Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trip Report: Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs

After the long, busy summer I mentioned in my last post, I was dying for a getaway. Neither my husband nor I could take the time off for a full-blown vacation, but a long weekend at a nearby spa--sign us up! We looked at a few places within a couple hours' drive of San Diego and in the end decided on Palm Springs--or more specifically, The Spring Resort and Spa in the nearby suburb of Desert Hot Springs.

Sitting on top of a geothermal lake, Desert Hot Springs is home to numerous mineral hot spring pools. Our resort for the weekend, The Spring, had 3 mineral hot spring pools--all set at different temperatures. The mineral water actually comes out of the ground at 170°F, so it has to be cooled down before it enters each pool. The largest pool (the size of a regular swimming pool) was a comfy 90°F. Then there was a covered hot tub set to 100°F and a jetted tub set to a toasty 103°F. Of course, we tried all 3, but my personal favorite was the large 90°F pool--perfect for swimming, floating and getting some relief from the hot sun (90°F was actually cooler than the air temp--it easily hit 100°F our first day there). And the view simply couldn't be beat:


The main "resort" (in reality, it's just a small hotel with spa services--no restaurants or activities) has 10 cute little guest rooms situated around the pool. But we chose to stay in one of the villas situated just 150 yards of the property. They gave us an electric golf cart to drive back and forth from the main resort (way cool!), which made it super easy to hit the pools whenever we wanted. The villa basically gave us a nice little 2-bedroom apartment all to ourselves--complete with a living room, kitchen, 2 baths and a great mountain view:


You can also see some of the famous Palm Springs windmills along the bottom of the photo. Some people think they mar the landscape--but I love them! Green energy at work--hooray!

We each enjoyed a much-needed massage and then spent much of our time lounging by the mineral pools the rest of the weekend. But we did head into downtown Palm Springs a couple of times for lunch and dinner. The main downtown area is easily walkable and full of great shops and restaurants. I found the best sandwich I've had since moving to the West Coast at a little shop called The Sandwich Spot. It's tucked off the main drag, but totally worth hunting for. The Dutch crunch bread is amazing--almost a perfect replica of the New England "grinder" roll that I've yet to find out here (or replicate on my own).

For dinner one night, we checked out Trio, which bills itself as the restaurant "where Palm Springs eats." The fare is what I would call a Californian twist on down-home favorites. The food was solid, but not extraordinary--the kind of place I might visit on occasion if I were a local. The atmosphere is energetic and at times I felt like I was sitting at the same table with the couple next to us. That's not a bad thing per say--just keep in mind this is not the place for a quiet romantic dinner.

Before we headed back home on Sunday, we went back into Palm Springs for Sunday brunch at Jake's. This was more upscale comfort food in a fun, hip location. Their take on eggs benedict was delicious, as was the ginger-peach bellini I enjoyed along with it. Hubby clearly enjoyed his brioche French toast, too, as it was gone before I had time to ask for a second bite. We didn't have room for it this time, but the dessert case was filled with amazing-looking cakes that I would definitely go back for if we visit the area again.

All in all, it was a very relaxing, refreshing trip--exactly what we were looking for.

1 comment:

David Macaulay said...

cool place - could use a slice of desert..