By Roger Cox, Editor
Set on 360 acres in the residential community of Rancho Mirage, the Westin Rancho Mirage has 510 rooms and suites in more than a dozen clusters to either side of the main Spanish-Moorish hotel and on or near the Pete Dye golf course. The spacious lobby (with extensive meeting space to either side) flows through to a sprawling Las Brisas swimming pool that features a 60-foot waterslide. There are two smaller pools to the right and left amid the lodging clusters. The seven lighted hard tennis courts—all of them recently repainted to be green with a tan border rather than the previous rust and Santa Fe adobe—stand in one corner of the property, roughly 100 yards from the lobby and directly adjacent to the Spa and fitness center. (Guests not wanting to walk can catch a shuttle from the bell stand at the hotel.) One is a sunken stadium with grassy terraces to either side. Like the resort itself, the courts are landscaped with oleander, hibiscus, and sentinels of palm trees.
Pro Shop: 760-202-2021
Peter Burwash International's Kevin Connolly oversees the tennis program, after a 15-year reign as director at another desert property, the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. Connolly joined PBI in 1988 after graduating from South Carolina's Coastal Carolina University, where he played college tennis. During the mid-October-to-April high season her at the Westin, Connolly has put together a rich assortment of weekly tennis offerings, scheduling at least two and sometimes as many as four group activities every day of the week, among them various clinics, drill sessions, Cardio workouts, round robins, and on Saturday mornings two sessions for juniors of different ages. He supplements that with special events over selected weekends like Halloween and the Super Bowl. He also tailor-makes programs for groups on request. Since arriving, he's sought to enhance tennis's profile at the resort with brochures and cards in the hotel and a "The Week Ahead in Tennis" newsletter that goes to all employees.
Courts & Fees. Seven hard courts, one a slightly sunken stadium, all lighted for night play. The adjacent pro shop, which has a flatscreen television tuned to tennis whenever possible, carries tennis accessories as well as rental and demo racquets and offers on-site restringing. Court Fees: $20/hour from Nov.-Apr.; $15 the rest of the year.
Spa & Fitness
Golf Courses. There are two golf courses available to guests: one by Pete Dye, the other by Gary Player.
Spa. The 14,000-square-foot Spa at Mission Hills offers treatments inspired by the East and Native American cultures. Next door is a gym with an array of cardio equipment and Cybex stations, as well as free weights, Pilates equipment, and fitness classes.
The Kids Discovery Room entertains children ages 4 to 12 for up to 3 hours/day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On Saturdays they add a Desert Ranger program (ages 5-12), taking them out to fee the koi fish, learn about the different palm trees, collect herbs from the chef's garden for smoothies, or visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.
A necklace of two-story buff-stucco buildings have been strung out to either side of the main hotel and its conference center. All the rooms have full-width patios or balconies, tile baths, and coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee.
There are four places to dine, chief among them Pinzimini, which has views of the mountains and of the Las Brisas pool and the golf course to go with its Mediterranean-influenced menu.
Visit the website for current rates
Seasons. Year-round but most comfortable from late October to May.
General Tourist Information. Visit the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Authority website or contact them at 69-930 Hwy. 111, Suite 201, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Phone: 760-770-9000 or 800-967-3767 or Fax: 760-770-9001.