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BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, California –

I love tennis.  I love how tennis brings people together.  I met a fellow tennis player while at tennis camp a couple of years ago.  We had talked about my blog and the fact that I was just starting to teach children’s tennis.  She reached out to me in January because she was interested in going to the Indian Wells Tournament and also asked if I was interested in teaching her daughter tennis.  I was very excited about both opportunities.   I enjoyed sharing my insight into the Indian Wells tournament experience, from transportation, where to stay, where we recommend playing tennis or taking tennis clinics and the tournament, overall.

How to get to the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament!

There are many options to travel (fly) to Indian Wells, California area. 

  1. Fly directly into Palm Springs Airport. There are many flights, to the small Palm Springs airport.  The Palm Springs airport is about 20 miles from Indian Wells.

  2. Fly to Ontario airport, rent a car, and driving to the Indian Wells area. Probably 1 -1 ½ hours driving.

  3. Fly to Orange County or Los Angeles airport. Rent a car (We use Hertz).  Driving can take 3 hours.

  4. Fly to Las Vegas, rent a car and drive to area. This drive can also take 3 hours.

Places to stay in Indian Wells, California area. 

There are many choices of places to stay.  The last three visits to Indian Wells, California, we have stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, California.  The beautiful resort is set in the Desert Mountains, overlooking the area.   Prior to choosing the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, California, we have stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Indian Wells, the JW Marriott and other Marriott properties.

We enjoyed staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage for many reasons.  We loved the location and the views from the resort.  We enjoyed being pampered by the staff at the Club level lounge.  It was great to be able to relax in the Club lounge after playing tennis, day at the pool, hiking, shopping or watching the professional tennis matches.    Although we had made our own tennis arrangements prior to our stay, we inquired about tennis opportunities with the club level manager while staying at the resort.  We were told that we had tennis privileges at the sister property, the JW Marriott (which would be something we would consider on a future visit).  The perfect ending to our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage was a relaxing massage at their outstanding Spa.   As I checked into my appointment, the spa receptionist stated, Mrs. Holmes, do you realize that it has been exactly one year since you last visited our spa.    I smiled because, of course, the spa did not disappoint.  The spa facility was one of the nicest spas I’ve ever visited.  It was a truly relaxing way to complete our tennis vacation.

Where to play tennis while at Indian Wells!

Last year,  we participated in the tennis clinic at La Quinta Tennis resort.    This year we chose to check out the Cliff Drysdale Tennis in the desert, at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas, in Rancho Mirage, California.  We learned about the tennis clinics through the marketing efforts of Katie Steck, Cliff Drysdale Tennis (tip:  I shared this with my friend, who not only signed up for the tennis clinics, but signed up for a tennis package which included staying at the resort, along with great tickets at the BNP Paribas Open.    The great thing about our experience, was that although we had already made arrangements to stay at a different property, the Cliff Drysdale Tennis accommodated our tennis needs.

The Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center employed three full time tennis teaching professionals.  The great thing about Cliff Drysdale Tennis is the consistency of awesome teaching tennis professionals.  The excitement generated on the court coupled with the desire to teach each person something new to advance their game, when they are on the tennis court, is something we have found at each of the Cliff Drysdale tennis centers.   At the beautiful Omni Rancho Las Palmas country club, there were 24 tennis courts.  Our tennis Pro, Conner, was full of energy and challenged everyone on the court.    On our last day,  our clinic was taught by Eliot Pegg, Director of Tennis, Omni Rancho Las Palmas.   He was super energetic, funny and challenged us to be better on the courts (tennis tip: when in service box, move forward at an angle).   We left the court extremely exhausted and pleased with the Cliff Drysdale Tennis program.

BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament!

When we drove from Los Angeles to Indian Wells, we noticed billboard signs along the way, most noteably G.M.O.A.T. (greatest mother of all time – billboards created by Serena’s husband), with a photo of Serena Williams.  When I saw the billboard I was very excited about the opportunity to see Serena Williams play tennis. We originally did not have tickets for the first Thursday evening of the tournament.  As soon as I realized Serena William was playing, I quickly purchased tickets.  Little did I know that Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder, of Reddit, would be manning Serena’s booth (selling Serena S pins, which represented Serena’s return to tennis and benefitted her charity Yetunde Price Resource Center)!  It was a great night to see Serena Williams back on the court.   As a bonus, we caught the Bryan Brothers playing in their band to a very large, adoring crowd at the venue (tip: when they are playing in the tournament, their band plays the first Thursday evening).   It was definitely a great start to many matches that we would see over the next few days.    (Tip:  During the first weekend there are many great matches, so buy day grounds passes.  You will have your choice of matches at a reasonable price).

For many reasons, Indian Wells has been my favorite tournament to go to each year.  We were pleased to find another great tennis playing opportunity, as well as have a great resort experience and of course enjoy watching fabulous tennis.  An added bonus was to to have shared our experience with someone, which helped set up her successful tennis weekend at Indian Wells.

Places of interest:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, California

  2. Cliff Drysdale Tennis, Omni Rancho Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage, CA (contact Katie Steck at

  3. BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, CA

Favorite tennis outfit piece:   Lacoa Sports!  I love the “tattoo” skirt.  My readers and friends can enjoy a 10% discount and free shipping with this promo code:  Tennis10

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