The Hacienda At Warm Sands -
For sheer grace and hospitality,
the Hacienda goes to the top of any list!
It's one thing for a guest to proclaim that repeat visits to the Hacienda are like "returning home," but when that guest is a member of one of the world's royal families, the sentiment takes on entirely different meaning. In addition to their royal clientele, hoteliers Jim and Maurice host equally ecstatic guests from all over the world, all the time. "It's such a beautiful complex," explain guests Don and Ed while celebrating their 47th anniversary poolside. "It's very low-key, restful, and upscale, with a nice international clientele, and they treat you wonderfully here. They pamper you. It's a nice place to escape to."
It's no accident that the Hacienda at Warm Sands in Palm Springs keeps getting lauded by guests and media alike. Jim and Maurice, who have been together for 25 years, have traveled the world for decades, and Maurice has spent over 25 years in the hospitality industry, even working directly with Bill Marriott on a number of major strategic projects.
Out & About magazine has named the Hacienda as one of North America's Top 10 Guest Houses, and has once again awarded the hotel with its highest Five Palms ranking – with additional mention in the recent Valentine's issue as a favorite gay romantic getaway. "We try to stay at the forefront of the hospitality industry as far as amenities go," explains Jim. "Before a guest suggests a certain amenity or change, we want to think of it ourselves."
I was wowed by the spaciousness of the grounds and exceptionally large suites – some approaching 900 square feet – each with separate living rooms and bedrooms and all with French windows and plantation shutters facing one or the other of two pools situated in beautifully landscaped courtyards with spectacular views. Some suites have fireplaces and private patios, and all have TV, VCR, CD, and DVD capabilities in both the living room and the bedroom. Standard in each suite are two-man showers and brand new, fully-equipped kitchens of granite and mahogany, sleekly designed to look like elegant bars. "Every gay man needs a blender in Palm Springs," explains Jim with a smile, "and our guests don't have to pack it. They are assured that they have one here."
The Hacienda has one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the hotel industry – about one staff member for each of the 10 suites. And if you prefer something other than the down pillows that come standard on the king-sized beds, you may order from seven other selections off their pillow menu. The deluxe towels provided by the Hacienda are also those used by the Ritz Carlton. And there's an expanded continental breakfast daily, with biweekly evening social hours. But catered lunches? Each morning, guests order from a selection of seven gourmet sandwiches and three entrée salads for delivery to their suite or poolside later in the day. Pure heaven!
"Every time we come back here, there's something new," explains Stephen, who visits the Hacienda to relax by the pool and frolic every few months from France. "We meet lots of new friends. Sometimes we bump into people we met three or four months ago. It's like having family here. It's very peaceful, very relaxing, and very chic." For all the spectacular detail, visit http://www.thehacienda.com, call (800) 359-2007, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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iN Los Angeles
The In Frequent Traveler
By David Stein