From sports to seaside activities to screening rooms, these resort spots provide relaxation and respite from the daily grind.
Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage
International acts, Rock & Roll Hall of famers (Sting, ZZ Top) and contemporary performers (Nelly) have all appeared at Rancho Mirage’s 2,057-seat, four-level the Show during its 10-year run. Luxury boxes have catering and bottle service. Seats are exceptionally comfortable and sightlines are unobstructed even from top-tier balcony seats.
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Chumash Casino Resort
Located in Santa Barbara County’s verdant wine country, the property contains a 320-room hotel, full-service spa, various dining options — the buffet is a local draw — and a rooftop, adults-only pool. The 1,400-seat Samala Showroom has hosted Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and reggae’s Ziggy Marley; Three Dog Night and Frankie Valli are upcoming.
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
Its 3,700-seat Special Events Center includes sophisticated acts from Boz Scaggs to Steve Martin/Martin Short to songstress Diana Krall. Dionne Warwick appears in December for a holiday- themed show. The Rock Yard is the adjacent outdoor live music venue. Also on site at the desert resort from the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians are bowling, bingo and the 18-hole Eagle Falls Golf Course.
Harrah’s Southern California Resort and Casino
“We’re proud to welcome the biggest names in live entertainment at the Events Center,” says Darrell Pilant, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Resort Southern California. The 23,000- sq.-ft. venue seats 2,200; past performers include Bob Dylan, Amy Schumer, Pit Bull and the Killers. The Rincon Band of Luiseño Mission Indians developed Harrah’s, located in inland northern San Diego County. The resort has its own brewery in addition to a lazy river, swim-up bar and 24/7 casino.
Morongo Casino Resort & Spa
The landmark, 27-story resort towers over the Banning pass and Interstate 10. On the outskirts of Palm Springs, the resort has evolved from its modest beginnings as a bingo hall on the Morongo Band of Mission Indian’s reservation into a famously busy casino with more than 3,000 slots and dozens of table games. Concerts showcase veteran performers including Patti LaBelle and Engelbert Humperdinck; on select Sundays, radio show “Breakfast With the Beatles,” airs from here.
Pechanga Resort Casino
The entertainment options are plentiful: there are 20 bars and restaurants, the 40,000-sq.- ft. Pechanga Summit events center, a 250-seat comedy club along with the 200,000-sq.-ft. casino floor. The 1,200-seat Pechanga Theater is the resort’s showplace. “It’s important for us to include a good mix of artists and genres,” explains Brian Cronenwett, Pechanga Resort Casino’s entertainment manager.
San Manuel Casino
Live music is presented nightly at the San Manuel Casino, located on the northeastern edge of San Bernardino, in Highland’s foothills and owned by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Tribute bands, DJs and karaoke are featured. Currently under construction and slated for completion in 2021: a 3,000-seat entertainment venue. A 450-room hotel complete with upscale amenities is also planned.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
While luaus are an enjoyable diversion, showbiz-favorite and beachfront-facing the Four Seasons Resort (with 383 rooms) offers a deep bench of activities from customized tours of the island with a fine art photographer to a traditional Hawaiian open-fire cooking lesson. Memorial Day weekend 2020 will see the second edition of the resort’s epicurean food and wine festival.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
West Maui’s 54-acre Ritz-Carlton recently redid its 466 hotel rooms and suites updating with island-modern décor. The resort is home to the PGA’s kick-off golf tourney each January (Sentry Tournament of Champions) and the grand Kapalua Food and Wine Festival each June. (The 33rd event is June 2-5). The hotel spotlight’s Hawaii’s extraordinary environment through a diverse program of naturalist led outdoor activities.
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Featuring indoor and outdoor venues: the splashy and sandy Mandalay Bay Beach, the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center, the House of Blues primo concert hall, it is home to a Carlos Santana residency through the fall. Michael Jackson’s hits in surround sound drive Cirque du Soleil’s “One,” where there’s seating for 1,805 at the dedicated venue. There is also a fulfilling gospel brunch on Sunday.
Palms Resort Casino
The Palms has earned the rep as the place to party in Las Vegas. To keep the festivities going, the resort announced recently it will winterize and enclose one of its swimming pools so the Kaos dayclub can run year-round. Cardi B is to entertain during the reopening fete on Halloween. The rooftop social club and Kaos uber-nightclub remain serious draws. Also onsite: an in-house recording studio and the 2,500-seat Pearl Theater with 18 luxury sky boxes.
The 5,200-seat Park Theater at the MGM has raised the bar for superstar residencies. Lady Gaga, Cher and Bruno Mars have all settled in for extended runs. “The entertainers love the venue’s intimacy and the fact that they have been given a blank canvas to create a second-to-none experience for their fans,” says Chris Baldizan, senior vice president of entertainment, booking and marketing, for MGM Resorts Intl.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Families can chill out in style at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando while visiting Walt Disney World. The 443-room resort has its own 5-acre water park, Disney character breakfasts, transportation to the parks and rooms with balcony views of nighttime fireworks. An adults-only pool is a rarity for the resort area; the expansive spa revives with anti-gravity facials and other exceptional treatments.
The Standard Miami Beach
Whether it’s during Art Basel, Music Week or the film festival, the in-crowd heads to the 100-room Standard Miami Beach, where guests are restricted to those 18 and older. In October, the hotel will transform its Lido Bayside Grill into a chic Japanese izakaya; the spa will get a complete makeover in next summer. The hotel’s outdoor monthly Garden Sessions’ acoustic sets feature jazz, folk and pop artists.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
The outdoor portion of the Gaylord’s SoundWaves water attraction debuted in 2019 at the 2,888-room Nashville resort. Indoors under a glass atrium there’s a wave ride simulating surfing, a lazy river and an adults-only pool; outside are water slides, a larger wave pool with movie screen and music throughout. (Ryman Hospitality Properties also owns the Grand Ole Opry.)
Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center
Close to Denver’s airport, the almost year-old, 1,500-room Gaylord Rockies Resort’s meeting space totals 500,000 square-feet. Of that, 175,000 square-feet is malleable exhibition space; it can vary from concert venue to trade show site. Christmas is lavishly celebrated (Nov 22- Jan. 5) and amusements range from an artisan-made ice village inside an almost sub-zero cooled tent to the Bubbly Theater in the round.
The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch
An all-inclusive Brush Creek Ranch stay promises outdoor adventure on a working cattle ranch on 30,000 acres in the heart of scenic Rockies. Wilderness and national forest surround the 33-room deluxe ranch. Seasonal activities range from fly-fishing and horseback riding to all manner of winter sports activities on nearby and private Green Mountain. Immersive culinary experiences are aimed at expanding urbanite’s farming and seed-to-table skill sets.
Montage Deer Valley
Park City, Utah
Ski and hop on over to the famous Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 23-Feb. 2) from the 154-room, 66-suites and residences, ski-in/ski-out Montage’s amenity-rich heights. The resort celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2020; expect a flurry of memorable happenings. Live at Montage is the resort’s nighttime music series held during the festival.
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley, Idaho
Founded as a winter wonderland for Hollywood icons and now the go-to spot to stay during the Sun Valley Film Festival (March 18-22), the resort has an ice-skating rink, cross-country ski trails, a pool heated to tropical temps and multiple lodging options. Town locals include Chelsea Handler and Clint Eastwood. Advanced skiers, along with the resort’s ski patrol, can preview the resort’s Bald Mountain terrain expansion this winter.
Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Combining spectacular Negev desert landscape scenery near the historic Ramon crater and top of the line resort amenities, this 111-villa desert oasis entices high-caliber clientele, many of whom are drawn to the country’s thriving TV production industry (“Fauda,” “Shtisel,” “Our Boys”). Local farms contribute fresh ingredients to the five-star kitchen.
Mugla Province, Turkey
Situated in the serene southwestern province of Muğla, Bonjuk brings like-minded people together to celebrate experiences, with an emphasis on the arts and music. Guests can select from accommodations including stone bungalows or high-tech tents, with locally sourced, garden-fresh food available.
El Careyes Club Residences
Gorgeous resort with five pools provides celebrities with protected community atmosphere where they can enjoy nature, architecture and luxury accompaniments. Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell have visited the unspoiled bohemian paradise; Bruce Weber shot Crawford for the iconic 1980’s Calvin Klein Obsession ad on Costa Careyes. “Careyes Mexico is a top destination for international travelers due to the spectacular Ocean Castle Villas, unspoiled beaches, and yearly festivals,” says developer Filippo Brignone.
Voted No. 1 resort in the world, this Italian getaway features eight luxury hotels, 13 villas and 40 suites. Michelin-rated chefs call the shots at the 21 on-location restaurants, while recent special events have included performances by Italy’s biggest musical star, Eros Ramazzotti.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Recently refurbished to include new suites and exotic plunge pools, the resort attracts guests including Justin Bieber who love the over-the-water bungalows and marine life snorkeling tours. “We’re the most exclusive escape for those in the entertainment industry and just eight hours from Los Angeles,” says general manager Diego Stembert.
Port Antonio, Jamaica
Music infuses the chill vibe at the coastal hideaway Geejam on Jamaica’s rustic northern coast. Treetop cabins are named for musical genres — Ska and Rocksteady — and top musicians (Drake, Rihanna, Katy Perry) have recorded at the resort’s Geejam Studios. Music vet Jon Baker is co-owner. Lush grounds filled with tropical foliage and a private beach are the resort’s natural wonders. The resort’s Bushbar and restaurant serves up authentic Jamaican flavors.
Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt
Wilder Kaiser Mountain Range, Austria
This bio-hotel and green-spa resort has been around for more than 400 years, providing a village-like atmosphere, complete with a restaurant, inn, eco-hotel, wellness and sports facilities, riding arena, tennis hall, stables, barns and other amenities. Past celebrity clientele include Heidi Klum, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Statham, Buzz Aldrin and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hotel Barriere Le Majestic
Its close proximity to the Cannes Film Festival has made this dreamy spot one of the most sought-after in the area, playing host to film executives and top-flight screen talent. The hotel’s private screening room boasts state-of-the-art sound and picture along with a library of possible titles.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
This family-friendly yet ultra-premium resort features multiple guest-room options, along with various high-end restaurant choices and access to the Noir Nightclub. Their popular concert series has showcased the Backstreet Boys, Cheap Trick, the Cranberries, Duran Duran and Kool & the Gang, with multiple upcoming events with Dead & Company.
The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas
Paradise Island, Bahamas
The resort, which did not incur damage from Hurricane Dorian, played host to 2006’s “Casino Royale,” and is situated along five miles of white-sand beach. A specially curated wardrobe for guests is part of the no luggage required program. “When you arrive, we say, ‘welcome home.’ This is the keynote to your stay. Here, you’re family,” says resort manager Kristen Whyly.
Los Cabos, Mexico
This legendary retreat, situated at the fringe of the Baja Peninsula, offers guests the chance for adventure and relaxation, with luxurious health and wellness programs, culinary events with celebrity chef visits, holiday gatherings including tree lighting ceremony, private sanctuaries, and masterfully appointed living spaces, all fully immersed in Mexican charm.
Frequented by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and their blended family, this is the ultimate “castaway” experience, with panoramic ocean views stretching the entirety of each exotic, hand-crafted villa. World-renowned chefs work alongside special kitchen guests to craft unforgettable meals, with cooking classes and diving/snorkel excursions also offered to guests.
Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel
Ibiza is Europe’s clubbing capital and the hotel combines a 415-room resort and an extravagant poolside outdoor club fashioned for live sets from EDM superstar DJs. U.K.-chart topping producer Calvin Harris’ summer residency ended in early September; Kraftwerk 3D and Armin Van Buuren are end-of-season highlights. VIP areas attracted Lionel Messi and other Barcelona soccer stars this summer. Expect pulsing lights, bass heavy beats, lasers and enviable weather.