King of the Castle
Written By: Elysse James The Chateau at Lake La Quinta is Primed to Be the Next Desert Hot Spot
This luxurious all-suite boutique resort has your cure for the summer doldrums. Each of the 24 suites offers a private patio with lakeside views perfect for a romantic escape and the inspiring grounds covered in blossoming gardens and rolling green lawns make a perfect backdrop for any special occasion. The on-site fine dining restaurant, Melange, plates classic dishes with contemporary ingenuity, while the outdoor wood-burning oven makes a chef of any interested guest. Prepare to be pampered by an outstanding staff while you unwind in the natural desert beauty of the Chateau at Lake La Quinta.
The Expert: Chris Chmielak
Credentials: General Manager, The Chateau at Lake La Quinta
Q: How has The Chateau at Lake La Quinta branded itself as an essential Coachella Valley resort?
Chris Chmielak: The Chateau has brought a unique element to the valley. There’s a sense of seclusion and privacy; it’s almost residential. The Chateau has a very upscale home feeling. We’re professionally designed. The design is known to be called chic or New French, very contemporary. We have a very comfortable but avant-garde feeling. One of the key features of The Chateau—really, compared to any other property throughout the entire Coachella Valley—is we are situated right on a 26-acre, man-made lake. All guest rooms have direct lake views, private patios or balconies. We have two bungalows that are slightly located off the main building that have balconies directly over the lake edge. We have a 24-hour pool and jacuzzi, which guests really enjoy.
Q: How does The Chateau at Lake La Quinta cater to the diverse interests of its guests?
CC: We are only 24 rooms, so we’re very boutique. With limited amenities, I think what we really do well to embrace people from all walks of life are the little details you’ll find throughout the property. When it comes to the linens in the rooms, we have spent many hours selecting the proper linens for the guest beds. The product amenities in the rooms are very special. We’re currently featuring Bvlgari White Tea. When you come in, there’s a lot of energy put into the vibe, the lighting, the music, the smell of the property.
Q: When is the best time of year to visit The Chateau at Lake La Quinta?
CC: Our peak business times are November through May 1, because the weather is so perfect in the desert. But again, in April, May, June, September and October our weekends are very busy. We have a lot of European travelers who like the heat. And people from San Diego or LA in the June gloom tend to gravitate toward the desert for some sunshine.
Q: How do you incorporate the storied history of The Chateau at Lake La Quinta?
CC: The Chateau was built in about 1998. It was known to be a 13-room bed and breakfast operated by an individual proprietor offering limited service. There was a little hot breakfast provided in the morning for a couple of hours and that was it. If you wanted lunch or a can of Coke you’d have to get in your car and drive down the 111. So, after renovations, we are now 24 rooms. The existing rooms were completely refreshed, and bathrooms and showers totally redone. Now we’re a luxury boutique hotel, and with the transition in classification entitles you to a lot more service and food and beverage.
Q: What sets The Chateau at Lake La Quinta apart?
CC: The Chateau is a little bit of old and new. Our clientele is very eclectic. Now we’re getting younger people and older clientele in their 50s and 60s who are still feeling young. When the guests get here and check in, they say, “Chris, it’s beautiful online and we read the reviews and everything sounds really nice, but when you get here you have not fully understood how special The Chateau is.” We’re seeing a lot of repeat guests that are coming up every other weekend or once a month and telling their friends.
Q: What’s new that we can expect to see at The Chateau at Lake La Quinta?
CC: We’re opening a restaurant called Melange. Melange is a concept that is very unique. It’s fresh, it’s approachable. The definition is “a little bit of everything.” We use very special proteins, Wagyu hamburger, and in all our chicken dishes we use Mary’s Organic Chicken, which is a chicken farm in central California. Our beef is all specially selected. We have Creekstone Farms, where we source our filet. We also have installed 10 citrus trees throughout the property, from Meyer lemon to blood orange to ruby red grapefruit. All these fruits will be incorporated in all the craft cocktails that will be assembled at the bar in Melange. We also have a self-serve wine dispenser. Our sommelier on property has hand-selected very special wines—wines that either have a special story or have a special rating—so the hotel guests have the opportunity to dispense wine at their leisure throughout their stay at The Chateau. The majority of the Melange seating is outside on our paver patio, which is right on the lake. We have a wood burning pizza oven on our lakeside patio where the chef crafts artisan flatbread in the afternoons and into the evenings. What we’ve done is created a very unique vibe.
The Chateau at Lake La Quinta
78120 Caleo Bay Dr
La Quinta, CA 92253