By John Paul Valdez

Each of the desert valley cities has their own special events. PGA golf for some and the film festivals for PS along with Modernism Week come to mind. If you haven’t been on the DHS SPA TOUR, however, you are missing one of the truest pleasures of our community. Desert Hot Springs is a name for the amazing natural resource that are the hot springs themselves. While as many as 24 resorts and spas and boutique hotels claim to have curative natural spring water, a good dozen or so opened their doors to this past annual SPA tour to which I highly recommend booking tickets already.

For me, this was a significant discovery on so many levels. With some of the misleading press the city gets, one is completely swept off their feet to see the springs themselves and all they offer to the destination traveler. How could this have possibly been overshadowed by anything? After having the enormous privilege of seeing just a handful of these resorts, I can tell you that DHS has as much to bring to the table as any of her sister cities or more. This bodes well for inviting outside investment, further development, and an eventual lifting out into the growing economy if handled in the savvy way this whole opportunity represents.

Two Bunch Palms is the star of the show with over 200 acres of lush lakes and buildings and 600 years of history according to the proprietors. Cabot Xerca also made a home a few blocks away and is the only building on the national historical register in this area. He too understood the curative and healing power of the springs. Two Bunch offers many amenities including a 3000 sq ft yoga studio dug into the Earth itself with a thatched roof, truly magical to witness. The restaurant there is four star too. The resort used to require a heavy membership fee and was the hangout of many famous visitors, but it is now open to the public with reservations as the key ingredient to a successful visit.


Smaller boutique resorts include The Springs, Miracle Manor, and El Morocco Inn and Spa. If clothing optional is your requirement, you will enjoy Living Waters Spa and Anahata Springs. These are all small boutique hotels with enough charm for the making of very special memories indeed.

Of the larger Resorts, only one has been renovated recently, and they have done an amazing job. Aqua Soleil boasts rooms with private Jacuzzis. The sun porch is stunning. This resort is easy to find as well resting on a large lot on Palm Drive closest to Palm Springs of those resorts here in DHS. Aqua Soleil gets my highest recommendation. The restaurant there is only open for breakfast and dinner. Lunch is not served, unfortunately. Sabine, the general manager, is someone with international savvy and is particularly eager to make the guests comfortable and happy in their stay.

If you have the chance to go on this Desert Hot Springs tour, you will wonder why this isn’t done as often as a tour of the movie star homes in PS. It’s that compelling. As we seek opportunities for growth in this new economy, I can see many here in our very own high desert resort city of DHS, the gateway to Joshua Tree. Congratulations to our local Chamber of Commerce and its CEO, Heather Coladonato, for showcasing a city worthy of this level of acclaim.

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