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With the Wellness Tourism Association’s recent announcement that Greater Palm Springs (GPS) will be the host destination for the third annual International Wellness Tourism Conference, Oct. 28-30, the timing seems ideal to offer an overview of a few new offerings the 9-city desert location has in store for your wellness-minded clients:

The Spa at Séc-he
Cared for and protected by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and one of the region’s signature cultural resources, Séc-he (meaning “the sound of boiling water” in the language of the Cahuilla) is an ancient hot mineral spring located in downtown Palm Springs. Opened in April, the 73,000-sq.-ft. spa complex brings the mineral-rich waters that spring from a natural underground aquifer to the public. Joyce Kiehl, director of communications at Visit Greater Palm Springs (VGPS), says, “The opening of Séc-he allows the Agua Caliente people to share their healing traditions directly with the public via a luxurious dedicated wellness facility.”

Reid D. Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, agrees and adds, “The opening of The Spa at Séc-he is a defining moment for the Tribe. The hot spring water means everything to us. It’s at the heart of tribal life and has been a cultural resource for us and our ancestors for thousands of years. The power of these healing waters is real, and we are proud to offer the experience to all who come.”

Along with private mineral baths, spa offerings include halotherapy salt caves, float pod suites, a cryotherapy chamber, a coed whirlpool, a resort-style waterfall main pool, plus signature Caliente culture-inspired treatments. Other onsite features include poolside cabanas for up to six people guests, and a cafe serving Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

Sensei Porcupine Creek
Nestled under the inspiring Santa Rosa Mountains near Palm Springs, the upscale, adults-only Sensei Porcupine Creek opened in late 2022. The second Sensei and the first on mainland U.S. soil (the original is Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii), the resort is built around the founders’ dedication to healthy living powered by science, data and technology. The spacious, nature-embraced, 230-acre former private estate is home to 22 luxury accommodations (including individual guestrooms, casitas and 2- and 4-bedroom villas), lush spa gardens, and golf and tennis facilities formerly only available to dignitaries and top athletes. Also available to guests is a diagnostic center, yoga and fitness pavilions, a relaxing swimming pool area, and the Sensei by Nobu dining experience. GM Julie Oliff says “all wellness retreats are tailored to the individual guest and range from the 5-day Rest & Recovery Program to the month-long Sabbatical Experience.”

Regenerative Travel Initiative in Greater Palm Springs

In keeping with growing traveler demands for greater sustainability protocols and community support programs implemented by the global destinations they select to visit, VGPS has recently partnered with Visit California’s Kind Traveler regenerative travel initiative where both advisors and travelers can access participating hotels that prioritize sustainability and community impact. Kiehl says, “We are committed to the values of sustainability, community, collaboration and inclusion not only embedded within our organization but also in the region’s tourism industry.” The DMO is encouraging visitors to choose more sustainable practices such as going car-free by staying in one of the pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods of Palm Springs, Palm Desert or La Quinta, where an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions are easily accessible on foot and by bike; staying at hotels offering guests complimentary use of bikes or checking Bike Palm Springs with half-day, full-day and weekend-long rental options.

Based much in part on its natural hot springs, its thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Indian Canyons and surrounding Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, its ancient waterfalls and serene and natural open spaces that inspire a sense of serenity, Greater Palm Springs has often been referred to as one of America’s original “wellness destinations.” Kiehl says, “Since the days of the earliest Native American inhabitants and later when Old Hollywood came to relax in our healing waters, we’ve been a destination founded in health and wellbeing.”

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