A historic gem in the hottest place on Earth.
People have been winding their way into this oasis since 1927 when it played host to adventure seekers in their new automobiles. It was an exclusive desert escape for Hollywood elites such as Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, and Carole Lombard. The Inn has gone through a complete $100 million renaissance renovation to bring the elegance of Old Hollywood back. Today, guests motor up the same way, albeit with air conditioning, and arrive at the “mirage-like” inn with its swaying palms and serene springs. The Inn offers rooms in the original property or in newly built casitas that include personal golf carts. The casitas are suite-like, each with a separate living space and private outdoor seating area. Many of the original rooms at the Inn have decorative fireplaces.
The Oasis has many of the same things it did in its early days, including swimming pools, dining, golf, and sightseeing. Guests can chill in private cabanas or lounge in the sun by the spring-fed pool that naturally drains and refills four times per day. The spring keeps the pool water about 85 degrees year-round. The Inn also offers spa services near the pool for guests: massages, aromatherapy treatments, foot baths, and more. The Inn Pool Café serves sandwiches, wraps, salads, and assorted beverages, so guests can grab a bite without having to stray too far from the water.
Golfers can play the lowest game of their lives because the Furnace Creek course sits at 214 feet below sea level. Players are able to pair a drink or quick bite at the 19th Hole with outstanding views of the mountains. The Inn and its family-friendly sister property, the Ranch, serve as good bases for seeing the sights in Death Valley National Park, where desolate beauty abounds. Badwater Basin, Artist’s Palette, the Devil’s Golf Course, and Zabriskie Point are a short drive away.
Guests can begin and end their days with more elaborate meals at the historic upscale dining room at the Inn, either inside or outside on the terrace (again, for the views). Other options include the Western-style Last Kind Word Saloon or the 1849 Buffet at the Ranch. All have well-crafted menus with culinary nods to the area, such as locally sourced dates. At dinner, the Inn serves tasty date bread that has been on the menu for decades. There are also blue cheese-stuffed dates as an appetizer, and creamy date butter and bread at breakfast. Staff will pack an ordered lunch to go for guests who are planning to be out adventuring all day.
The Oasis at Death Valley summarizes the experience offered to guests with a bit of clever wordplay; its tagline is “in the middle of nowhere you’d rather be.”
Photography: Courtesy the Oasis at Death Valley
From our April 2020 issue.