When I was around 18 my mom dragged me to Glen Ivy Hot Springs, and not being a wellness and health enthusiast at the time, it’s safe to say I didn’t fully appreciate the experience. About 10 years later I decided it was time to re-experience Glen Ivy as a true adult. Established in 1860 this health and wellness day spa is based around thermal pools set against the Temescal Valley desert landscape that was considered sacred spiritual grounds by the local Native Americans. It was acquired by GOCO Hospitality in Jan 2017 and has become an adults-only, eco-friendly spa for the wellness seekers, complete with a new bar, stunning Scandinavian-style café serving Starbucks beverages, and an executive chef creating gourmet spa cuisine daily.

We drove only 45 minutes from the OC thanks to the carpool lane and arrived at Glen Ivy around 10 :30 am, the sun shining brighter and hotter since we were deep inland. After checking in we went for our treatments at Villa 2 – I went for the Sole Focus Massage, which was a 50-minute foot massage, and my friend had a Quartz Massage. which was a relaxing massage performed on a Quartz Sand Table.

Thoroughly zenned out, we headed to The Ivy restaurant for a lunch that was almost too pretty to eat: Steamed Whitefish with Coconut Forbidden Rice and Bok Choy, Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Mandarin Orange Vinaigrette, Lentil Veggie Sliders with Black Buns, and Maqui Berry Fudge for dessert. We, then, had a 20-minute Urban Longevity Facial which included cleansing, « roulage » facial massage, a 16% lactic acid peel, and an application of Skin Regimen skincare products and of course SPF.

For the rest of the afternoon we enjoyed the various mineral water baths and scenic pools set amongst a lush oasis filled with greenery, palm trees, ponds and mini-waterfalls. My favorite was the Vista pool that offers a fantastic view of the Santa Ana mountains and soaring palm trees and mineral waters containing sulfur, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. There’s also a Cold-Hot plunge offering healing benefits such as reduced tension, improved circulation, boosted immune system, and lowered stress levels. The Saline Pool is filled with Epsom salts that are rich in magnesium and sulfates and have a major therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

By the way, I highly recommend adding epsom salts to your baths at home. The Bathhouse, which is where the changing facilities are, also has its own indoor pool just for women and saunas (an Aspen Wood one with soothing meadow scent and Canadian Hemlock Wood one with a mint scent. The final pool we visited was Club Mud since we knew it would be the messiest – you take fistfuls of Californian red clay and slather it all over your body, wait for it to dry, then rinse it off for baby soft skin.

We ended the day by grabbing a pick-me-up at GOCO Café and headed back to our homes, blissful from a full day of self-pampering, connecting with nature, and bestie bonding time.

Written By: Andrea Lee, @organicbeautylover