Body and Sol, page 4:
The spa at the Spa Hotel prides itself on an unregimented,
Baden-Baden-style atmosphere, where patrons are encouraged to spend the
day wandering in and out of the wet, dry, aromatherapy and relaxation
venues, to enjoy the large outdoor whirlpool, the shallow mineral water
soaking pool, and the large swimming pool, have lunch in the spa or on
the pool terrace, and return to the spa for beauty and health
treatments. Male patrons have their own spa facility, here, where the
most popular activities are massage, facials, and exercise on the
cardiovascular and strength training equipment.
Emerging from my afternoon in the spa, I strolled around the terrace to
the entrance of the 24-hour-a-day casino, briefly considering whether or
not I felt lucky, then fled to my room for the deepest sleep of my life.
The casual atmosphere and large swimming pool make the Spa Hotel a good
place for a family group. Golf packages are offered, and, within a block
or two are restaurants, movies, shopping and the Palm Springs Desert
Museum, which has not only spectacular collections of contemporary,
ancient and western art, but live desert animals for children to view at
their own eye level.
Among other spa facilities that I visited was a white columned mansion
in a rose garden, the Givenchy Hotel and Spa -- a bastion of French
elegance master-minded by the couturier, Hubert de Givenchy. White
orchids and bowls of fresh roses soften a formal atmosphere in the
Kingdom of Beauty spa. Only here will you enjoy the glorious, very
private indoor swimming pool, and beauty products developed for the
original Givenchy Spa in Versailles. In addition to traditional
European-style treatments, you can slip into a hydrotherapy tub for a
blasting by forty-seven lively jets of water, with therapeutic seaweed
and Givenchy Oil added for skin softening. You would never guess that
cowboy actor, Gene Autry, once owned a tourist hotel on this site; now,
the well-known owner is former TV star, Merv Griffin.
On another spa discovery expedition, I was temporarily dismayed by the
fast food, gas station and discount store-riddled boulevard leading to
Two Bunch Palms, a luxury spa resort in the town of Desert Hot Springs.
I found the place carefully hidden in a palm and willow grove
overlooking the valley and the mountains. Since the 1930s, Two Bunch has
been frequented by celebrities seeking complete privacy and
rejuvenation. Hot mineral waters fill a large swimming pool, which is
surrounded by tropical greenery and a waterfall. A signature treatment
here is the Watsu Massage, where the lucky patron receives a slow,
yoga-like underwater massage.
The entry drive into the four-star Marriott's Desert Springs Resort is
guaranteed to induce a "wow!". Pink flamingos pose at the edge of a
landscaped lake, hundreds of palms wave over acres of green turf??part
of the championship golf course -- and waterfalls and fountains hint at
the hanging gardens and water theme within the vast 884-room resort.
In addition to a long list of traditional and exotic body and beauty
treatments, the spa at the Marriott is unique in the desert for one of
the largest free-weight and cardio gym fitness facilities in the
country, an adults-only spa swimming pool, hot and cold plunge pools,
and a private, clothing-optional sun deck. With iced spritzer water
bottles to cool your body, and iced compresses to refresh and protect
your eyes while in the lounge position, "taking the waters" has an
entirely new meaning.
Popular with male guests are fifty-four state-of-the-art
"cardio-theater" workout stations connected to personal cable TV. Men
also go for the all-day schedule of exercise classes, the rock climbing
wall, and the massages and facials in their own spa area. Other sports
at the resort are 36 holes of Ted Robinson-designed golf, an 18-hole
putting course, plus hard surface, clay and grass tennis courts, nine
swimming pools and whirlpools, a sand volleyball court, croquet and
Windows, skylights and glass doors open to the dramatic mountain range
and gardens create a wide-open-spaces effect. Among three dozen spa
treatments available here is Ayurvedic Shirodhara Therapy, where a
stream of warm oil is poured on the "Third Eye" -- the center of the
forehead -- while hands and feet are soothingly massaged. Goldie Hawn,
Will Smith and Vanessa Williams are among the notables who have been
pampered and revitalized at the Marriott spa.