Whether you’re in pursuit of pampering or wish to completely reinvent yourself, inside and out, this is where you’ll find choices galore — in a peaceful environment of year-round sunshine and breathtaking natural beauty.
In fact, the Cahuilla Indians discovered the region’s abundant hot mineral springs nearly 2,000 years ago. As the valley’s first inhabitants, they relied on the springs for their drinking water — and life itself. Then, in the mid-1800s, government survey parties recorded the presence of a natural hot springs mineral pool in Palm Springs (eventually the site of Agua Caliente Spa Resort Casino), as well as springs at the foot of two bunches of palms in Desert Hot Springs (now Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa). Word spread, and by the turn of the century, a steady stream of visitors came to the valley for its healing waters.
The desert’s arid climate also offered health benefits to people with asthma and other respiratory problems, and entrepreneurial types were quick to accommodate them. Nellie Coffman, founder of Palm Springs’ celebrated Desert Inn, launched her establishment as a respiratory care boarding house in 1909. Other facilities followed, and the region’s tourism industry was born.
Today, the Palm Springs area offers an even greater abundance of resources for rejuvenation.
Aaaah, the spas!
Simply put, the desert has some of the world’s finest spas. There are grand spas that are part of full-service resort hotels; elegant day spas, spas within intimate, one-of-a-kind boutique hotels; medical spas; and spas built around the area’s natural mineral springs. If you prefer to plunk yourself down at a full-service resort, consider the Miramonte Resort’s new Tuscan-inspired spa, The Well, in Indian Wells. The Well’s signature service is the Pittura Festa (painting party), in which you “paint” your partner or yourself using brushes and colorful mud and clays, then relax in the warm sun or a private cabana while the detoxifying mud nourishes your skin. As the mud dries, receive a scalp massage and personalized pressure-points facial. Complete your treatment with a Swiss shower.
For an even more intimate atmosphere, check out the Estrella Spa at the distinctive Viceroy boutique resort in Palm Springs. Named by Travel + Leisure as “one of the top five spas to watch,” this spa’s signature treatments feature indigenous desert minerals, herbs, and citrus fruits — some grown on the resort grounds.
Many spas combine pampering with fitness and health. At the five-star Parker Palm Springs, a luxurious new 22,000-square-foot spa offers all the massages, facials, and beauty services a body would want — and the services of personal trainers, nutritionists, and classes in Pilates, yoga, tai chi, and Chi-Cong.
Within Agua Serena Spa at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells is the Medical & Skin Spa, a full-time medical practice that offers services for looking and feeling your best, including noninvasive cosmetic treatments and anti-aging and integrative medicine. And at Spa Helios, an upscale medical day spa at The River at Rancho Mirage, you’ll find medically directed skin care and laser hair removal, along with traditional spa services.
And if you’d like to take advantage of the area’s abundant healing waters, head to Desert Hot Springs, where several resort hotels are built around hot mineral spring water pools. In addition to the celebrity getaway Two Bunch Palms Resort, several other spa resorts offer appreciable outdoor soaking options, many with awe-inspiring views of the mountains that ring this valley.
You’d be hardpressed to find a better destination for a nip and tuck. For starters, the desert boasts some of the nation’s best plastic and cosmetic surgeons. From facelifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and liposuction to less invasive laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and dermal fillers. Your makeover awaits! And as a resort destination designed for R&R, there’s probably no more hospitable environment in which to recuperate from the latest beauty-enhancing techniques. Plus, the desert possesses a special cachet for discretion and privacy — a holdover, perhaps, from the days when Hollywood stars would come here to kick up their feet and let down their hair.
For the health of it
A visit to this desert paradise is often just what the doctor ordered. The valley has first-rate medical facilities with state-of-the-art technology, as well as a dynamic wellness community that embraces complementary and alternative medicine. The new Eisenhower Imaging Center at Eisenhower Medical Center (as well as several other freestanding imaging centers) offers remarkable imaging technology that screens the body for diseases before symptoms surface on their own. The WellMax Center for Preventive Medicine at La Quinta Resort & Club provides what is arguably the most comprehensive health evaluation available anywhere. And you’ll find a growing number of physicians who integrate traditional Western medicine with alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic, giving you the best of both worlds.
Clean and sober
Maybe it’s the desert’s climate that makes temperance so appealing here. This area is home to some of the most well-respected rehabilitation facilities in the world, including Betty Ford Center and Palm Springs Serentity Retreat for Women. For people struggling to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the valley can provide physical, emotional, and spiritual sustenance.
So, what is your pleasure? Whether it’s to relax, recharge, renew, or simply rediscover a special someone (including yourself!), chances are you’ll find exactly what you need right here in Palm Springs Valley.