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?