Heading out to the desert for a weekend has become part of the Los Angeles experience. Every five days there is a micro migration east to Joshua Tree, or Palm Springs. Of course, we also have the premier annual pilgrimages to Indigo, CA and Black Rock, Nevada. But if you are not in the mood to “be seen” by the cool kids, or to “burn” with all the wild ones there is a tiny little place you can go to enjoy the dessert escape. It is called Hope Springs, it is a boutique resort hotel in Desert Hot Springs, California. It’s not a place you go to get in the mix, it’s the place you go to get out of it.
If you stay at Hope Springs the first person you meet will surely be Nancy, she is host, receptionist, and makes a delicious breakfast frittata. If you arrive at night, the first thing you will notice is the stars. You have to get away from the city a fair distance to realize that not at all of the lights in the sky are heading towards LAX. You would be hard pressed to find a building over two stories within 20 miles of the hotel. Like so much of the hotel, the experience is one of quaint minimalism. There is ample space wander off on foot or in your own mind.
Don’t expect to be served fancy drinks by the pool, expect to be left to your own devices. And, as far as digital devices go, expect not to need them. Instead of packing your computer, pack a book. Though there is wi-fi throughout the hotel Hope Springs is designed to usher you away from the speed of numbers and zeroes and settle you in to a quiet place to capture peace of mind.
After you arrive and set your away message, you’ll find that the pool is inviting and the hot springs are seductive. The resort boasts a naturally flowing mineral hot spring from their own well that feeds the indoor hot tub, the outdoor hot tub, and also the pool, which is just warm enough to swim in on a chilly summer night. Even though there are great amenities, like massage parlor, and art and design library, that is not what make Hope Springs worth the trip. There is inspiration lingering in the air, as if it were a special quality of the area.
Opened in 1963 the hotel was owned by two female artists, it has remained artist owned from that day until now. In 1999 it was purchased by graphic designer Steve Samiof and fellow artist and partner Mick Haggerty who changed the design to what is today. Current ownership has maintained the aesthetic and resembles a cross between a 1950s time capsule, spa, and artist sanctuary. With 10 rooms Hope Springs host small yoga retreats, design teams, and the occasional filming but for the most part stays a serene place to relax.
You can’t visit there with out the word oasis popping into your head several times. It is a combination of the locale, distance from the city, and the architecture and decor that make the place unique. If you are a fan of the colorful mid century modern aesthetic then you will love this place. The surrounding city of Desert Hot Springs is 20 minutes from Palm Springs, and features its own local museum and is only a few miles from the Integratron. There are some restaurants in the area, but many guests buy food and grill at the communal kitchen, that faces the sunset.
If you are tired of your friends tagging you in horrible social media photos, take a break from them and everything else. Or invite them up with you to enjoy a hike, a massage, and a soak in the hot tub. There isn’t much else to do, but is it is doubtful that much else is needed.
photos by Carla Richmond.
For more information:
68075 Club Cir Dr, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240