5 must-experience desert destinations for transformative, healing escapes
One of the country’s original wellness destinations, Greater Palm Springs abounds with healing properties and nourishing mind-body-spirit experiences. Between the sacred natural hot springs, 25+ destination spa resorts, and diverse array of wellness modalities available across the nine desert cities, Greater Palm Springs remains a compelling, go-to vacation destination for deep rejuvenation and restoration. And thanks to a recent infusion of new-and-improved destination spas, the wellness scene has become even more alluring. These five pampering places reflect the new frontier of modern wellness in our iconic destination.
Experience Sensei at Porcupine Creek
Nestled under the awe-inspiring Santa Rosa Mountains in Rancho Mirage, Sensei at Porcupine Creek opened in November 2022. The first Sensei wellbeing retreat on mainland U.S. soil, the resort embraces the founders’ dedication to sustainable living powered by science, data, and technology. The new, ultra-luxurious desert oasis offers best-in-class wellness services, superior golf and tennis facilities, and innovative dining guided by nutritional science and the culinary mastery of famed Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Set on 230-acres, the elegant, airy accommodations include 10 Estate Rooms, four Casitas, and eight standalone two- and four-bedroom Villas. All wellness retreats are tailored to the individual guest and range from the five-day “Rest & Recovery Program” to the month-long “Sabbatical Experience.” The menu of spa treatments includes access to Sensei’s own thermographic technology that creates a visual map of the body, revealing asymmetries, muscle tightness, and possible areas of pain—data used to guide the resulting bespoke massage. The cuisine served at the exclusive guest-only Sensei by Nobu restaurant is a draw in and of itself. Crafted with fresh ingredients that stay true to how nature delivers them, each meal is designed to ignite the senses and provide optimal benefits.
Soak in the Spa at Séc’he
The region’s original Native American inhabitants, the Cahuilla Indians, were the first to take advantage of the hot, mineral-rich waters that spring from a robust natural underground aquifer. The April 2023 opening of the highly anticipated Spa at Séc’he marked the start of an exciting new chapter—the Agua Caliente tribe is now sharing their healing traditions directly with the public via a luxurious dedicated wellness facility. The expansive 73,000 square foot spa complex harnesses the land’s ancient healing waters and delivers state-of-the-art treatments and innovative therapies. The new facility is poised to become one of the most unique and luxurious destination hot mineral spring spas in the country, offering 22 private mineral baths, halotherapy salt caves, float pod suites, a cryotherapy chamber, a coed whirlpool, resort-style waterfall main pool, and zero-edge mineral pool. Rituals range from a “Taking of the Waters Day Pass” (which includes access to all spa amenities and a 15-minute soak in the 105-degree waters) to treatments such as the “Quartz and Poultice Massage” and “Native Grains Aromatic Buff.” A café and bar serve nourishing bites for spa-goers along with indulgent cocktails for poolside sips.
Retreat Yourself at Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort
A longtime staple for spa-goers in Desert Hot Springs dating back to the 1940s, Two Bunch Palms has been completely upgraded for the modern traveler. Rooms, suites, and villas at this 18+ haven are spread among olive and palm groves. Soak in mood enhancing mineral waters bubbling up from a 600-year-old natural spring and savor renewing treatments delivered by renowned healers. Book spa treatments a la carte or curate an experience combining the resort’s weekly classes and quarterly workshops. Think cacao ceremonies, sound baths, vision boarding, yoga, and plant medicine. The Restaurant at Two Bunch Palms serves vegetable forward, So-Cal inspired foods with a seasonally changing menu—and plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians.
Get Grounded at The Paloma
Opened in summer of 2022, Cathedral City’s The Paloma Resort revitalized a storied location that once housed the region’s first beauty resort founded by the Elizabeth Arden Corporation. A $14 million investment transformed the property into a colorful, 66-room full-service resort hotel featuring an inviting restaurant, lounge, and a large swimming pool zone complete with a bar and bookable daybed loungers. The spa, Grounded at The Paloma, features a menu of bodywork treatments integrating modalities such as lymphatic drainage, reiki, dry brushing, hot stones, and reflexology. Facials employ Californian skincare line, Osea, and other organic products. Beauty treatments for lashes and brows are also on the menu.
Be WELL at Miramonte Resort & Spa
In early 2022, Miramonte Resort & Spa Indian Wells completed a stunning $9 million property-wide renovation, including redesigned and upgraded guest rooms, new outdoor dining and gathering spaces, and an updated pool experience. The WELL® Spa also got a reboot to its nine treatment rooms and public spaces. The new menu of services features a “Precious Gemstones Facial,” “Raindrop Therapy” massage and “Nutrient Mud Body Mask”—among many other tempting treatments. Spa-goers can enjoy the eucalyptus steam room, hot and cold soaking pools, and relaxation lounge. In late 2023, the resort will relaunch as the first-ever Tommy Bahama lifestyle branded resort concept, Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa.
ABOUT VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
Greater Palm Springs is Southern California’s resort oasis, with nine cities—Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella—each offering its own blend of experiences. And with natural hot mineral springs, lush palm groves, over 100 golf courses, world-class events, and more than 300 days of sunshine annually, Greater Palm Springs offers a unique combination of escape, adventure, inspiration, and relaxation. In Greater Palm Springs, the choices are as endless as our blue skies.