Where to Stay (or Play Golf) in Palm Desert: Marriott’s Shadow Ridge

Where to Stay (or Play Golf) in Palm Desert: Marriott’s Shadow Ridge

While the beach is more my scene, my mother finds her peace of mind in the desert. There’s something about the dry heat, scenic mountains, and relative quiet that decreases her blood pressure and calms her normally Type-A, busy-body personality. Palm Springs has been my mother’s favorite escape from L.A. for as long as I can remember. So this past Mother’s Day, Jave and I decided to treat her to a stay at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert. And of course we couldn’t leave my dad out of the plan. So he came along as an early Father’s Day treat and we incorporated a day of golf into our plans to sweeten the deal.

I’m usually a boutique hotel kind of girl, but when it comes to hotels in Palm Desert, my family and I almost always stay at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge and this trip was no exception. Sitting at the base of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, Shadow Ridge features an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a fitness center, pools, spa, and the whole nine. But the best part of the Shadow Ridge are its villas which are available with either one or two bedrooms – the latter of which are perfect for two traveling couples such as ourselves who need privacy.

The villas are divided into different complexes – the Villas, the Villages, and the Enclaves. I’m not really sure what the differences are although I believe that the Enclaves may be closer to the pool area. Apart from that, all of the Shadow Ridge accommodations are equipped with kitchens, living areas, and dining rooms so that you truly feel at home away from home.

This pic gives an idea of what the bedrooms look like

After getting a late start on our drive from L.A., we arrived about an hour ahead of our 4 p.m. tee time and spent the remainder of our day on the golf course. While my dad has played before, the rest of us were all first timers. So much so that my mother was removing plastic from her clubs while on the course!

My dad and Jave were taking the golf rules quite seriously and were diligently keeping track of the number of strokes it took to get to each hole.

My mom and I, on the other hand, were enjoying the beauty of the course and the desert animals we encountered. Well, the coyote was kind of a shocker, but thankfully, we were in our cart when we spotted it!

I have since learned proper form, thank you!


I will say that I have a newfound respect for golfers. I had NO idea just how far the golf ball needs to fly in order to make it near the hole. I recall that the second hole looked to be about twice the size of a football field. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but the distance between the tee-off point and the actual hole in the ground was quite vast.

Another thing that I learned during our day on the course is that I really like golf! Definitely not as much as Jave and my dad who have since become golf addicts and now go to the driving range together at least once a week, but I really enjoy the game and now I totally understand why people like golf vacations. It’s quite relaxing to be on a beautiful course, enjoying nature and the company of your loved ones, while playing a fun game.  My mom, who was at first opposed to the whole golf idea, is now a believer too which is saying a lot!

We decided to call it a day at the ninth hole so that we’d have time to freshen up for our dinner reservations. And returning to our villa for a restful night’s sleep after such an eventful day was the perfect ending to our stay at the Shadow Ridge.



Have you taken a golf vacation? 


  • It`s not often when you meet women who have golf as one of their passions. I have to say…it`s kind of a nice change!

    • Dana Carmel

      Well, I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about golf, but it is a lot more fun playing it than watching on TV and that really surprised me. 😉

  • Great post you have here Dana! I`ve never played golf in Palm Desert, but if I will sometimes soon, you have some great options from which to choose here.

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks, Daniel. If and when you make it to Palm Desert, definitely stay at Shadow Ridge. I’m not big on chain hotels, but this is one that’s getting it right, and I’m sure that you’ll love the golf course. Just watch for the coyotes!

  • The Marriott is a luxurious and very nice place. If I played golf, I would want to stay there a couple of days, too.

    • Dana Carmel

      I think everyone should try golf at least once. You never know – you just may love it.

  • That resort was lovely and you looked like an ‘almost golfing pro’ on the green 🙂
    You knocked out two birds with one stone- a mother’s day AND father’s day gift in one!

    • Dana Carmel

      Lol – thanks! Someday I will perfect my game.

  • That place looks pretty boutique to me! I think I’ve spent too long in hostels!!

    • Dana Carmel

      Haha! 😉

  • I’ve been looking for a great excuse to go in the Palm Springs/Desert area and this is as good as it gets. What a lovely resort.

    • Dana Carmel

      It’s so worth it, Mary! Palm Desert, in general, is the perfect place to unwind.

  • I haven’t golfed in several years but I do love the game! My buddies are big time golfers and I’m going to send this to them. What a nice Mother’s gift you gave to her! That place looks absolutely gorgeous, Dana! I’m glad you’re working on your game 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks for sharing this story with your golf buddies, Mike!

  • Apart from getting lost in a golf course on a starlit night, I have never been near the game. Still I’d like to try it one day.

    • Dana Carmel

      How did you get lost on a course? That sounds kinda scary! 🙂

  • Now I too would enjoy looking at the sights, especially those bunnies rather than playing. It’s really nice you took your mom & dad there.

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks, Salika. The course is beautiful and so peaceful. The coyote caught us completely off guard though!

  • Hi Dana. Love your blog! I love to travel as well and do research on where to go, what to recommend and review on services, hotels/resorts/travel and products. I’l love for you to Join my blog as well! I am a grandma who travels a lot with the kids I am bringing up. Check me out plse http://www.debbytravels.blogspot.com Thanks and I look forward to your tweets, blog & posts.
    All the best

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks for your comment, Debbie!

  • Hi Dana! Have stayed and played at Shadow Ridge–great fun. Spent a week out there this year but stayed in another spot. Love the desert for a nice change of pace!

    • Dana Carmel

      The desert is quite refreshing. I’m glad that you’ve had the chance to experience Shadow Ridge for yourself!

  • You will not find me at a Golf Club. Fishing, photography, and travel take up all my free time. If I had the time, I would rather go to the beach.
    It is great that your whole family enjoys a day together.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be careful out there, don’t pull a muscle swinging. It looks like you are going to Chile soon. Contact me for any tips.

    • Dana Carmel

      No, not going to Chile anytime soon but maybe within the next few years or so. Before I do, I’ll definitely be sure to pick your brain.

  • We’re not golfers and we rarely return to the same resort, so we haven’t really considered time shares. Your post makes it look pretty desirable, though! Thanks for stopping by to visit me and I’ll link up soon.

    • Dana Carmel

      Yeah, I’m not really into timeshares either, but I do love this resort. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Looks like you and your family had a wonderful stay in Palm Desert! I’ve never been but looks beautiful and relaxing – my husband would love to play golf there. Thank you for the invitation to link up 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Hopefully you and your hubs can play golf there someday. Golf or no golf – I love this resort!

  • I have never thought about a golfing vacation because honestly my form probably looks worse then yours did. I think my family would enjoy one though and I have big plans to make sure we do more getaways. Nice looking hotel and what was your score for the golfing round?

    • Dana Carmel

      Yeah – my form was pretty horrible. Every time I’d swing, my leg would come up. It was a reflex! You should definitely consider a golfing getaway. And I don’t recall what my overall score was although I’m sure I did the worst! 😉

  • Loved your post. We are owners at Marriott’s Ko Olina Vacation Club – one of the smartest ‘second home’ moves we’ve ever made. Have yet to visit this one but have stayed at their VC in Phoenix and it, too, was nice. We aren’t golfers but do like the golf course settings.

    I linked up today with yesterday’s post which doesn’t have a link back yet but I will get that added. And I do hope you’ll follow the link in the post and enter that contest as well!

    • Dana Carmel

      The hubs and I haven’t yet considered VC ownership although friends have told me that we should definitely consider it once we start having kids. Glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for linking up!


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