5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

5 Reasons to Make a Trip to Renaissance Indian Wells Resort

By Erin

Located in the heart of the prestigious desert community of Indian Wells is the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa. 13 miles from Palm Springs and nestled at the foot of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains, makes for an easy getaway weekend for those in Southern California. For those outside that area, Palm Springs International Airport is a quick 16 miles away. I was invited to come and stay here for the weekend to check it out, share my thoughts and show you my favorite spots. I hope you enjoy this beautiful property as much as I did!

 

Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa

The Pools 

One of the biggest draws for me to want to stay at a hotel or resort has always been the pools! As soon as I saw what the pools here looked like at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa , I could not wait to get here. The resort boasts the largest hotel swimming pool complex in the desert region including three distinct pools, a pool bar, cabanas, a waterfall and hot tubs. A poolside sandy beach entrance is perfect for traveling families–It is a special favorite among families/children and beach lovers. An amazing pool cabana experience featuring flat-screen TV’s, sofas, loungers, ceiling fans, personal coolers and refreshments.

Our cabana for the day and refreshments. It was so relaxing to just sit by the pool and enjoy the beautiful day with family.

The pool is just as beautiful at night and perfect for some hot tub time!

Room with a View

Very spacious, modern, upscale guest rooms – among the largest and most comfortable in the area. The best part I think is, those VIEWS! How amazing is it to wake up in the morning or go out at night and see THIS view from your room???

The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. As you can tell by the views above, I especially loved our patio!

Star Suites, featuring specially commissioned celebrity artwork and retro decor inspired by legends of Hollywood including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Bing Crosby to name a few. Our room had some neat artwork in the bathroom on the wall.

The bathrooms were very spacious as well, more than one person can get ready at a time. All the amenities you could possible need are here.

The Spa

Spa Esmeralda, features both indoor and outdoor treatment and spa pool offerings, as well as a salon and fitness facilities. The spa is beautiful and the perfect place to get away to relax and enjoy a facial, massage, body scrub or wrap, waxing and nail care. I enjoyed a luxurious facial during my time here and enjoyed every second of it.

One of my favorite places at the spas was outdoors. Such a beautiful outdoor spa. Very private, quite and serene.

The Food

There are numerous food and beverage locations and dining experiences throughout the resort – including amazing sushi, SPC serving casual, modern Italian cuisine, and Cava – serving a broad menu of American and family favorites. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.

During my stay here we tried the seafood buffet that they serve at Cava on Friday nights. We also had breakfast here both mornings during our stay.

Just a few of the many options to enjoy at the seafood buffet. Everything is served up super fresh and was oh so delicious.

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Carmel by the Sea: a Foodie Paradise #LLBlogNotAConf

By Erin

*I traveled with a group of talented writers to Central California. We spent a few days in Carmel by the Sea, the Carmel Valley and Monterey for #LLBlogNotaConf.*

Carmel-by-the-Sea-LLBlogNotaConf

Taking a vacation up the Central Coast in California is one of my all time favorite destinations. Enjoying family vacations in this part of California has always been a favorite. So much so I have been there countless times again and again on my own with friends as an adult. When I heard that there was a trip being planned to head up this way with some of my favorite writers and fellow foodie friends for LLBlogNotAConf, I could not pass the opportunity up.

Carmel by the Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful little European-styled village, sitting above a picturesque white-sand beach that has inspired artists, sparked romances, and attracted celebrities for decades with its charm. One of the top-10 destinations in the U.S. year after year, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a place you will want to vacation at too. Everything is within walking distance from your adorable hotel or inn. Activities range from the performing arts and cultural activities to hundreds of Carmel shops, restaurants, wine tasting, art galleries, and so much more, with tons of other options nearby as well. Food is a huge part of traveling for me, so I will share some of my favorite spots with you here and in the surrounding areas nearby.

Right now the city is in the midst of their Centennial Celebration, with lots of events all year-long culminating in a special parade on October 29th. You can find a list of upcoming events here.

Now, on to the FOOD right? Here are some of my top picks for places to stop along your drive up to Carmel from Southern California and while you are in and around Carmel.

The Apple Farm

A childhood favorite of mine, I always have to stop at The Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo for breakfast on my way through the Central Coast cities. Not only is the food amazing, but so is the atmosphere. There are so many things to see, you will want to make sure to leave a little time to wander around a bit before or after your meal here.

Apple Farm Breakfast LLBlogNotAConf

Jocko’s Steak House

If you LOVE steak as much as I do, then you MUST stop here on either your way to or from Carmel (or both if possible!) Located in Nipomo, CA they serve some of the most delicious steak around for a very unbelievable price; $24 for the Small Spencer (ribeye) pictured below, which was more than I could eat by myself. There was so much food with dinner.  The steak was perfectly done, the pinquito beans were amazing, and the garlic bread was super garlicky.  It also comes with a baked potato, salad, a relish tray that has a bunch of pepperoncini and sweet cherry peppers, dessert and coffee.  Some of my favorite stuff, all included in one price. Such a crazy good deal right?

You don’t eat here for the ambience – that leaves much to be desired. It’s pretty plain and simple. You walk in to see a variety of animal heads plastered all over the walls and then walk into a very non-descript dining room. You come here for the food. It gets insanely busy here (since it’s that good) so it is best to make a reservation in advance if you know you will be coming up this way.

Jocko's Steak House

Wine Tasting

If you’re  looking for a little wine-tasting before your meal, or you want to spend a relaxing afternoon strolling around town while sipping on some wine, make sure to get yourself a Wine Tasting Passport (The passport costs $65 and is a $90 value)! Sip and savor some wine in one of the many super friendly and pet-friendly tasting rooms. With your Passport you get 9 tasting tickets, so you will get to sample a wide variety of wine from many different tasting rooms.

Wine-Tasting-Carmel-By-the-Sea

Carmel Belle

Once you have made it to Carmel and you’re ready to have an amazingly delicious lunch (or breakfast or dinner) then make your way over here! We joined our group here for lunch after doing a little bit of wine tasting, and it really hit the spot. From salads, soups, to sandwiches and comfort foods, you are sure to find something that will make your taste buds happy. I tried the Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with Tomato Bisque soup, both were delicious and very satisfying. Their soups are made by scratch daily. And dessert?  Carmel Belle has plenty of options to make your sweet tooth happy too. 🙂

Carmel-Belle-Mozzarella-Prosciutto-La-Quercia

Mozzarella and Prosciutto La Quercia Sandwich with vegetables on country toast.

Carmel-Belle-Tomato-Bisque-Soup

Scrumptious made from scratch Tomato Bisque Soup.

Carmel-Belle-Desserts-LLBlogNotaConf

An assortment of delectable desserts to choose from. I’m in heaven! 🙂

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Finding Dory at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! #FindingDoryEvent

Finding Dory at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

By Erin

*I was invited by Disney on a press trip for Finding Dory. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.*

findingdory56bb950502266

Last month myself and 24 other amazing writers went on an adventure of a lifetime with the quest of Finding Dory. This trip landed us in Monterey Bay, California at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were free to wander around as we wished to try to find her. Have you seen her? Finding Dory will be swimming into theaters everywhere on June 17th.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Finding Dory

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. For over 30 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has worked to protect ocean life for future generations by inspiring young and old with the beauty and wonder of the ocean. So come along with us and let’s take a tour of the aquarium and see if we can find Dory!

Sea Otters

Sea Otters-Finding-Dory-Monterey-Bay-Aquarium

The first thing that caught our eye after entering the aquarium were these adorable otters! These playful California sea otters make their home in a two-story exhibit that they share with coastal marine life. These gals are super fun to watch. Very playful, they were given toys to play with and chunks of ice that they would find creative ways to break apart to find some yummy treats to eat inside. I could have very easily stayed here all day watching these amazing animals, but we needed to find Dory!

Before moving on though, we had to check out the special delivery that had arrived just two days before. Outside, in front of the aquarium a wild sea otter had given birth to an adorable little pup on the rocks. Guests were all standing out on the overlook watching the mother and her baby. If you look closely, you can see her below on the left side, on the second rock sticking out. Yep, that little brown blob is her. Then you can also see a closer up shot I was able to get of her. She swam off into the ocean with her pup the same day we had to leave.  🙂

Baby-Sea-Otter-Monterey

Touch Pools

Rocky Shore Touch Pool

Next we made our way over to the Touch Pools! Here you can get up close and personal to Mr. Ray’s cousins, the bat rays, sea stars (like Peach!), and other friends of Nemo and Dory at this interactive exhibit. There is also a very cool Wave Crash gallery nearby here that pumps about 600 gallons of water and “crashes” every 30 seconds! The walk-through tunnel in the wave crash exhibit is one of the most popular family photo spots in the Aquarium.

Kelp Forest

Kelp-Forest-Fishes

Our next stop on our journey to find Dory, was to the magical kelp forest! This three-story exhibit is the first and largest living kelp forest community created at any aquarium. Pixar animators studied the water movement and play of light here at this very exhibit! How cool is that?

Kelp-Forest-Fish

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