By a fluke, I recently had four short hours in Temecula. A friend invited me on a bus trip to Pechanga Resort and Casino, sponsored by his charity. This column often discusses private jets, first class flights, etc., but a bus ride was just the diversion I needed for the day! Travel is travel!
Most went to gamble. My in-terest: the newly renovated re-sort.
We arrived just in time for brunch at Pechanga’s Journey’s End. Whether you dine indoors or outdoors, you still have stunning views of the Temecula Valley. The gorgeous restaurant is located in the resort’s Clubhouse, home of a world class golf course.
We chose a rib-eye steak with garlic mashed potatoes and crab Benedict, but there was a variety of brunch choices from peanut butter and jelly-stuffed French toast to the usual omelets and club sandwiches.
Pechanga means: a place where the water drips, a fitting description that goes with the beautiful and natural water fea-tures that abound on the golf course and resort.
Journey’s End is built on a portion of Pechanga’s ancestral land that has been “home” for countless generations. This is al-so home to “The Great Oak,” one of the largest natural-growing, in-digenous coast live oak trees in the United States. It embodies the character of the Pechanga band of Indians: strength, wis-dom, longevity, and determina-tion.
After lunch we toured the golf course & pro shop, and learned of the Journey Golf Academy. Af-terwards, this gal’s first choice was to tour the spa in the hotel portion, adjacent to the casino. The staff couldn’t have been friendlier. They also accommo-dated me to the vast pool and cabana area in which guests use their key to enter. Can’t wait to return, take a swim, and hang in a cabana.
There are about 16 dining choices from the finest to the most casual. A wine and coffee bar caught my eye. How civilized to be casino free for a while (some may not want to), sit, chat, read, check messages, and nib-ble or drink depending on the time of day. The few open for dinner conflicted with my timing.
And a coup for the Ballroom staff who nabbed the great John Legend at the start of his newest tour. After all, it is an AAA, four-diamond award resort.
Every employee I spoke to casually said they have never been happier working at a job. This was from the shuttle driver to front office manager.
I didn’t have a chance to visit one of my favorite wineries, Rob-ert Renzoni, who makes the most delicious marinara sauce this side of the Mississippi. A few days later, I had a special delivery and oh yes, Sue is cooking up some very special pasta quite soon.
Sue Facter writes about the luxury brand, her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women’s Day Australia, on broadcasts and the web.