Cristina Cascio has taken advantage of the resort's plush surroundings by incorporating morning walks or a vinyasa class.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIFFANY L. CLARK
After overseeing several of the Coachella Valley’s top spas, Cristina Cascio recently joined the team at Miramonte Resort & Spa. She chats with Palm Springs Life about the menu at The Well Spa.
How did you become involved with the spa industry?
I basically fell in love and couldn’t leave. I was going to [the University of California,] Riverside, and looking at doing psychology and clinical work. When it came time to graduate and make that leap from the hospitality industry, I felt my heartstrings tugging me to stay. I love working with people in a positive and uplifting environment. I worked in a few different positions in hospitality, but I learned early on that the spa was my favorite place to be.
What makes the desert a prime destination for health and wellness?
We’re really lucky to be surrounded by the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains. Whether it’s when the sun rises and you see them turn this golden color or at sunset when the skies are pink, people feel connected to the land. At The Well Spa, we do everything we can to take advantage of our surroundings, whether it’s morning walks or a vinyasa class.
What distinguishes The Well Spa from others in the area?
We’re a smaller spa, so that actually allows us to
be more creative and offer things that are
harder to do in a bigger spa. When I was at La Quinta [Resort & Club], we had 40 treatment rooms, so it would require an army to pull off the stuff we’re doing at The Well. We recently introduced this big oil diffuser; [we] go around the property and pick citrus from the grove or herbs from the chef’s garden and literally infuse our massage oils for the day.
What are the biggest trends in the health and wellness space?
Guests are looking for new meditation experiences. We started working with this artist, Judy Nemer Sklar, who’s known for her bold, colorful watercolors. She starts by leading a group of our guests in
an active meditation right on the top of our terrace with those
mountain views. Then, they’re given little canvases and can paint with coffee, tea, and wine. It’s a very different class for us, but it allows for total relaxation while being surrounded by a beautiful setting.
What’s one of your favorite services?
We brought back a treatment that was very popular with couples.
It’s a body mask treatment featuring three different types of clay. The couples are presented with body brushes and paint each other with clay, then bask in the sun in our little indoor patio to allow the clays to dry. Afterward, they shower off together and can move on to other treatments.
“I’m a huge bike rider. I get up at the crack of dawn and go riding in the streets back around PGA West [in La Quinta]. There are all of these roads back there that often don’t have anyone on them. I feel energized by the mountains. After I have a nice bike ride, I feel ready for the day.”