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Venue Report: Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

The grass is actually greener at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa since a giant pond was redesigned into the namesake event lawn this past year. Previously, the only verdant location options for exchanging vows were the fifth fairway or sixth tee, which meant competing with golfers and being alongside the heavily trafficked pool path. The recent $5 million renovation also included the Mission-meets-modern makeover of two ballrooms—think dark woods, white pottery and colorful carpet. The fitness center has been doubled in size, and R Bar, off the lobby, reads more library than sports bar.

A creative new chef has introduced seasonal contemporary California cuisine at the no-fuss fine-dining restaurant, BluEmber, where Brie fondue with verjus-poached apricots and Serrano ham is not to be missed—especially when eaten fireside with live music. The blue-and white Spa Las Palmas oasis was also revamped and now features two couples’ treatment rooms, a heated pool with underwater music, fresh fruit water and desert-inspired services that incorporate dilo nuts, crystals and local cactus. The resort can accommodate a wedding of as many as 600 guests with costs varying, depending on size and venue.