Body and Sol, page 3:

A big draw for those who love the desert waters, the five-story Spa Hotel and Casino Resort and Mineral Springs rests on the site of the original hot mineral springs and palm grove for which the town of Palm Springs is named. Cahuilla Indian-owned, the Spa Hotel is one of forty hotels in the valley with direct access to the waters believed by the local Indians to have magical healing powers. In the lobby are dozens of museum-quality photos of early days at the hot springs, and beautiful Indian baskets and artifacts. In decades past, local Indian shamans believed the waters emerging from the earth in the palm canyons were a source of power and knowledge, a connection with the life force and the spirits of animals.

Unique to this spa is the Spa Experience, an hour of self-guided preparation for the massage, facial and body treatments to come. Outfitted with a thick terry robe, a large towel and "shower shoes", I began my slow slide out of the harsh realities of daily life into a state of abandon. My Spa Experience began in the hot, wet, steam room, then I basked in the dry, fierce heat of the sauna, and spent another ten minutes in a eucalyptus-scented aromatherapy sauna. After a brief cool-off in the lounge, I allowed my now compliant self to be led into the rumbling, vaporous mineral bath pavilion, into one of the many private, sunken whirlpool tubs fed by the 106-degree springs from below the hotel.

The Spa Experience ends with a rest in the dimly lit Tranquility Room, with refreshing, cool pads over your eyes and a sheet over your wet noodle of a body.

Next came my Aromatherapy Salt Glow for exfoliating surface skin cells, an exhilarating, full-body rub with sea salts and mineral salts, followed by an aromatic hydrating oil massage. Skin cells renewed, I moved to the mud wrap room for a generous all-over dollop of Dead Sea mud, and a rest, while snugly wrapped in plastic. (The last time I had a mud wrap was at the Dead Sea in Israel, where the mud was removed by a rather terrifying water cannon bombardment.) Here, the mud slid gently away in a soapy whirlpool bath, before I headed back to the table for a fine mist of rosewater, and a moisturizing massage.

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©Karen Misuraca; all rights reserved.