In a normal year, I’d tell you about some great low category hotel redemptions around the world. But in the year of Covid, I have been checking out things near my base of Southern California. I wanted to share a good points redemption at home. I’m talking about Staybridge Suites Cathedral City Palm Springs. It’s a limited service hotel, so don’t expect plushy bathrobes dangling in the marble bathroom. What you’ll find though is a new, resort-like hotel in a prime vacation spot, surrounded by nature with stunning views.
I first noticed this property a few years ago when it cost 25k IHG points per night. I considered it a good deal then, as it was brand new with great reviews amid the high cost of redemption in Palm Springs. Nowadays it’s often available at 17.5k IHG points, including weekends. Here’s Friday and Saturday the week of March 12:
The keen eye will notice the Mountain View studio “suite” is available for the same # of points as the regular studio “suite”. This is a great feature. If available, definitely get the mountain view, which looks like this in the morning:
Meanwhile, the regular view faces the parking lot:
The morning view is truly magnificent. While there was no balcony in my standard mountain view room, it’s hard to beat waking up to this million dollar view in the US from a 17.5k limited service hotel.
You can enjoy the complimentary breakfast in your room with that lovely view, or enjoy some fresh air (with the same view) in the large, beautiful outdoor area. There are several socially distanced tables, a fire pit, 2 grills and a swing. It never got crowded when I was there. The breakfast was good for this type of hotel, especially the meat scramble on day 1.
There’s a decent-sized swimming pool with ample tanning chairs (mostly socially distanced). What would a Palm Springs vacation be without some time by the pool?
Besides the view, my favorite feature was the walking trail along the golf course, a few minutes walk from the hotel. The track is about 2 miles long, and you come face to face with the mountains. It’s only about a mile from the Palm Springs airport, and airplanes were descending every few minutes; it was a great sight against the mountain backdrop. I spotted some road runners, which isn’t a common sight in San Diego.
In terms of location, the Staybridge is in a quiet neighborhood between Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The former is about 15min drive, and the latter 25min. Personally, I think the location is ideal. I like that it’s tucked away but not far from the action, and the view is better than just about anything I saw in Palm Springs itself, a city that failed to impress me during Covid (I’ll probably give it another chance after Covid).
In fact, I like the views more than that of the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage. I haven’t been there, and obviously it has other bells and whistle that a limit service hotel doesn’t offer, but based on pics on the internet, I’m not too impressed by the view there.
Back to the location, it’s surrounded by mountains on all sides.
The mountains are an imposing and inescapable part of this property.
For my IHG Gold welcome amenity, I usually go for points, but I decided to treat myself and opted for the Spanish ice cream, which had a $9 price tag. It was… interesting. On the plus side, they gave me the 300 welcome points anyway. I loved the full-sized fridge and microwave in the room, which is very useful during Covid travel where I am doing mostly take out and bringing food from home.
I had a great (takeout) dinner at Ruben & Ozzy’s in Palm Springs. I had Ruben’s special which is a giant dish with linguini and assortments of seafood. It was one of the best seafood linguini’s I’ve ever had, and the $24 price won’t put a dent in your wallet. Seriously, please remind me I don’t have to eat the entire dish in one meal!
In a Nutshell
I’m no stranger to limited service hotels. This is a gem in excellent condition with incredible view and walking trails for a relaxing getaway. Best of all, base points gets you the stunning mountain view. I’d say in North America, this is now my favorite low-category (under 20,000 IHG/Marriott points) limited service points hotel that I have been to, after the Lodge at Eagle Crest which is in a category of its own but no longer part of a chain. If I can book it again for 17.5k, I’d stay for 4 nights and get the 4th night free with my IHG Premier card.
Have you been to this hotel? What’s your favorite low-category limited service hotel in North America?