Two Bunch Palms resort is an intriguing blend of spa amenities, inspiring views and spacious hotel rooms and suites in Desert Hot Springs, California. There is a lot to like at this hot springs resort just outside of Palm Springs but check on the status of the massive construction project before booking.
Andy and I were in desperate need of a wellness retreat last October (2018). He floated the idea of finding a hot springs spa near Palm Springs, California as a way of relaxing and getting our minds in a peaceful place. We decided to splurge on the luxury Two Bunch Palms resort.
We are big fans of taking wellness breaks at the hot springs resorts around California. We did The Spring in Desert Hot Springs, Tecopa Hot Springs and Benton Hot Springs in the last few years, and we’d happily return to all of those places. Two Bunch Palms was the first really big splurge, but we wanted a place that was no more than two hours away and that offered amenities that didn’t require us to leave the resort to eat, particularly if I didn’t feel well.
Andy booked us a suite at Two Bunch Palms, and I have to say that it was lovely. Massive renovations were going on at the resort, but this suite felt like it had already been updated. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the living area made it easy to work and the bathroom had a deep soaking tub and pebble-floor shower that were delights. There was a patio that would have been great for writing, but the construction noise during the day kept us inside. We did light the fire pit to enjoy the desert evening.
Pros: Very large and comfortable with amenities like mini-refrigerator, coffee/tea maker, robes, slippers and robust air conditioning (much appreciated in the desert during the day even in October).
Negatives: The suite did feel private because it was down the hill from the main buildings, restaurant, spa, the shared hot springs tubs and the Grotto. That meant we were walking through a lot of dirt and sand to get up to the main area – not to mention crossing a lot of construction traffic to do it. I was lucky in that I still had enough energy and mobility to make the walk, but if you have any mobility issues, you will want to choose a room closer to the action.
Also, when you arrive, they now require you to use valet parking, so don’t leave anything behind in your car because it would take some time to retrieve it. To get down to the suite we were in, we were taken by a golf cart, which can take some time.
We loved the restaurant. The place was not crowded, so we enjoyed fairly attentive staff, and it was easy getting seats. There is a lovely spot over by the fireplace that was enticing, but, in the end, we always chose to sit near the windows because the views were impressive.
I was gifted a massage at the spa, and I was simultaneously excited and nervous to do it. It was the first time I had to tell a stranger that I was dealing with serious health issues. I did it because I knew that we were going to have adjust some of my positioning to avoid certain areas. I’m not going to say that was an easy experience, but the massage therapist made the adjustments, and I’m so glad that I did it. I’m not sure I knew exactly how much stress I was carrying – although I suppose that isn’t a surprise. I highly recommend going into the spa to make your reservations.
The Hot Springs Pools
One of the best things about the hot springs here at Two Bunch Palms is that each of the mineral baths are set at different temperatures. For those of you who love super-heated tubs, you can have them. For those of you who love slightly cooler mineral baths, you can have them, too.
My favorite area was actually not a tub at all, but the Grotto. Surrounded by palm trees, the Grotto feels secluded even though there are other people with you. It had a cooler side and a hotter side, but both were easy to tolerate. Towels were hung up in a changing area, which was also equipped with hooks for your hotel robes. There were spots with loungers to relax but we mostly dipped in and out of the Grotto before and after other plans.
We only tried one of the other very hot pools. Andy loved it, and it tended to only be for two people, so they are great for couples. However, they are directly below other rooms, so they were usually taken by people who were walking down from those hotel rooms.
Pros: Numerous mineral pools without the typical hot springs smell (no Sulphur). The Grotto was wonderful!
Negatives: The construction noise was off-putting, particularly at the smaller baths. Picture yourself settling back into a tub and then hearing the grind of buzz saw. I’m sure that once the construction is finished, the area will go back to a bit more relaxing. One note—please don’t bring your portable devices to listen to music while in the baths. Other people are there, and they don’t want to listen to it.
Another negative – we are early risers and love going for a soak to start the day. Unfortunately, all the tubs are cleaned in the morning. While I appreciate their cleaning efforts, it was sort of a bummer not to be able to get into any of the tubs in the early morning.
Even with the construction, the grounds at twilight were beautiful.
Overall Impressions of Two Bunch Palms Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA
Two Bunch Palms resort is full of possibilities. The hotel spa is a delight, the restaurant is terrific and the hot springs/mineral pools can be relaxing. But they are clearly going through some growing pains. The construction will probably result in even more beautiful grounds, but I would check before booking to be sure that it is finished.
The hotel is very expensive, and they were in no way helpful about giving discounts when we complained about some of the difficulties that the construction presented. And, at the time, there was no warning on the website, so we went in blindly. Also, I have heard a number of complaints about trying to find a manager on-site to address issues, as well as complications with short-staffing. We did run into the issue with finding a manager, but it wasn’t until we were leaving, so it didn’t impact our stay.
Would I go again? Hard to say. I so enjoyed elements of it that I might be tempted. But it was very expensive, and we would want assurances that the construction and some of the other issues have been resolved before doing that. There are so many spa hotel options in and around Desert Hot Springs and nearby Palm Springs that we’re more inclined to try somewhere new until these growing pains are resolved.