The Inn at Death Valley: The Great (L.A.) Escape
Pampering and privacy beckon in the desert solitude of this lavish retreat
For tourists looking to experience another side of California, as well as harried Hollywood types and Silicon Beach tech execs trying to unplug for a few days, the Oasis at Death Valley offers a hassle-free escape from L.A. — just an easy half-day road trip away.For all of the unmistakable appeal of Los Angeles — great restaurants, thriving cultural scene, and sun-kissed beaches — the country’s second largest city can also wear down both visitors and residents alike with its infamous traffic and frequently frenetic pace.But for tourists looking to experience another side of California, as well as harried Hollywood types and Silicon Beach tech execs trying to unplug for a few days, the Oasis at Death Valley offers a hassle-free escape from L.A. — just an easy half-day road trip away.The drive is a big part of the appeal. Whether you take State Highway 14 or Interstate 15, there’s a moment when the big city finally surrenders to the big empty of the California desert. The palm trees of L.A. give way to the Joshua trees of the Mojave, and instead of gridlock, you’ll find open road without any other cars for miles.There’s a long tradition of auto touring between Los Angeles and Death Valley. From the early days of the auto, Death Valley became a destination for thrill-seekers in Los Angeles and Southern California eager to test their vehicles on the roughly 250-mile drive into the American Outback. Back then, in the days before improved roads and air conditioning, it was a much more challenging adventure than it is today — an automotive Iditarod.With the 1927 opening of the Furnace Creek Inn (the original name of the Inn at Death Valley), Hollywood discovered Death Valley, and as more filmmaking took place in the area, the hotel hosted a number of stars. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned at the hotel and later guests would include Ronald Reagan, who both hosted and acted in the famous television show Death Valley Days.New generations of Hollywood stars as well as L.A.’s growing community of tech moguls are now discovering that the Inn at Death Valley, especially since its recent multi-million renovation, offers a lavish retreat from the day-to-day stresses of their jobs. Less of a scene than Palm Springs but with no shortage of pampering and luxury, the inn lets them step away from both work and the hubbub of their business communities.Here’s how they (and you) can unplug and decompress — Death Valley-style.
The Casita Life
While all of the inn’s 66 rooms provide plenty of privacy, the hotel’s 22 new casitas (scheduled to open in summer 2018) offer even more seclusion. Set along the gardens below the main hotel, the duplex units with living rooms separated from sleeping areas and private patios will let you live like a star — whether you are or not — during your Death Valley stay.
The Cabana Life
Luxuriating poolside is one of life’s sublime pleasures. That’s especially true when you reserve one of the new private cabanas along the inn’s refurbished spring-fed swimming pool, naturally maintained at a comfortable 85 degrees. Once you walk through your cabana’s desert stone archway and settle in on your lounge, you may never want to leave — especially with a poolside bar, fireplace, and the Inn’s Tranquility Spa all just steps away (desert hot stone massage, anyone?).
The Duffer’s Life
Depending on the quality of your game, a round of golf may not be the most relaxing way to spend a few hours. But the Furnace Creek Golf Course, the lowest 18 holes in the world, offers all sorts of consolations for those inevitable shanks and missed gimme putts.With spectacular views of the desert mountains and glimpses of wildlife (the course is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System), even the worst round never becomes “a good walk spoiled.” And if you’re still haunted by that shanked drive on 11, a juicy Back Nine Burger, with all of the fixings, at the course’s 19th Hole Bar & Grill will provide more than a measure of solace.
The Unplugged Life
Don’t tell your boss but with the resort’s WiFi, you can stay connected to the goings-on back at the office. Then again, that’s not really why you come to Death Valley National Park. You’re here to get away from it all, so turn off that cell phone ringer and head out into some of the world’s most dramatic desert landscapes in the largest national park outside of Alaska at 3.3 million acres.You won’t have to travel far from the Inn to feel a million miles from everything. Hike beneath the soaring stone walls of Mosaic Canyon or into the morning silence of the Mesquite Flat Dunes near Stovepipe Wells and you’ll feel an immediate, rejuvenating connection to the natural world. Then go farther afield and walk along the rim of a volcano and peer into the 600-foot depths at Ubehebe Crater.The good news is that no matter how far you roam into the desert wilds of Death Valley, the inn’s luxuries will be waiting for you upon your return, whether you’re hungry for the exquisite, desert-inspired cuisine at the Inn Dining Room or simply want to cool off with a swim in those irresistible waters of the swimming pool.
How to Explore
The Oasis at Death Valley is situated in a lush oasis surrounded by the vast and arid desert of Death Valley National Park — just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 275 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The resort encompasses two hotels — the historic AAA Four Diamond, 66-room Inn at Death Valley and the family-oriented, 224-room Ranch at Death Valley. The entire resort is undergoing a complete renaissance with an extensive renovation to be completed in the fall of 2018. The resort includes natural spring-fed pools, an 18-hole golf course, horse and carriage rides, world-renowned stargazing, and is surrounded by Death Valley National Park’s main attractions. For information and reservations, visit The Oasis at Death Valley or call 800-236-7916.For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from the Xanterra Travel Collection® and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.