After driving for miles through the vast desert of Death Valley National Park, I couldn't fathom that I would find and review a resort as pleasant as the Inn At Furnace Creek. But yes, here in one of the hottest, driest places on earth is a beautiful and comfortable resort. You can read more about the National Park Here. This review and tour is going to bypass the historic Park and focus on beautiful Furnace Creek Inn.
History and popular movies tell us stories about mirages in the desert. They depicted watering holes shaded by palm trees and a place for weary travelers to rest and relax before venturing back out into the desert. The Inn at Furnace Creek is just such a "mirage" in the desert of Death Valley.
The Inn is tucked up against the hills with the deepest parts of Death Valley stretching out to meet the mountains that define the other side of the valley. More about the Inn. If driving in from Los Angeles, it will be about five hours. I would suggest entering the park at Shoshone. It is not the fastest route to the Inn but you will see much more of the Park along this route. From Las Vegas, it is around a two and a half hour drive Via Pahrump Nevada. The fastest way will be Death Valley Junction and then straight into the Park. I would suggest again going south to Shoshone Via Pahrump. This southern route will add an hour of driving, but take you by Bad Water the lowest point in North America, providing a broad overview of Death Valley on your way to the town of Furnace Creek and the Inn.
Upon arrival a bellman is available with self parking at the base of the hill below the inn. A patio runs along the front of the Inn offering spectacular views of the Valley. Later in the day this area becomes a popular meeting spot for guests who have been out in the desert seeing the sights. Staff in crisp white shirts and tuxedo vests will bring your favorite refreshing drink.
My room was located in one of the oldest parts of the Inn. It had no view, but from the door, it looked out over a desert oasis of palm trees, grass and flowers. I should remind guests that always confirm your reservations. Finding an error when you arrive can mean a long drive back to Vegas or State Line to find a room.
The rooms have been very well maintained in this historic Inn. My room in the older section was comfortable with plenty of space for three with one twin and a double bed. The room offered all the conveniences of a modern property. The prices at The Furnace Creek Inn are in the luxury range. Lower priced lodging options are available nearby at The Ranch.
The accommodations are varied and not cookie cutter like at modern hotels and resorts. My room had a walk-in closet and a vintage style bath with shower, no tub. The room was air-conditioned, but the fireplace no longer worked. I suspect in the old days a small fire would have greeted guests on cool winter evenings.
Many of the Inns rooms are centered around this beautiful garden of green grass, palm trees and flowers. A small creek feeds the oasis. It should be noted that the Inn is not open year round. It is closed during the heat of the summer. The nearby Ranch motel & RV park operation is open year round for visitors hearty enough to brave the extreme temperatures.
What would a respectable oasis be without some fine dinning? A dinning room and bar supply the sustenance needed to replenish your bodily needs, getting your ready for another day in the desert. I did not dine here, but decided to try the steakhouse located in the Ranch complex. The Ranch is a short drive and offers several options, including a casual cafe, for those not interested in the fine dinning available in the Furnace Creek Inn's dining room. Just like the Inns rooms, meals at the Inn can be expensive. The Ranch offers ower cost options.
Found near the Ranch are the visitors center for the National Park and a single gas station. Fill up before entering the park, high gas prices in Furnace Creek will cause your good temper to melt as fast as the burning hot summer sun. Remember to always to drink plenty of fluids. Even as the temps hit the low 80's the breeze made it feel very comfortable. Be warned the dry winds quickly suck the moisture off of your skin. Sunscreen and water are a necessity.
No oasis would be caught dead without a pool for its visitors. The pool at the Inn At Furnace Creek is fed by a warm spring, but do not expect a "warm" or "heated" pool. The warm spring takes the edge off what could be a particularly cold dip. Either way an evening swim is an excellent way to soothe the body after exposure to the harsh elements of Death Valley. Evenings around the pool are also warmed by the glow of two large open fireplaces.