Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Indian Wells, CA 92210
ith the weather turning cooler, heading to the desert for a weekend becomes a more and more appealing idea with each passing day. Living near the coast, it’s easy to forget that the desert is not only close but can be equally as beautiful. Plus, the greater Palms Springs area has the added bonus of being an up-and-coming foodie destination. But part of the hassle of a weekend trip is the planning and deciding what to do. So, we’ve taken care of the planning for you – following this guide to a fantastic weekend getaway in Palm Springs.
The Drive Out
The earlier you can get on the road, of course, the better. The Palm Springs area is just two hours without traffic but can take three or more if you leave during rush hour. Best to hit the road before 3 p.m. or after 7 p.m.
After a drive out to the desert, check into the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa to leave the craziness of the world behind. Pulling to this idyllic hotel nestled up amongst the mountains, you will instantly feel your stress melt away. Once you’ve checked in, if it’s still light, head outside: the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa is best experienced through the many impeccably landscaped open spaces: a rose garden, kitchen gardens, and citrus groves. The kitchen gardens include a variety of vegetables and herbs including, jalapeños, pumpkins, kumquats, and avocados, all of which are featured prominently throughout the menus at their on-site restaurants. For fun, there are lawn games, including a bocce ball court, and beautiful pools with cabanas. It’s the perfect place to relax with a good book and enjoy the warm weather, play a game, or enjoy a swim.
If you arrive at night, head to the Tavern for drinks and then on to the Citrus and Palm for dinner. Tavern, adjacent to the restaurant, has a relaxing outdoor atmosphere with a fire pit and is a chic indoor space. They serve fantastic cocktails that use ingredients gathered from Miramonte’s on-site herb gardens.
For dinner at the Citrus and Palm, Chef Paul Hancock uses not only the herbs and vegetables grown on site but all local produce. Based on his relationships cultivated with local farmers, Chef Paul creates menus that highlight the season and what is fresh from the fields.
The best time to head out hiking is at first light to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, as well as the early morning light. The sunlight hits the mountains in golden tones, and this challenging hike will take you up the hillside to spectacular views. It’s even possible in this area to see bighorn sheep. Be sure to pack plenty of water and food, as this trail will take you well off the main roads. A great go-to hiking food is Navitas Organics Power Snacks. Sold at Whole Foods, these bite-size bits of superfood goodness. They come in several flavors but recommended are the Citrus Chia and Coffee Cacao. They have the texture of a chewy brownie with the energy to keep you going through any trek and are kid approved! They also have the bonus of not melting in high temperatures – something that turns any trail mix with chocolate into a gooey mess around midday or after sitting in a hot car.
It’s over eight miles total with lots of it being uphill, so if you are looking for an easier, shorter alternative, starting at the opposite end of the parking lot from the Art Smith Trail is Shey’s Trail and the Canyon Trail. They are less clearly marked with signage but by following the footprints and easily seen path, these trails take you more through the canyons rather than up the hills. The Canyon Trail can be done in less than an hour at a leisurely pace.
After your hike, rather than heading to a chain coffee shop you have at home, head to Indian Wells Coffee, a spot that’s pretty popular with the locals. It’s the perfect place to stop as it is also en route back to Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa from the Art Smith Trail. Try a lavender honey latte with almond milk – it has a nice blend of lavender with just a touch of sweetness. They also serve a variety of delectable looking pastries that are house-made, include several gluten-free options. In the mood for something cooler? Their nitro coffee cold brew also gets stellar reviews.
In addition to the beautiful grounds full of bougainvillea and flowers, be sure to book yourself into an appointment at the Well Spa for the afternoon to relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you bring a swimsuit and a book or magazine for after your treatment. They have quiet areas outside to rest, complete with saltwater pools and waterfalls as well as cabanas with comfy sofas and chairs. You can even have food and beverages delivered here for a truly pampered afternoon. Try the date shake for a perfect post-treatment drink. As are many of the food items available, the dates are sourced locally in the Coachella Valley. To make this drink, they add the dates to vanilla ice cream and then add Myers Rum. For a non-alcoholic version, ask for the drink to be made with coconut water instead of rum.
Reservations are necessary at Johanne’s in Palm Springs, and once you eat here, you will quickly see why. Chef Johannes Bacher is an award-winning Austrian born chef who has created an eclectic menu featuring many Austrian and Asian items. If that seems like an unusual combination, it’s not – rather than having a menu of just one style of cuisine, Johanne’s focuses on churning out great food, regardless of its pedigree. Standout items include, as expected, cheese spaetzle, schnitzel prepared with a variety of different sauces as well as a vegetarian dish of seared polenta over vegetables. And save room for the dessert – Johanne’s is known for their apple strudel served with a house-made vanilla sauce.
Sleep in late and enjoy breakfast at the Citrus and Palm, or room service with standout items like the Pumpkin Seed Crusted French Toast or any of their French-style (cooking the eggs lightly and folding the toppings within) omelet. After your breakfast, take perhaps one last dip in the pool before setting off. And if you still aren’t ready to re-enter reality with a drive home just yet, head over to one of the many golf courses for a round or make a stop at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets or Cabazon Outlets (which are actually on the way back to Los Angeles). Even if you head straight back, you know that the desert is always here, waiting for your to return.