I really wanted to like this place. I came here for a much needed last minute getaway, and unfortunately was a bit too hasty in booking this place without doing my usual in depth research. I booked it based on the pictures on their website, the hot springs and the other recent TripAdvisor reviews (although, now that I look closer it seems like all of the glowing reviews have been made by people who have no other reviews to their name - something that is always a red flag for me).
First of all, this place is way overpriced for what you get. Everything is expensive but not because it is intrinsically worth it but rather they need the money coming in to keep the lights on.
This time of year the resorts in the area are dirt cheap because it's so hot. I could have stayed at The Parker, The Viceroy or La Quinta Resort for the same or less than I paid for this place.
The pictures of the rooms on their website looked nothing like the room I got. It had not been updated since the 70s. The room was along the lines of a Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn Express, maybe even worse. No luxury whatsoever, or even rustic charm, for that matter! Even the coffee setup was Farmer Bros., which only the cheapo motels use! The only things that had been updated were the comforter and the flat screen TV, and honestly, I don't understand what the big deal with flatscreen TVs is. I think the picture quality is awful on most of them, including this one.
I stayed two nights and housekeeping never showed up.
I will give the grounds 5 stars because the setting is beautiful and very peaceful, and I can see how many people overlook all of the not so great qualities of this place for that reason. However, the grotto needs an overhaul too as I felt like an alligator in some rundown zoo with that dated, ugly, blue pool paint all over it. And speaking of the grotto, I was also very disappointed that no one was adhering to the don't talk above a whisper rule. People were talking loudly the whole time and also left their plastic cups all over the place. And none of the employees seemed to care to enforce this rule. Not very relaxing for someone trying to get away from it all!
The "resort" itself has a sad, desperate quality to it. The employees seemed like they either didn't want to be there or were almost apologizing for the way the place was.
I didn't bother eating at the restaurant, as it was as expensive as the top LA restaurants yet looked like the golf course clubhouse at my dad's retirement community in Florida, but I did have an overpriced, mediocre $14 glass of wine there from some winery I'd never heard of. And they know they have you trapped because the town of Desert Hot Springs is a total dump. Your only other options are fast food places, Vons or hole in the wall Mexican restaurants, unless you drive into Palm Springs.
My spa treatment (that I paid almost $200 for) was subpar, especially for how expensive it was. The spa prices are on par with places like the Four Seasons but they're definitely not worth those prices at Two Bunch. The spa itself was a creepy, dark dungeon with cheap slipcovers over the sofas and the showers were like something out of a prison. Granted, their product lines are good, so I'll give them that. However, the product once you get into the room is doled out to the technicians in tiny, plastic ramekins or sample jars, which makes me think management or the owners are super stingy with their product (another cost-cutting method the new owners have employed. After all, they are producers and their job is to cut corners and costs!).
My technician was really nice but not very experienced, which makes me think they don't really have any formal training for their employees to make sure their standards are up to par. The service was something I could have done to myself for much cheaper. The massage was more just like rubbing cream on me and the mini facial was a total joke. There was supposed to be a scalp treatment but I didn't get it. Plus, I was left with mask on my face after the treatment. Luckily I went into the bathroom immediately afterward so I could wash off my face.
It's sad because you can tell this place was probably really amazing at one time, and hopefully someday it'll be again, but until then, I'm going to stay on the other side of the 10.
2 stars for the rooms
5 stars for the grounds (except for the gross, giant cockroaches that come out at night and for the creepy ducks, turtles and fish who are like LA panhandlers, begging for food every time you walk by the pond)
5 stars for Elia who taught the Qigong class
0 stars for the rude guests who refused to be quiet
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the cradle of time deep within the Coachella Valley Desert, the waters of health ascend through the geological fault at Miracle Hill and descend downward to nurture the oasis that is the legendary Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort. This 600 year old life-sustaining hot artesian mineral well was prized by Native American tribes and archeological digs have uncovered historical village sites adjacent to the naturally occurring spring. This healing refuge has withstood the test of time and continues to be a retreat from the world where people shed their everyday burdens and enjoy the experience.Throughout the years, many celebrities have come to Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort to shed the trappings of their fame while donning the simple life in our Two Bunch robe. Enticed by the magical allure of mineral waters, natural beauty and therapeutic relaxation, many have come to make their spiritual mark on Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 2 Bunch Palms Resort & Spa
- Two Bunch Palms Hotel Desert Hot Springs
- Two Bunch Palms Resort And Spa
- Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa Desert Hot Springs, CA