Over the last several years, an explosion of destination resorts across the hospitality industry has fueled a growing trend toward first class experiences. When suffused in a destination environment, the guest experience becomes an extraordinary, indelible memory. Rancho Las Palmas Resort &
Spa, managed by La Quinta, Calif.-based KSL, Resorts, strives to do
The resort is located in Palm Springs, Calif., at the foot of
majestic Mount Jacinto and directly across the street from The
River, an entertainment, dining and retail complex. Resort
operators wanted to enhance the Rancho Las Palmas experience by
updating the existing family pool. The renovation was part of an
overall $35 million dollar makeover.
Several challenges arose in creating Splashtopia.
Management’s No. 1 concern was maintaining resort hotel
operations during construction. Completing the project in a window
of time between the closing and renovation of the adjacent
accommodation and scheduled conference bookings allowed only a
five-month time frame to complete the job. Finding space for
additional pumps, circulation and heating equipment created another
challenge. Being an aquatic addition in an existing developed site,
the contractor and design team were required to work closely to
deal with the challenges that arose on a daily basis.
The result was Splashtopia, a two-acre
waterfeature including a lazy river and sandy beach with dual
slides cascading down a rocky mountain into a splash pool. An
elevated mountain spa and water splash pad with water cannons and
tipping bells complete the experience.
Opened in 2007, Splashtopia was designed and
created taking a queue from the owner’s vision of a majestic
mountain surrounded by water in the middle of this California
desert resort. Designed to complement the resort’s overall
theme and blend with its desert appeal, breathtaking mountain
views, and colorful gardens, Splashtopia incorporates rockscaping,
palm trees and the warmth of early California architecture.
Set in a narrow area of under-utilized space
between two existing accommodation wings, Splashtopia includes
almost two acres of aquatic fun and relaxation for both youngsters
and adults. Guests can drift away on the 425-foot lazy river with
zero-beach entry and expansive sandy beach; slide down a rocky
mountain on one of two 100-foot long waterslides amidst boulders
and waterfalls; or zip around unique water-play zones with
fountains and sprinklers.
Additionally, a large leisure pool refreshes while
an all-tile mountainside spa soothes guests after enjoying sight
seeing adventures, golf, shopping, conventions, nightlife, and all
that the destination has to offer.
In addition to Splashtopia, the 240-acre resort
provides a myriad of experiences, including 27 holes of golf, the
largest tennis center in the desert, pampering at the Spa Las
Palmas and Yamaguchi Salon and casual or fine dining options, all