Accommodations in Palm Springs all look the same. Typical south-western decor peppered with palm trees. You also have your locations (La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, downtown, etc). When going for the first time, we really weren’t sure where we wanted to stay with our two dogs, and were limited by the options through the packages that were offered through Westjet Vacations.
However, one of the options offered to us was the Westin Mission Hills. The price was right, and it was one of the options that allowed dogs. Originally, our plan was to stay at the JW Marriott, but that property does not allow pets. Upon reviewing online ratings for the hotel, the ratings were a mixed bag. On the hotel’s website, they have a rating of 3.7/5, and a quick Google search shows a rating of 4.4. But, given the options of being in the snow versus being in the desert, we booked it anyway. Also, with the recent acquisition of Starwood hotels by Marriott, we were hoping to use some of the benefits of our Marriott Rewards gold status at the property.
After the booking, I called the property to ask about the pet fee (as nothing was listed on the website), and I was informed that there was no pet fee! Huge win in our books, as we have paid pet fees of up to $75 per night per dog (looking at you Cosmopolitan Las Vegas). We appreciate that there was no money grab dog fee at this property.
Fast-forward to the trip and the property, the place is huge. Nestled on Dinah Shore drive, the property is home to a Gary Player and Peter Dye golf course. We did not indulge in playing the course this trip, but definitely will the next time we visit. When you pull up to the resort, there is a large unloading area. Guests have two options for parking: free self-park and valet. Considering the size of the resort, you would want to elect for self-parking, otherwise you would be doing a ton of walking back and forth to the main building. Several of the areas of the main building are compartmentalized and are separated from one other. The main lobby (which houses a resident dog that is up for adoption) is connected to the fireside lounge. There are also concierge services that distribute “coupon” packs, but also push a timeshare meeting.
Check-in was fast and easy. We arrived at 5:00pm and did not have to wait in any lines. With our Marriott Rewards gold tier, we were upgraded from our standard room, to a golf course view. Highly recommend the upgrade, as you will see the photos below. One item that did throw us off was the $35 resort fee. Some resort fees actually give you value, but this one just feels like a cash grab. For $35 a day you get one set of drinks (one time), access to a pool that is somewhere, a shuttle to the Aqua Caliente casino, and golf bag storage. We can buy our own drinks, it was 10 degrees celsius outside (so multiple pools is out of the question), and we weren’t golfing, so I’m not really sure what they were offering with this resort fee. Internet is covered if you are a rewards member, and the fitness center was not even a part of the fee.
TIP: Unless you are golfing, ask to have the resort fee waived.
Going to our room felt like we were on a trip to Mexico. The large resort with the winding walkways really gave it an exotic feel. When we got to the room, we were stoked. Not only were we facing the golf course, but we were on the first floor, which made it super easy to take out the dogs. The only downside is that we noticed a fair bit of noise from the upstairs rooms (the buildings are only two stories). I went out to have a look, and expected to see a ruckus, however, there was nothing… Just some people three rooms down having a drink on the patio. The noise in the room was there, but it really didn’t persist throughout the night. If noise from other rooms bothers you immensely, we’re recommend staying on the top floor. We elected to stay on the bottom floor, as we’d rather have a little noise than having to carry the dogs up and down the stairs every time.
Exploring the property, there are little nature habitats everywhere, specifically rabbits and turtles near the main lobby. They also offer fishing in the ponds near the golf course at 4:00 pm during the weekdays. The grounds of the property are gorgeous. We spent one morning simply walking along the golf course with the dogs, enjoying the sunshine and the views. Nothing beats the expansive greens with the mountains nestled in the background.
One of the great benefits about staying at a Westin is their fitness centers. The WestinWORKOUT Studio at this property was amazing, as it faced the golf course and had a great selection of workout options, including a Peloton bike. This was the first time we had actually been able to use a Peloton bike, and is what got us hooked on their workout programming. The gym was busier than what we had expected, and was about 80% full every morning, so get there early if you need some space for your workout.
For breakfast every morning, we dined at Pinzimini. Prices are average for your hotel breakfast (17-20 USD), and the food was quite good, although portions were small. Coffee was about another $3 USD on top of the entrees. The first two days we ordered off the menu, but then switched to the continental breakfast buffet for $17 USD. There is also a full warm buffet for $30 USD. The continental breakfast buffet is your best bet, as your coffee and juice is included, and they have an awesome spread. All pastries are made in house, and are kept warm. Pairing their croissants with some smoked salmon was a great way to start each day.
But, what was even better than the croissants was the service. Luis and Abdul went out of their way to make sure that our party had a great time every morning, and that included the dogs. The great part about this property is that the dogs are allowed on the patio in the restaurant. So, not only can the humans enjoy, but the dogs can hang out too. What really set this property apart was the great service that we enjoyed. The kicker was when Abdul would bring Louie and Mia bacon in the morning, as well as a Westin Heavenly dog bed. Not only were we spoiled here, but the dogs were too.
The other spot we enjoyed was the fireside lounge. We were going to hit up their happy hour, but elected on getting a bottle of wine instead. Being around the massive fire pit (hence fireside lounge) was an awesome way to end the day of local sightseeing.
Overall our stay at the Westin Mission Hills was spectacular, and we cannot wait to return to experience it again, and to play a round of golf!
- Avoid resort fee
- Self park
- Upgrade to golf-course view
- Continental Breakfast at Pinzimini
- Get a Peloton workout in at the WestinWORKOUT studio