Travel Photo Credit: Western Living

Best Spas in Palm Springs

Where's the best place to hide from Palm Springs' noon-day sun? At the spa, of course. Here's our five faves.

The Ace Hotel Palm Springs Spa

The Feel Good Spa
Skip the steam room—you’ve probably done enough sweating in the 40 degree desert heat—and let the Feel Good Spa’s estheticians do their thing. The Good Body Scrub ($115/60 minutes) may wash away all the sunscreen you worked so hard to apply (have you ever tried to do your own back? We’re convinced we’ve dislocated something.) but it’s for the best. Purifying mineral salts remove dead and rough skin before a full-body treatment of cool and creamy chamomile tea tonic, leaving you feeling squeaky clean and super soft, ready to mingle with the poolside hipsters. We had our treatment in one of the cool, dark, shabby-chic rooms of the revamped Howard Johnson, but next time, a deep tissue massage in one of the poolside yurts is on the to do list (if only because we like saying “yurt”.) The Feel Good Spa at the Ace Hotel, acehotel.com

Rancho Las Palmas

Spa Las Palmas
There’s something about coconut that makes us feel like we’re on vacation, and the Restorative Coconut Milk and Honey Ritual ($265/100 minutes) at Spa Las Palmas captured that island time vibe tenfold. It’s probably pretty expensive to bathe in coconut milk normally—we haven’t crunched the numbers yet, but we suspect filling a tub with the stuff on a regular basis would require a hefty supply of 12 oz. cans—so enjoy the experience while you can. A gentle coconut sugar scrub is rinsed off with the cool liquid, followed by a restorative coconut milk and honey body masque and then a honey body butter massage. While you’re all wrapped up in blankets to let the nutrients soak into your skin, ask for a coconut oil scalp massage. It may leave you feeling a little—surprise—oily, but the next day your hair will be lustrous and shiny. It’s a dose of instant holiday, from head to toe. Spa Las Palmas at Rancho Las Palma, rancholaspalmas.com

Viceroy spa Viceroy Spa

Estrella Spa
We confess: we booked an appointment at Estrella just to have a chance to snoop through the Kelly Wearstler-designed Viceroy hotel. But though exploring the dramatic, ‘30s inspired space had us Instagramming up a storm, Estrella was a treat on its own merit. After a week of gleefully sun-damaging our skin, the Citrus Drench ($165/90 minute) is much-needed relief: a crystalized honey exfoliation scrubs and moisturizes, while ascorbic acid and orange juice stimulate skin rejuvenation. And if this didn’t make us hungry enough, a decadant, frosting-thick vitamin C body masque provides moisture all over. Don’t be alarmed by the multi-headed contraption in the corner—it’s just a Vichy shower, to complete your treatment with a soft and soothing rinse. Feeling flush? Splurge on a Reflexology treatment ($95/30 minutes) to soothe your poor feet after a day tromping through the Desert Hills Premium Outlets, or a Brighten facial ($150/60 minutes) for another dose of that healing vitamin C. Estrella Spa at The Viceroy, viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

 

Saguaro

saguaro spa

The Saguaro Spa
Our trip to the Saguaro Spa is a little more technical than our other spa experiences (no talk of chakras or inner peace here), but it pays off: the Intraceutical Rejuvenate treatment ($150/60 minutes) literally pumps our skin full of oxygen and hydration via a specialized air gun applicator. It’s the only place in the Coachella Valley to have the Australian-created treatment done: a cool stream of moisture and air increases the level of hyaluronics (natural water binding incredients) in your skin, resulting in renewed firmness and finer lines. It’s an instant change—though it only lasts for a few days. The true believers (including notable beautiful people like Katy Perry and Victoria’s Secret models) get Intraceutical treatments regularly, which supposedly helps increase natural hyaluronic production in the long run. A little boost is just perfect for us, an instant lift before siddling up alongside the Saguaro’s rainbow-hued pool for people-watching and mushroom tacos from El Jefe. The Saguaro Spa, thesaguaro.com

PSYC at the Parker PSYC at the Parker PSYC at the Parker

Psyc
Your treatment starts with a cucumber-infused vodka shot. This sums up Psyc, a grand, vaguely-British-Colonial-inspired spa, somehow hidden in the winding garden paths of the quirky Jonathan Adler-designed Parker hotel, pretty well. It’s irreverent (you can pick your own treatment music if birds playing harps aren’t your thing; the Chemical Brothers make an appearance on one playlist) but truly thoughtful. Relax before your treatment in the indoor spa pool, play games on the waterproofed iPads, or retreat into the candlelit Dark Room with a cooling ice mask before being led into one of the treatment rooms (all named after yachts that won the America’s Cup, natch). Inside, receive an amazing Hot Stone massage ($200/75 minutes) from a quiet, confident pro who works out those shoulder blade knots with focus and a gentle touch. Prolong your stay with a late lunch at Norma’s or a stroll through the grounds, where croquet courts and hammock stations lay waiting to be discovered. Psyc at the Parker, theparkerpalmsprings.com WL

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