We have stayed here several times in the past. Our mistake this year was paying too much attention to the negative TripAdvisor reviews. We originally booked another, higher rated resort nearby which was nice, but so boring that we moved to the Vista Grande. And we were glad we did, because we enjoyed this resort so much more.
Pluses: lush tropical landscaping, two very nice pools kept at comfortable temperature, a very large hot tub and steamroom (probably largest in PS) near the waterfall, new sauna, classic mid-century architecture style.
Some of the negative reviews are puzzling, citing problems with the rooms or staff that we have never encountered over several visits. The staff have always been friendly and responsive and I hope that hasn't changed.
If you have to have everything 21st century and in perfect order, then this isn't the resort for you. I think some of the complaints about the decor are based on lack of appreciation or understanding of mid-century architecture and style in PS, which is part of the charm and uniqueness of this resort. For example, a complaint about "60's kitchen" obviously completely misses the point that it is SUPPOSED to reflect that style -- and even older. The kitchen cabinets and counter in our unit were 1950's (clean and functional) but the frig and range top were relatively new. The bathroom had an old-fashioned resistance wall heater (disconnected) that was left because it fits the decor. Much of the furniture in the rooms is eclectic, one-of-a-kind and even 'campy' style meant to reflect an older era.
That being said, there are two areas where the resort could improve its image and guest satisfaction: (1) there is an overall lack of attention to detail. All of these are really minor in themselves but they tend to add up, giving an overall impression of neglect. Examples: (a) a light switch plate in the entrance was missing a large corner -- fixing would have cost all of 50 cents. (b) Broken outdoor lighting plastic fixtures lying in the landscaping beds -- I counted at least 15 while casually walking around the grounds. Why not remove or hide these?
(2) a tendency to keep some furniture and items beyond their useful life. Examples: (a) Most of the TV's are old tube or projection models -- some may still have good pictures but others should have been retired long ago and upgraded. (b) A pile of pool floats had several new ones on top and several others at the bottom that were thoroughly cracked, deteriorated and useless -- why not throw out the old ones? (c) One of the lounge cushions by the pool looked like it had been attacked by an angry cat --- the others were fine, so why leave the shabby one?
It would help if someone with fresh eyes would make a thorough review of the condition of the rooms and facilities -- I suspect most all the items would be largely cosmetic and not expensive to correct or update.
Generally, the room, grounds, and facilities were clean. The room was serviced every day, including vacuuming the rug and plenty of fresh towels. The continental breakfast is pretty basic, especially during the week, and could be improved.
As pointed out by other reviewers, they no longer have day passes and only a few locals are allowed, so the resort is not as 'active' as it used to be. However, All World's Resort right next door does have day and night passes. As far as the clientele being "old", the gay clientele in many PS resorts has aged over the past decade or so, so this is not unique to Vista Grande. While we were there, the age range was mostly forties thru sixties, with a few in the 30-40 and >70 range.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With 29 beautifully appointed rooms, 3 heated swimming pools, hot tub, spacious steam room, and breathtaking waterfalls and lagoon, Vista Grande Resort is the premium clothing optional gay men's resort in Palm Springs, California. Complimentary breakfast and lunch served daily and dinner on the weekends. Eat family style with the other men at our 20' banquet table. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Atrium Mirage Vista Grande Hotel Palm Springs