This is a guest post by Susan Guillory of The Unexplorer.
One thing you might not know about San Diego is that it is within two hours of a variety of landscapes and climates: there’s the beach, just 20 minutes from my house. Then there are the mountains, where Julian and other throwback towns sit nestled among the trees. And then there’s the desert.
Anza-Borrego State Park is another planet for someone like me who grew up in Arkansas. Seemingly bare at first glance, the floor is covered in a rich maple-colored coat of sand. In fact, the desert is actually resplendent in a variety of plants, different types of rocks, and wildlife.
I’ve camped there several times and always been in awe of what Mother Nature can do.
But what I hadn’t experienced was luxury in the desert. So when I was invited to experience Casa del Zorro, a fabulous and historic resort and spa on the outskirts of the desert town Borrego Springs, I was thrilled. Campfire cooking is one thing, but nothing beats a poolside room with luxurious bedding!
A Piece of History
Casa del Zorro is proud of its long history. Initially opened as a ranch in 1933, the property slowly expanded to accommodate the increasing number of global guests. While back then, guests gathered around the kitchen table to eat and even washed their own dishes, the resort now boasts several restaurants that offer quality cuisine. The dining room was added on in the 1960s, as was the first pool (there are three for guests today).
As the resort grew in popularity, families began to make an annual trek there from all points of the globe. With 19 private casitas, large families can stay together and enjoy the numerous activities on the property, like a giant chess board, Pickle Ball courts, tennis courts, a yoga studio, and spa.
A Relaxing Romantic Getaway
But my boyfriend and I opted out of pretty much any activity that required much energy, instead preferring to lounge by the pool, walk through the labyrinth, and check out the stars, which are amazing in the deep black desert sky.
The hotel graciously provided dinner for us one night at the Fox Den Bar & Cantina. While at first glance at the menu, it seemed standard Mexican cantina-type fare, we were blown away by what ended up on our table. The deconstructed potato, which was described as potato skins with all sorts of goodness on top, certainly outshone any version I’d ever had. The potatoes were corkscrew cut and seasoned perfectly. Even after being stuffed, I kept trying to polish them off!
After a beautiful and tasty cobb salad, we shared the prime rib, which was served with a Yorkshire Pudding (my first) and mashed potatoes. They were tender and filling.
One of my favorite parts of the visit was wandering around the property after dark. Machines projected tiny pinpoints of colored lights onto the trees, and the gentle breeze made the lights dance. It turned the property into a magical fairyland.
There’s live music on weekends at the pool next to the bar and restaurant, and a nearby firepit is the perfect place to enjoy the music while keeping warm in the cool desert night.
We slept well both nights on the uber-comfortable bed. While there is a fireplace in each poolside Deluxe Room, it wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy it. Later in winter, it would be lovely, I imagine.
Breakfast, too, made the experience wonderful. Dining on the Rose Garden Terrace, we enjoyed yogurt parfait, fruit, and delicious Kona coffee.
After our stay, I checked out prices to see if I could afford to go back on my own. I know my best friend, Rachel, would love it, as would my mom. I was surprised that the room we stayed in was just $189 a night. Definitely doable for the amenities and comfort that the spacious room (really, more of a suite) provided.
Need to Know: The property is pet-friendly, and there is a $50 fee for pets. Parking is ample and free. Wifi is free and works well.
If You Go:
La Casa del Zorro
3845 Yaqui Pass Road
Borrego Springs, California 92004
Phone: (760) 767-0100
La Casa del Zorro review and all photography by travel writer Susan Guillory. I received a comped stay and meals at this hotel, though all opinions are my own.