I believe the perfect Palm Springs wellness escape offers a chance to unwind and reconnect with myself. And the best ones possess these essential elements:
- Leaving behind the busyness of city life;
- Unplugging from the internet;
- Recharging in nature and relaxing spa environments; and
- Nourishing the body with organic, locally-grown food.
My Palm Springs wellness-focused escape delivered on all.
Discovering the healthy side of Palm Springs
A desert oasis ringed by three mountain ranges, Palm Springs, California, draws visitors with a lively arts and culture scene and fine-dining options. But I came for its wellness-focused offerings, from spa services and natural skin care products to locally-grown produce.
Shortly after checking in for a two-night stay at Margaritaville, a resort and spa inspired by and reflecting the personality of Jimmy Buffet, I drove to The Body Deli in nearby Palm Desert. This local store creates small-batch skin and hair care products from organic and raw ingredients.
Since proper skin care is essential to overall wellness, I felt this was an important place to begin my health quest. The well-informed staff guided me through selecting a facial moisturizer best suited for my needs.
Enjoy vegan fare and public art on a Palm Springs wellness escape
Of course, skincare starts from within. For dinner, I went to Chef Tanya’s Kitchen. Chef Tanya learned how to cook from her parents, who taught her the importance of using whole foods from a young age. Her gourmet vegan restaurant features house-made, vegan deli meats, including tempeh and pastrami slices. And her version of the banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich showcasing fresh herbs and veggies on a French roll) highlighted ingredients including seared garlic chili tofu, cucumber, and spicy mayo, a mouth-watering combination.
After chasing that tasty sandwich with a twisted creamy, classic vanilla-and-chocolate soft-serve made from oats, I perused the restaurant’s selection of vegan deli meats and specialty groceries. And then, a walk around Downtown Palm Springs allowed me to digest my meal and marvel at the public, accessible art. For example, the iconic Marilyn Monroe sculpture sits just outside the Palm Springs Art Museum.
As the day’s heat waned in the early evening, others joined me in taking advantage of the cooler temperatures. Palm trees lining the main streets added a general feeling of tranquility and ease.
Indulgent food & spa treatments highlight Palm Springs wellness escape
Cheeky’s, the quintessential breakfast spot in Downtown Palm Springs, serves an all-day breakfast menu, with everything made in-house and focused on locally-sourced food items. So with that in mind, I ordered one of their famous cinnamon rolls and a fruit plate alongside polenta topped with eggplant caponata and feta cheese.
That afternoon I visited El Morocco Inn & Spa. This small, down-to-earth operation provided one of the best spa treatments I’ve ever experienced. With an exfoliating blend, the Mineral Springs Wellness Experience left my skin renewed and rejuvenated. In addition, the massage therapist dedicated a lot of time to my feet. She explained that each foot has 7,000 nerve endings and emphasized the importance of intentionally caring for our feet. I left feeling like I was floating on a cloud.
I’d heard great reviews about Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge and decided to have dinner there. The restaurant, located in the Uptown Design District, has numerous private dining rooms surrounding the main dining room. From the creative cocktail menu’s signature drinks.
I opted for the Some Like It Hot, featuring reposado, lime juice, Cointreau, and jalapeno. The Greens from the Garden salad highlighted seasonal, fresh produce such as heirloom tomatoes and purple radishes. Microgreens and lemon slices complemented the earthy curry spices of the hearty cauliflower steak entrée,
Natural beauty is everywhere
My final morning in Palm Springs dawned with excessive heat warnings, not entirely uncommon in the desert during the height of summer. Nevertheless, I drove to Indian Canyons as early as possible, doing my best to take in the beauty of the rugged outdoors before the sun reached its peak. While it was too hot to hike that day, just gazing at the majestic canyons was enough to remind me of the healing power of nature’s beauty.
Afterward, I visited Margaritaville’s St. Somewhere Spa for a massage, the perfect conclusion to my Palm Springs wellness escape.
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?
● The Greater Palm Springs Wellness Pass is a mobile pass that allows you to access discounts at many spas and studios in the area.
● Previously I’ve stayed at Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort, a perfect getaway for anyone interested in healing and wellness. The resort, located on 77 acres, has hot mineral springs and offers classes around topics like art and spirituality.
● Another option for a wellness-inspired stay is The Willows Inn in the heart of Palm Springs. This historical residence dates from 1925, contains only 17 guestrooms and feels like a private sanctuary.
● The weekly Palm Springs VillageFest street fair highlights local arts, culture, entertainment and food every Thursday night.
● Margaritaville’s first-floor rooms are ADA-accessible.
● The weather is hot during the summer months.
● Due to the temperate climate, make winter reservations for your Palm Springs wellness escape far in advance.
All photo credits: Ann Nelson
Disclosure: The authors’ trip was sponsored by Visit Greater Palm Springs but any opinions expressed in this post on their own.
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