Need a hotel base camp for your Palm Springs golf vacation? Try Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites
Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites can provide a comfortable, central location for golfers who don't want to spend a fortune when playing golf on Palm Springs-area golf courses such as Indian Wells Golf Resort and PGA West's Stadium Course.
LA QUINTA, Calif. - Here's what I like in a hotel: a comfortable bed, work station, free wireless Internet that actually works, a decent TV, cleanliness and, above all, quiet. Throw in a free full breakfast, a fitness center, hot tub and pool, maybe a decent dinner and a manager's happy hour, and you've really got my attention.
The Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites in La Quinta, Calif., come through on most accounts (Embassy Suites does charge for Internet in the room). Both are fairly new properties, so they're in great shape, and they offer amenities beyond your basic hotel. While they're not priced like the Motel 6 - we are talking about the playground of the rich and famous, after all - they are also priced well below some of the pricier resorts in the area. Plus, you don't have to pay a resort fee, and you can park right out in front.
And while neither one of these Hilton-affiliated properties have golf courses on property, they both offer golf vacation packages.
"We've evolved into the golfers' hotel in the desert," said Craig Stahl, sales manager for Homewood Suites La Quinta. "There are 30 golf courses within 15 minutes of us."
For example, Homewood Suites can set you up with such noted venues as Indian Wells Golf Resort or the PGA West Stadium Course. Or you can book your own golf and just use Homewood Suites or Embassy Suites as a place to hang your hat for a few days.
Good value but not cheap
Make no mistake, however: During the peak season, which runs the first few months after the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January, both of these properties aren't cheap. Expect to spend a couple hundred bucks or more per night, but it's still thrifty, all things being relative. If you wait later in the summer, though, or during the Christmas holidays, you can expect to get some pretty good deals.
Plus, breakfast is also included, and in both cases, it's more than cold cereal, muffins and Danishes.
At Embassy Suites, for example, you can order an omelet just the way you want it or choose from other styles of eggs, pancakes, waffles or continental items. The same holds true for Homewood Suites, and both have receptions during the early evening hours, offering beer, soft drinks and mixed drinks.
Homewood Suites takes it one step further, tantalizing guests with a full dinner each night, and it's surprisingly good. On one evening it was authentic fettuccini Alfredo with crisp, steamed vegetables and a fresh salad, along with some warm homemade cookies for dessert, representing significant savings from eating out. (Embassy Suites comes through with the cookies, too, by the way.)
At the Embassy Suites, all the rooms open up to the brand's trademark atrium in the center of the building. Each suite has a sofa sleeper in the living room, so two golfers could easily share without having to listen to the other one snore. Suites also come with a refrigerator and microwave, as do the 179 suites at the Homewood Suites, which also have a stove and full-size fridge.
What makes the Embassy Suites stand apart not only from other hotels in its class but other Embassy Suites is its Spa Hibiscus. You can get a therapeutic massage from one of the property's Hawaiian-themed spa's six treatment rooms, or take in a private steam therapy or whirlpool experience.
The hotel, which also features 10,000 square feet of meeting space, is convenient to local shopping and restaurants, including actor Clint Eastwood's Hog's Breath Inn in La Quinta.
Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites: The verdict
I've never been one for valet parking or bellman service (although both do have their place). Just give me a clean, comfortable room where I can get some sleep, a good breakfast and a good location, and I'm usually pretty happy.
Both of these facilities did that and more. Being a light sleeper, it's also imperative that the rooms are fairly insulated. I've stayed at some four-star hotels where you could hear your neighbors coming and going all night. This wasn't the case at either of these hotels.
Embassy Suites is among the most consistent brand of hotels in the business, and the La Quinta location certainly lived up to that.
The Homewood Suites was the real surprise. Open less than two years, this hotel looks brand new, and the manager and staff here are as friendly and doting as you would find anywhere. They're just not over the top, and that's a refreshing change.
February 4, 2009