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas for use when you go to the spa. Photo by Kathy Condon
3. Staycation at a Luxury Resort Needs to Include a Spa Treatment
Slowly, I could start feeling myself relaxing. However, the walnut-size knot on my shoulder was the clue I needed to prioritize a massage.
I entered the Spa and was given a tour. Fortunately, I have finally figured out if I am going to have a massage, don’t wait until the last minute to go into the Spa. Go early and enjoy the environment.
My lovely spa tour guide suggested I enter the sauna, hot tub and end up in the steam room. I followed her suggestion and then went upstairs to the lounge, which I found interesting. There were hardly any lounge chairs, mostly straight-back, which made little sense to me.
In fairness, the patio, which one could use if not in the middle of our hot summers, had many lounges in the open air. The fruit-flavored water was terrific.
Stephanie, my massage therapist, asked me what needed attention. After much work, the walnut-sized knot was reduced to a pea-sized knot. She gave it more than the old college try. She was excellent, and I would definitely ask for her in the future.
Las Palmas Boutique at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort Photo by Kathy Condon
4. Shopping Onsite at the Omni Las Palmas Resort
Fashion-forward clothing for the entire family is found in the Las Palmas Resort Boutique. So, no worries if you forgot to pack something. You will find it in this boutique store near the Spa. Or you can buy a new piece of apparel that will help you update your wardrobe at home.
Want some snacks, you can find them here. Plus, it is the perfect place to find the present for your house sitter watching over your home and pets.
If you love the organic lotions used during your spa treatments, you can purchase them at the Spa’s small boutique store.
The large pool with lazy river at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Photo by Kathy Condon
5. Three Pools Invite You to Lounge
As you step outside, the main entrance, the pool with Caribbean-style music floats through the air, beckons you to put your suit on and join others under the palm trees and umbrellas of the nearby pool.
Tucked away on the other side of one of the golf course ponds, I was surprised to learn the resort has a giant water slide and a lazy river where you can float under a raft under our sun-kissed sky.
A golf cart ride away or a short walk, there is the third pool. It was recently dedicated and is ameba shaped and considered the pool you should head to if you want a quiet afternoon with your book or have an afternoon snooze.
A cobb salad served at the bluEmber Restaurant Photo by Kathy Condon
6. Invite Friends You Been Wanting to Connect to Join You
I quickly learned I wasn’t the only local who didn’t know about the attributes of this beautiful resort. I invited a friend over for Happy Hour, only to discover at the moment, there are no Happy Hours at the resort.
Instead, we ordered the Cobb Salad at the Bluember, which may be one of the best I ever had for lunch. I will be inviting more friends in the future to join me there for get-togethers or even a short meeting.
Afterward, I took them on a tour of the grounds and watched as they were in awe about this beautiful place we often drive by, with no idea what lay within its grounds.
Alas, it was time to pack up. I noted how relaxed I felt, and now, again, I am ready to resume my schedule.
A special thank you to Sarah Appelblatt of the Magrino PR, an award-winning woman-owned public relations firm, for suggesting I stay at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa, and Eva Frank, who helped handle the details of my stay.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the upbeat, positive attitude of the staff I encountered during my staycation.
Lastly, the espresso martinis waiting for me in my room after a day of total relaxation reminded me that a staycation at a luxury resort in your community is a way to learn and truly relax. Plus, there is no airplane ride or long drive ahead of you.
Kathy Condon is an award-winning author and journalist for numerous publications. She has been a resident of Palm Springs for 11 years and travels the world writing about her experiences. firstname.lastname@example.org www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com