Guide To Wellness: Palm Springs Edition
"There’s many reasons to fall in love with Palm Springs. Considering it’s best known for its healing dry heat – mineral hot springs, unlimited spas, stylish hotels, amazing mid-century architecture and of course, the lush palm trees and incredible views. Not to mention, you’re guaranteed 360-days of beautiful sun-kissed weather. Palm Springs is located in the Sonoran Desert in Southern California and is a quick two-hour drive from LA (depending on traffic, of course) and a two-and-half hour drive from San Diego (OR a quick six-hour flight from NYC, i.e.: #ME). It’s also home to the famed music festival, Coachella, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Hollywood stars flocked here, making Palm Springs an actual star on the map – Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball were some of the first Hollywood elite to build homes here.
I was fortunate to stay at The Parker, so I pretty much felt like Hollywood elite. I was very spoiled (still having withdrawals) and it was totally and perfectly appropriate for a birthday. The best thing about Palm Springs? It’s a perfect destination to unplug, recharge, and take care of your mind and body, which is a core passion that Sakara and I share. Below is a guide to all things relaxing, spiritual, and healing in Palm Springs and beyond. If you're traveling to Coachella this year, be sure to bookmark this guide, so that you can indulge in some wellness in between or post show hopping!
When You Wanna Be Zen, But Still Indulge— Hit The Resort Spas
If you’re craving whimsical luxury, this is it. With a luxurious spa spanning 18,000 square-feet and designed by Jonathan Adler, this gracious space is appropriately named “PSYC” and designed to make you feel blissed-out and aboard a fancy yacht – decked fully in navy and white. It’s crisp, clean, and purely elegant. Inside this massive retreat, guests will find a yoga studio, beautifully equipped private locker rooms, his and hers steam and sauna rooms, two whirlpools, and a saline indoor swimming pool. While lounging in terry cloth bathrobes, guests are treated to fruit-infused-water and fresh fruit. Spa treatments offered specialize in hydrating facials, hot stone massage, to a full-blown manicure and pedicure station and waxing services. If fine pampering and total relaxation is on your agenda, the spa at The Parker will not disappoint.
The Ace is comforting, it’s familiar, but in a good way because of their many locations, including, NYC, Pittsburgh, Seattle, etc... it’s cool, it’s edgy, it’s understated luxury. It’s sexy without trying too hard and the spa on-site is just that. The ‘Feel Good Spa’ provides you with many good vibes and feeling totally refreshed. It’s organic and raw— think bundles of sage and healing crystals — cozy and welcoming. Mind and body will be satisfied being treated with organic, clean products from the Body Deli. Here, the spa encourages spiritual well-being and healing through their treatments, specializing in body masks, dry-brushing, and reflexology. Be sure to hit the vintage photobooth in the hotel lobby. A perfect Palm Springs souvenir and after spa time, you’ll be positively glowing and documentation will be necessary.
When You ‘Really’ Wanna Be Zen (LATER, TOXINS), Hit The Wellness Spas
The ultimate go-to for a total and complete reset and one of the best kept secrets of the desert! We Care Spa is located just outside of Palm Springs in Desert Hot Springs and this delightful little oasis tucked away is run by a charming mother-daughter-duo. Its healing vibes have attracted some of Hollywood’s elite, such as, Cameron Diaz and Alicia Silverstone. It’s a fasting and spiritual retreat – offering a well-guided and very educational approach to fasting through detox shakes, teas, supplements, and colonics. Their mission is to rid bodies of toxins, so guests feel energized and glowing like Mother Nature intended. While fasting, guests are easily distracted by exceptional spa services, such as a magnesium detox wrap, or time spent in the vibration and swing machine. It stimulates circulation of the blood and lymph glands carrying toxic waste from your organs and tissues to be flushed out through the colon. Pretty amazing, right? Guests can book a three, six, or eight-day stay. There is a two night/three-day minimum and everyone there is fasting; however, the no-solid-food part is well worth it for the amazing glow and mind and body healing experience – if detoxing, rejuvenating, and revitalizing yourself is on your wishlist, this destination is a must.
With wellness retreats, there are different degrees, but Two Bunch Palms is most certainly the real deal and also located in Desert Hot Springs. Feeling good and achieving total wellness-bliss is their main priority. It’s also home to one of the oldest hot mineral springs in the country, but it’s far more than just organic juices and soaking in mineral water. Their unique services menu goes beyond facials and body treatments – Two Bunch Palms takes getting to know your spiritual-self to an entirely new level, including, past life regression, spiritual counseling, shaman sessions, painting, water therapy, warm water yoga, intention burning, and hypnotherapy… to name a few of their incredible services offered. Rooms are also fitted with sustainable linens and guests can dine at Essense, an on-site restaurant featuring farm-to-table organic dining. A perfect place to detox and unwind, while still eating food, if juicing isn’t quite your cup-of-tea.
When You're Looking to Nourish and Fuel with the Best in West Coast Produce...
Okay, not a hotel and not a spa, but fresh fruit! Yes, fresh fruit. It’s a valuable component in my everyday eating rituals – it keeps skin looking bright and healthy (a must when traveling), and I’ve developed a habit when traveling to stock-up on fresh fruit when I first arrive at a local supermarket, or even better, a farmers market.
Certified Farmers Market
Click here for weekly schedule locations and times.
Palm Springs Villagefest
Featuring fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, and local area artists selling their work for fun local vibes. Click here for details.
After you cruise the farmers market, if you find yourself craving a refreshing juice, or in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, stop by this local Palm Springs mecca serving smoothies, power-shots, and raw organic juices, such as, spicy carrot and holy kale!
Yoga Studios Because Stretching Our Mind And Body Feels Good
This studio is yoga for everyone – all levels welcome. It’s gentle and it’s about feeling your body and what it needs in that particular moment. There’s truly something here for every yogi – beginners classes, therapeutic yoga, even aerial yoga if you’re feeling bold in the desert.
This lovely spot is the longest running yoga studio in the Coachella Valley (i.e.: Palm Springs) and has been voted best yoga studio in Palm Springs in recent years – it’s well worth making a visit for a heart-opening class.
When You Wanna Be Zen, But In Nature
This park is amazing (it’s one of my favorite National Parks) and unique because it’s two distinct desert ecosystems – the Mojave and the Colorado desert come together to create a magical and enchanting experience that is spiritually rewarding. Massive boulders, rugged mountains, even gold mining ruins, and of course, the iconic Joshua Tree known for its twisted and bristled branches make this trip through the desert feel extra special. It definitely hits the spiritual reset button. Stay for the day – watch the sunset and stargaze while sitting on the roof of your car. It’s pretty epic and worth the 45-minute drive outside of Palm Springs. (Park pass: $25 – good for seven days)
Salvation Mountain is located in the lower desert of Southern California. While it’s a bit further than Joshua Tree, it’s about an hour and a half drive from Palm Springs. This magical, colorful, totally rad and beautiful place was made possible because of a man named Leonard Knight. Salvation Mountain is his tribute to God and God’s gift to the world – a simple, yet powerful message: God Is Love. Salvation Mountain is literally a man-made mountain 28-years in the making and is covered in half a million gallons of latex paint! Pinks, yellows, greens, every color under the rainbow. Although it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s worth visiting for the Instagram content alone.
Keeping it local, a favorite sight in Palm Springs is the botanical garden, definitely one of Palm Springs best kept secrets. Very retro and cozy, Moorten’s transports you to another world – one being taken over by succulents and cacti. For plant lovers, this experience is a must. Bonus: it’s only $5.00 bucks to tour and it’s open everyday.
Okay, the best for last. For ultimate healing, feel-good vibes, Integratron sound bath is a must and will wipe away any bad juju, leaving your mind and body feeling pleasantly restored. In case you’re unfamiliar with what exactly a sound bath is, it’s part meditation and part listening. It’s healing through sound and vibrations played with Himalayan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, biosonic tuning forks, sometimes even drumming and chanting. It’s very relaxing. You are invited to lay on the floor, as if you were in savasana pose at the end of a yoga class and simply just be as waves of sound wash over you. It’s a wonderful experience if you are seeking something special and unique to what you normally do to unwind. At Integratron, crystal singing bowls are used to activate our energy centers aka our chakras in the body. Sound healing is like nutrition for the nervous system and results in waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation over the entire mind and body. Be sure to book far in advance, as classes tend to fill up four months ahead of time! It’s really that good. Integratron is located in Landers, California, 20 miles north of Joshua Tree; perhaps, you can sound bath in the AM and hit the park afterwards for an afternoon hike and sunset extravaganza. (Sound bath class: $35.00)
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to check-out for a long weekend, whether celebrating a special occasion, or just celebrating yourself because you simply deserve it. Self-love is the best healing medicine we can give ourselves.*
*Remember: first things first, sign-up for Integratron, then book your plane ticket...lots of love and good vibes your way.