Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort
What We Love
- Award-winning spa escape in Desert Springs, just 20 minutes from Palm Springs
- Trailblazing eco policy, including a three-and-a-half-acre solar field and organic linens
- Farm-to-table restaurant that serves vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and whole food menus
What To Know
- Expect a hushed vibe and "Quiet" signs across the resort
- Pack light — most guests spend their entire stay in a spa robe
- Children 17 and under are not permitted
- A $25 resort fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Located in Desert Springs, just 20 minutes north of Palm Springs, Two Bunch Palms is an adults-only spa retreat famous for it healing waters and trailblazing eco program. First opened in 1940, the resort was a favorite among Hollywood starlets (and the occasional California mobster) throughout the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the 77 landscaped acres encompass a farm-to-table restaurant, spa, Grotto mineral pool, meditation lakes and yoga studios. Some of the 70 guestrooms are in the hotel’s Vintage section nearest the spa, pools and restaurant; for seclusion seekers, the Soulstice rooms and suites are more spread out beyond the meditation lakes and have private outdoor areas. Fresh off a full revamp in 2013, the new interiors sport an elegant look with custom-built furnishings, energy-efficient fixtures and sustainable latex beds topped with organic linens. Relaxation is the focus here thanks to the Two Bunch spa and its 22 treatment rooms (including two mud cabanas), the Conscious Conversation or Intention Burning classes, the meditation lakes and a Grotto pool, which is naturally heated to 104 and 99 degrees. Essence restaurant dishes up vegan, gluten-free and whole food options, all prepared with organic ingredients grown on the property or selected from local farms.
In the Area
With a focus on rest and relaxation, most guests are content to explore the resort’s 77 acres and its pampering spa, mineral pool and farm-to-table restaurant. Beyond the grounds, Desert Springs is a playground of arid canyons and golf courses galore, or there’s increasingly hip South Palm Springs, just a 20-minute drive away. Here, hit the city’s fave cafe, Koffi, the Appetito Italian deli and supper club scene at the Purple Room. Alternatively, discover the great outdoors in Joshua Tree National Park, or up close at Tahquitz Canyon and Indian Canyons.
How to Get There
I'll start with the good:
The property itself is on what seems like a very sacred land. You can feel very high vibrations as you lay by the pools and enjoy the hot spring baths. The food in the restaurant is amazing and the healers/therapists at the spa are incredible. The logistics of the property however are very dysfunctional and unfortunately offset the beauty of the experience.
We paid $1,000 for 2 nights in the Desert Suite and spent an additional $1,000 at the spa. We stay at 4 & 5 star hotels frequently and were surprised to find a 3 star hotel charging such high rates but we figured we'd give it a try. After leaving the "resort" this weekend, my husband and I both felt disappointed in the service and experience.
To start, the hotel doesn't allow you to park your car near your room (despite the wide open parking spaces available right outside the front door of the room.)
The upgraded Desert Suite is located at the other end of the property, far from the restaurant, pools, spa or lobby (which feels counter intuitive since there is not a shady or convenient way to walk to all of the amenities without working up a sweat or getting sand all over your feet from the pathway.)
The hotel does not offer room service (what?!), which is mind boggling considering the amount of money they charge you to say. Our weekend getaway was to get some much needed rest so it was not fun to have to get up, get dressed, walk across the property to get food to bring back to the room. In order to get food you have to walk across the property in 110 degree weather. By that point I was officially awake and out of bed, which was not the plan. There are no fast casual options at the hotel and no easy to grab options to stock the room with.
(Side note: $45 "resort" fee bumped our $375 room price up to $420 + taxes, still wondering what the $45 fee offers you. They should use that money to pay an extra employee to deliver food to the rooms.)
We were locked out of our room twice because the keycards for the room did not work, the second time left us standing in the heat for 15 minutes.
The hotel has a 3rd party valet service that is understaffed. These guys work very hard in the heat, but if someone drives in to check in, and another guest calls for a pick up, one side is left twiddling their thumbs until the other has been assisted. This makes it a whole production if you want to leave or get a lift to the front of the property.
The staff members were nice, but it was very obvious the establishment is failing in training. Every staff member we encountered seemed confused and unsure about everything. We would get different information from everyone we spoke to and even the two different managers we spoke to admitted that the hotel's system is broken and there is no communication among employees.
While laying by the pool we were told we could order food to be delivered outside, but when we placed an order at the restaurant and asked them to deliver it to the pool, the restaurant staff seemed confused and wishy washy about being able to walk it outside. One staff member seemed stoned and clueless about the menu. My husband had to read the menu to her to show her that they carried a certain item.
As I sat in the spa lobby trying to relax while waiting for my therapist to take me in, an employee from the back was loudly complaining to her coworker about how she was hungover. Unprofessional and not a spa environment I would choose to sit and relax in.
The spa itself is very outdated but the therapists are magical.
On our final day, after discussing some issues with the manager at the front lobby we told him we would come back after our final treatments at the spa to close out our tab in cash. When we got back there was a new manager who had processed the weekend charges on the credit card on file. I explained about the conversation we'd had just two hours earlier with other manager and her response was, "Yeah, well there is no communication here among the staff." Literally the cherry on top of a frustrating weekend with the Two Bunch Palms. We probably will not return.
It is a shame because there is a very sacred energy on the property and the healers at the spa are first rate professionals. The owners of this establishment should count themselves lucky to have the therapists in the spa because if it wasn't for them I'd say this weekend was a wash.
It seems like the owners are focusing on doing upgrades to the property. As a business owner myself my best advice to them is to focus on your staff and your systems first. I would happily forgive the outdated buildings before the other issues you have going on. Our weekend was definitely overpriced for the value we received.
16th visit here.
This place gets better and better.
The staff - to a person - from the gate to the front desk to the maids to the spa to the restaurant are absolutely first rate.
The restaurant serves clean delicious food. The burrata with tomato jam and bison strip steak are particular favorites.
Normally I would say you can just hit the grottos, the tubs and the pools and feel like you’re maximizing your resort fee - but the massage I’ve gotten here is the best I’ve ever had and I will continue to pay what feels like a lot - 165$ for 60 minutes -because it’s worth it every time. I won’t tell you her name tho because I don’t want her to be always booked.
Utilizing the digital concierge for ice / robes / asking for anything is unbelievably useful and immediate.
All of this works seamlessly in a tranquil and upscale rustic setting.
Floating in the grotto in the small of the night with the wind in the palms and the stars above is a special experience.
Thanks for always taking good care of me.
I vacation in a 5 star resort every 3 months=for many reasons, i am unable to suggest this one :(
I stayed in the CAPONE MASTER SUITE: No Gift Shop, no room service, personal pool needed heating each morning, personal firepit not working until morning of departure, noisy water pipe to pool, FAT DEAD RAT in hall between suites. Restaurant menu Items out of stock. Untrained bartender. Construction/renovations throughout the property (very disturbing). Advised that management would contact me to provide comp=Never Happened. Only good thing are the mini bar items, the grotto area and the complimentary classes. Bring test strips to check the water!!! Came home and had to go on antibiotics for 10 days :(
I recognized 1 of the positive reviews was posted by an employee=go figure???