A Review of Living Waters Spa in Southern California
Living Waters Spa – Jordan and I had wanted to make the most of our few days in California over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we looked for a new place to see after our stay at Terra Cotta. We decided to check out Living Waters Spa, a clothing optional spa and hotel in Desert Hot Springs. This is just 8 miles from Terra Cotta, right near Palm Springs. Living Waters Spa is an oasis in the desert, with a view of the gorgeous San Jacinto Mountains. We booked a regular poolside room for one night. One of the owners, Jeff, gave us a quick tour, and we settled in. The room had all we needed – a bed, mini-fridge, and bathroom. For other accommodations, there are rooms with a full kitchen as well as condos. (Day visits are also an option for those who don’t wish to stay overnight.)
The grounds basically consist of a hot tub, pool, Finnish sauna and massage room. The Finnish dry sauna is actually a restored vintage sauna remaining from LWS’s days as a 1960’s “spa-tel.” They are structured a lot like Terra Cotta, with the rooms encircling the pool and hot tub. But what’s special about their water is that it’s pure mineral water straight out of the ground. They also don’t have to heat the pool or hot tub themselves because it’s naturally heated to 105 degrees by the Earth. The water is drawn up from their own well in the ground and cycles through from the hot tub to the pool and back to the Earth. Since it’s recycled like this, they don’t have to add any chemicals, salt or chlorine. It’s a pretty sweet set-up and unique to this resort. The water supply is all mineral water so you can drink all you want on tap as well.
There were a handful of other guests while we were there, mainly couples, and we chatted with them in the hot tub. They do allow singles and strive to be inclusive, which is a big plus in our book. Most people were naked, but a few kept their bathing suits on, which is their choice since it is clothing-optional. Still, I was surprised that this relaxing experience didn’t lead them to shake off their inhibitions and try social nudity. Maybe they just don’t know how much better it feels to be naked in the water and sauna.
Near some of the plants surrounding the pool was a hummingbird feeder. I loved watching the little hummingbirds rapidly flapping their wings and perching there. In one upper corner of the building, there’s a visible nest, and Jeff told us that for the past few years they’ve returned there to lay eggs. He has actually strapped a camera up there so as to get an up close view of new babies. So if you visit later in the winter, you might get a view of these little chicks!
Indoors they also have a communal room with tables and chairs where you can hang out, socialize and say hello to Doc, their beautiful African Grey parrot. She’ll say hello, but watch about putting your fingers in the cage! There is free Wi-Fi too, if you need to connect.
In the afternoon, Jeff and Judy brought out their daily complimentary serving of hors d’oeuvres to the hot tub – cheeses, crackers, dips, fruit, hibiscus tea, wine and other snacks to nibble on. This is also an opportunity for them to mingle with the guests and engage us in a mind-boggling game of trying to guess all the ingredients in one of the dips. The person to guess all of them wins a massage. None of us figured out the last ingredient. Regarding food, they don’t have a restaurant on the premises, but they do serve a modest breakfast every morning. For other meals you can order in food from one of the nearby restaurants or go out to eat.
Being a spa, one of the main features here is the massage therapy. We didn’t get a massage, but I’m sure it’s lovely. They’ve developed their own techniques and offer a few different types. Jeff and Judy are both licensed massage therapists, and they told us this is their passion. They also offer massage workshops for couples throughout the year.
We’d recommend Living Waters Spa for a quiet place to relax and rejuvenate. It’s therapeutic on many levels, from the massage to the mineral water to the majestic views of the mountains. While there, you can get more nature therapy by visiting close-by Joshua Tree National Park or hiking in the mountains. See the spa’s website for more activities in the area. For YNA members, we should remind you that LWS is an affiliate location, so you can get a 20-25% discount on your stay. In browsing their website, I discovered LWS also offers a 25% discount to breast cancer survivors! So that’s pretty awesome.
Find more information on Living Waters Spa on their website at http://www.livingwatersspa.com/.