The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home of the BNP Paribas tournament, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful venues in the game.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHAD VAN HORN
In Indian Wells — a community of country clubs, golf courses, resorts, spas, and one of the world’s best-known tennis stadiums — time slows to a luxurious pace. Cradled by majestic mountain ranges and awash in lush, emerald-green fairways, the small city of roughly 5,000 residents — which swells to 10,000 during the season — is an idyllic environment where successful people come to advance their professional careers while enjoying a luxury getaway lifestyle.
While the pace feels more at ease, progress continues with great attention to quality of life. Among the milestones on the city’s path of growth are a resort reimagined by the lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama, the much-anticipated grand opening of a natural food market, and the evolving experience at the city-owned Indian Wells Golf Resort.
Some new projects — including Genton Cockrum Partners’ “resort-style development” on the drawing board for a vacant site along Highway 111 and Miles Avenue — remain quietly in the planning stage, while others, including Sprouts Farmers Market, are ready to blossom. The Indian Wells location of the natural foods store opens Oct. 13–15 with a weekend of festivities.
Business Meets Pleasure
With tourism driving the city’s economic engine, the Indian Wells Golf Resort and the four surrounding resorts — Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Miramonte Resort & Spa, and Renaissance Esmerelda Indian Wells Resort & Spa — emerge as its heart and soul. Each offers world-class amenities, meeting accommodations, fitness centers, restaurants, as well as a variety of distinguishing features. For instance, families love the twisting slides and lazy river at the onsite waterpark.
Other distinctive properties, including the Martyn Lawrence Bullard–designed Sands Hotel & Spa (with The Pink Cabana restaurant) and Indian Wells Resort Hotel, built by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, deliver on style, history, and culture.
Stunning views of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
The properties continually upgrade to offer the state of the art. One of the most dramatic transformations is underway at the Miramonte Resort & Spa. The 11-acre oasis in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains is becoming the Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa. The brand embodies the hotel’s laid-back sophistication. In addition to its 215 custom-appointed rooms (including 23 suites), 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space, three pools, and 12,000-square-foot spa, the property will introduce a reimagined restaurant and bar area, as well as villa suites and guestrooms outfitted with Tommy Bahama furnishings and accessories.
For its part, Indian Wells Golf Resort offers one of the most well-rounded golfing experiences in Southern California. It’s a 36-hole haven with stay-and-play packages available at four neighboring hotels. Its two courses, Celebrity and Players (aptly dubbed “Beauty and the Beast”), provide a postcard-perfect setting for a day on the links. Clive Clark’s Celebrity Course stretches across an undulating landscape with streams and split-level lakes with waterfall features, while the John Fought–designed Players Course tests even the most well-seasoned golfers with sculpted bunkers and thickets of trees. In 2022, Golfweek recognized both courses in its state-by-state list of “Best Courses You Can Play.” Out of all California courses, Celebrity ranked No. 3 and Players ranked No. 13.
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The resort is also home to the Indian Wells Academy, which staffs a team of PGA professionals who impart their love of the game to players at all levels.
New at Indian Wells Golf Resort is Toptracer Range technology and the Shots in the Night program. Toptracer, which monitors and analyzes eight points on flight and distance, is installed in more than 24,000 bays globally. Head golf pro Tom Burley says seasoned players might prefer the Trackman monitor, which “has 30 points, including angle of attack and spin ratios.”
Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
Shots in the Night offers a fun-filled after-dark experience featuring glowing putting greens, lasers on the range, and a party atmosphere with food and drink that’s popular with groups, couples, and families.
Inside the luxurious clubhouse, Vue Grille & Bar overlooks the golf course and serves pre- or post-play craft beers, mixed drinks, and award-winning California cuisine. For good measure, the Sunday brunch includes bottomless Champagne and a build-your-own waffle bar. Shoppers appreciate the resort’s retail shops, which feature fashion-forward lifestyle brands, including Lululemon.
The world might have had its first look at Indian Wells when Dwight D. Eisenhower frequented the city in his golden years. Today, however, the world knows the city as the host of the two-week BNP Paribas Open, the best-attended tennis tournament outside the four Grand Slams, and its home, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, one of the most beautiful venues in the game. Owned by part-time desert resident and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison since 2009, the sports complex has continued to evolve and expand. Along with the BNP, the site stages live music performances, car shows, art festivals, and other entertainment throughout the year.
Aerial view of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
A Piece of the Regional Puzzle
The City of Indian Wells calls on its own business leaders and stakeholders to help align growth with the business interests of Greater Palm Springs. “We engage key stakeholders, including local businesses and regional business associations, through public hearings, workshops, and surveys to address opportunities and concerns related to new and ongoing development,” says Mayor Donna Griffith. “We are also coordinating with neighboring cities and regional partners to host regional events that broaden the city’s visibility and promote local businesses.”
The decision-making set need not drive far to power lunch or deal over drinks and dinner. Eureka! serves innovative twists on the classic burger an appreciable selection of craft beer and small-batch whiskeys. Vicky’s of Santa Fe, established in 1989, features the best of land and sea, while Don Diego’s, which opened in ’81, still offers a daily selection of housemade tamales and margaritas.
Cook Street coming into Indian Wells; Eisenhower Mountains.
In Indian Wells, where good living is good business, a strong sense of community prevails, and first-class quality of life is always top of mind.