Photos: Shapiro




Have you ever read “The Swimmer,” by John Cheever? It’s a short story about a middle-aged Long Islander who finishes a poolside cocktail and then embarks on a long-distance journey, barefoot and trunk-clad, swimming from backyard pool to backyard pool across his suburban community. He swims all day, attempting to cross the entire county via swimming pool, the story turning into a symbol of his entire life passing in a single chlorine-soaked afternoon.

Almost a hundred years old, LA QUINTA and it’s 41 pools scattered over 45 acres of Bougainvillea-drenched, Spanish-tile infused property on the eastern edge of the Coachella Valley (20 minutes past Palm Springs) always reminds me of that story.

Whenever I go, I have a fantasy of embarking on a day-long journey, swimming from pool to pool across the expansive and historic property. Adobe-style casitas are scattered about, intersected by lush landscaping, swimming pools, and plenty of archway-lined nooks and crannies. It’s styled like an old Spanish Hacienda, at the base of a mountain in the middle of the dessert.

Usually what I end up doing is spending most of my visit chilling out in or around whatever pool happens to be right outside—or a short walk from—my room. These are no-nonsense rectangular or otherwise ordinary shaped pools like you’d find in Cheever’s backyards. At least once during my visit though, especially if the kids are with me, we’ll spend a good chunk of the day at the main pool, where they have food and drink service, kids activities and a very laid back vacation vibe typical of a Palm Springs area resort.

Only at La Quinta have I found that at-home swim experience combined with the complete resort pool atmosphere. You can even rent rooms with private pools or hot tubs. As Cheever says: “…that he lived in a world so generously supplied with water seemed like a clemency, a beneficence.” Indeed.

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