Culture / Travel

Nestled Just Outside of Palm Springs, Indian Wells Is A Tennis Lover’s Dream

The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa is the Place To Stay During the BNP Paribas Open

BY // 10.11.21

Palm Springs is well known for its serene views and beautiful golf courses, but it’s the town of Indian Wells, California (just 15 miles southeast) that’s dubbed “Tennis Paradise.” And rightfully so, we discovered during our visit to the 2021 BNP Paribas Open, postponed for two years due to Covid-19, to experience the tennis haven for ourselves.

The History 

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is where I spent two nights while in the desert. Originally named Grand Champions Hotel, it was home to the tennis tournament from 1987 to 2000. When the event outgrew the resort facilities, Indian Wells Tennis Garden was built and now houses the second-largest stadium in the world. As for the Hyatt, it boasts newly renovated guest rooms, a waterpark and pools, a spa, restaurants, and killer proximity for tournament goers.

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort’s new HyTides Plunge waterpark.

2020 Transformation

Like several other hotel properties around the world, temporary closures due to the pandemic gave Hyatt Regency time to improve (with around $20 million to do so). A sleeker, more modern aesthetic was bestowed upon the lobby, communal spaces, and guest rooms. The renovations also included the $8 million addition of HyTides Plunge, the largest water feature in Greater Palm Springs. It features two 30-foot dueling slides, a 450-foot lazy river, and splash pads — a cool reprieve when desert temperatures their peak.

The overall pool area is huge — there are nine pools to be exact. For those who prefer to stay far from the splash zone, consider the adults-only Oasis pool with private cabanas and a bar. There’s also food and cocktails available at Roadrunner Cafe nearby.

 

Dining at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells

There are two dining concepts on property. The Agave Sunset tequila bar and lounge is open every night and overlooks the picturesque Indian Wells Golf Resort. The spot serves California fare and desert-inspired cocktails. The other restaurant is Citrus Marketplace and Café located in the lobby of the resort. The more casual spot is open all day for grab-and-go bites, coffee, and to-go cocktails. On weekends, you can catch the breakfast buffet.

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Make sure to visit the Agua Serene Spa while staying at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells.

Spa Days in the Desert

During my stay, I also got to experience one of the best treatments I’ve ever had, the Flowing Palms Swedish Massage, at Agua Serena Spa. The space is absolutely beautiful — be sure to save some time to relax by the co-ed reflecting pool before or after your service. Inside, you can also take advantage of the relaxation room inside, a dry sauna, jetted tub, and outdoor showers.

 

Indian Wells
Indian Wells, home to the BNP Paribas Open, is a tennis lover’s dream. (Jacob Stuckey/BNP Paribas Open)

And Finally, the Tennis

If you find yourself at the resort during the BNP Paribas Open, you’re bound to bump into tennis players also staying at the Hyatt Regency. I won’t call them out by name, but let’s just say that I spotted a former world number one Belgian female player who recently came back from retirement, a very tall Frenchman married to Elina Svitolina, and two up-and-coming American male players (one a former UCLA Bruin, the other just defeated Paire, breaking his five-year streak of losing in the tournament during his first round).

At the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens, you’ll also get pretty close to your favorite players. Anyone can sit and watch the pros getting ready on the practice courts. It’s certainly one of the most intimate and laid-back pro tournaments I’ve been to — I walked past Russian player Andrey Rublev in a stadium hallway, then found myself watching US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez get a practice session in shortly after.

For tournament goers staying at the Hyatt Regency, the resort’s shuttle service offers easy access to the courts.

 

Pandemic Protocols 

Precautions at the tournament for the ongoing pandemic include the requirement of digital vaccination proof through the Clear app, though masks were rarely seen once inside of the grounds.

This year’s tournament is unusual, as it’s taking place in October. The annual event normally takes place in March. Luckily for tennis fans, the tournament will return quicker this year with the 2022 BNP Paribas Open beginning on March 7.

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