THE POOLS AT THE MISSION HILLS WESTIN, RANCHO MIRAGE , CALIFORNIA
There are 3 pools at the Westin Mission Hills. The main, central pool is big and clover-like and sits in the middle of the property, overlooking the golf course. This is where all the cabanas are; there’s a volleyball net and a bar/grill serving up lunch and drinks behind a misting system and plenty of palm trees standing sentinel. It’s pretty much what you would expect of a Palm Springs area pool.
The waterslide is set into a nice rocky area that reminded me of Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland, only hotter. Behind it are ponds with ducks and water features and fountains, so that even though you’re in the middle of the desert, the sounds of soft trickling water are never far away. And sometimes the ducks even stray into the pool for a quick cool-down.
I really liked the hidden-away hot tub area, tucked into the rocks, though it was much too hot to get in it during the day.
The second pool is much smaller, but still has it’s own bar and grill and plenty of chaise lounges, even a couple of cabanas for rent. If you’re staying in one of the units further from the center of the property, it’s not a bad option. I was there off-season (which means super hot) and had the main pool not been right near my room, I would have chosen proximity over size in a hot second. Pun intended.
And since the main pool is where all kinds of kid-friendly activities take place, including the waterslide, ping pong tables, and a general lively atmosphere, I’m guessing the second pool is a lot quieter.
If you really want to get away from the kids, the third option is an adults-only pool. It’s small and simple (with it’s own little hot tub) but it does the trick. Especially if the trick is finding some way to cool down when it’s 110° in the shade and the sun is beating down on you like you’re a superhero and its rays are your own personal kryptonite, penetrating your being, neutralizing your superpowers and rendering you completely listless, virtually comatose, unable to move or do anything but lay about sleepily. Or read magazines by the pool.
Off season is definitely mellow—a smattering of couples and 3 or 4 families splashing about on Saturday morning. The nicest part of the visit came around 7pm on Friday night. We were hanging out in the pool cooling off, when the sun slipped quietly behind the mountain. There was still plenty of daylight but suddenly the vibe was lighter, more festive. It was like the boss had left the company Christmas party, but the tab was still open.
And since the last time I visited a Westin, I was all about the architecture, I can’t help but and share a photo of the the entryway into the resort from the valet. The repeating archways are tall and dramatic and set the perfect pace for the desert—expansive, gradual, shady. Shade was nice. Did I mention it was hot?
For more Palm Springs area pool reviews, click here.
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