ACE PALM SPRINGS
I asked four Palm Springs locals which was their favorite spa last week; every single one said the Feel Good Spa at the Ace. Treatments use products from the Body Deli (a phenomenal skincare shop in Palm Desert). The esoteric menu includes energy work, and add-on treatments include body brushing and reflexology. 60 minute massage: $95.
All you really need to know about SpaTerre at the Riviera is that there are palm trees in the Buddha Lounge pool room. Ok, there’s more: 18 treatment rooms, and that Buddha Lounge, with a watsu pool, Jacuzzi, tea lounge and waterfalls. The Hangover Rehab eye and lip treatment is probably the most appropriate here. 50 minute massage: $99.
It’s a small spa with only a couple of treatment rooms, and opening hours were limited when I visited last week; but size really doesn’t matter at the Hard Rock, if my treatment was anything to go by. The Rhythm and Motion massages and facials include a vibrating bed and a special soundtrack; they sound gimmicky, but are spectacular. Stay tuned for more on that another time. 50 minute massage: $99 (Rhythm and Motion: $150).
Best bits about Palm Springs Yacht Club, the spa at the Parker? A free shot of cucumber vodka on entering, a vast, Moroccan-style pool lounge to relax in pre-treatment, and an entire folder of albums to pick a soundtrack for your treatment. Those treatments, of course, are excellent, and though they’re very expensive ($195 and up), the way to get them is by booking the Spa Junkie package: $250 room rate, which includes a $250 spa credit ($299 on weekends). It used to be $200 for a $200 credit which was a real deal, but this is still doable. 60 minute massage: $195.
THE SPRING RESORT AND SPA
Kind of a cheat, because it’s in Desert Hot Springs (20min away from central Palm Springs) but The Spring makes the list because it is phenomenal. Its three outdoor pools are filled by the on-property hot springs, and the treatments – which lean on the wholesome – are beyond description. Try a cranio-sacral with Gera (60 minutes, $110): I had one last week. I woke myself up snoring four times during that hour. 60 minute massage: $95.
AND ONE TO AVOID: The Saguaro. Of course, every treatment differs, every therapist differs, and every treatee wants something different; but even so, I had one of the worst massages of my life there last year.
[Photos courtesy of the hotels]