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Where to Smoke

Review: Agua Caliente, Rancho Mirage, California

| By Jack Bettridge | From Nick Jonas, September/October 2019
Review: Agua Caliente, Rancho Mirage, California
Photos/Agua Caliente
Agua Caliente's walk-in humidor is stocked with cigars from Padrón, Arturo Fuente, My Father, Illusione and Oliva.

Not surprisingly, the long drive from Los Angeles to the Coachella Valley and Palm Desert, California, can be something of a thirsty slog during which a man might be forgiven for having visions of a tall drink and a smoke. Fortunately, the Pívat Cigar Lounge at the Agua Caliente casino resort, appearing on the horizon just before arrival is not a mirage, but a cigar and cocktail oasis in the middle of the desert.

Pívat, the brainchild of Agua Caliente COO Saverio R. Scheri III, a longtime cigar fan, can rival many cigar stores with its collection of 5,700 cigars in 44 brands along the wall of its walk-in humidor (private lockers available). Included are impressive selections from such well-known names as Padrón, Fuente, My Father, Illusione and Oliva. In a sense, the smoke esthetic here goes back some 3,000 years as the lounge is named for the term for smoking from the language of the Cahuilla Indians, who own the resort and traditionally consider taking tobacco a sacred rite. Two members of the tribal council are also cigar smokers.

The bar menu features drinks such as the Smokey Mary, an applewood-smoke-infused Bloody Mary, as well as a lineup of cocktails that have cigar-pairing suggestions.
The bar menu features drinks such as the Smokey Mary, an applewood-smoke-infused Bloody Mary, as well as a lineup of cocktails that have cigar-pairing suggestions.

The 700-square-foot room signals asylum for the tired smoker, not just with its towering ceiling, cushy leather seating and flawless ventilation system, but also with its cigar-friendly cocktail menu. Featured are drinks such as the Smokey Mary, an applewood-smoke-infused Bloody Mary, as well as a lineup of cocktails that have cigar-pairing suggestions.

As you make your way through a bar menu that includes filet mignon sliders, turkey jerky, king crab California roll, Wagyu beef and double chocolate cake you may begin to reconsider moving on to your final destination. After all, there’s a large casino, a spa and fitness center with world-class services, and a pool with cabanas. Then there’s The Steakhouse—deep not only in red meat but seafood. You can also see top entertainment acts in the Show Gallery and have access to golf at Indian Canyons. Why not check into one of the 342 rooms and just stay here?

Pívat Cigar Lounge at Agua Caliente
32-250 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
(888) 999-1995
www.hotwatercasino.com/pivat-cigar-lounge
Open Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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