THAT GLEAM MACHINE: If you've ever pulled up to the front door of a rather grand and historic hotel or resort, you've likely passed a lovely car or two at the valet stand. A touch of envy can ensue, and some admiration, and you may find, for a moment, that your mind is less on finding the registration desk than strolling around the automobile while eyeing the dash, the wheels, the fenders. But what if, after registering and locating your room and sniffing all of the complimentary toiletries and hanging up your clothes lest they wrinkle (you do do that, right?), what if you could return to the hotel driveway and slide into the front seat of one of those amazingly shiny autos? That's just the plan La Quinta Resort & Club has in mind for motor mavens booking a stay at the desert destination from Wednesday, Oct. 15 through Monday, Oct. 20. The package's name? It's the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience, and if you're crossing your fingers that you'll get a chance to tool around those wide, pretty streets of La Quinta in something fancy, well, uncross those fingers and slide on the posh driving gloves: That is exactly the case.
FERRARI, MCLAREN, PORSCHE: A trio of famous names are in the package's mix -- visualize a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, a McLaren MP4-12C, and a Porsche 911 Turbo. The Experience pairs with pro race car driver Didier Theys of Belgium for a three-hour experience. The price? It kicks off at $1258/double plus fees and taxes, and, for sure, you'll get to eye the mega renovation the historic-and-newer property just underwent. Also, if you get knots in your shoulders, as drivers do, from time to time? Some special spa add-ons are available for an additional cost.
AS FOR THE CARS? You'll get an instruction lesson from Mr. Theys ahead of time, and you'll get to rotate cars, too. And, true true, you'll go beyond La Quinta, heading for picturesque turns in San Bernardino National Forrest. If you've ever wanted to drive one of these gems, with an accoladed fast-car smartie at your side, this is a fine moment. And it should, for the time being, alleviate the need to linger too long before any fancy cars in any fancy driveways. You'll get to try one -- or three, rather -- out for yourself.