We love to find the hidden gems and we especially love to find the hidden gems that have some history to add to their luster. We just found another.  La Casa del Zorro.  Translated La Casa del Zorro means House of the Fox.  This will make more sense to you when you arrive at La Casa del Zorro.

La Casa del Zorro’s beginnings date back to the 1930s in Borrego Springs.  The Desert Lodge was a rustic oasis for ordinary travelers and prominent San Diegans.  After Pearl Harbor, the Borrego region became a military outpost and the lodge was used to house the recruits soon to be sent abroad.  The desert community helped to keep the doors open and the soldiers and families fed.  Once the war was over, Borrego became a residential and recreational spot for those who loved the quiet beauty of the desert environment.

From 1960-2007, La Casa del Zorro was owned by the James S. Copley family, former owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  Copley hosted the rich and connected as well as generations of families. Four decades, 42-acres, and family traditions filled with memories of relaxation, recreation and reinvigoration only to be found at La Casa del Zorro.

When the Copley’s sold the property in 2007, no one could have expected that it would eventually fall from its previous grace. It had been a beloved destination resort.  The new owners had a different idea for the property.  An idea that didn’t sit well with the locals and it didn’t sit well with guests.

After investing $10 million, the doors abruptly shut and that was the end.

Three years later, in 2013, it was announced that La Casa del Zorro was back.  A new investor team lead by a well-known Jack McGrory, a San Diego real estate investor, has re-opened La Casa del Zorro welcoming both visitors and residents alike.  Having been shuttered for those years, the resort has done a yeoman’s job at getting it polished up for the early visitors.  There are still plans to do a lot more to bring La Casa del Zorro even beyond her former golden past.

If you don’t know much about the Anza-Borrego desert, it’s time to go check it out.  Each season brings it’s own delight, wonder and natural beauty.


The Borrego desert doesn’t try to be Palm Springs and it isn’t.  The Borrego desert is still very much a quiet, small, understated desert community.  It promises nothing but a peaceful alternative to city life and throngs of tourists.  No neon.  No big retail.  No haven for foodies.  Borrego promises and delivers on relaxation with a capital “R.”

La Casa del Zorro – Photo Credit: Lisa Schmdit

La Casa del Zorro Resort is a gem.  It is a beautiful, tranquil respite from the ‘big city’ vibe of San Diego or Los Angeles.  Just about 87 miles from San Diego through Julian or Santa Ysabel makes the trip quick, easy and beautiful.

Once you arrive, there’s no place you need to go.  The resort is beautifully appointed with a luxury feel but a comfortable, casual setting.  With 44 poolside and pool view rooms, expansive rooms at that, you’ll immediately feel that wave of relaxation. High vaulted ceilings, wooden shutters, tile floors, marble bathtubs, wood burning fireplaces and five pools, who needs to travel to Palm Springs. We can attest that the photos match the interior of the room. Quite impressive digs.  But there’s more.  Much more.  There are also 19 casitas that can host larger groups of friends or family – each with their own pool.  Each room has its own wireless router for FREE WiFi, robes, slippers, small coffeemaker and TV.  Need a refrigerator? Just ask the front desk and they will accommodate you. Ice makers are close to the rooms.  Need anything?  Simply call the front desk.

Want to play tennis? There are six tennis courts for day/night play.  Want to create/hold a tennis tournament?  Ask to speak with the General Manager, Patrick Sampson.  He’d “love” to talk with you.

With a tip of the hat to old family tradtiions, there are shuffleboard, croquet, and bocce ball courts. Like to work out? La Casa del Zorro has a fully-equipped fitness center, yogo studio and an Olympic-sized lap pool.  La Casa del Zorro has always been a great getaway for families.  Generations have come and shared memories.  Now, another generation is finding La Casa del Zorro again since the doors have been flung open to embrace all those traditions from back in the day.  To welcome families, La Casa del Zorro has created a Kid’s Club which is a great way to keep the kids entertained and their parents in the relaxation mode.  #WinWin

What about an Adult’s Club? Need some pampering? Balance Spa is on the property offering full spa services to both men and women also designed with elegant, modern simplicity. The new a hair/nail salon opened in July 2014.


La Casa del Zorro Deluxe Room – Courtesy: La Casa del Zorro

Chef Kurt Hauser heads the culinary department for the three restaurants at La Casa del Zorro – The Fox Den Bar & Cantina, the Rose Garden Terrace and the Butterfield Room – all on the premises. Between the three venues,  breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner are served. The food is delicious California cuisine and the excellent service is provided by many who worked for decades at La Casa del Zorro back in the day.  They, too, have come back because of their love and wonderful memories of the resort.  Their commitment to their guests is obvious.  It’s also appreciated. We had the absolutely refreshing pureed gazpacho soup and the Kit Fox salad which is the mainstay over the decades. Taste it and you’ll find out why.  Our main dishes, including steak, were cooked perfectly.  On one evening, we tried the “Blue Plate Special” – a promotional offering to welcome area residents to visit the resort to dine.  Locals and visitors can enjoy the “Blue Plate Special.”  We had the Chicken Taco Salad – and it was tender, tasty and very satisfying for a light bite on a hot summer night. How hot? 117 degrees in July.  You read that right. After dinner, we pool hopped and relaxed our way around the resort.

Note:  There are seasonal changes to which restaurants are open.  During low-season, you might expect a consolidation of menu items served at one restaurant but simply call ahead to inquire. 

Speaking of food, like with any road trip, pack some snacks or food favorites to have with you.  Again, Borrego Springs and the surrounding areas don’t have all the big city offerings.  There are just a few area restaurants that you might want to try, but don’t expect the smorgasbord of restaurants you see in Palm Springs.

The truth is that once you’re at La Casa del Zorro, you might just want to stay on the property. The relaxation is that good.

But, it’s the desert….

What’s there to do in the desert?  It depends upon what time of year you go.  During the winter months and early spring, and you like to hike, there’s a big desert for you to explore. Anza-Borrego State Park, at 600,000 acres, is the largest state park in America.

Summer is hot.  Really hot.  One cool thing to do on a hot night is stargaze.  If you are curious about the cosmos, this is the place.  Borrego is just one of six “Dark Sky Communities” in the world, and the only “Dark Sky Community” in California. There’s a universe of stargazing to enjoy.

La Casa del Zorro hosts special stargazing parties featuring an astronomer, telescopes, mats for comfortable night sky viewing, music and more. Check the resort’s website for dates. These events coincide with major celestial events.  The Summer Stargazing Package at La Casa del Zorro invites guests to relax and enjoy some of nature’s most spectacular natural wonders in comfort and style. During select night sky events, astronomy enthusiasts young and old get a backstage pass with access to a La Casa del Zorro stargazing party featuring heavenly live music, astronomy and night sky discussions with professional guides and plenty of cushioned mats for optimal viewing. While parties are hosted only during major celestial events, the rest of the package amenities; including an overnight stay for two, late check-in and check-out based upon availability and breakfast for two; can be enjoyed on any starry night. The package is available through Summer 2014.

Also available are night sky tours through renowned local astronomer Dennis Mammana who provides transportation from La Casa del Zorro to various stargazing sites. Advanced reservations are required and tours are based on availability. But generally people can experience the wonders of the night sky any night of the week with one of his tours.

We San Diegans love our 70-mile of beaches but there’s more sand in the desert and it seems a world away when you sink into the relaxation and quiet of it.  There’s water lapping at your heels as you step into the multiple pools of La Casa del Zorro. It’s always good to get away and not have to go too far.  We’ve been sold on La Casa del Zorro.  The heat of summer can’t keep us away.  The peace and quiet is too alluring.


La Casa del Zorro

3845 Yaqui Pass Road
, Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Phone +1 760-767-0100  or  reservations@lacasadelzorro.com

La Casa del Zorro – Special Promotions

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