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One of the most renowned hotels in the Hilton portfolio is the La Quinta Resort and Club. The hotel was opened in 1929 and has grown substantially since then. It is now a Curio Collection hotel (one of Hilton’s brands of hotels) and remains one of the premier hotels in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area. I have stayed there twice and was more than pleased with both of my stays. Hotel reviews aren’t always appealing to read. I believe that his hotel deserves the attention and I hope that you enjoy reading this review of La Quinta as much as I enjoyed staying there.
About the La Quinta Resort & Club
The La Quinta Resort is located roughly 20 miles southeast of Palm Springs, at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. It originally only had a handful of adobe bungalows built amongst groves of fruit trees. Since then, it has expanded to nearly 800 rooms (including the original bungalows), over 40 swimming pools, 50+ hot tubs, a 23,000 square foot spa, over 20 tennis courts, 7 restaurants, and 5 golf courses (though not all five are adjacent to the property).
Despite the massive growth, the resort doesn’t seem so massive and is easily walkable.
La Quinta Resort and Club, A
Waldorf Astoria Curio Collection Hotel
When it was first added to the Hilton brand of hotels, it was a Waldorf Astoria which is one of Hilton’s most luxurious brands. Somewhat unfortunately, in late 2021, it changed to a Curio Collection property. For most people that doesn’t make a difference. However, if you have Gold or Diamond status, it’s a fairly massive devaluation of the benefits you’d receive. Historically, Hilton Honors Gold & Diamond members got free continental breakfast. This is still the case for locations outside of the United States.
In 2020, Hilton changed the benefit to a food and beverage credit for locations within the United States, and the amount varies based on what variety of Hilton you’re staying at. At Waldorf Astoria’s it is $25 per person per day, but at Curio Collections, it is only $10. At the La Quinta Resort, it didn’t seem like restaurants are charging less than they were before, so the difference in daily credit is quite large.
Amenities at the La Quinta Resort & Spa
The resort is absolutely chock full of amenities. There isn’t a ton of variety, as there is at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya, but they are mostly to try to make you relax. When you check in, you’ll also receive a list of activities and events going on during your stay.
There is a plethora of pools and hot tubs. Only a couple of them is large enough for lap swimming. The other smaller pools are comfortable, relaxing, and usually quiet. If one is not to your liking, another one is close by.
Near the spa are the resort’s 20+ tennis courts. They are all first come first serve – no pun intended – at least as far as I was able to tell. I’m sure that there may be a wait for one when it is super busy, but I never saw anyone waiting during my two stays.
PGA West Golf Courses
There are also 5 golf courses associated with the La Quinta Resort. In fact, it is golf that partially contributed to La Quinta’s lofty recognition. The courses are all part of PGA West, and a few of them have held professional golf tournaments. Two of them, the Dunes and Mountain courses, are directly adjacent to the resort. There is a free shuttle to take you to the other courses if you need it. Additionally, if you’re staying at the hotel, you’ll be able to make tee times one year out and they offer complimentary bag storage.
Restaurants at the La Quinta Resort & Club
As I mentioned above, there are about half a dozen restaurants. I had a drink after dinner and breakfast at the Adobe Grill on my first stay. I ordered a Cadillac margarita and was surprised at the size. It was quite large. I’m glad it came with chips and delicious salsa.
The breakfast was very good too. It was at a time when Gold & Diamond members still got a breakfast. There isn’t a restaurant that makes a continental breakfast so a decent credit for breakfast was given instead. I got the huevos rancheros. Even though it wasn’t a traditional huevos rancheros, I enjoyed it a lot!
On my second stay, I ate dinner at Morgan’s in the Desert. It’s the resort’s fine dining steakhouse restaurant. I had a $250 resort credit that comes with the AmEx Hilton Aspire card, so the meal for two was almost free. The curry cauliflower and dessert were very good! Sadly I don’t recall what the desert was.
There are some composed dishes that come with an entree and a side or two. The menu changes on occasion, and none of the composed dishes appealed to me. I went my own way and ordered a filet with the sides that I wanted. It was underwhelming, but I was also not feeling completely well that night. In hindsight, I should have ordered one of the composed dishes. There’s always next time!
ADA King Room at La Quinta Resort
The first time I stayed at the La Quinta Resort was a couple of days after Christmas in 2019. It was very busy and nearly fully booked. As such, there was no chance of an upgrade which I don’t expect as it is. I always tell people to book the room they want. If I didn’t want a standard room, I wouldn’t have booked it. However, they did give me an accessible king room because “it’s bigger”. I don’t need an accessible room and would prefer those rooms to be available to those who need one.
The standard room, which is what my room is based on, is pretty standard. As you walk in, there’s a table and chairs to the side and the bed further in. The bathroom and closet are both located in the “back” of the room. There’s also a fireplace that faces the bed. I’m not positive that fireplaces are standard, but they may be.
Everything was satisfactory and comfortable. My only complaint was that it didn’t feel like the heater was working well. The desert can get cold at night, particularly during the winter. A maintenance person came out and checked it, but said it was working properly. The room didn’t feel like it was getting warmer. Good thing there are extra blankets in the closet!
The bathroom was nice as well. Shoers in hotels usually don’t have enough pressure and/or hard to get the temperature right. I didn’t have any issues with this shower, and I must say, I particularly enjoyed the Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries (one of the remnants of a Waldorf Astoria)!
Starlight Casita at La Quinta Resort & Club
My second stay was at the same time of year in 2021. It was far less busy this time. At check-in, I asked to be upgraded to a starlight casita. A few things to mention about this… I have Diamond status and have stayed there previously. I knew that at least one Starlight Casita was available and felt like it would be a reasonable upgrade. As I wrote regarding the $20 trick, you should know what’s available and what is realistic for what you want. I have found that getting an upgrade is easier when you ask for a specific room type if you have to ask. I wasn’t too surprised when the front desk worker had no problems upgrading me.
The Starlight Casita isn’t a lot different than the standard room, but there are some big differences. The Starlight Casita has a large private patio with a couch, seating area, and a fireplace. However, I found that the fireplace is more for show than function. I thought it would be nice to sit outside after dinner, but it was cold and the fireplace didn’t help at all. It really didn’t put out any heat! It has a pane of glass in front of it – likely for liability reasons. <insert sad face here>
The other big difference is the room layout. As soon as you walk in from the patio, you’re faced with the coffee maker and refrigerator area. To the right is the bed with the same sitting area and couch. The closet and bathroom are to the left. While it is larger than the standard room, it’s still somewhat small. It would be a tight fit with more than two people staying in it. The hotel does allow four people to stay in one room because some have two queen beds instead of a kind. Just be forewarned that you might not want to spend more time in the room than is necessary.
Best Way to Stay at the La Quinta Resort
Obviously, you can pay the nightly rate to stay at the La Quinta, but you don’t have to!
Hilton Free Night Certificate
I used my free night certificate that comes with the AmEx Hilton Aspire card. The certificate can be used at nearly any Hilton on a weekend night if there is a standard room available. The annual fee on the card is $450, but it comes with so many benefits that I don’t bat an eyelash when I have to pay it. In addition to the free night certificate, it gives you Diamond staus (Hilton’s top tier status), an annual $250 resort credit, and much much more. Between the certificate and the resort fee, I have been able to get much A LOT than $450 in value from it.
Using Points and/or Cash
Of course, points or cash is always an option. However, cash rates at La Quinta are usually pretty high. A one-night stay on a random midweek night this month is over $300 plus tax and resort fee, etc. Standard rooms are 80,000 Hilton Honors points. This comes out to roughly 0.5 cents per point which is a fairly decent redemption for Hilton points. The current sign up bonus for the Aspire card is 150,000 points after spending $4,000 for a limited time (it can go down any day). It earns a minimum of 3 points per dollar, so you would have enough points for a two night stay, three nights if you include the free night certificate!
I have always enjoyed my stays at the La Quinta Resort. I have felt like I wanted to stay longer near the end of each of my stays. It’s a bit unfortunate that it isn’t a Waldorf Astoria anymore. Maybe it will change back if/when they do some updates to the rooms. Even so, it remains one of my favorite Hilton hotels in California, and one of the best uses for the free night certificate. There are only a handful of resorts in the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area that I recommend. The La Quinta is almost always near the top of my list. Go there, enjoy it, and relax. You’ll be glad you did!