Peachhead™ Approved Vacations: Palm Desert - Hyatt Grand Champions
Palm Desert - in July? Yes, Absolutely.
July 2007 -- I visited the Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells (Palm Desert area) with my girls and we had a truly awesome time. The Hyatt Grand Champions is extremely family friendly, I am happy to report, and they certainly are efficient. As soon as we began checking in, the bell captain had quickly commandeered our luggage, and had it waiting for us in our room by the time we opened the door. Very nicely done.
The room itself was really, quite nice -- just right for me and my daughters. All of the Hyatt's quarters have a separate living room with a fold out couch, and you have the option of getting either a king size bed or 2 double beds. Warning: the double beds are very small (a little bigger than a twin) so if there are two of you, get the king bed and let the kids sleep on the fold out couch. There are a number of different variations of rooms including suites with living rooms separated by doors, rooms on the Regency Club Level which includes use of the Regency Club (breakfast in the morning...bagels & lox, english muffins, fruit, pastries, cereal, etc), light snacks in the afternoon (pretzels, cookies, drinks) and Hor D'oeuvres for the evening (potstickers, wontons, bread and cheese, vegetables and more). If you really want to splurge, there are 1 and 2 bedroom villas that are amazing. They can be compared to private homes with a private backyard and butler service. Happily, I was able to get wireless internet in the room on my laptop so I was never very far from my Peachheaders, which is always important to me. So, even though you may be on vacation, you can still easily squeeze in a little work, if you absolutely must! The Hyatt definitely has the guests' needs in mind. They also provide a nightly turndown service so they can set up the fold out couch for you -- again, one more way the Hyatt insures that you feel cared for while there.
After checking in, we quickly headed out to the pool (or should I say pools). There are 7 pools, one that is colder than the others, one pool with a volley ball net, one with a slide for kids, a wading pool for the little ones, and even an adults-only pool. There is also an area where cool water shoots out from the ground that the kids loved running through. The pool area even has bicycles which are free for the guests to ride. Once again, another way that the Hyatt caters to their clientele. There are small bikes as well as larger bikes (no tricycles or bikes with training wheels). The hotel also has a playground for the kids as well as billiards, foosball and other outdoor games you can play. You definitely won't get bored for lack of something to do! Tip: Bring watershoes for the kids, the ground can get pretty hot.
The Hyatt spa and fitness room are wonderful. The fitness room has all new, state of the art equipment and individual TV's on each cardio machine. There is a separate fitness room for classes. If you take a class,be sure to notice the ceiling: it is pretty cool...geometrically designed. One of the nice things about this hotel is that the fitness room and use of the spa facilities are included in your stay. Even if you are not getting a treatment, you can still enjoy the steam/sauna and other amenities the spa has to offer. Now that's really going the extra mile to make your guests happy. As a frequent traveler, I really appreciated the fact that this hotel wasn't concerned with "nickel and diming" their guests. The showers in the spa are nice and large, with plush towels stored in each individual shower. They have refresher drinks, cold wash clothes, and they even have cucumbers to put on your eyes. I enjoyed a hot stone massage that was so wonderful I was still floating from it the next day. There is also a medi spa next to the spa where you can get treatments done.
My kids went to Camp Hyatt and absolutely loved it, so much so in fact, that when I went to pick them up, they were not ready to leave, so I had to come back later for them. You can't beat that for an endorsement!
The lounge was very nice to go to at night....and of course, you know me, I had to stop in for my chocolate raspberry martini. The bartender also introduced me to a yummy, new drink I'd never had before...a German Chocolate Martini. Wonderful!! I thoroughly enjoyed drinking my martinis while listening to the lounge singer and watching Wimbeldon on TV.
The Hyatt has a special kids menu in their restaurant with kid favorites including hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and quesadillas -- all for a reasonable fee (I believe it was $5.50). You can also have these items delivered to your room or you can pick up. I called them and had them deliver it to the pool but I don't know if this is something they normally do (one day they offered to do it for me, the next day they said they don't deliver to the pool).
In regards to parking, you can self park for free or valet park overnight for $22.00.
There are a variety of fun things to do while you're in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area. On Thursday nights Palm Springs has a terrific street fair. Vendors set up booths, and there is live entertainment as well as donkey/pony rides for the kids. There is a Children's Discovery Museum which my girls can spend hours playing in. I also like the Chuck E Cheese in Palm Desert, it is very clean and the kids love it there. You can just get tokens and not order pizza if you prefer to have a healthier meal. There is also Knotts Soak City, Boomers, Imax Theatre, Living Desert and other fun places nearby to take your kids for entertainment.
The Hyatt Grand Champions resort is truly exceptional. The rooms are fantastic (great for families), the staff is incredibly friendly, the fitness room is inspirational, the spa is heavenly, and the Regency Club makes your vacation all that more enjoyable. And... don't forget to try those German Chocolate Martini's !!