Floating on my back in the buoyant mineral waters of Desert Hot Springs Inn while gazing up at the stars above, I congratulated myself on the perfect start to my 2019 Hot Spring/ Stargazing tour of Southern California. Headed to the remote town of Borrego Springs to participate in an astrology workshop, I’d decided to stop on the way and indulge in one of my other favorite past times: hot springs.
A few hours before, when I had arrived at my first stop, the Desert Hot Springs Inn, after hours of planes, airports, and cars, I was more than a little frazzled. But once I stepped through the gates into the open pool area and was warmly greeted by the owner, John, it wasn’t long before my stress dissolved.
Desert Hot Springs Inn is a remodeled mid-century modern property located in the small town of Desert Hot Springs, about 15 minutes from Palm Springs. Though located off a busy road, the seven-room inn feels cozy and private, as if it exists in a world apart.
One of my favorite things about Desert Hot Springs Inn is their more-than-friendly dog policy. Though I wasn’t able to bring my own pup, I appreciated the spacious and beautiful dog yard, the cleanliness of the shared spaces, and the cheerful dog art everywhere. DHS Inn is also Cannabis friendly, allowing you to partake as you will and also offering CBD oil massages.
After a brief tour of the inn, I was ready for my massage, so I changed into a robe and walked a few feet to the massage area to meet Luce, my therapist. An expert healer from France, Luce gave me a session of deep relaxation that was warm, encompassing, and efficient, working out all my travel stress in just an hour.
Post-massage, I headed straight back to the waters, which another guest later told me are some of the cleanest in the area, as they refresh themselves every 24 hours, needing only minimal chlorine to keep them pure. The morning of my departure, I took one last dip in the pools before heading off to my next Desert Hot Springs destination: El Morocco Inn and Spa, only a five-minute drive across town.
The difference between Desert Hot Springs Inn and El Morocco was like night and day. One was sleek and mid-century modern with a tranquil, soothing vibe; the other, a vibrant color-fest, lush and overflowing with sensuality.
The difference between Desert Hot Springs Inn and El Morocco was like night and day. One was sleek and mid-century modern with a tranquil, soothing vibe; the other, a vibrant color-fest, lush and overflowing with sensuality. El Morocco has an Arabian Nights/Casablanca theme with exquisite attention to detail and authenticity. Gently worn around the edges, the El Morocco has so many interesting nooks and crannies it was hard to keep my attention focused on the hot springs.
I did manage several soaks in their blue-tiled pool, surrounded by blooming bougainvillea and fabric awnings blowing gently in the wind. But I was soon tempted away by radiant heat saunas, one in the garden near the life-size chess set and bocce ball court and the other only steps away from my 2ndfloor room. After a whirlwind tour of the amenities, it wasn’t long before it was time for my treatment: a 90-minute Mud Wrap with authentic organic Moroccan clay. As I experienced the Mud Wrap, it wasn’t long before I soon let go of all my thoughts and melted into the mud, full-body massage, essential oils, and multiple applications of hot towels. After my treatment, I had hoped to try to attend the El Morocco Happy Hour by the pool, but found myself ready to retreat to my spacious suite and call it a night.
Mornings at El Morocco begin with an ample breakfast, served poolside, which includes fresh fruit, bagels and lox, coffee, and a wide selection of teas. It isn’t too hard to spend the rest of the day lounging by the pools, listening to the gentle sounds of Middle Eastern music, and breathing in the fragrance of rose water that perfumes the air. Visiting El Morocco Inn is like taking a ride on Aladdin’s rug to another world, transported in time and space to a desert oasis, while remaining in California.
Palm Springs: Mid-Mod Café offers a healthy and delicious selection of salads, soups, sandwiches, superfood smoothies, and green juices. Perfect for a spa getaway when healthy eating is a focus.
Desert Hot Springs: Casa Blanca if you don’t want to leave Desert Hot Springs Casa Blanca is a popular local Mexican restaurant right down the street from El Morocco.
Heather Fern Vuchinich
Wellness writer Heather Vuchinich is a professional astrologer and owner of Wisestars Apothecary.