Snowbirding, Cottage Style

By Jane Cassie


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Where can you book a beautiful 400-square-foot fully-equipped holiday cottage that's close to languid pools, awesome activities and ongoing entertainment for a fraction of the price of a comparable hotel stay? Normally we're not on the lookout for accommodation when we motor south to our favourite snowbird home, as our roving fifth wheel is always in tow. But due to unexpected circumstances this year, our visit to Golden Village Palms RV Resort (GVP), in Hemet California, needs to be a shorter one, so we zip down quickly by air to where a park model awaits our arrival.

More than a dozen craftsman-like cottages are the newest kids on this popular resort's block. Our covered veranda extends a warm welcome and beyond the threshold is every primal comfort necessary for a lengthy stay; two flat screen TVs, wifi, DVD, and a heavenly pillow-top bed. Our spacious living quarters are decked out in designer duds and an all-equipped kitchen makes entertaining a breeze. The back door leads to a patio where a barbecue promotes dining alfresco and just steps away is fun, fun, fun!

Over the next seven days, we attempt to fit in as much as possible. We load up on fresh produce at Tuesday's farmers' market, try our luck at cribbage, games nights and Texas hold'em, and please our passion for pickleball. The four outdoor courts, just a short stroll away from our homestead, get plenty of action and a challenging tournament raises our competitive spirits. A fitness centre, zumba classes, volleyball and aqua-fit are heart-healthy contenders, as are the nearby hiking trails, pristine parks and over a dozen reasonably-priced golf courses.

Live music wafts over the pool deck every afternoon, and both tribute and dance bands provide regular evening entertainment. Although we miss out on this year's featured bands like The Beach Boys, CCR and Santana, we enjoy a taste of Polynesia on our final night when the pool patio turns tropical and umbrella drinks are paired up with luau-style entertainment.  

"It's been an amazing week," my husband says as we saunter back to our holiday home. "And thanks to our cozy cottage, our RV has enjoyed a rest too!"  

Golden Village Palms RV Resort   
Address: 3600 West Florida Ave, Hemet, CA 92545   
Phone: 866-477-6154  
Website: www.goldenvillagepalms.com
Rentals:
Daily: $160.00 to $240.00
Weekly: $880.00   
Off season: $2,550/month
High season: $3,150/month
Some local activities - Diamond Valley Lake for fishing boating, hiking, biking, Temecula vineyards, mountain town of Idyllwild, Western Science Museum, March Field Air Museum, 72 Km west of Palm Springs, 137 km east of Los Angeles and 137 km north of San Diego.

If you've always wanted to be included in the flock of snowbirds but are sans the roving home, here are a few other resorts that offer accommodation rentals.

Emerald Desert RV Resort
Address: 76000 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211
Phone: 760-345-4770
Website:  www.emeralddesert.com
Like GVP, Emerald Desert is another one of Sunland’s jewels. Located in Palm Desert, this oasis is close to championship golf courses, shopping and dining. A few of the upscale amenities include: temperature-controlled pools, a putting green, driving range, tennis and pickleball courts and a grand clubhouse. Emerald Desert offers 12 rental villas, ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms.
Rentals:
From April – December: Daily rates $95.00 - $225.00
From January – March: Daily rates $150.00 - $325.00
Some local activities: Golf, hiking, shopping at El Paseo, celebrity tours

Rincon Country East RV Resort / Rincon Country West RV Resort
Address: 8989 E Escalante Tucson, AZ 85730 / 4555 S Mission Rd Tucson, AZ 85746
Phone: 888-401-8989 / 800-782-7275
Website: www.rinconcountry.com
Whether you're looking for an intimate resort, like Rincon Country East, that snuggles into a quiet neighbourhood, or the spacious Rincon Country West, that hugs up to the Tucson Mountains, both aim to please. Between the two, there are over 100 hobby and interest clubs to choose from. And while Bowser paws around the agility course at Rincon West, train buffs will be lured to its railroad garden – the largest of its kind in Arizona! The east location has 18 well-stocked park models. The West has 28. Price is reflected in the age of each unit and its individual perks.
Rentals:
Weekly:
January – March: $630.00
April – December: $450.00
Monthly:
Jan – Mar: $1,950 – $2,250
Apr – Jun: $1,300 – $1,400
Jul – Sep: $900 / Month
Oct – Dec: $1,300 – $1,400
Some local activities: O.K. Corral, Kartchner Caverns, Pima Air & Space Museum, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, golfing, hiking and biking.

Sky Valley Resort and sister property, Caliente Springs Resort
Address: 74711 Dillon Rd. Desert Hot Springs, CA  92241 / 70200 Dillon Rd. Desert Hot Springs, CA
Phone: 760-329-2909 / 760-329-8400   
Website:  www.SkyValleyResort.com / www.CalienteSprings.com
Rentals: These nearby resorts are located in the Coachella Valley on the outskirts of Palm Desert. In addition to a great location, beautiful views and loads of amenities, they feature natural hot spring pools and spas, golf, pickleball, tennis, and very active activities and chapel programs. Each resort hosts 13-15 fully-stocked park models, most of which are less than five years old.
Daily: $150.00 per night in highest season
Weekly: $675.00 in highest season
April – December: $1,575* / month
January – March: $2,500 / month  
* Includes 30% off season discount. Cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.
Some local activities: nine-hole executive golf course integrated into Caliente Springs Resort, wind farm tours, Palm Springs Tram, College Of The Desert swap meet, Big League Dreams Sports Park.

Westwind RV and Golf Resort
Address: 9797 E 32nd Street Yuma, Arizona
Phone    866-440-2992
Website: www.westwindrvgolfresort.com
This property, on Yuma's sunny foothills, has been luring snowbirds since 1985. Integrated with the standard mix of activities, is a full-service restaurant, kidney shaped hot tub, bocce ball, nine-hole golf course, pickleball, volleyball and shuffle board. There are five resort-owned park models (three constructed in 2006, the other two in 2013) and an in-house list of private rentals. As with the other resorts, all units are fully-equipped. All you need is your toothbrush!
Rentals:
Weekly: $600.00 in highest season
November – March 1 month: $1,900.00
November – March 2 months: $1,800.00
November – March 3 months: $1,700.00
April – October 1 month: $1,600.00
April – October 2 months: $1,500.00
April – October 3 months: $1,400.00
Monthly fee of $40/month for water/trash/septic
Some local activities: Golf, hiking, biking, boating, ATVing.

All rates are quoted in USD and subject to change.

 

OCTOBER 2015 INSPIRED SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE

 

 

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