Spotlight: Santiago Resort
By Kevin Perry
Life is the eternal balancing act. We race from our hectic jobs to cram in a quick yoga session, and when the regimented Zen wears off, we start the madness all over again. Humans are curious contradictions, so catering to their whims can be exceedingly difficult. But no matter where on the spectrum you land, from mild to wild to ooh child, Santiago has you covered. Much like its inviting two-man hammock, this resort swings from social to serene with a sensual, hypnotic rhythm, until you don’t know whether to snooze or salsa dance.
Luckily, there’s no need to choose; at Santiago, the only agenda is relaxation.
The emcee of luxury is Kent Taylor, General Manager of Santiago. “The building is 80 years old, and has been a gay resort for half that time,” recounts Taylor. “I have a long work history of Operations Management and when the position of Manager opened, I was offered the job.” It was a leap of love, and it spanned about 235 miles. “My partner and I sold our Las Vegas home, packed up the dogs, and moved to Palm Springs almost 2 years ago.” That’s when he was greeted by a pure blast of paradise.
Taylor experienced an immersive desert warmth beyond just the temperature gauge; he found a true sense of family. “That is honestly one of the best parts of Palm Springs, is the tight community. We all work together, help each other, and continue to do all we can do to make Palm Springs the best it can be.”
And unity requires diversity. When asked about the unique demands of the LGBT community, Taylor momentarily deflects, preferring instead to embrace the oneness of all vacation voyagers. “I am not sure I feel that the LGBT community actually has unique demands. I personally feel that all travelers just want to find a place that they feel comfortable, and can relax. Especially in this crazy time, with too much work, bizarre politics on TV, and life in general that is only made better by some manful R&R.”
Taylor positively beams when he reels off Santiago’s voluminous list of amenities, “Something we are very proud of!” Those perks include a heated swimming pool that ranks among the largest of any gay resort in town, an outdoor heated spa flanked by cooling misters, a cozy fire pit, and a poolside garden shower.
Did we mention that Santiago is clothing optional? Well, it’s true; you can enjoy your lush surroundings in as many (or as few) garments as you’d like.
The Santiago is fiercely friendly, inviting guests to a complimentary “Stay ‘n’ Splash” poolside lunch, plus their cantina is open 24/7 and it’s stocked with snacks galore. When you’re ready to burn off those calories, the resort offers bicycles to ride into town and admire the mountains that tower mere meters from your front door. As Taylor nears the end of his epic list of amenities, he hits a cheery crescendo. “And of course the attentive, and personable Santiago Staff!”
Pride is more than just a weekend in November; it’s a philosophy, a guiding motivation, and daily dance for Taylor and his crew. They don’t just punch a clock – they bring satisfaction to their visitors with every smile, gesture, and check-in.
The joyous journey shows no signs of slowing down. “We are committed to continually try to create the best guest experience we can. We have many meetings that are focused on just that: how can we be better?” Taylor ponders his own query and provides a swift answer. “Given our #1 rating on Trip Advisor, purely from guest reviews, it’s another point of great pride for us.”
There’s that word again. It echoes from his words to his deeds to the fabulous experience he provides to anyone fortunate enough to book a stay at Santiago.
650 E. San Lorenzo Rd., Palm Springs, CA. 92264