Sneak Peek: The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, California

California’s Rancho Mirage welcomes the Ritz-Carlton back to Frank Sinatra Drive.

Why Go: This month, the Ritz-Carlton finally returns to the Palm Springs area. The project to revamp a 23-acre bluff-top site that opened in 1988 as a Ritz-Carlton before later changing hands has been, shall we say, ongoing. The resort closed completely in 2006 with plans to reopen the following year. But 2007 came and went, the financial backer Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, and the future of the project became uncertain. But that is now in the past. Today, the modern 244-room resort is managed to Ritz-Carlton’s five-star standards with world-class restaurants and a sprawling destination spa. 

What to Expect: Ritz-Carlton rooms (from $249), of course, with stylish hotel-grade furnishings and subtle desert references. Select first-floor rooms include a fire pit on the terrace. Plunge pools and a main swimming pool with VIP cabanas fill out the grounds. The more casual of the two restaurants is called State Fare Bar and Kitchen, for its focus on local California food, and it has a large exhibition kitchen. The Edge, named for its bluff-side location, will open this fall with a full menu of steak, seafood, and fine wine. Golfing, playing tennis, hiking, biking, stargazing, shopping, and more are among the local activities that have sustained the resort town for so many years.

How to Get There: A two-hour drive from Los Angeles or San Diego; the Palm Springs airport is 12 minutes by car. (760.321.8282, www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage)

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