Situated in the middle of Death Valley National Park, this is a true oasis in the desert with an ancient spring, groves of date trees and greenery surrounded by some of the driest and most desolate deserts in the country. Although all the technological amenities are here, it’s a perfect opportunity to unplug and absorb the amazing and surreal views and geography. Visiting Death Valley, whether for the infamous summer heat or the cooler winter temperatures, is a definite bucket list for many.
Two hours from Las Vegas and four from Los Angeles, a trip to Death Valley it is an ideal destination to escape and unwind over a long weekend or as a venue for an unforgettable destination wedding!
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No, you haven’t been transported to the gates of Hell. It’s probably not as hot there as it is in Death Valley National Park in the summer.
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This is the Land of the Superlatives!
As you enter this immense National Park, you are at about 2000′ elevation. Within an hour, you quickly descend to 200′ below sea level and you are surrounded by the vastness of the desert in every direction. But this isn’t just desolate sand. The Panamint Mountains to the west soar to over 6000′. From Dante’s View, there’s shimmering salt flats and borax as far as the eye can see in a wide, low valley, reminding us of the glory days of mining. Surprisingly, wildlife abounds, enabled by the mesquite tree lairs and the ancient spring water.
Off the beaten track, yet accessible, The Oasis at Death Valley offers two resorts and is a bucket-list-worthy experience. The Xanterra Travel Collections owns both the Inn at Death Valley and the Ranch at Death Valley and they call the whole area Oasis at Death Valley. It encompasses both hotels and they are operated as separate properties. They are located about a mile from each other. The Inn is upscale and a bit pricey. The Ranch is geared towards families and more rustic and economical.
A Perfect Day
A perfect day begins waking up at the luxurious Inn at Death Valley.
With a recent $100 Million Dollar revitalization, The Xanterra Travel Collection has breathed energy and life into these historic lodgings, expanding and upgrading not only the rooms and the property but the service and amenities.
Enjoy a couple of cups of coffee watching the mountains to the west turn pink.
from the stone patio outside our room.
If you enjoy tennis, head to the courts for an early game before the heat of the day intensifies. There are two beautiful courts to the south of the pool and fitness center. Tennis at night under lights is no longer an option here due to the International Dark Sky Park designation.
A gourmet breakfast at The Inn Dining Room includes date bread from the date groves surrounding the Inn. Other regional foods such as cactus and pomegranate punctuate the southwestern cuisine themed choices. A yummy start to the day.
The expansive view from the restaurant includes miles and miles of salt flats that made the Borax 20 Mule Team famous.
The Spring-fed Pool
A quick change from tennis wear to bathing suits and it’s time for a swim. As we walk through the tall palm trees from our room down to the pool, we hear melodic, bubbling streams next to the walking paths. Surprisingly, water is everywhere.
The spring-fed pool maintains a perfect 87° temperature year-round as it flows through and negates the need for chemical or chlorine. The overflow is used for irrigation. The minerals on the water allow for easy flotation. Can you hear me say,”Ahhhhh” as I drop into this spring water? All tension melts away.
Below the pool, the 22 new casitas are located beside a 60,000 sq.ft. grassy lawn. The perfect setting for a wedding, I think.
The epitome of privacy and luxury, each casita includes a wet bar, a separate bedroom with king or queen-size beds and a golf cart to navigate the grounds. Perfect for a honeymoon, babymoon or romantic getaway, I’m sure these will be fully booked as the word gets out.
Pamper Yourself With a Spa Treatment
The Spa area is part of the recent updating. There is a sauna and treatment rooms. After a swim, my idea of perfection today will include an Island Paradise Foot Wrap! Imagine the sweet aroma of nutrient rich pineapple juice as your feet soak. This treatment continues with a scrub, mud soak, and Mango-infused Marine Therapy balm wrap.
Lunch at the Ranch
Head down to the Ranch 1849 Buffet. Easy and quick with a make-your-own sandwich station, soup and salad stations, and assorted pizzas, there is plenty to choose from. The Town Square here, as part of the Renovations, includes the Ranch’s new signature dining and entertainment space.
Soup and salad works for me. After all, it is now 121° out and time to go cool off.
Back To The Inn
A cabana with couches next to the pool provides the shade for reading, soaking and relaxing. I’m set for the afternoon.
The Inn Pool Cafe caters to one’s hunger and thirst. In the early days, this Inn was a favorite hideaway for Hollywood stars, such as Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, Clark Gable. I’m working on channeling their energies today as I relax in my cabana.
If You’d Prefer To Be Active and More Adventurous
If your perfect afternoon would be a more active one, this National Park location offers something for everyone:
- There are trails for hiking are in every direction.
- Or, if you are into Rock Climbing, your options are numerous. There are some incredible natural wonders in the Park that are worth the effort to see.
- The roads through the park are mostly flat, so Bicycling is an easy and fun way to explore.
- Horseback Rides
- Jeep Tours also offer a less strenuous way to see the trails, sand flats, and surrounding mountains.
- And then, of course, there is Golf!
Is It Happy Hour Yet?
The Oasis Lounge is filled with western art, from original paintings to original bronze sculptures. It’s a busy place at for signature cocktails and a limited small plate menu in the afternoons and early evening.
Dinner at The Inn
There are over 500 date trees on the property that provide fruit for the restaurants.
Our dinner of Mahi Mahi and Lamb was gourmet fine dining.
The next phase of renovations will include a chef’s garden, expanding the date groves, and planting citrus and pomegranate trees so that even more of the ingredients will be available to the chefs.
The blue cheese stuffed dates are one of their signature dishes.
Wrapping Up A Perfect Day
At the end of the day, we saw Sunsets and Stars. The sunset here is a spectacular, psychedelic sunset.
Not long after the colors began to fade, the stars started coming out. Death Valley National Park is the largest Dark Sky Nation Park in the Country and you can see the Milky Way like never before.
Striking the perfect balance between the historic romance of a vintage hideaway and the pampering amenities you’d expect from a contemporary luxury resort, The Inn at Death Valley is something for your bucket list!
The best time to visit Death Valley
Death Valley has beautiful warm weather (highs in 60’s and 70’s) in the winter and the hottest of the hottest in the summer. We did visit in the summer. It was 121°. Best time for visiting Death Valley would depend on what you are seeking-“the check it off the bucket list” experience of the brutal heat or pleasant winter temps. It’s much easier to do the exploring ,hiking, climbing, and biking in the cooler months.
Death Valley Facts
- Death Valley is the Driest Place in North America: Dry, dry desert, mountains and salt flats comprise most of the Park with an annual rainfall of 2.4 inches.
- Death Valley is the Hottest Place in North America: Temperatures have climbed to 134° in the summer. The afternoon we were there in June, it was 121°. Last July, records were broken and this summer may exceed that.
- Lowest Golf Course in the World is in Death Valley: If you are aching to golf at 214 ft. below sea level, the 18 hole Furnace Creek Golf Course is for you!
- Biggest National Park in the continental US: An International Biosphere Reserve, Death Valley National Park is 3.3 Million Acres, the largest National Park in the continental US.Pin for Later!
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This baby boomer hippie chick was bitten by the travel bug decades ago and has never recovered. Joeann has adventured through over 30 countries and 4 continents and can often be found on a warm island beach. Sharing tips and experiences to inspire others to live their dreams fills her with joy. Subscribe to her adventures at www.JoeannsView.com