The state-of-the-art wellness destination offers massage and skin care treatment rooms, mineral pools and soaking tubs, a swimming pool (shown), steam rooms, dry saunas, float pods, salt caves, cryotherapy, a salon, a fitness center, and a café.

A Guide to The Spa at Séc-he in Palm Springs

An insider’s guide to the rich heritage, healing treatments, and heavenly amenities at this spa, located at the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza.

Lisa Marie Hart Health & Wellness

The state-of-the-art wellness destination offers massage and skin care treatment rooms, mineral pools and soaking tubs, a swimming pool (shown), steam rooms, dry saunas, float pods, salt caves, cryotherapy, a salon, a fitness center, and a café.

The state-of-the-art wellness destination offers massage and skin care treatment rooms, mineral pools and soaking tubs, a swimming pool (shown), steam rooms, dry saunas, float pods, salt caves, cryotherapy, a salon, a fitness center, and a café.

The gift the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has given to the community and beyond in the form of The Spa at Séc-he is one to be unwrapped, appreciated, and experienced again and again.

Beautifully set on the sacred site of the Tribe’s sacred Hot Mineral Spring in downtown Palm Springs, the luxurious, state-of-the-art Spa shares the healing water that has been a sustaining resource for thousands of years and a draw to the city for well over a century.

Since The Spa at Séc-he opened in April 2023, guests have stepped through its doors with elated anticipation that’s quickly replaced by a sense of awe and wonder. Dazzling glass-tile mosaics, organic architecture, and natural stone articulate the Cahuilla story while amenities enliven all five senses.

A full day immersed in transcendent serenity leaves guests wholly rejuvenated, as well as grateful to partake in the rituals Tribal members have revered for centuries. Here’s our guide to optimizing every visit.

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The reception desk in the entry features a Murano glass tile mural.

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Bespoke terrazzo floors weave traditional Cahuilla basket designs throughout the building, including this seating area.

1. Prepare for Spa Greatness

Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your day to take in every peaceful pleasure The Spa at Séc-he has to offer. Once wrapped in a soft, signature robe and clad in slippers, you’re ready to explore the 73,000-square-foot wonderland that awaits.

In scale and in caliber, the Spa joins the upper echelon of great spas around the globe. Yet, with a model based around complete experiential wellness, its amenities are inclusive rather than add-ons, placing it a notch above most others. Spas from Las Vegas to Iceland charge guests per experience; some even impose time limits, restricting the nature of a languid day of self-care inherent at this new landmark spa.

Expect to be enchanted while you unwind. The Spa at Séc-he envelops guests with luxurious ambiance akin to a five-star resort, enhanced by the healthful, holistic comforts of a day spa. The range of services and amenities in one locale is as rare as the Hot Mineral Spring it honors and celebrates.

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The swimming pool features a refreshing waterfall and private cabanas.

2. Soak in Pure Water  From the Ancient Hot Mineral Spring

Water sustains civilizations, and for the Agua Caliente people, that water was Séc-he, the Cahuilla term for “the sound of boiling water,” referring to its natural temperature, which cools to 105 degrees by the time it reaches the surface of the ancient Hot Mineral Spring. The spring perpetually feeds the new spa’s outdoor mineral pool and private soaking tubs as it has supported the Tribe since time immemorial. Clean, clear water for drinking, bathing, and irrigation placed the Hot Mineral Spring at the center of a Tribal life, as the Cahuilla people understood its power for physical healing and spiritual connection.

Armando’s Bar

Guests enjoy private, 15-minute mineral baths. Attendants fill the soaking tub for each guest to “take the waters.”

The spring water in which guests soak last covered the earth’s surface more than 12,000 years ago in the form of rainwater and snowmelt. From a mile and a half underground, the hot water rises up in a rich combination of calcium, magnesium, and sodium unique to this land and nurturing to the skin. Since the 1800s, the Tribe has shared these restorative waters with visitors. Bathhouses followed by spas have welcomed desert residents and visitors to find rejuvenation. The Spa at Séc-he is by far the grandest of five iterations. Nowhere else on the planet can one slip into a private soak designed by nature to achieve the ideal temperature for full-body relaxation. The mineral composition eases muscle stiffness and joint pain while increasing circulation.

“Taking of the Waters” is an ancient tradition recreated for guests, whether enjoying a day pass or receiving a treatment. Close the door to one of 22 private rooms where bubbling mineral water springing from the earth, untouched and with unmatched purity, has freshly filled your contoured tub. A 15-minute pause from life’s distractions provides a warm, restful steep in the history of the Tribe and a rare place for personal reflection.

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Enjoy a private 15-minute mineral bath at the spa.

3. Surrender to a  Transforming Service

A day pass to The Spa at Séc-he could be the best way to spend a day in Palm Springs, with the exception of a visit that adds in at least one unforgettable treatment.

Dozens of experiences on the menu align with Tribal traditions born of the desert. Heated gemstones, essential oils from local botanicals, indigenous herbs, red clay, aloe, native grains, and blue sage are among the elements layered into unique therapies available at Séc-he.

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 Guests at The Spa at Séc-he enjoy the tranquility garden before treatments; the entry to women’s lounge.

Therapists meet guests under the calming palm trees in the Tranquility Garden before escorting them to one of 15 treatment rooms. The service table sets the tone, perhaps lined in fine heated quartz, wired with sound and vibrations, or set beneath the curative infrared heat of a sauna dome.

The signature Water Cupping Massage sets you afloat on a warm, pillowy waterbed, while a cupping technique gently pulls and loosens tension to promote blood flow and repair cells, leaving you feeling rested yet energized. Results-driven, customized facials deliver oxygen to plump, LED light to brighten, and JetPeel technology to exfoliate and hydrate. The Spa’s clinical skin support line features into the anti-aging collagen and vitamin C facials. Body scrubs buff and polish skin, then seal it with moisture for silky softness. Wraps pack a triple punch: exfoliate, detoxify, rehydrate.

Wellness packages such as the Desert Prickly Pear Scrub and Massage and the Canyons Journey Massage and Facial harmonize two complementary treatments for extended respite and maximum nourishment of body, mind, and spirit. Double spa suites accommodate side-by-side couples pampering.

Add the zero-sensory, magnesium-dense float tank and the below-freezing jolt of the cryotherapy chamber to your “try” list. The former replicates the feeling of floating on a cloud to relieve anxiety and physical pain for the ultimate mind-body reset. The latter surrounds the body with nitrogen-chilled air to target migraines, arthritis, nerve irritation, and muscle inflammation while improving circulation and alleviating fatigue.

Armando’s Bar

An inversion table in a treatment room.

In the salons, clean products meet supreme comfort. Guests can feel a heat pack relax their shoulders during a mani-pedi or allow a scrub and massage to revive tired limbs. Beyond cuts, color, and hair styling, a decadent 50-minute “head spa” treatment relieves stress, repairs hair, and invigorates the scalp.

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Women’s locker room.

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Infrared mat with chromatic light therapy and negative ions; the cryotherapy chamber, located in the fitness center.

4. Amble Through  the Amenities

No one can rush in a pair of spa slippers, and a spa day should never put you on a schedule. “There’s no right way to experience the Spa before or after your service,” says Spa Director Daniel Spencer. With things to do in every direction, some want to know the circuit — the secret to checking every box in the recommended order. Yet Spencer reassures visitors that there isn’t one.

Embark on a self-guided journey and release your need for controlling its course. Unravel the mysteries as they present themselves. Sample each of the amenities as the mood strikes. “You’ll feel differently at different times of day,” Spencer explains. “Initially you may opt to listen to music in the acoustic chairs and then later, once you’re more mellow, a guided meditation.” Let the moment be your guide.

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The mineral pool has a zero-edge entry for guests to wade in.

The amenity package, free to those with treatment reservations and day passes, begins in the palatial men’s and women’s lounges. Each features a wonderfully intense eucalyptus steam room, menthol inhalation dry sauna, cold-burst shower, and aromatherapy showers infused with citrus. A substantial whirlpool nestled into the rock bubbles away on its respective relaxation patio.

A pair of men’s and women’s grounding rooms for earthing offer optional guided meditation virtual reality. The adjoining acoustic lounge areas sweep visitors off their feet and into one of the acoustic vibrational loungers, where gentle vibrations accompany music, binaural wave sounds, or guided meditation. The more private of the two hosts anti-gravity chairs; both are nap-friendly.

Halo generators in the co-ed halotherapy salt caves release tiny salt crystals into the air, though the rooms lack any detectable scent or change in temperature. Thirty minutes stretching out aside the earthy orange glow from the salt-block wall may bring lasting relief for seasonal allergies, asthma, respiratory problems, and even skin conditions and anxiety.

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A treatment room; menthol inhalation dry sauna.

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A treatment room; halotherapy salt cave.

The zero-edge outdoor mineral pool creates an additional way to submerge in the earth’s thermal waters, the time-honored, therapeutic practice the Agua Caliente Tribe delights in sharing. Always a tepid 90 degrees, the skin-softening water is also reputed to ease joint, muscle, and arthritic pain.

Guests drift between the mineral pool and the larger, free-form freshwater main pool edged by a rock waterfall and grotto. They dry off under the shade of an umbrella and lounge on a cushioned teak chaise. Orders from the Pál Bar arrive right to the guest’s chair.

If guests become too relaxed, they can work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with the latest in cutting-edge weights and machines.

The Spa at Séc-he encourages guests to create a different experience on each visit, as it shares its abundant amenities and reveals the magnetism of its namesake water that empowers renewal and healing

The Spa Through Time
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1880s; 1910s.

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1930s bath house; Palm Springs Spa Hotel 1960s.

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The Spa at Séc-he is the fifth iteration of the Agua Caliente bathhouse around the Tribe’s ancient Hot Mineral Spring.

Day Pass, Hour by Hour

Make it your day, your way: Create your own spa-cation based on this sample itinerary for an immersive visit.

9 a.m.
Check in, welcome tour, robe and slippers on

9:30 a.m.
Unwind pre-treatment in the Tranquility Garden

10 a.m.
Enjoy a massage, facial, body scrub or wrap

11 a.m.
Soak in the healing waters of a private mineral bath

11:15 a.m.
Ease back in the acoustic lounge and grounding room with music and meditation

Order lunch inside from Málmal Café or poolside from Pál Bar; dip in the co-ed whirlpool, 90-degree mineral pool, and main pool with waterfall, grotto, and sun loungers

2 p.m.
Breathe deep in the head-clearing salt caves

2:30 p.m.
Relax in the women’s or men’s steam room and sauna; cool off in the cold experience shower

3 p.m.
Refresh with an aromatherapy shower; change from robe and slippers

3:30 p.m.
Get a cold-pressed juice to go from Málmal Café; browse the spa boutique

3:45 p.m.
Book your next visit before heading home

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The Spa at Séc-he.

How to Spa at Séc-he

Book a Day Pass
Bring your swimsuit and fitness gear if you plan to work out. Your pass to paradise includes use of all spa facilities plus a private, 15-minute mineral soak. Team members provide a welcome tour of the Spa and an introduction to the amenities. Reservations are recommended.

Add a Service
Starting at $245 — only about $100 more than the day pass — massages offer tremendous value. Additionally, the sky-lit Tranquility Garden is exclusively for guests receiving a service. This pre-treatment oasis imparts a spa ritual in itself. Ease into a meditative state listening to the waterfall.

Hydrate & Refuel
Indoors, find health-forward and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at Málmal Café. The pool-adjacent Pál Bar adds warm items to the menu. Choose from nutrient-packed salads, sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads, and beverages including juices, smoothies, iced coffee and tea, wine, and cocktails.

Come Together
In addition to the amenity-rich women’s and men’s lounges, a co-ed lounge sits between the two co-ed halotherapy salt caves. Steps away is the outdoor co-ed whirlpool. A couple’s treatment suite accommodates massages and facials. Book a poolside day bed for two or a luxury cabana with TV, mini fridge, seasonal fruit platter, and misters for up to six. Small groups can reserve the private spa suite (complete with mineral whirlpool) for the day.

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Entry to couple’s treatment rooms; the main pool. 

Make Time
Leave your cares at the door by checking in at least an hour before your treatment and allow at least 4 to 5 hours on either side of it. Guests say their only regret is not arriving earlier or planning to stay longer to soak up the atmosphere and amenities. The spa is open 8 a.m.–7 p.m. daily.

Become a Member
Jump start a wellness routine with a Be Well Balance Fitness Membership. Access to the 2,300-square-foot fitness center pairs with Spa amenities and the Taking of the Waters mineral soak experience.

Take Home Bliss
Products used by aestheticians round out a thoughtful curation of self-care items and apparel that complement the Spa’s intentions and a mindful lifestyle.

This story originally appeared in Me Yah Whae: The Magazine of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Fall/Winter 2023.