Press Reviews of the Hacienda Hot Springs Inn
Lucire Volante 2011
Healing waters, soothing vistas
Stanley Moss visits the Hacienda Hot Springs Inn, finding tranquillity in its thermal spas, a mere two hours from Los Angeles
Within the Hacienda compound’s secure walls, tranquillity reigns and the water flows down waterfalls through trickling ponds, into pristine holding pools reminiscent of the gardens of the Alhambra in Granada.
THE OVERWHELMED TV SERIES WRITER, pressured by deadline; the Hollywood it-couple in search of privacy and isolation far from the spotlights; the discombobulated travel editor seeking to shut up, slow down and soak in therapeutic water. They’re all headed in the direction of Palm Springs, but stray north of the interstate to a bizarre little community to chill out at the Hacienda Inn & Spa. Why bizarre? Because Desert Hot Springs sits directly on top of the San Andreas fault line. Directly. On the actual line. This volatile seam of earth’s fragile crust supports a string of natural thermal mineral sources, where super-heated volcanic water spews from the ground into a range of spa properties. Chi-chi it’s not, not like those fancy resorts with the funny names in nearby Rancho Mirage. More like a desolate little bedroom community with a declining murder rate. But within the Hacienda compound’s secure walls, tranquillity reigns and the water flows down waterfalls through trickling ponds, into pristine holding pools reminiscent of the gardens of the Alhambra in Granada. Beyond the Hacienda’s walls lie vistas of surrounding peaks, and to the southwest a panorama of graceful white turbines swooping in the wind. And none of that puffed up attitude you might get from monolithic properties which charge pumped-up prices for all the extras.
A small resort of six suites, Hacienda sleeps 12, with only one queen or king bed per room, yet has most of the amenities of a four-star at a reasonable price, $120–$235 per night, depending on season. The grounds contain private areas, secluded seating, a rustic fire pit next to a horseshoe pitch, adjacent to fruit trees where you can grab an exotic bumpy lemon off a branch (nothing wrong with them—they’re delicious, and supposed to look that way). You could stretch your legs out in the cozy lounge, with its fireplace and big-screen DVD set up with eclectic disc library. Or simply content yourself with an eccentric book, found on shelves in every room. You’re sure to run into Socrates the cat (above right), to whom the place really belongs: he fearlessly wanders the grounds in search of photo ops.
Creature comforts aside, Hacienda’s water is seriously beneficial to the respiratory system, muscles, and skin. A heady all-natural 130°F cocktail rich in sulphate, sodium, bicarbonate and calcium, it comes forth from every tap. The resort cools the swimming pool to 94°F, and the hot tub to 104°F. Every room looks out on the garden, and water features are never more than a few steps away. You might want to request room 2, the owner’s room, which is situated next to the hot tub; room 7 at the end of the wing, has its own private patio and hammock.
Your day begins with a buffet-style breakfast at the covered patio which faces the pool. Fresh squeezed juices, serious coffee, cut fruit of the season and the Hacienda’s legendary granola (recipe on their website) complement local ranch eggs and signature waffles hot off the griddle. You could spend your day by poolside, or shopping at the huge Cabazon outlet mall off to the west, perambulate in downtown Palm Springs (about a 20-minute drive away), or take a day expedition to the amazing Joshua Tree National Park monument an easy hour’s ride to the north.
Guests usually stay an average of two to three nights, but several times monthly the entire property gets booked in its entirety for retreats, wedding receptions or reunions. It’s best to reserve well in advance, to be certain of availability. Guests like the fact that the Hacienda is eco-friendly, with solar collectors providing most of the electrical power needs. There are also regular deals and promos, with special benefits offered to Facebook friends. The casual style and well-manicured gardens lend a sense of hospitality and relaxation, another of those islands of tranquility which feel far far away from the hustle bustle. Yet this property is less than two hours from Los Angeles.
While each room has a small efficiency kitchenette, Desert Hot Springs isn’t so totally isolated that you will go hungry. There’s a Starbucks down Palm Drive in the same shopping centre as the K-mart and Walgreen’s drugstore. You can get excellent Mexican fare at the nearby South of the Border restaurant. Thai Palms, also minutes away, features a tasty menu. And if you want local colour with your mesquite-grilled steak, try the Dillon Roadhouse for a culinary adventure.
You don’t go to the desert for electric nightlife and sensory overload—just the opposite. But at the Hacienda Hot Springs Inn you may not be able to avoid either kind of star-gazing, or the temptation to stay another few minutes in the soothing hot tub, as the stress eases away in wisps of aromatic, therapeutic fog. •
SpaAddicts June 2010
Hacienda Hot Springs Spa
We felt that HACIENDA HOT SPRINGS would be the perfect retreat that would give Ms. Take Me Away a chance to reconnect with her inner spirit and heal her mind, body and soul!
We knew this would be the perfect spot because people have come here from all the world over just to revel in the visceral joys of natural mineral hot springs, "taking the waters" in and giving thanks for their restorative powers. In Southern California's Coachella Valley, Desert Hot Springs is home to some of the finest waters anywhere, heated by ancient geothermal energy deep below the San Gorgonio Mountains. In fact, they have their own well supplying these amazing natural waters into their enormous hot tub and pool - heavenly!
At the Hacienda, these natural wonders are enjoyed alongside the civilized pleasures of the oasis that was built by ownerWilliam Dailey built. It's tucked away in an encave aptly calledMiracle Hill! Hacienda Hot Springs is a balm for all the senses, a comfortable retreat that is in sharp contrast to some of the area's other highly stylized and minimalist lodgings. Through Dailey's intelligence and vision, the Hacienda's ecologically aware planning and earthly delights-from green products to ancient healing waters to modern WiFi-flow together effortlessly.
The spa offers on-site massages and the retro-industrial, European-style massage area invitingly beckons guests to enjoy much-deserved pampering. With only six rooms, the adults-only retreat affords a serene environment, as well as classic diversions such as croquet and horseshoes. There iscomplimentary breakfast (people rave over the homemade granola!) and other hot spots for dining are convenient via car.
Hacienda Hot Springs
by Tanja J. Laden
"A mission-style oasis in the Coachella Valley, Hacienda Hot Springs isn't your ordinary spa destination. Between the homemade granola and the soothing fountain cascades, the space offers a range of accommodations for anyone seeking an idyllic local getaway. The pool and enormous hot tub draw water from the Hacienda's own well, and the retro-industrial, European-style massage area invitingly beckons guests to enjoy much-deserved pampering. With only six rooms, the adults-only retreat affords a serene environment, as well as classic diversions such as croquet and horseshoes. Meanwhile, an adult-style romper room showcases a vintage Desert Empire postcard collection, in addition to an excellent collection of vinyl records. The enchanting, tranquil haven stores an abundance of hidden treasures that promise to continuously and magically manifest themselves, just like the inn's resident, companionable black cat." - Tanja M. Laden
A Desert Getaway
By Monica Poling
Hacienda Hot Springs // (c) 2010 Monica Poling
Although, in retrospect, I realize I was desperately in need of a relaxing getaway, the giant to-do list confronting me meant that my pending weekend trip to Palm Springs, Calif., was to become just another item that needed to be crossed off a list, rather than being an opportunity for some actual downtime.
On my drive to the dessert, my apparent addiction to to-do lists reared its ugly head, as I mentally created a new list of things to get done. Knowing that my destination, the Hacienda Hot Springs in Desert Hot Springs, was located just 20 minutes from Palm Springs, I mentally ticked off all the places I could visit over the weekend: shopping at the Cabazon Outlets; strolling in Palm Springs; catching up on some galleries in Palm Desert; and the list went on.
With big plans in my head, I pulled up to the resort, and was immediately welcomed by owner William Dailey. As he led me to my room, he encouraged me to take some time to enjoy the lovely mineral waters in the pool and Jacuzzi. While the idea of a long soak sounded wonderful, my mind was still stapled to the list of things I wanted to accomplish in the dessert, so I mentally filed “relaxation” under the “something to do later” category.
Inside my room, Dailey pointed out its conveniences, including showing me my own compact kitchenette. Not much of a housekeeper, the tidy kitchen actually made me a little nervous. There was no way I was cooking in there, as I would be incapable of keeping up those standards. Dailey encouraged me to stop by the local grocery store and pick up some snacks and food items, reiterating that while the resort laid out breakfast for its guests every morning — including a homemade granola that has gained the resort some notoriety — otherwise food services were not available on site.
Still pondering my evening’s activities, as I started unpacking my bags I came across the fully stocked bookshelf in my room. Books being one of my true addictions, I am mentally incapable of passing a shelf of books without perusing its contents. On the shelf there was a huge variety of books, ranging from a bodice-ripping romance, to a book of German art prints from the 1950s, to a stack of mid-century Arizona Byways magazines. I later learned that in his “real job” Dailey is a collector and dealer of rare books. Before I even knew it, I had a stack of books on my bed and was madly reading as much as I could, in particular enjoying a story about Sky Harbor Airport in the late 50s.
After reading my way through most of the Arizona Byways magazines, I realized a dip in the mineral springs was exactly what I needed and enjoyed a long soak that left my skin softer than it has been in ages. The soak also helped contribute to one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in longer than I can remember.
At breakfast, I met the other resort guests, as we enjoyed the truly as amazing granola, served alongside fruit and yogurt. The guests, a couple from Chicago, told me they had been coming there for years fueled in part by the resort’s tranquil setting and top-notch mineral pools.
The lazy breakfast, followed by a tour of the property ensured that I abandoned what small part of me still thought I might “accomplish” something while in the dessert. The decision to stay at the resort became even easier when Dailey mentioned that he had arranged a massage treatment for me after lunch.
Now in full relaxation mode, I spent my morning lingering in the courtyard, enjoying the views of the San Gorgonio and San Jacinto mountains, both of which still bore remnants of the heavy spring snowfall. Unfortunately, the resort’s free wireless also meant that I couldn’t fully abandon my computer but, still, a day working on a springtime patio with birds chirping away sure beat anything I had at home.
After lunch, I met Esther, my massage therapist for the afternoon. After talking briefly, Esther recommended a body treatment that combined a head and neck massage with a full-body treatment. Esther had a particular gift for finding knots I didn’t even know existed.
The treatment was so amazing, I pocketed Esther’s card with visions of returning to the desert regularly just to enjoy massages and the resort’s amazing mineral waters. Sadly, I found out Esther was moving to South America, but Dailey assured me that all the therapists working at the resort are equally gifted. By the time I left the following morning, after staying long enough to sample more of the amazing granola, I was so relaxed, I only had one item on my to do list. Return to Hacienda Hot Springs as soon as possible.
A 60-minute Swedish massage costs just $100 and non-hotel guests booking a massage are welcome to stay for the day and enjoy the Finnish-rock sauna with outdoor rain forest shower, as well as the hotel’s mineral pools. Massage therapists are not based on-site but can be called to the resort, so advance reservations are highly recommended.
During the winter (high) season, rates begin at $185. During summer, rates run from $120. The resort is adults-only with a maximum of two adults per room. The six-room property is ideal for group travel and girlfriend getaways.