Palm Springs has been blessed with more than enough spas to keep visitors rejuvenated—all year round. Nestled between the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains, the area affords views of peaks glistening with snow in the desert sunshine. The Agua Caliente Indians flocked here in centuries past, and their sacred healing waters have evolved into the essence of the spa experience here today.
Discovered in the 1930s by the movie industry, Palm Spring’s prominence accelerated during World War II when General George S. Patton chose the area to train more than a million troops just east of Palm Springs. In addition, the U.S. Army established an air base and a general hospital.
The movie stars who flocked to the area left legendary marks and hideaway homes that still attract sight-seers. Today many celebrities retire here, often taking up second careers. At the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, long-legged lovelies must be fifty years or older in order to kick up their heels in the chorus line! Is Palm Springs the Fountain of Youth? A lot of people who visit and live here think so.
Spa-lovers cherish this oasis, and day spas continue to proliferate along El Paseo, the resort area’s legendary shopping avenue that features a tree-lined promenade accentuated by contemporary outdoor sculpture. The El Paseo directory lists more than 150 expert aestheticians, manicurists, and hairstylists, who staff more than fifty spas and beauty salons along this chic avenue. It is obvious that the healthy, wealthy, and wise are serious about looking good for the charity events and the society pages. This social whirl monopolizes the season (November through April) with nonstop golf and tennis tournaments and the endless array of parties for charitable causes.
This environment is paradise for spa-lovers. The Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention and Visitors Bureau lists twenty-two spas in the immediate area, and there are dozens more in nearby Desert Hot Springs, where smaller spas beckon with healing waters.
Here is our list of the best spa resorts offering a complete range of spa programs, from one-day packages to a full week of fitness, spa dining, and treatments.