By Jon Bogart
Desert Hot Springs is an oasis of tranquility where people flock to get a breather from the hectic demands of daily living in today’s world. The city itself is off the beaten path and you wouldn’t know there is even a “there” there until you notice the “Welcome to Desert Hot Springs” monument at the entrance to the city. There is a central business district with restaurants and shops, however there is a distinct rural feel to the place. The roads meander around desert landscapes and flora with intersecting streets that feature homes and other dwellings scattered amongst spas and resorts. It’s definitely a unique situation.
So, we were in town to do a story on the spa experience to expect at destination Desert Hot Springs and we chose the Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa Oasis, hereafter referred to as Azure Palm (with a name like that you instinctively know that your stay will be memorable). And the Azure Palm delivers…in spades!
The journey begins when you drive through a residential area looking for the resort. Then, suddenly, over the crest of a hill, there it is! Rising from the desert floor is a monolithic structure that would do Stanley Kubrick proud. The parking lot is sunken and it’s a climb to get to the main entrance. We got one of the self service valet carts and made our way to the front desk. “Hello Mr. Bogart, we’ve been expecting you and your suite is ready.” We take our key card and make our way to the elevators and realize how necessary it is to have a map of the grounds because, contrary to what Lilly says on the AT&T commercials, this one is complicated. Our suite was at the end of the corridor, a sizable walk from the elevators but once inside we were treated to spectacular views. The room itself is Spartan because there is no TV, no carpeting, only a concrete floor that leads to the spa tub at the end of the room and that has wood slats for the floor. But that’s what we’re here for… a healing, tranquil escape to detox under the most healthful conditions.
Azure Palm’s magical healing water is drawn out of the Earth, cooled underground and spills into the tub at 106 degrees. To fully enjoy the time soaking, guests are advised to open the window as the tubs are large and the room’s humidity can rise to uncomfortable levels. So, if it’s hot outside, open the windows, if it’s cold outside, open the windows, and in the summer months use the sheers to keep it cooler. The copper faucet dispenses the water at 106 degrees and the tub fills rather quickly. There are instruction sheets to advise on exactly what to do but the bottom line is that the healing mineral spring tubs give a special restorative experience not found anywhere else in the desert.
There is a hot sauna and a very cold ice room to really open and close the pores, and then there is the Himalayan Salt Room. Salt therapy is a beneficial alternative treatment of breathing salty air. The origins of salt therapy date back to the medieval era, but researchers have only recently begun studying the benefits. Ancient healers recommended salt inhalation for the respiratory system and other health problems. Once inhaled, salt particles absorb irritants including allergens and toxins from the respiratory system. Salt also produces negative ions which cause the body to release serotonin. The calming and detoxifying effects of salt therapy supports the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems. Additional benefits are reduced stress, increased energy and better sleep. Salt ions purify the air and may increase lung capacity. Salt therapy is so popular that there are thousands of salt rooms in Europe and beyond. Azure Palm’s salt room is constructed in the Korean tradition where salt rooms are an essential part of the spa. Enjoy and renew.
Of course the centerpiece of the resort is the pool area where one can choose from a cabana or an outside lounge to really work on a tan. The bubbly Jacuzzi is a welcoming attraction and the lobby courtyard area is a nice hideaway for joining with nature and getting a different vibe. Everything at Azure Palm is interconnected with its own ecosystem.
There is WiFi and bluetooth connectivity so if you can’t do without your TV you can always watch programs on your laptop or mobile phone to keep up. There is a convenient café which sells coffee, sandwiches and snacks, and also a boutique where a guest can pick up some really cool outfits and accessories. Kinda rounds out the entire experience.
By the third day it was time to head back to the megalopolis that is L.A. and reenter the “civilized” world. We would assign five stars to the Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa Oasis and highly recommend it as the place to stay when heading to Desert Hot Springs.
For further information about the resort go to www.azurepalmhotsprings.com or phone (760) 251-2000
More from Jon Bogart: “Fall in Love With Ojai, California…“