HomeSeptember 2013Hot Water, Cool Spa

Hot Water, Cool Spa

Taking the waters at Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort in Desert Hot Springs is a story as old as the sands and palm trees surrounding this legendary oasis.
Harold Robbins, the best-selling author who penned 25 novels, steeped in the waters between books and movie stars here during the 1970s.  He, along with a list of stars, celebrities and VIPs looking for a weekend getaway, did and still do enter unnoticed through Two Bunch’s security gates regularly for a Mud Bath, an Arnica Wrap or a 7 Chakra Balance Massage and more.  The Spa Menu offers 14 pages of treatments.  There is something for everyone.
I once met two women rabbis from Los Angeles while soaking in the therapeutic pool shaded by palm trees far older than myself.  In short, Two Bunch has a long history dating to the 1950s when Desert Hot Springs began developing as a tourist destination; today it is officially branded as California’s Spa City.  Two Bunch is the largest of more than 20 spas with 52 guest rooms covering 56 acres.  There are plans to expand.
Now owned by four investors, including Donald Kushner, whose films  have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, it is making the news.  Israeli-born Gidi Cohen , once a Navy Seal with the IDF, brings his spin into the plans as well.
Collectively the group has the chutzpah and the cash to transform this legendary but aging beauty sorely in need of a facelift (one the spa world has been waiting for) into a world-class spa.  The group recently acquired Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, so you can see where Two Bunch is headed, designwise.
Adding to the glam factor are the precisely analyzed therapeutic waters, which are known internationally for their potent healing properties.
“It’s a match made in spa heaven,” says Grace Robbins, author of Cinderella and the Carpetbaggers, who recently visited between book signings.
Making all of this spa magic happen is architect Gulla Jonsdottir, who carries the spirit and verve of her native Iceland with her in remodels of existing guestrooms and plans for 58 new ones.  The existing earthy 3,000-square-foot Yoga Dome, a massive solar building, will reopen along with meeting rooms.
Rianna Riego, director of brand and communications, is preparing for the newest chapter in Two Bunch History while reassuring a loyal following.  The duck and turtle, which people can feed, will remain in  their natural state.  The natural environment that has made Two Bunch a hidden gem will remain a treasure.
“That’s the beauty and the balance of Two Bunch,” says Gloria Greer, society editor at Palm Springs Life Magazine.  During “the season,” the desert pulsates with galas, film festivals, casino culture, openings at art galleries that emanate in all directions, not to mention theatres from the McCallum in Palm Desert to the Annenberg in Palm Springs.  It’s perfect timing for Two Bunch to come with an act that tops them all with a splash of rejuvenation and relaxation blended with the ageless ritual of  “taking the waters.”


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