Are you Ready to Stay and Play in Palm Springs?


When it is time to play in Rancho Mirage, where should you stay and what should you do?

I started my workcation at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa and loved the Hollywood feeling I got simply by exiting the freeway on Bob Hope Drive and turning onto Dinah Shore Drive. My room had a balcony overlooking one of the many pools and there is PBI Tennis, it is highly rated for golf (in the top 75) and the spa has many creative treatments with honey for you and your partner. The children will be busy at the Westin Kids Club Discovery room and crafts by the pool.

Are you Ready to Stay and Play in Palm Desert?

VIDEO: Are You Ready to Stay and Play in Rancho Mirage?

I ate on property at Pinzimini and loved the pappardelle pasta directly from Italy. I had it with one of the best chicken parmigiana of my life. Thank you to James Beard Honored Executive Chef Joel Delmond and my fantastic server, Lance. I loved strolling over from my building past the lakes, golf course and arriving at the main pool and dinner.

Are you Ready to Stay and Play in Palm Desert?I loved the Las Hadas adult pool between buildings 9 and 13 and the Villas pool. Las Brisas is the main pool and is where I had a cabana with benefits! I ordered an incredible lunch and was able to work as I had a laptop desk, all the work essentials as well as a laptop safe to safely store and charge my phone and laptop while I went down the slide and cooled off in the pool.

VIDEO: BMW Performance Driving Experience

For my 50 New and Adventurous Things before I am 50 Project, I had my first ever professional driving experience at BMW with professional race car driver and instructor Christopher Hill. He was on a Car Racing Reality television show, won a formula race, competed and won in endurance racing and participated in the league of champions. After 23 years of competition and 17 years of teaching, he is the real deal!

Are you Ready to Stay and Play in Palm Desert?There are only two BMW Performance Driving schools in America, one in Thermal, California where I went and the other in South Carolina.

The first part of our experience was performance driving where my classmates and I drove a variety of cars on track. I drove the 240, M4, X3, X5M and X6M. Christopher encouraged us to test the cars and push them to the limits. As he said, “They are not your cars and they are not your breaks, I want to hear them squeal!” It was incredible to drive with him and learn about how to take the turns and then to work on our skills in the five different cars.

For the second part, we did a timed challenge in M3’s with a 440 horsepower competition package. The time-clock is sensitive to 1000th of second and I did finish second on the podium. I showed great improvement as my first lap was 39 seconds and my final lap was 30 seconds!

After the race track, our final ride was thrilling. Wear your seat belt and hold onto your hat because we went drifting! This was for professional drivers only!

I felt comfortable on the course. Christopher encouraged us to challenge ourselves but also to drive at a point where you can process and improve. There was a 2-way radio in the car but mainly he was coaching us. All the cars are set with traction control and dynamic stability control on. We talked about where to position the seat, how to brake and about how to use the paddle shifting. I highly recommend this BMW performance driving adventure in the desert!

VIDEO: My First Golf Lesson

I also had my first ever golf lesson with David Curtis who is a Pro golfer and instructor at the Gary Player Golf Course at the Westin Mission Hills. I used a 9 iron, hybrid 4 and a driver. If you have always wanted to try out golf or just want a clinic to get better, the team is waiting for you. There are two clinics every day at 9am and 2pm and the $25 fee includes clubs, a pass and the driving range. There is golf school, golf academy and even couples and wine time!

After my first lesson, David took me to Hole 5 and I hit a 90 yard shot over the water feature! I love this sport! It is awesome.

VIDEO: Stay and Play in the Desert!

I loved my work-cation in the desert. If you are wondering where to go or what to do, I highly recommend Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, a golf lesson and the BWM driving experience. If you are working by the pool, your office has a great view and when you need a break you are already somewhere superb.

Stay and Play at the Westin Palm Desert

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

One response to “Are you Ready to Stay and Play in Palm Springs?

  1. Hi Lisa, great post. It’s so interesting what is available is Palm Spring. I had no idea the BMW driving experience was there. Awesome pictures, thanks for sharing!

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