If you want to know which dish will wow your taste buds at a restaurant, you ask the wait staff for a recommendation. If you’re looking for the quietest room or the one with the most incredible view at a hotel, you ask the front desk for their insights. At Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Rancho Mirage, Director of Spa Daniel Spencer has the inside track on this relaxing sanctuary’s top treatments. In time for spring’s renewal, he lets us in on the unique experience each one promises and the transformative properties that have made them the most requested treatments at this Forbes Four-Star spa.
When You Go
Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage
32250 Bob Hope Drive,
Rancho Mirage, 888-999-1995
Open 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Whichever you choose, he notes, give yourself the gift of ample time at the spa. Let your treatment become the centerpiece for a leisurely day away from commitments and distractions, reserved solely for your personal refreshment and rejuvenation.
“From the moment you enter Sunstone Spa, the full experience begins,” Spencer says. Pure aromatherapy fills the air as you move from the eucalyptus steam room to the dry sauna, Jacuzzi, and spa pool, enhanced by delicious fruit-infused waters and chilled lavender face cloths. Grounding chairs in the ambient lounge reduce inflammation in the body naturally. Spencer recommends at least 30 to 45 minutes of blissful relaxation in one of the chairs before your service. “The grounding effects are just like being barefoot,” he shares. “That unwinding we all need starts to take place before you even get to the treatment room.”
From there, each of the three most sought-after treatments go well beyond basic spa-style pleasure, layering several types of therapy to provide the most benefits. Which will you order?
Massage Your Way to Wellness
The Serenity Massage is aptly named. Borrowing long strokes and lighter pressure from a traditional Swedish massage, with the addition of warm gem stones and therapeutic oil, this massage is, as Spencer calls it, “the comfort food of spa services.” Supreme relaxation is the reason so many spa-goers choose to release their earthly cares under Serenity’s soothing spell, whether on their first visit to Sunstone or as a self-care ritual they have integrated into their wellness routine.
As the light pressure of heated gemstones loosens muscle tension and improves circulation, zinc is found naturally in the treatment’s luxuriant sesame oil work to heal and regenerate the skin by supporting collagen. This comforting massage — as you are cradled in the warmth of a blanket, receiving the restorative benefits of a grounding mat underneath the sheet — calms the restless mind and delivers gentle relief across the body. Serenity at last! Choose 50 or 80 minutes.
Softening, Soothing, Polishing Gems
One of the newer treatments and most unique experiences at the spa has become an absolute must for locals and visitors alike. The innovative Gemstone Polish therapy marries complete relaxation with full-body skin renewal by pairing the benefits of scrub and massage.
Exclusive to Sunstone and designed by Spencer based on years of research and experience, this is the antithesis of a standard pre-mixed, vigorous scrub down. Choose one of five intentions and your scrub will be custom-blended fresh in front of you. As you stretch out and begin to unwind, a range of tactical sensations are the hallmark of this treatment that begins with the slow, gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells and culminates in a warm stone massage that eases sore muscles.
Warm gemstone-infused oil is drizzled on the body before a dusting of aromatic crystals, clay, rose quartz powder, and three types of proprietary salts of varying granule size and ancient origin. Heated Himalayan salt stones gently buff out imperfections and roughness, followed by a refreshing shower that activates the coconut milk powder. This creamy liquid milk leaves skin nourished, supple, and unbelievably soft. Easing back on the table, you’ll feel the heated gemstone mats soothe your joints and promote deep relaxation to the body’s core. A warm stone massage with lavish body butter seals and locks in hydration — the decadent finale of this tailor-made scrub-massage duo. 50 minutes. Choose Relaxation, Detoxify, Recovery, Strength, or Heartful.
Turning the Other Cheek to Aging
Facial enthusiasts are well versed in the knowledge that these replenishing treatments reveal impressive cumulative results. Even occasionally, a facial proves not only relaxing to the spirit but also visually enhancing to one’s appearance. At Sunstone Spa, the Anti-Aging Collagen Facial is a hands-down crowd favorite, revered both for its rich hydrating properties that counter the dry climate and its successes in plumping, brightening, and firming.
Once you’re snug and comfortable — with a warm blanket covering you and a grounding mat below — your aesthetician gently preps the skin to ensure absorption and efficacy of the marine collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. The intensely curated magic begins as product and technique combine to minimize fine wrinkles and boost skin’s inherent radiance.
“You’ll notice improvement and tightening in the key areas of focus: the crow’s feet, lines around the mouth, and across the forehead,” Spencer says. “If you’re going out for the night or have an event to attend, this most popular facial is a fantastic choice. Guests often tell us they see and feel a difference.”
A finishing layer of aloe vera and rose essential oil massaged into the skin promotes further healing and rejuvenation, adding to your youthful glow. Choose 50 or 80 minutes.
After your treatment, hydrate with the spa’s fruit- or cucumber-infused water, relax in the grounding chairs, move from one spa amenity to another, revel in the effects of a therapeutic treatment with layered benefits and a day set aside just for you.
This story originally appeared in MeYah Whae, The Magazine of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Spring/Summer 2020. To read the current digital edition, click HERE.