Monday, January 21, 2013

Hotel Review: Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage

My family's stay at the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs area) this past December was a much needed but all too short break from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Originally planned for August our trip to Palm Springs was postponed for our much beloved cat. More details on the postponement are in the flight review for the trip.

So while we couldn't enjoy scorching 45 deg C weather as we would have in August we definitely weren't going to complain about the 27 deg C temperatures that were forecast! Seeing that we were supposed to arrive into Palm Springs at 12:30 I had emailed the manager at the resort about the possibility of early check in. A prompt reply from Ross, the GM said that one of our adjoining rooms would be ready. Two adjoining rooms?? I was confused as I had booked a 2 queen room with pool view on a AAA rate that provided a $75 credit. It was the best priced option after checking the various stay 2 get 3rd night free etc. options.  A reply to Ross' email and his quick response back had the answer for me: we were upgraded to a Presidential Suite with an adjoining 2 queen room. I assume this was for a couple of reasons, the first week of December is very slow and my good business relationship with Starwood hotels.

After our late arrival into Palm Springs we arrived at the Mission Hills Resort & Spa a few minutes before the actual check in time in our black Jeep Grand Cherokee that we rented from Dollar. The drive up to the registration/valet is beautifully lined with Palm Trees making you feel like you are truly on vacation and somewhere special. The valets and agents are able to check you in right from their desk rather than having to walk to actual hotel lobby another 50 or so meters away. Check in was super quick as we were the only ones there and soon were following one of the valets in his golf cart to show us where to park and find our room. The reason for this is that the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa and adjoining Westin Mission Hills Resort Villas are a sprawling complex nearly a mile from end to end of two story adobe styled buildings. We pulled into our parking spot with quite a few other cars already in the parking lot. Unloaded our luggage into the golf cart, we all hopped in and off to our room we went.

The Presidential Suite we received was in building 12 and was on the ground level. Combined with the attached two queen room the space we had for the four of us was huge! All told between the two enjoying rooms, we had a king bed and two queens, three bathrooms and three patio areas. Two of the patio areas faced onto the Las Hadas pool and the third off of the King room looked onto one of the many ponds and fountains the resort has. After getting into our room my wife commented that the pool area was super busy and it looked like we would be in for a fight to get prime pool deck space for our stay. Now this was a Saturday and lucky for us it must have been a Weekend crowd only as the resort was dead from Sunday to Wednesday. At times it felt like we actually had the place to ourselves!

Here are some of our pictures of the Presidential Suite and the resort itself, these do a better job of describing our great stay at the Westin Mission Hills than I could writing about it:
Living/Dining Room

Living/Dining Room

View from one of the patios

Living Room

Las Brisas Pool

My youngest enjoying the Las Brisas water slide

My oldest enjoying the Las Brisas water slide

View of the golf course attached to the property

Enjoying the water slide at the Westin MHR Villas Pool

Enjoying the water slide at the Westin MHR Villas Pool

King Room that comes with the Presidential Suite

Back side of the pools, view from the hotel lobby

Gift from the Manager (Thanks Ross!)

One of the beautiful resort pathways

Wednesday came too quick and we found ourselves sad that we were checking out already. The combination of the great weather, the upgraded room and the nearly dead resort made it extremely tough to leave. Even if we just received the original room we booked I think we would have still felt the same way. Overall the resort has a good feel, the staff were great and we fully enjoyed our stay. Would I return here? Probably, although we did talk about trying out some other resorts in the Palm Spring area next time we head down so that we can compare. Or it may just end up like Maui, where our last four trips have us always staying at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.

If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that my last Westin stay in Toronto earned double Starpoints with the Better by the Night promotion and should have kicked off the “A World of Choice” Aeroplan bonus for Starwood stays. After completing this stay at the Westin MHR I received the Better by the Night Triple Starpoints which posted within a week and the 5,000 bonus Aeroplan miles a few weeks later for meeting the Aeroplan/SPG promotion requirement. I would have to say that my points and miles return were excellent on this stay!

The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa
SPG Category: 4

Points required for a free night 10,000 Starpoints

Cash+Points Requirement: 4,000 Starpoints + $60 per night (5,000 + $75 as of March 5, 2013)

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