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Reviewed 9 April 2007

We stayed at this resort for 5 nights at the end of March. Overall, we had a great stay and I would recommend this place. The staff is very attentive and there seemed to be a very large number of people working at this hotel (seemed a bit overboard to me). We had good overall service (other than our room not being ready until 4:30 p.m.)

We booked a corner room because we are a family of 5. The room was large with plenty of extra space even when the roll away was down. We were suppose to pay extra for this room but we didn't end up paying any extra. The first room they put us in was next to an electrical room and over the main air conditioning/heating units. There was a constant buzz that drove me crazy. We asked to be moved and they accommodated us and then we were never charged for a corner room during any of our stay. The beds are comfortable (I am picky) and the room was very clean.

The pool was great. It got much busier on the Friday and Saturday when the weekend/Spring Break crowds arrived. They had security at the gates on those days and you had to wear an wristband to gain entrance. My only pet peeve was that they allowed people to hoard the floats that everyone was suppose to share in the pool. People would take them back to their chairs and then they would sit there unused for hours. You don't pay for these so that was very annoying. If you go on a weekend or busy time, make sure you get there early enough for a chair. There are a lot of chairs but they fill up!

We used the fitness center and tennis courts which were both nice but too small for a resort this size. We also used the spa which is very nice - just a bit too much over the top for me. I did get a good massage. The golf course surrounding the hotel is undergoing a large renovation so that part is pretty ugly but the view of the surrounding mountains is nice.

We never ended up eating at a hotel restaurant although we had planned to. We went to the grocery store for breakfast and lunch food (we had a complimentary frig) and there are numerous big chain dining options about 10-15 minutes away in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage. This hotel is pretty upscale with many at the front arrival area dressed to the hilt (for events and the restaurants), so we did feel compelled to take our bags of groceries up through a back door!

Parking was ok, we did have to walk a pretty good distance. The front arrival circle was constantly busy so we avoided that when possible. There does seem to be constant events at the hotel so there was alot of people coming and going and music until late at events held outside towards the back of the hotel.

I have two pieces of advice for those with kids:
- don't let them touch the "refreshment center" - there is a
sensor on it so each time a soda or whatever is moved
it registers as being taken. It then shows up on your final
bill. There was a number of people checking out at the
same time we were complaining about the same thing.
The charges were removed from our bill.

- beware of the tall wine glasses left out in the rooms. My
kids broke three (by knocking into them) which shattered on
the tile floor before we wised up and hid them behind the tv.
Luckily we weren't charged for the broken ones!

I must say that I do prefer places that are a bit more laid for family vacations (this place is pretty upscale) but overall we had a great time.

Date of stay: April 2007
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank ahagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 9 April 2007

My fiance and I stayed at the esmeralda Apr2 - 4th for our anniversary....this was the second time we have stayed here. Both times were wonderful.
We got a corner room, which are the best...they are bigger and have windows on both sides. The staff is always very friendly...they will not pass you in the halls or lobby without greeting you. The bellman even brought up champane to our room while we were out to dinner so I could suprise my fiance! The beds are really comfy and the bathroom huge (corner room). The casual resturant by the pool is good for breakfast.....lemon rigotta pancakes are wonderful! It was spring break so the hotel was full but still no problems getting a chair at the pool. I liked that they had activities during the day that you can attend free of charge....one day it was salsa dancing lessons the next day it was cookie decorating.....one night they even had a "dive in" movie....you can watch the movie while you swim or sit on the sandy beach.... All in all I like the esmeralda and I think you will too!!! Have fun.

Date of stay: April 2007
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank mauigal02
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 6 April 2007

First of all, we were not interested in the "resort" aspect - just wanted a conveniently located, nice and quiet hotel to stay while we venture out into desert and to Salton Sea. This was not the right choice.
The rooms all look the same, 80s decor on the ok side, this boring californian middle of the road look.
Bathroom ok, nice produces and all is clean. Seperate toilet.

Good:
Off main street (little traffic noise)
Public areas are impressive and well kept (great carpets etc)
Restaurant is said to be one of the better ones (good food is a major problem in the area)
Staff is rather nice
Parking is ok
The bed is really comfortable

Nice (although I don't care):
They have spa, gym, and the pool area looks good/large
One may not like that in the pool area, cheap keyboard music is constantly playing

Problems!
ROOM #1
The first room was terrible. Is that a "luxury" room, with a view exactly to a staircase (photo)?
At 1:30 and again at 3, people waiting for their cars or just hanging out started shouting and/or singing songs, this went on for 10 minutes and no personnell disturbed them (finally a guest yelled shut the f. up).
ROOM #2
We asked for another room and moved to the 6th floor. That room gets food smell from the kitchen ventilation system. Personnell sprayed some stuff and it was ok for a while, but in the evening the whole bathroom stank of garlic.
Though that room has kind of a view, you can't use the small balcony because it faces the main ventilation - very noisy.
Room overlooks the golf course? What golf course? The construction site? Oh well.

Another problem is the bill,
anything you touch or move in the fridge will be charged to your room bill, so you need to control every item when you check out and tell them to take the items out again.

Wouldn't stay there again, there was a place I liked better in Desert Springs.

Date of stay: April 2007
Thank Christina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 2 April 2007

We were attempting to find a small, boutique weekend get-away (10 rooms or less) but leaving it so late, opted for a quick resort break. Turned out to be a great decision.

Found a AAA rate for 219 per night. Sneaky $18 resort fee applied on arrival. Very clean room, spacious, comfortable beds and good view of the mountains - I'd even call the rooms quite contemporary and modern. Hotel was busy - many kids - but with a really good pool area. We have a 3 year old and 3 month old and it was perfect for them. Food was decent, but not amazing, but the setting and dining outdoors by the pool made us overlook that. Service was attentative.

Don't go for peace and quiet and for avoiding people, but do go for an affordable mildly pampered experience in a great setting with a bit of desert glitz thrown in.

Date of stay: April 2007
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Thank USBrits
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 21 February 2007

Just wanted to add that having stayed here 3 years ago and gone to the desert every April since. This is the hotel we always hope to win through Priceline. Although the Westin Mission Hills was great, we still ended up talking about and driving over to the Esmerelda. A great experience.

Date of stay: April 2004
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Discover802669
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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