A Very Vintage Holiday at La Quinta Resort & Club

Ringing in more than 90 years of historic Hollywood tradition, La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is inviting guests to celebrate the season and escape to the desert for a Very Vintage Holiday.

Guests who book the Very Vintage Holiday package (starting $209/night, available until Dec. 31) will be treated to a festive holiday cocktail upon arrival, special edition La Quinta Resort holiday ornament and breakfast daily. While on property, they can experience holiday-inspired, old Hollywood glamour by stepping into the resort’s take on Bedford Falls, the fictional town where frequent La Quinta Resort guest, Frank Capra, set his iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The annual 65-foot tall Christmas tree will be lit throughout the season with holiday festivities including:

Chestnut Roasting: Enjoy New York style chestnuts roasting by the fireplace in the main lobby every Friday in December

Fireside Family Movies: Holiday classics shown each Saturday in December, complete with complimentary popcorn and hot coco, and s’mores roasting kits for purchase

Holiday Eats: The resort’s three dining destinations will serve up seasonal menus, specials and new handcrafted holiday cocktails including the “It’s a Wonderful Life”-inspired “George Bailey,” with Bailey’s Original Irish Creme, white Crème de Cacao, allspice liqueur, and gingerbread syrup

Christmas Cooking Demos: Foodies can get their fill with holiday cooking demos at Morgan’s, learning to prepare upscale classics like turkey roulade with cranberry chutney, hazelnut tapenade, turkey gravy, mushroom stuffing and apple strudel dessert

Breakfast with Santa: During a buffet style breakfast, the little ones can get their photo with Santa Claus while adults can enjoy a holiday Bloody Mary, Champagne and Mimosa bar

Seasonal Spa Specials: Tis the season to pamper, with the resort’s holiday spa treatments like the Merry Merlot Body Renewal complete with a healing wine-infused serum and the Warm and Toasty Body Massage, including a warm cinnamon massage and toasted honey butter serum hand and foot wrap

Info: (760) 564-4111 or www.laquintaresort.com


The desert is a special place to spend the holidays with family and friends and this season everyone is welcome to join the celebrations at Acqua and Lulu for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve dining.

The very first Christmas Eve dinners at Acqua and Lulu feature three delightful dinner options: a three-course dinner for $19.99; four-course dinners for $29.99 or $39.99; and our special Christmas Eve holiday dinner for $44.99 (adults) and $19.99 (under 12). Christmas Eve dinner will be served from 3 pm to 9 pm at both locations. Each restaurant will open 8-11 am for hearty breakfasts and serving lunch from 11 am to 3 pm, with a special Christmas Eve Happy Hour menu in the bars from 11 am.

Acqua and Lulu’s Christmas Day dinner offers traditional and delicious choices from a four-course menu. Begin with your choice of four delicious soups, including classic corn chowder, followed by a selection of festive salads and then your choice of more than ten entrees including holiday favorites like oven roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing and cranberry sauce or a 8 oz. filet mignon. And the dessert choices are nearly endless with your eight choices from vanilla crème brulee to a tasty apple crisp.

 Lulu has plenty of room for everyone on Christmas Day from outdoor dining on its heated, covered street-side terrace to cozy booths in the main dining room, and tables for large parties and groups in its festive mezzanine dining areas at its central downtown Palm Springs location on S. Palm Canyon Drive.

 Acqua at The River in Rancho Mirage offers delightful outdoor dining on its heated, covered patio with spectacular mountain views, a lively dining room with tables and booths, and The River Room featuring sliding glass doors that open and overlook The River’s signature water feature with plenty of seating options for large families and groups.

 Christmas Day dinner is served from 1-9 pm, with a limited Holiday Happy Hour menu at the bar.  Acqua and Lulu are closed for breakfast on Christmas Day.  Reservations are strongly suggested.  For Acqua, please dial 760-862-9800; for Lulu, please dial 760-327-5858. Christmas Day dinner is $44.99 for adults, $19.99 for children under 12.

 The New Year’s Eve party at Lulu is legendary!  The four-course dinner is always terrific and the dining room is decorated and festive. Begin with your choice of four soups, four excellent appetizers, then select from one of 10 incredible entrée selections for New Year’s Eve, like prime rib, Sonoma duck breast with asparagus risotto, or a delicious Chilean sea bass. And finish your meal with a one of eight festive desserts like fresh berries with Chambord, raspberry napoleon, and even Lulu’s famous floating island.

There are two options for New Year’s Eve dining at Lulu:  Make a reservation between 4:30-6:30 pm, for $49.99, or make the evening a real celebration by dining from 7:30 pm, and ring in the New Year and dance the night away with Tony Grandberry and his Big Fun Orchestra. This second seating includes hats, party favors, and a Champagne toast for $99.99. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling 760-327-5858.

New Year’s Eve dining at Acqua will be a new desert classic! The festive four-course dinner will be served in two seatings:  from 4:30-6:30 pm for $39.99, and from 7 pm with an “East Coast”/New York Times Square New Year’s celebration at 9 pm, for $49.99. The lively dining room is sure to be full of New Year’s Eve merry-makers and everyone will be home in time for a good night’s sleep!  Acqua’s River Room is available for a private event on New Year’s Eve for groups wanting a special setting for 50-200.  Please call for details, 760-862-9800.

Lulu California Bistro has been serving Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners since first opened its doors in 2011 and has served its delicious California cuisine to over two and one-half million guests since opening.  Owners Barbara and Jerry Keller have made very careful choices in creating “Palm Springs’ hippest restaurant.”  From the decor to the meticulous choice of incredible dishes on the menu, everything is designed to give guests the experience of pleasurable dining in the “hot spot” of the Coachella Valley and there’s always a party at Lulu.

Acqua California Bistro is the latest creation from the Keller family.  Serving the same menus as Lulu and opened this past summer, Acqua marks the return of the Kellers to Rancho Mirage. Fast becoming the go-to restaurant in the mid-valley, Acqua is a family affair:  many areas of the restaurant house “Papa’s Walls” — galleries of bright contemporary and modernist paintings by Barbara Keller’s 105 year old father, Marvin Cohn.  At Acqua, they serve smiles.

Reservations are strongly suggested.  For Acqua, please dial 760-862-9800; for Lulu, please dial 760-327-5858.


This Christmas Day, the acclaimed chefs at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will prepare a feast to remember for guests of every age to enjoy. Three of the resort’s seven restaurants will offer dining specials on Sunday, December 25th so make plans to celebrate the holiday with friends and family at the resort’s Fresh Grill Buffet, POM or at The Bistro.

The Bistro will celebrate Christmas with a delicious entrée of veal loin scallopini and Florida rock shrimp Imperial. A garlic-herb potato raft, sautéed asparagus and a lemon-Dijon beurre blanc accompany this premium cut of veal for $38. The Bistro opens for dinner at 5pm and will also be offering its regular menu.

There will also be a Christmas day special in POM of herb-grilled New Zealand lamb chops and crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp. Accompanying this dish is aged cheddar whipped potatoes, roasted vegetables, rosemary-mint demi-glace and garlic-citrus butter sauce for $36.  POM’s Christmas hours are from 6am until 2am and the restaurant’s regular menu will also be available.

At the Fresh Grill Buffet, get the holiday started with Christmas Brunch from 10am to 3:30pm.  Breakfast specialties will include omelets cooked to order, eggs Benedict, smoked bacon, country sausage, apple pancakes, and almond French toast.  Christmas Dinner will be served all day and will include an array of soups and salads including grilled chicken and shrimp Caesar salad, arugula and baby spinach with strawberries, Baja style shrimp cocktail, wild cream of mushroom soup and seafood jambalaya. Guests can also enjoy succulent meats from the carving station including roast prime rib of beef, honey-Dijon baked Virginia ham and maple-glazed turkey breast.

Fresh Grill Buffet will also include delectable choices like jumbo shrimp cocktail, Alaskan snow crab legs, Norwegian smoked salmon and poached Canadian mussels. There will be a variety of Chef’s specialties including grilled to order New York strip steaks, baked filet of salmon Florentine with Piccata sauce, roasted leg of lamb stuffed with feta cheese, spinach and roasted red peppers, corn bread stuffing with maple-roasted sausage, and candied sweet potatoes. Guests will need to save some room for a trip to the extensive dessert bar. There, diners will enjoy Fantasy Springs’ Famous Chocolate Fountain surrounded by a huge selection of cakes and pastries, warm bread pudding, yule logs, bananas Foster, and, of course, Christmas cookies! The dessert bar will also feature many delicious sugar-free confections.

With large, open seating arrangements, the Fresh Grill Buffet is the perfect place for groups and families, as well as for smaller parties for the Christmas holiday or for any holiday. Fresh Grill Buffet is open from 10am to 3:30pm for brunch on Christmas day and from 3:30pm to 9pm for Christmas Dinner. The cost is $31.99 for adults and $15.99 for children.

Reservations are recommended at Bistro and POM and may be made via telephone at (800) 827-2946 or online at www.FantasySpringsResort.com.


Say goodbye to 2017 and ring in 2018 with a roaring ‘20s safari themed event at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. The Mildly Wild New Year’s Eve dinner and dance will be held Sunday, December 31, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Chase Administration building and Lurie patio.

The New Year’s Eve celebration kicks off with a red carpet arrival and aerial artists pouring champagne, showing off their acrobatic skills, grace, and strength, high above the crowd during the reception. Following, guests will be treated to a delicious dinner followed by entertainment including walk-around performers on stilts, LED light choreography and various balancing acts. Then dance the night away to the sounds of and DJ Baz and His Magic Gramophone, and make a champagne toast to the new year with the east coast at 9 p.m. The evening also features one-of-a-kind animal encounters and many other surprises.

“New Year’s Eve is the ultimate celebration and there’s no better place to welcome 2018 than at The Living Desert,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “We have a special evening planned with spectacular entertainment, dinner, dancing and of course animal encounters that you can’t find anywhere else. We invite everyone to join our Mildly Wild party.”

The event is open to guests 18 years and older. Tickets for the Mildly Wild New Year’s Eve Party are $125 per person and include: champagne toast (21+), one complimentary drink ticket, dinner, and dancing. Tickets can be purchased online at LivingDesert.org.  For more information call (760) 346-5694.