The Westin Mission Hills Resort
71333 Dinah Shore Drive
Rancho Mirage, California 92270
Phone: (760) 328-5955
Fax: (760) 321-2955
The Santa Rosa mountains are background to the quiet lakes and greens of the Westin Mission Hills.
The Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage is one of those iconically tranquil desert getaways that your mind drifts to as you sit in grid-lock traffic or when you've attended one too many work-related meetings. A lovely Spanish mission-styled resort, it provides a true sensation of being a comfortable galaxy away from the bustling world. The Westinís over $30 million dollar renovation since 2008 is truly reflected in the quality, from the soothing spa to the relaxing restaurants to the array of family activities to the friendly service. This resort hits all the right notes for an excellent family destination: gracious service, delectable food and dining, lovely grounds, choice amenities for adults, and plenty of entertainment for the kids. The family dog is even pampered at this resort!
Located seven miles southeast of Palm Springs, the Spanish-Moorish architecture of the Westin Mission Hills rests on 360 beautiful rolling acres replete with occasional meandering ducks waddling down the pathways and into the rock-laced ponds. The resort's Spanish mission style comes alive with the long colonnades in the central buildings and restful statues on the grounds. Yet as you walk through the property, surprise oriental accents emerge, including waterfalls, ponds with Koi, and colorful gardens.
During my stay in the late summer, 2012 the core restaurant, previously known as Bella Vista, was undergoing a million dollar facelift with plans to soon reopen in October, 2012 as Pinzimini with a fun open display kitchen. Other eating opportunities were available between the resort and the Villas (the resort's timeshare, available to hotel guests) which were the Fireside Lounge, and Season's Grill, as well as Las Brisas Cafe, the poolside eatery. There was also a coffee shop in the gift store market. The hotel also plans to install, as part of the restaurant renovation, a hamburger stand with reasonably priced hamburgers.
On the Friday night of our arrival, my family sat in the popular Fireside Lounge, relaxing to the lovely tones of the live guitarist who plays there every Friday night. A friendly turnout of folks grooved to the music and food, creating a happy ambiance without ever growing too crowded. The food was excellent. My children colored and played the games on the activity sheets provided. The kids were able to order standard kid fare such as chicken fingers, French fries and hamburgers while my husband and I enjoyed salads, especially mine, an avocado/pear salad which I loved as much as the friendly service. I asked the server about the fire pits for making símores, but he said the firepits were under renovation. In a minute, the chef came out and offered to make the símores for my kids himself, though not normally on the menu. I found this kind of hospitality throughout my stay with a staff very committed to making guests feel happy and satisfied. The lounge with its wonderful food and music created a sensation of being in a faraway oasis of perfection.
One of the strongest features that The Westin Mission Hills offers traveling families is its comfortable and spacious room accommodations. My family with four kids enjoyed a
quite comfortable room situation: two large adjoining rooms, one with a king and the second with two queens. The adjoining rooms could be completely shut off from each other each with their separate balconies, refrigerators, bathrooms and a dividing door that could be locked, if desired. Yet the rooms had one joint entrance that progressed into the two separate entrances. What a convenient feature!
These cozy rooms contained all of the latest and greatest amenities including user-friendly air conditioning systems that my kids could easily adjust themselves. Both rooms had refrigerators and safes (in which my son had fun hiding his legos). Notably, the Heavenly beds in each room with their special mattresses were one of the most comfortable beds in which I have ever slept.
Some desert resorts cater almost exclusively to adults but this one surely takes the kidsí needs into account. For the very youngest guests, a bonded babysitting service is available for children 4 and under. For kids ages 4-12, the Westin Kidsí Club is a 2000 square foot room full of computers, games, and art supplies. The resort offers the young visitors two half day sessions in the club, offered daily, with hourly care also available. When parents want to enjoy the resortís activities, kids can engage in the kid-appropriate activities of the club, such as arts & crafts, cookie decorating, park play time, and outdoor blow up structures. The Kid's Club also offers nighttime activities including pajama story time and stargazing.
A childrenís park and playground is also located on the resort premises with a nearby volleyball court and bocce ball area.
Several programs/packages are also available for the younger guests: kids and teen tennis lessons, family golf clinics, and family fun movie nights where kids' movies are played by the Las Brisas pool on Friday nights. Kids can play in the water and float on the floaties while watching the flick. Adults can also purchase a special kidsí food pass where, for a flat rate, kids can eat all day in any of the restaurants on the premises.
I was particularly impressed that the Westin Mission Hills also employs a full-time person designated as Director of Fun, only one of two Westins that fund such a position (Phoenix Westin also does). This Fun Director is fully committed to creating new and interesting activities for the younger guests. My kids, while playing in the Las Brisas pool, met his sidekick, a pleasant lady titled Dr. Fun. This lady creates fun activities specifically in the pool for the kids, including games such as Marco-Polo.
Las Brisas is a lovely refreshing pool around which the core of the resort activities revolve. A volleyball net spans the pool inviting guests to play water volleyball and a twisting water-slide beckons the younger set to it. In keeping with the rest of the resortís renovation, this pool sports all new furniture including shady cabanas and chic lounge chairs. A sun shop is available with sunscreen, floats and other water gear. My kids had a fantastic time splashing around in this pool and I found them playing a game of volleyball with a friendly older couple when I caught up with them.
Off the beaten path, I discovered the lesser known Hideaway room, a game and arcade room stocked with video games and a juke box for the teens in the family (and younger kids who love video games). Impressively, the games in this room did not operate by tokens but were complimentary to guests who gain admittance with their room keys. A free shuffleboard table, air hockey, foosball, and pool table were also located in this area, which draws teens and sports fans along with the large screen TVs playing football games.
Even with all the happenings at the Westin for kids and teens, the adult activities are just as plentiful. The Championship Golf is one of the resort's signature features with two world class golf courses designed by Pete Dye and Gary Player. As there are several golf activities for kids, there are even more so for adults: private instruction, golf schools, playing lessons and group clinics and exhibitions.
Guests also have access to seven tennis courts with instruction available from the world -renowned Peter Burwash clinic.
Bike rentals, including elliptical bikes, are also available for $12.00/hour.
The Spa at Westin Mission Hills is a beautiful retreat offering an array of relaxing treatments. All adult guests have complimentary access to the jacuzzi, steam room, and quiet lounge. A treatment called the Bird and Basket is a special de-stressing experience designed to help guests leave their cares far behind. A boutique as well as a full-service salon for hair, nails, and facial treatments is also located within the spa. A separate wellness studio is devoted to Pilates classes. The resort also has a complete workout room complimentary to guests.
While the kids and parents are well covered at this resort, so also are the pets. This pet-friendly resort actually provides "Heavenly dog beds," as complements to the adult version, at no extra cost. The resort does not even require a deposit for keeping dogs in the rooms.
All family members are pampered at this resort. Although everything needed in terms of relaxation and entertainment is within reach at the Westin Mission Hills, many potential adventures surround the resort as well. Families will enjoy the local Palm Springs aerial tram, jeep tours, Native American canyons, and the Living Desert. Notably, the Palm Springs Soak City is a wonderful place to cool off. Come to this resort in the winter while the rest of the world is wearing sweaters and pants. The sun always shines here and the smiles here remain ever-vibrant as well.