creative retreat: hope springs resort

hope springs resort, desert hot springs, ca

i have been looking at this boutique motel’s web site for a few years, always longing for a good excuse to go. we go out to joshua tree a few times per year, but only have time to hit the desert hot springs hotel & spa for some afternoon soaking on the way home. this time we made desert hot springs the destination in itself at hope springs resort.

december in the southern california deserts is probably second only to early springtime when everything is in bloom. the air was cool and clear, though still warm in the sun. this getaway spot highlighted the low-key, wind-down, quiet-first aspects in advertising no tvs, no cell phones by the pool, no kids & no pets. okay then! what they do have are sparse chic rooms that get down to business with an ipod hookup, wifi, comfy waffle weave bathrobes, signature herbal toilitries, an outstanding daily continental breakfast, and a community kitchen just off the pool area with the invitation to chill your wine or pour yourself a glass of their multi-citrus & cucumber spa water. taking that recipe home with me!

i won’t lie, i did all manner of floating, swimming and soaking. there are 3 pools, the hottest at 104 in a covered gazebo for maximum steam action, the next around 95 with natural champagne bubbles, and the main pool at about 80 degrees. the garden area around the pool offers every shade of green in the indigenous california desert landscape, while keeping a nice sense of privacy between the pool and the rooms. also, the standard checkout is noon, and they invite you to stay and hang out after you check out of the room–bonus!

we took our time to reflect on the past year and brainstorm on projects to come in 2009 while taking in the majesty of mt. san jacinto capped with a dusting of snow. the quiet was just what we needed and the scenery an excellent motivator. i think the wine helped too. i highly recommend this place for a creative retreat or weekend getaway–we are back, recharged and refreshed!

[editor’s note: the good news is, i have come back to hope springs every year. it’s a wonderful place for a retreat. the hotel went up for sale in 2011, i only hope someone with as much care buys it and keeps it going—i love this place!]

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