>  Activities   >  A Palm Desert Getaway at the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage

A birthday weekend in Palm Desert

This trip was an impromptu getaway that we decided on the morning of and booked on the road. We originally were going to have friends in town for the weekend to help us celebrate Emma’s birthday, but they unfortunately had to cancel. So we had to act quickly. We were willing to travel for a maximum of 5 hrs, and we wanted warm weather with either a pool and/or beach. Being just 2 hours away, Palm Desert was an easy choice. We tossed a few outfits in a bag, and we were on our way!

Booking Our Stay

We booked our stay online through our American Express Platinum, which comes with some wonderful perks:

  • Room upgrade (if available at time of check-in)
  • Daily breakfast for two people (in this case they allowed us dining $70 credit per night)
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Noon check-in  when available
  • Complimentary wifi (this particular resort charges a $35 resort fee, which includes wifi, so they credited us $5 per night for the wifi), AND
  •  $100 resort credit

It doesn’t always work out through Amex travel. Sometimes the price of the hotel is higher than what you can find online, and you are not planning on using the above inclusions for whatever reason. In this case, the price was right, and our plans were simply to enjoy the resort.

Our Room

Looking forward to a long weekend of relaxation and swimming fun, the Ritz Carlton did not disappoint. The resort has an understated elegance with beautiful views of desert palm trees and the surrounding mountains. We were upgraded upon check in to a desert view room. The room was nicely appointed, with two queen-sized beds, a small refrigerator (where I could keep Tristan’s milk) and a patio. They provided a crib with some nice amenities for the kids, including children’s shampoo, body wash, and lotion.

It was very nice, and in most places where we spend our time adventuring about, the room would have been perfect for our family of five. However, we decided to call and see if they had a larger room available, since we planned on spending the majority of our stay at the resort. They were very accommodating , and upgraded us to a one-bedroom suite for a small fee. The suite was perfect, double the size of our first room, and having the extra room actually made our stay! It had a king-size bed, a living room area with a sofa bed, and two balconies that overlooked the pool. We were set!

The Food

We enjoyed breakfast at the State Fare Bar+Kitchen restaurant and, ate at the Air pool bar, and had room service quite a few times. The food was delicious, and they had a good selection on the kids’ menu. They also went out of their way to make Emma feel special, since they knew it was her birthday weekend. They sent cookies and milk our first night there, and brought beautifully decorated cupcakes up to the room on her actual birthday.

Resort Amenities

The resort has two pools, the main pool and an adult pool, which always helps me feel better to know that people have another option if my kids are acting up! The main pool is large, and while it doesn’t have any slides or water features, its perfect for some good old fashioned swimming and splashing. The pool staff puts out pool floats and noodles every morning, and they’re very attentive, making sure you want for nothing while enjoying your time pool-side.

Ritz Kids, the on-site kids club, is large and has a wide range of activities for children ages 5 and up. We even met their resident bearded dragon, Draco, who you can help feed every morning around 10am. We had a few hiccups with the Netflix and movies that you can order in the room, but the management handled everything very gracefully. They even sent up a s’mores kit for the kids to use by one of the many fire pits throughout the property.


All in all, it was a very nice stay at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. We got a little R&R, the kids played their little hearts out, and Emma had a fun birthday weekend. Thank you Ritz-Carlton for amazing hospitality.

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