I’ve now visited Palm Springs ten times or so and this last trip was the first time I managed to make it a restorative and healthy weekend getaway. Every other time it has been party central so it was nice to experience a different vibe and return home without a hangover.
If you’re planning a wellness weekend in Palm Springs I can very easily tell you what NOT to do. For starters, don’t go to Las Casuelas because a random drunk woman may buy you a series of shots the moment you arrive and you may take them all while she drunkenly tells you her life story and talks sh*t about everyone that passes by (yeah, that happened). And don’t stay at The Saguaro because you’ll bring your book out to the pool and then realize there’s a DJ and about 100 drunken brides-to-be and their posses and you won’t get a lick of reading in. Don’t get me wrong – these places are PERFECT if you’re looking to party but if you’re in need of some R&R, I’d say avoid them.
For a healthier weekend getaway, here are my recommendations for where to stay, eat and move while you’re in Palm Springs.
WHERE TO STAY
The Monkey Tree Hotel – Designed by the famous Albert Frey, this place is one of a kind. It’s like waking up in Palm Springs circa 1960-1970 but with a modern flare and top notch amenities. This hotel has a really fun historic background— JFK and Marilyn had a rendezvous there, all of the Beatles stayed there (except Paul), and other hollywood celebs like Lucille Ball and Katherine Hepburn would use the Monkey Tree as a weekend getaway spot. It was later turned into a nudist resort and then re-opened as the Monkey Tree just this year by a super cool couple from NYC. Kathy is an architect and Gary is a former Wall Street guy who also happens to be a chef and bad ass ultra runner. No big deal. They’re so warm and welcoming and you feel like you’re staying in their home.
The Monkey Tree offers a Scandinavian Spa which includes a sauna, a cold plunge and a hot tub that you can cycle through. The cold plunge has an array of benefits like reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular circulation and so much more. Tony Robbins swears by this and has one at his house. There is also a small pool with a swim tether so you can get your laps in without actually having to swim laps in a pool where everyone is lounging. Brittany got in some good triathlon training in this one. I used the cold plunge several times and it feels incredible. There is of course another big pool for relaxing and floating on inflatable pink flamingos. Homemade sangria is also served poolside at 4:30 pm. 🙂 And yes, it’s free with your stay.
Breakfast is included in your stay and it includes homemade refined sugar free and delicious. House-made specialties include a variety of scones, low carb granola and savory morning tarts, and the lounge area where breakfast is served is super inviting and relaxing. Your room is also stocked with complimentary healthy snacks and in-room massages are available by request (at an additional cost), so take advantage! The Monkey Tree is by far the most relaxing place I have ever stayed in Palm Springs and I genuinely left feeling rejuvenated.
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK
Juice Served Here – If you’re craving some green juice and need a little cold-pressed action, check out Juice Served Here, an LA favorite that has made its way to the desert. This little pop-up juice shop is slightly hidden with the exception of a small sign that stands on the sidewalk out front. You can find it by the pool at Arrive, a new hotel in downtown Palm Springs. It was a little tricky to find but worth it for the Spicy Greens.
Palm Greens Cafe – From organic juices to macrobiotic bowls and everything in between, this place is the ultimate as far as health food goes. They also offer some less than healthy things so if you’re traveling with someone who wants a big ol’ stack of pancakes, they’re good to go. This is a something-for-everyone kind of place, in my opinion.
WHERE TO GET YOUR SWEAT ON
South Lykken Trail – This trail is great for a hike and/or a run. The first mile is super steep so hiking is a must but once you get to the vista you can run the rest of the trail which takes you back down the other side of the mountain to the street where you can run back to your car (or Uber if you’re tired). You can get over 7 miles in if you do the whole thing. We only did the hiking portion because of the heat.
Bump and Grind Trail – This is one of the more popular desert trails I have yet to run. It’s a 3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palm Desert that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible from October until May. We were just there in July so no bueno but I want to try it next time.
Those are my favorite healthy spots. If you have a chance to check them out, let me know! I’m already itching for another desert weekend getaway. 🙂
Have you visited Palm Springs?
What’s your favorite spot?