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“Hot tub time machine” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel

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Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   10805 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 27 Hotels in Desert Hot Springs
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hot tub time machine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

If you were to close your eyes while soaking in one of the numerous natural hot pools at the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, you might feel as though you'd travelled back in time. Without any kitsch touches, the Spa has retained its wonderful sense of simple luxury. Every aspect of the fantastic, original 60's hotel feels like your on a film set; from the classic booths of the lively bar, to the pastel colors of the the Sunshine cafe (with its extensive and delicious menu), the azure pools and lofty palms, that rise out of the desert like an oasis, not to mention the great, snow capped peaks of San Jacinto as a backdrop. The friendly and attentive staff were welcoming and kept us hydrated and pampered throughout, and just intoxicated enough to let the worries of LA float away in the bubbles!

A perfect place for a relaxing weekend, with friends or with one special person. I have been visiting the Spa at every opportunity for years. The mix of the luxury of the pools, with the astounding natural beauty of the desert is not to be missed.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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English first
Marina Del Rey California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012 via mobile

Have come to use the spa's for day use for many years and decided to bring my son. The Beds are the worst, a man strolled in at night and tried to steal a woman's purse, told the front desk and he got annoyed saying he was already told, security said it happens a lot and results in a lot of carjackings. Our coffee maker did not work, the tv and linens are from 1975, really? For 140$ such a rippoff!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

We spent one night at the hotel just before Thanksgiving. The room was old but satisfactory and the pools were outstanding.

Room Tip: First floor pool view if you want easy access to the pool.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

Sure,they could close down the place for a major renovation, but frankly,for me,they did a wonderful job maintaining what they DO have here. This is a retro-spa circa 1950's with 8 mineral pools,some with jets,some not...and the price cannot be beat.You'd be hard pressed to find any spa/hotel situation that would compare in value. They gave me a wonderful weekly rate and a basic room with a balcony with a view of the pools. The diner serves a perfect diner menu(the fajita's were wonderful here)
I stayed thru the weekend ,and the traffic got heavy,but with the mix of travelers and local characters, it was most entertaining!
I find it irritating that people sometimes refer to it as 'the redneck spa'...I didn't find that at all!I met hard working local folks who were so happy to have this gem of a place to relax in on the weekends. Lot's of wonderful staff people,very accommodating and super friendly!
The only reason...and the ONLY reason I left of star number 5 is the sauna room poolside.
Heat was great, but it really...ummm errrr...how do i put this delicately?...well, it smelled like a dog kennel.I suggest an upgrade ..spend some bucks at the local lumber yard and get some fresh cedar in that sauna already.
But that complaint aside,I love this place and will be returning very soon.
Let me know if this was helpful for you!Happy travels!!
ss

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carsonparlan, Public Relations Manager at Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, responded to this review, December 3, 2011
Wow you really "get" us. Thank you so much for your review! we redoing the sauna as i write this.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosarito, Mexico
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2011

Imagine sinking your body into a swimming pool or jacuzzi filled with natural hot mineral spring water, then multiply that by 8 and you've got a picture of the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel located 10 miles north of Palm Springs. My husband and I go there regularly (when in town) because their Day Passes cost a reasonable $7 for Fri., Sat., and Sunday; weekday rates (Monday through Thursday) are only $5 per person. No better deal in town exists. In fact, if it weren't for this delightful hotel, there wouldn't be much else to do in DHS.

However, in saying that, this hotel is worth the trip to this remote, dusty desert town. Just turn off the I-10 freeway north on Palm Drive and drive about 5 miles to find the DHS Spa Hotel. Besides boasting about their 8 theraputic pools each set at a different temperature, they have a good dry sauna which really helps detox the night before out of your pores. After sweating up a storm in the dry sauna, try plunging into the coldest center pool and sit under the fountain to cool your body temp down.

The hotel offers Day Cabana Rooms, overnight rooms and spa services including manicure, pedicure, facials and massages. It's a great place to get away from the hectic city and unwind for a day or two. If you forgot to pack a bathing suit, don't worry, there's an affordable Spa Boutique Gift Shop on site with a nice selection of bathing suits for men, women and children, as well as, sunglasses, hats, flip flips and sunscreens.

After the pools, try the food in their coffee shop the Sunshine Cafe. I highly recommend the Cobb Salad or the Spa Club Sandwich for lunch, and the portions are big enough to split with a friend. I recommend Huevos Rancheros or Eggs Benedict for breakfast. For Dinner, everything on the menu is good at the coffee shop, so check their Daily Specials. But if you're into beef or Prime Rib, this is a good place to get it for $15.95, and the Hamburgers are terrific too!

The hotel also offers a full-service cocktail and sports bar located adjacent to the pools and coffee shop with pool side waitresses serving your needs. Draft beers are $3.50, bottled beer $4 to $5, cocktails $5 rice and up. On weekend afternoons, you'll find a local classic rock band tuning up to play tunes.

All in all, if you go with a friend or two and get a room, you'll have a terrific time soaking in the pools and never have to leave the premises because the bar and restaurant are right there.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

I have been coming to this hotel for years. I've been here many times. Initially, my wife and I would come here for weekend get aways from the stresses of Los Angeles. I always feel renewed when I come to the desert. We had always enjoyed coming here. It felt quaint and comfortable and the price was definitely right. The first massage I ever had was at this hotel.

Then we moved to New York for a few years, started a family and then moved back to Southern California. Even when we visited California during our time in NY, we came to this Spa. About 4 years ago, we moved back to Southern California.

After our last trip with our boys (ages 4 and 6) we decided to not return to the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel for a while, as we were disappointed with each of our more recent visits.

I really hate to report this, but through the years (more recently, I would say), the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel has lost most of its charm. Perhaps it's the downturn in the economy, but there has been little reinvestment in this property. The rooms are stuffy and need to be remodeled. The sheets and towels aren't as fresh. There are stacks of old, broken/rusty lounge chairs piled into a corner. The pools seem dirty, granted the area is usually windy and debris from the palm trees often ends up in them which is understandable. I'm talking about scum. It seemed to me on our last trip, that the filters in some of the pools were not working properly. There were a lot of dead bugs floating in the water along with cakes of bubbly stagnant scum.

I like that the rules here are relaxed. People can bring their own food and drinks (including alcohol) to the poolside. They pools don't really close. You can use pool floats and toys. However, the permission of smoking should really be stopped. Mostly, everywhere else now has a no smoking policy in public areas. It's just unfortunate and really gross when someone lights up a cigarette (or cigar) right next to you when your trying to relax and just breathe and soak in the beautiful desert atmosphere. I especially hate it because there are often children nearby.

Now, on the flipside to the relaxed rules there are consequences. At night, it can get loud, late into the night. Again, people can drink next to the pools and the on-sight bar just adds fuel to the fire. Personally, I don't mind the noise, but for those guests with rooms that face the pools, there may be some disappointed customers if a quiet night was expected. After all this is a "spa", right? On a recent trip, I actually witnessed a drunken fight.

During the day, there are a variety of people who visit the pools. Families with children ranging in ages from babies to teens, young couples, middle age couples and elderly patrons. The mix is interesting if you like to "people watch". It can get crowded on weekends, but never to the point where it's out of control.

There are several little rooms next to the pools that are designed for private massages. I have had many massages here. They have always been good and the price is reasonable.

The staff here has always been fantastic. They are kind and helpful.

We're on the email list and monthly we receive special rate opportunities. In my opinion, the rates here were always very good. However, we have found that by using Priceline, we have been able to book rooms at area 5 star resorts for the exact same rate or sometimes even lower. The luxury at these places blow this hotel out of the water.

This place has been special to me. I am sad that it has become so run down. My advice to the management would be to invest in remodeling the property, update the rooms, paint, and make the pool and patio areas non-smoking. If you want to be a "spa" then step it up. We have had many relaxing times here and would like to come back, but not until you make some major changes.

Room Tip: Sign up for the email specials, check the website for specials and you can even call for special dea...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carsonparlan, Public Relations Manager at Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel, responded to this review, September 27, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful review and for the many kind things you’ve said, especially about our staff. We really appreciate long-term loyal guests and, as you probably know, have many.

You are exactly right in your assessment regarding the need for a renovation, and the reason it has not been done yet. Currently we are forced to remediate specific problems as they come up. Economic conditions permitting, we will do a comprehensive renovation next Summer.

Please don’t write us off just yet, and we greatly look forward to your return in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

I call this my favorite Redneck Spa. As I am from redneck stock, I find the tone there amusing and familiar.
I also like that there are absolutely all shapes and sizes and ages in the pools, just playing, drinking, laughing, soaking and having a good time being goofy humans.
I don't do the spa treatments there, I just enjoy the pools and 1 or 2 nights.
The staff has been great, and attentive if there is an issue ( mischarging a credit card was dealt with speedily)
I like the poolside rooms with reflective glass doors so no one can see in, and a gated little porch to enjoy or quickly get into and out of the nearest pool -- very convenient!
It has a true family vibe with happy kids and lots of tattooed parents and grandparents. One night a tipsy Latina Grannie sang heartfelt Spanish love songs on the next porch with such passion she gathered a crowd that insisted on more
In conclusion it is a great, low key, affordable, funky destination with big pools that are from super hot to cold, close to LA. It's can be very romantic in bad weather as its almost deserted, the kids are gone, and you can have an entire pool to yourself late into the night!

Room Tip: Rooms located on the lower floor have direct access to the pool. If you like your privacy ask for po...
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  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel

Address: 10805 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Location: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Desert Hot Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#16 Spa Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel is famous for its natural hot mineral water! So come for the day and use our eight natural hot mineral pools. A classic example of retro 60s architecture, the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel features fifty comfortable rooms wrapped around a large courtyard with towering palms and eight shimmering natural hot mineral spring pools open 24 hours. Spa-goers and sun worshipers come from far and wide to partake in the restful and relaxing atmosphere.Spas are nice, but natural mineral spring spas are paradise! We offer the desert’s most extensive and affordable spa therapies and beauty treatments in a fun, casual setting.You’ll also enjoy indoor and outdoor dining at the Sunshine Café, or sip your favorite beverage in the Sports Lounge or poolside while you sun and soak.And the Desert Hot Springs Spa is pet friendly! We also offer room service and wireless Internet for your convenience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Hot Springs Hotel Desert Hot Springs
Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel CA

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