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Inn at Death Valley Hotel Review: A Desert Oasis

Situated in the middle of Death Valley National Park 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.

Two hours from Las Vegas and four from Los Angeles, a trip to The Inn at Death Valley 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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Pool at the Inn at Death Valley
Pool at the Inn at Death Valley

Visiting Death Valley: A Perfect Day at an Oasis

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.

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.

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. 

Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park
Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park

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.

Save Big on Your Trip to Death Valley

Check out the best Tours & Day Trips to Death Valley

Read Reviews of the Best Hotels in Death Valley on TripAdvisor 

A Perfect Day in Death Valley

A perfect day begins waking up at the luxurious Inn at Death Valley.

hotel room in 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.

Sunrise at Death Valley
Sunrise at Death Valley

from the stone patio outside our room.

Our Patio Overlooking Death Valley
Our Patio Overlooking Death Valley

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.

Death Valley Tennis Court at the Inn
Death Valley Tennis Court at the Inn

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.

breakfast at hotel in death valley

The expansive view from the restaurant includes miles and miles of salt flats that made the Borax 20 Mule Team famous.

death Valley wagon train

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.

Water and Palms below the Inn Death Valley
Water and Palms below the Inn

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.

pool at hotel in Death Valley

Classy Casitas

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.

Death Valley California hotel

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.

Pool at hotel in Death Valley

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.  

Last Kind Words Saloon in Death Valley
Last Kind Words Saloon

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.

Pool at the Inn at Death Valley
Pool at the Inn at Death Valley

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. 

Movie Poster
Movie Poster

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! 
Golf at the Furnace Creek Golf Course
Golf at the Furnace Creek Golf Course

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.

Oasis Lounge at The Inn in Death Valley
Oasis Lounge at The Inn

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. 

Death Valley, California
Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese

Wrapping Up A Perfect Day

At the end of the day, we saw Sunsets and Stars. The sunset here is a spectacular, psychedelic sunset.

Death Valley 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.

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Visiting Death Valley

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