Amid the arid isolation of Desert Hot Springs, California lies Two Bunch Palms Resort and Spa, an oasis of tranquility and serenity that is a world apart from ordinary life. A bastion of simple luxury and unostentatious elegance, Two Bunch Palms does not fall into the category of trendy high-tech resort spas that come and go like the latest model of sports car. Rather, it is a spa in the traditional sense, offering stillness, quiet and the restorative healing waters for which this region of California is known and revered.
The highlight of any trip to Two Bunch Palms is the opportunity to soak in the resort’s hot spring known as “the grotto.” These twin pools are filled with naturally hot mineral water, each maintained at slightly different temperatures. The water in the grotto is continuously replenished by free-flowing streams of fresh water from vast, subterranean artesian aquifers or reservoirs of pure mineral-laden water. Soaking in these waters has an amazing soporific effect that palpably drains tension from the body, inducing a deep state of relaxation and release. The hot spring’s water is rich in mineral content and especially high in lithium, which naturally eases the nervous system, inducing a sense of calmness and wellbeing.
The atmosphere at Two Bunch Palms is one of ease. There is never a schedule to adhere to or plans to make unless that is what you want. A slow pace and spontaneity are the order of the day. Besides the grotto, people also travel to Two Bunch Palms for their signature spa treatments. Hydrotherapy Watsu treatments, which are a combination of rhythmic water dance and massage administered in a private mineral water pool are a divine experience. Another draw is the rich mineral mud baths. The high mineral content of the water and surrounding soil produces a unique green-colored clay that has been shown by biochemists to tone and balance skin while it absorbs toxins and rejuvenates the skin.
In addition, the spa offers traditional massages, facials and body treatments, but usually with aunique twist. The experience is always unique, whether the treatment is Ayurvedic, Thai, Esoteric or whether in the special color-therapy room where they perform energy work with crystals, sound therapy.
The staff has a very discreet presence as they cater to your every need. There is never a sense of intrusiveness. Maintaining the 256-acre property’s beautiful environment requires constant restoration and renovation, yet the process is always unobtrusive. The minute one arrives on the grounds, there is a sense of complete privacy and security. Each accommodation has its own entrance and patio and some include a private Jacuzzi. For most visitors, the most striking quality of Two Bunch Palms is the silence. It can be deafening to the harried urban mind, but after a deep massage, a scrub and a few hours in the healing waters, the silence becomes like a womb that cradles guests throughout their visit.
The resort’s dining room is comfortable and intimate. Once a gambling casino frequented by the likes of Al Capone, the dining room boasts a stunning view of the San Bernardino Mountains and the Coachella Valley. It is not unusual to see guests wander in for meals in their robes and slippers. Michael Hutcheon, an innovative Ritz-Carlton- trained chef, has created a sumptuous yet simple menu that caters to almost any taste or dietary requirement. The freshest ingredients are used, relying almost exclusively on local California growers, ranchers and fishermen as well as the onsite garden with fruit trees and herbs.
At night, the lighting is so magical that you might find yourself back in the grotto for another soaking before drifting into one of the best nights of sleep you’ll ever experience.