How come it took me so long to find this place? I guess I found it when I needed it. Plain and simple.
My man and I just celebrated our 12-year-wedding anniversary on May 16th. But I was working that day (even though it was a Sunday) so I instead spent my anniversary with an editor (whom I happen to adore but I still wanted to be with my man.)
I’m not the kind of chick who craves diamonds or flowers or a schmancy evening out to celebrate our love, I need a getaway. Each year we escape from the everyday to spend time remembering why we decided to spend the rest of our lives together. Our anniversary adventures have led us to Zion National Park in Southern Utah, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Catalina Island, Big Sur, and Costa Rica. Before kids the trips were longer – now we’re happy when we manage a one-night getaway.
Since we’re both currently in between jobs, and our in-laws saved the day with an offer to watch the kids for a night, we decided on a last minute escape last Thursday to Friday. I had heard about this place from some cool neighbors of ours who just moved to New York City for work and for some reason, I remembered it when thinking about places we could go that were a quick drive from LA. Actually there is A LOT that is a quick drive from LA. Mountains, islands, deserts, 5-star-resorts, primitive camping and everything in between. It’s all at our fingertips.
But when I sat down at the computer for a quick search, the name of this place is the only thing that came to mind – Two Bunch Palms.
On the home page I read “Enter a sanctuary of hushed tranquility … immerse yourself in serenity….uncover the secrets of silence….”
That’s about the only word I needed to see to get completely sold on the idea.
My life is so LOUD. My kids are at the peak of NOISE these days. Each morning starts with a BANG. Playing, screaming, laughing, fighting – my kids are professional noise-makers of late. My mama soul knew I needed some quiet. I’ve been craving it like I crave my morning cappuccino.
The other key phrases that hooked me on Two Bunch Palms were “The art of doing nothing” and “adults-only enclave.” You mean, there’s an art to doing nothing? And adults only? As in no kids? Done and done.
I made my reservation the day before we left for a Fountain Room ($200) which I was told was a “pleasant few minute stroll through the grounds from the center of the resort.” My man and I do not like being at the heart of activity. We prefer hanging on the outskirts. And my life these days doesn’t include much strolling so that sounded perfect.
(A Fountain Room)
Two Bunch Palms is in Desert Hot Springs which is basically just a bit north of Palm Springs. This 56-acre property is an oasis filled with lush desert foliage in the middle of an arid landscape. The reason for this is that Two Bunch boasts one of the most awesome natural mineral hot springs. Water flows upward from deep within the earth at 148 degrees Fahrenheit and nourishes the land. And this same water has also nourished the souls of many humans who have made the trek to Two Bunch over the last 70 or so years. Two Bunch is a legendary Hollywood hideaway. So much so that the Guest Information Book in the rooms has a category titled “Autographs” which discourages guests from asking for autographs if you happen to be lounging around with someone famous.
As we drove out of the city last Thursday, I was tense. The morning routine of getting everyone packed and off to their destinations was stressful as usual. I tried to not be a little grumpy but I was. But as the city melted off my skin and the traffic flowed freely, I started to feel my mood lift. Two hours after making our way out of the city, we pulled up to a small guard gate and were greeted by a friendly guy named Calvin who welcomed us to the resort. As soon as we drove up to the little office and saw a guy standing on the property in the famous “Two Bunch Robe,” we knew we had come to the right place.
The place is known for the ‘Two Bunch Robe” and guests even eat in their robes, if they want, at the resort’s mellow Casino Restaurant. I couldn’t quite go there this time, but on my next trip out there, I will. When you’re cruising around the resort, you get the distinct impression that you have joined a select group of people who understand the brilliance of this place. It’s like you become part of the club, if you will.
There is a handful of things you can do at Two Bunch. Take a nap in your room, lounge for hours in one of three mineral water pools, take a nap on a lounge chair under a thatched roof cabana, do yoga, play tennis, feed the turtles, ducks and fish at the meditative lakes, eat, or have one of the many legendary spa treatments. And you never ever have to get dressed up. Bathing suits, shorts, flip-flops, no make-up. My scene.
The Grotto is the heart of the resort where the two warmest pools invite you in. We lounged in there for literal hours and never got wrinkled shriveled skin! The water is rich in lithium which is a natural mood enhancer and I swear it works. The lithium seeps through your pores and you just feel peaceful and happy. It’s addictive. We found ourselves going from one “relaxation station” to another – soaking, napping, soaking, strolling, swimming in the coolest pool, and back to soaking in the hottest pool once again. I can honestly say I do not remember the last time I felt so relaxed.
The desert weather was at its peak of perfection with the warming sun and a cooling breeze that came together to produce a temperature that made you feel like there was no temperature at all. We were neither cold nor hot. Just perfect. If you’ve never felt what perfect desert air feels like, you need to feel it. My husband never believed me when I first would tell him how addictive the feeling of desert air is, but now he knows. He’s a believer.
We swam, we napped, we soaked. We hung out in our room, listened to tunes, and talked. We ate a wonderful dinner and nourishing breakfast in the Two Bunch restaurant and did yoga together in the yoga dome on Friday morning. We strolled through the property and hung out looking at the turtles bathing in the sun. And we knew that we had found a place worth coming back to.
Two Bunch is not for everyone. If you need drinks served poolside, a reason to wear a cocktail dress and a happening scene to feel like you’re on vacation, then this place is not for you. But if you want to experience the calming effect of nature with the amenities of a resort, Two Bunch is second to none.
There’s a phrase on the website that says “enjoy the experience of being ‘Two Bunched.'” We laughed about that when we first read it, but at the end of our 24 hour stay, we definitely agreed that we had indeed become “Two Bunched.”
Wanna join the club?
(This post was featured at Uptake as a Travel Gem. Awesome.)