Late August 2016, we went to the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage. Every summer, Omni hotels have deals (usually not directly advertised, you have to do some digging!) where the rooms are $149/night (weekends included) so we decided to take advantage of it. Just go to their site, select your travel dates and choose the stay and splash rate. Easy! To compare, rooms are usually around $400/night, so this was a great deal and much cheaper than the other hotels in the area, which don’t have water parks. We stayed Friday-Sunday and had a blast!
Our room was in building 10, which in my opinion is the best building there is. We were a short walk to the lobby/restaurant for breakfast, but right outside our door was the entrance to the pool and water park. There were several buildings in the back, and those people were taking a golf cart every time they wanted to get somewhere. I highly recommend asking for building 10, and specifically room 1019. It was an awesome location! The room was your typical hotel room, nothing spectacular. But we barely spent any time in the room with all the activities, so it was fine for us.
The hit of the hotel is of course the water park. Keep in mind that to access it, you need a wrist band (and key to unlock the gate). During our entire stay, an employee was by the entrance checking to make sure everyone had their bands. If you lose yours, it costs $50 to replace it. You get a different color band for each day of your stay.
The slide was a huge hit with Milana! Kids have to be 42 inches (she’s 43 inches so just made it!) to ride, no floatation devices (puddle jumpers, etc) are allowed, and no lap sitting. Those rules basically excluded 80% of the kids, so there were barely any lines! She loved going on the slides over and over again. At 4, she’s a better swimmer than me!
A video of Milana going down the slide can be seen here.
There was also a lazy river, which went around the entire water park area.
And of course, a pool which made her very happy!
The pool was open til 10pm, so we took advantage of some night swimming. It was still in the 90s after the sun went down, so it felt really nice!
On the far end of the water park is the beach area, popular for families with babies/toddlers. There is a sand area and a zero entry pool that goes up to 2 feet. Perfect for little ones to splash around! And, the entire sand area is fully shaded, so your kids won’t be in direct sun all day.
On the hotel grounds, there are several areas with kid activities. For some reason, these aren’t advertised well but a mom at the pool tipped me off so I went looking for them. There is a small arcade:
And next door is a room with all kinds of arts and crafts and games.
And every day starting at 5pm, they had an area where you can make s’mores. For $5, you get all the ingredients and sit around a fire pit making your creation. My little chocoholic loved this!
All over the hotel, they sell Dippin’ Dots. After seeing many kids with them, Milana of course had to have some.
For breakfast, we stayed at the hotel so that we can get to the pool faster. Not being an early riser, Milana would wake up around 10am every morning, which was already 3 hours later than the majority of the kids there so we were a little behind in getting to the pool. Blu ember restaurant has a breakfast buffet and kids under 5 are free, so it was the best choice for us. We had lunch by the pool, since she didn’t want to leave. The food was actually really good and well priced.
For dinner every evening, we went out. If you cross the street, there are a ton of restaurants to choose from. We went to Gioia Italian Bistro on Friday for dinner and it was so good, that we went back the next day! Don’t miss this authentic, Italian gem! We sat in the area overlooking the open kitchen, kind of like having our very own chef’s table without paying for the experience. Milana loved watching them cook. I shared the penne boscaiola with her, which had lots of peas, prosciutto, and mushrooms. She could eat peas by the bowl full, so this was one of her favorite meals. She ate more than half herself! Dave had the polpette & salsiccia, which was also very good.
The next day we had pizzas. After watching them make lots of them on Friday, we had to go back and try them!
If you live in SoCal, this is a great place for a short weekend getaway. If you can get a good deal that is! I wouldn’t pay their regular prices since there are so many other places I’d rather go, but it was definitely worth it for $149 a night.