Thinking of ditching the hurly-burly of Los Angeles for a weekend desert escape? Depending on when you leave, the journey by car can range anywhere from under two hours to interminable. So instead of cursing your way east along the 10 Freeway, it might be time to investigate helicopter service Blade (originally launched in New York), which recently paired up with La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in the Coachella Valley to offer round-trip chopper transportation between L.A. and the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area as well as two free nights at the resort.
Departing from LAX, Santa Monica Airport, or a heliport in downtown Los Angeles, Blade’s helicopters reduce the time of the trip to around 45 minutes. Once you’ve arrived in the valley, the helicopter will land at Palm Springs International, Thermal, or Bermuda, depending on your preference.
Guests will be shuttled to their destination aboard Airbus Helicopters EC-130s, a model of light helicopter favored for private and semi-private flights due to its spacious cabin that accommodates as many as six passengers. The helicopter can cruise as fast as nearly 150 mph and has plenty of baggage space for a two-night trip.
After arriving at La Quinta Resort & Club, guests will settle in to their complimentary Deluxe Casita—although an upgrade to a suite or villa can be arranged for an additional fee. The weekend will fly by as guests take advantage of the resort’s wealth of amenities, like its desert-inspired Spa La Quinta, its three restaurants, and its 41 pools scattered around the property—including an adults-only pool that serves cocktails. If golf is your thing, the resort offers five courses, including layouts designed by luminaries like Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman.
When your adventure is through, Blade will fly you back to L.A. as quickly as it got you there, letting you enjoy your remaining time before the workweek begins anew. Round-trip pricing for two, which includes the two-nights in a Deluxe Casita, begins from $3,500.