Lounging At The Sands

Lounge Lizards

After squeezing every drop out of our time in Laguna Beach, Andy now asks for “do-nothing” vacations by name! Now my man wants to spend a few days chillin’ by a pool.

The Sands Hotel and Spa in Indian Wells, California is the perfect desert-chic retreat for couples looking to unwind.

Like Sands Through Our Glass…

The Sands website really drew us in. We love the Moroccan style, and the upscale Sands blends it with the Palm Springs feel. Martyn Lawrence Bullard designed the chic hotel and spa in what he describes as, “‘I Dream of Jeanie‘ meets mid-century modern design.”  

“I Dream of Jeanie meets mid-century modern design.”

Sands Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard

We loved the relaxing, earthy, Moroccan feeling we got at Korakia in Palm Springs pre-shutdown. The Sands gives you more of an old-Hollywood luxury cool. Both retreats are perfect for parking the car at check-in and spending your whole stay by the pool.

The Sands thinks of everything: cabanas, poolside service, award-winning on-site restaurant, and full service spa. Like Korakia, the Sands is NOT a family destination. They are dog-friendly, but you must be over 18 to enjoy this cool oasis.

Making Our Getaway

As always, we start our California road trips at our favorite local coffee house, Pannikin in Leucadia. A long drive is always best after avocado toast and Mexican mochas!

From our garage to Indian Wells is just under 3 hours, part of which is highway winding along a cliffside in the San Jacinto Mountains! In my mind, we are going over the pass careening perilously close to the cliffside, and I have a bit of a freak out.

Wowzers, that road! Amiright?

The view, however, is awesome! So we stop stop at a viewpoint to take it all in, let me calm down, and snap a few selfies.

There, that’s better
The fountain provides a nice transition from hectic to peace!

Welcome to Wow!

It’s late afternoon, and we can feel the 95°. From the parking lot, The Sands does not look like much. We park near the door, and stroll by a stylish tile fountain, the only hint at what lies beyond. Once inside, the wow begins!

We are welcomed in a room covered in patterned black and white tiles and textured pillows. We’re greeted and escorted through a heavy black and gold door, and given a tour of the pool before being shown to our room.

Just beyond the fountain, relaxation begins!

Room with a “Whew!”

More wow in our deluxe king suite! We’re overlooking the pool in the front and the San Jacinto Mountains from our private patio in back. We have a lovely sitting area with comfy daybed and a full bar. The TV is streaming retro music, and on the screen a personalized welcome message. Nice touch!

Bathroom on the left, Bedroom on the right, pocket door in the middle.

That bathroom is beyond wow! Beautifully tiled with an amazing bathtub behind a glass wall. How about an opening from the tub with little shutters so you can wave at your hubby from the bubble bath? Or play Romeo and Juliette! And of course, there are spa robes for our stay. I always like that.

Leaning Into Relaxation

As great as the room is, we’re heading straight to the pool! Ladies, I suggest packing several bathing suits and some cute cover ups for your stay. Oh, and a fabulous sun hat too.

At the Sands pool, you can rent a cabana for the day that includes a bottle of bubbles. But there are plenty of chaises and daybeds with misters to lounge on.

We grab our spot by the pool and order up some cocktails. I am going to be enjoying the Pink Lemonade. But this isn’t your Grandma’s recipe (or if it is, I want to meet your Grandma): Absolut Vodka, herbs de Provance, Lilleté rosé, and pink sea salt, garnished with rosemary. Andy’s drink is a Fig Orange Old Fashioned.

We can feel the relaxation take over as we settle in for a few hours by the pool listening to groovy music float through the air, our cocktails hitting the spot in the now-97° heat. Breathe in chill, breathe out bothers.

As the sun goes down, we dress up for dinner at the Pink Cabana.

Hoppin’ Spot on Site

The Pink Cabana is the Sands’ restaurant near the pool open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We recommend you make reservations, because this chic little spot fills up fast!

Andy is in full Relax mode as we sit around a fire pit with a nice ledge on it for drinks and plates.

We get seats outside around a fire pit. The temp cools off quickly when the sun goes down in the desert, and the lush tropical plants sway in the breeze.

We like to eat lighter fare in hot weather. We start with glasses of an Italian Pinot Grigio and a half dozen oysters with a preserved lemon mignonette.

Kushii Oysters from British Columbia.

Next, we both order the crab salad. This hits the “cool-and-refreshing” spot! Fresh crab meat, grapefruit, hearts of palm, avocado, and fresh dill. It’s so light and tasty, we can feel the healthy — along with the relaxation — come over us!

Now this is a crab salad!

Day Two Indulgence

In the morning, we are up with the sun, but in a leisurely way. We head down to the pool to stake out our spot for the morning. We have something special planned today: a couples massage! But first, a few hours soaking up rays by the pool.

The Sands stocks complimentary coffee, tea, and iced water by the pool. We are starting with coffees and a round of the Marakesh Watermelon Refreshers from the poolside service. This is a healthy drink, no alcohol: watermelon, jicama, lime, and mint. (Check out my version of this drink in the recipe below.) This will help keep us hydrated in the sun.

9:30 am, and coffee poolside

Fun fact: warm sunshine increases your heart rate. So we were racking up exercise minutes on our Fitbits while we laze poolside!

We opt for a light early lunch. We don’t want heavy tummies for our 1pm massages. And we don’t really feel like waddling a few yards to The Pink Cabana, so we order by the pool.

I get the Hawaiian Red Crab Roll, Andy get the Tennis Club Turkey sandwich. Both are served with house-made thick cut potato chips that are fabulous. The roll on my crab sandwich was a little over-toasted, but the crab was great.


Time to put on our spa robes and head to the Moroccan Spa. First, we stroll through the olive grove, a secluded walkway leading to the spa.

The reception area is peaceful and beautifully decorated. Make sure you book your spa treatments before your stay at the Sands, because they fill up quick.

We are greeted by our massage therapists and escorted to our treatment room. Our massages can be described as “Ahhhhh!” We are noodles by the time we are done! I was in the salon and spa industry for over 30 years, and I know a good massage when I have one. I highly recommend you try the massage at the Sands.

Solar Recharge

View from our private patio.

After our massage, we float on air to a daybed by the pool to lounge the rest of the day away.

Pro tip: after a massage, you want to drink plenty of water, especially in hot weather.

We want to keep the healthy vibe going a little longer, so we order the Wellness Tonic before we dive into cocktails. The Wellness Tonic is organic carrot juice, ginger, and turmeric.

We also order the Cabana Mezze plate, with homemade naan, olives, and hummis. Don’t be shy about asking for more naan bread. We basically vegetate poolside until evening.

Dinner Winner

Another visit to the Pink Cabana for outdoor dining and people-watching. The people-watching is great, with Bachelorette parties in full swing, and everyone is dressed a little fancier. Pack a few nice light-weight dresses for evening.

Andy goes for seafood, and I try the Harissa chicken. My Harissa chicken is wonderful and served with crispy baby potatoes. Harissa is a North African condiment made with red pepper, dried chilies, spices, and olive oil. Yum! Everything is tasty and exactly as we would want it!

And of course, more chilled Pinot Grigio into the late hours as the night air cools.

Wake Up Slow

There is no hurry to check out in the morning, so we start our day with breakfast by the pool. I still have one more bathing suit to wear! We take our time, relaxing in the morning sun.

Here comes my poolside breakfast!

For breakfast, one more Watermelon Refresher and a turmeric honey granola. This is so good! A nice, thick Greek yogurt topped with a saffron-colored granola and fresh berries. I am going to have to learn how to make this at home!

Andy is enjoying the Sands Breakfast with all the things he loves: eggs, applewood bacon, potatoes, and country bread.

Check Out

The Sands is only 11 miles from Palm Springs, and it’s Cinco de Mayo! How about some shopping and a stop at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs, Las Casuala Terraza?

Locals and tourists alike rave about this restaurant! It has beautiful indoor and outdoor courtyards that seem to go on forever. The staff is very friendly and (as I have said in a previous post) their chicken is awesome!

Juicy, tasty, shredded chicken tacos for us today. Add margaritas, salsa, and chunky guacamole, and we’re in the Cinco de Mayo zone!

Now that I have Andy in the Zone, I think I will talk him into some shopping before we hit the road home.

Moroccan Watermelon Refresher

This is a refreshing healthy hot weather treat, wonderful for sipping by the pool.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 8


  • 1 medium jicama peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 medium watermelon
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves plus more for garnish
  • 3 limes juiced, plus more for garnish
  • dash of salt
  • ice craft ice is best


  • Roughly chop jicama and place in blender
  • Add water and agave nectar
  • Puree in blender
  • Strain through cheese cloth or strainer
  • Chop the watermelon and place in blender
  • Add mint and puree in blender
  • Strain through cheese cloth or strainer
  • Mix jicama juice and watermelon juice in a pitcher
  • Add lime juice and a pinch of salt and stir
  • Pour over craft ice and garnish with lime wedges and mint sprigs
Keyword Beverage, Watermelon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!