Here in Vegas, we’re pretty used to the heat. But when you want to get away and cool down for a bit, we have a great spot that’s not where you would expect. The Oasis at Death Valley indeed doesn’t sound like a fun place to cool off. But once you step inside the 4-diamond, 66-room inn or the more family-oriented 224-room Ranch at the Oasis at Death Valley, North America’s only true desert oasis is the place to be.
The history of the Oasis is long and rich, beginning with its opening in 1927. The original property, known as the Furnace Creek Inn, was built by the Pacific Borax Company, home to the famed Borax 20-mule teams of the 1880s. Later the resort became the getaway winter spot for Hollywood celebrities like Ronald Reagan, and where George Lucas filmed scenes from the original “Star Wars” movies because of the stunning natural beauty in daylight. And while its history is impressive, you won’t be staying in a dusty old museum! The Inn has been completely revitalized with a multimillion-dollar update. This means all new rooms, a new dining room, a new lobby and a new pool wellness area. Just 120 miles outside Las Vegas, the Oasis is a short road trip away.
Since the Oasis is built in the Death Valley National Park, the surrounding area is entirely undeveloped desert. Because of this, Death Valley is one of only eight designated gold tier International Dark Sky Parks in the United States where star-gazers can see the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Much of Death Valley National Park is unexplored – at more than 3 million acres, it is the largest national park in the lower 48 and remains mostly untouched, remote and breathtaking. Hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horseback riding are just a few of the activities available in the park. Slot canyons, desert moonscapes, towering snow-capped peaks, cacti, blooming spring wildflowers, birds and the rarest fish in the world — the pupfish — all exist in this region.
A gorgeous swimming pool filled with natural spring water is probably the last thing you’d expect to see in the middle of the desert, but the Oasis at Death Valley offers just that. Soak in the spring-fed waters, sample the treatments offered in the new and nurturing spa, and seek midday shade under the cabanas. The Oasis is fully aware how valuable water is in the desert, which is why they ensure that every drop of the pool water is purposefully used and carefully managed. The spring water is not chlorinated, eventually flowing through the lakes to be used for a variety of other non-potable functions, including landscaping and irrigation of the golf course (which is also an Audubon-approved bird sanctuary).
The Oasis features four separate dining establishments. The Ranch Date Grove Diner, the primary food service option, has a variety of quick service offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The brand-new facility offers an open dining space looking out to the golf course with its tamarisk trees and mountain vistas. If you’re feeling a bit fancier, the Inn’s dining room, pictured above, serves a menu featuring classic cuisine. Regional flavors such as cactus, citrus and even pomegranate from the Inn’s garden are highlighted in the menu. The Inn Pool Cafe, which allows you to grab a quick bite from the comfort of your cabana, offers sandwiches, wraps, salads and beverages. The 19th Hole is an open-air venue overlooking the golf course. The restaurant has a full bar, great hamburgers and a drive-thru option for golf carts.
A visit to the Oasis at Death Valley would not be complete without a round of golf. The Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley, an 18-hole, par-70 course, sits at 214 feet below sea level, making it the world’s lowest-elevation golf course. Palm and tamarisk trees frame the fairways, and majestic mountains are visible from all areas of the course. Gear up at the fully stocked Pro Shop on anything from golf balls and tees to apparel and snacks. No round of golf would be complete without a stop at the 19th Hole for a burger.
For more information, visit OasisAtDeathValley.com.