Palm Springs Is Getting a New Spa With 12,000-year-old Hot Mineral Spring Waters — and We Got a Sneak Peek Inside

The more than 73,000-square-foot spa will also feature an acoustic wellness lounge and float pods.

The outdoor pool at the Spa at Séc-He

Courtesy of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians will soon open the doors of their newly built and long-awaited Spa at Séc-he in downtown Palm Springs. The spa is part of the community's new Cultural Plaza, which will also include an Indigenous cultural museum, a gathering plaza, and an interpretive trail — all opening later this year. Travel + Leisure recently got a sneak peek inside what visitors can expect at this more than 73,000-square-foot luxury day spa when it opens to the public on April 4.

There’s no doubt the focal point of the spa will be the hot mineral spring with healing waters that have been bubbling up here for 12,000 years. Who can question that focus when Agua Caliente translates to “hot water,” Séc-he translates to “boiling water,” and the city itself is named Palm Springs? That’s a pretty clear through line.

“The hot spring water means everything to us,” says tribal chairman Reid D. Milanovich. “It’s at the heart of tribal life and has been a cultural resource for us and our ancestors for thousands of years. It’s not a myth; these waters are truly healing.”

Lounge chairs inside the Spa at Séc-He

Courtesy of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Soaking in mineral water is believed to improve a number of health conditions, including skin, vascular, mental health, and pain relief. It’s not surprising, then, that most of the spa’s facilities tap into this hot mineral spring, from saunas and eucalyptus steam rooms to wet facilities, jacuzzis, and a mineral pool. There will also be 22 private suites with tubs that fill directly from the spring with 150 gallons of pure mineral water.

Interior of a treatment room at the Spa at Séc-He

Courtesy of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

The 15 treatment rooms will be outfitted with heated massage tables that include crushed gemstones emitting infrared heat and negative ions. Many treatments will also feature a foot scrub, essential oils, and hot stones at no extra charge. “We’re focused on bringing added benefits to the spa experience that guests don’t have to think about, but that works to their [advantage],” says spa director Daniel Spencer. “We were very intentional about standing out from other spas.”

And stand out it will because there’s not much that won’t be offered at The Spa at Séc-he.

Facilities will include two halotherapy salt caves, a cryotherapy chamber, two float pod suites, and an acoustic wellness lounge. With 1,500 pounds of salt, the float pods are designed to provide buoyancy, similar to the Dead Sea, in order to relieve stress and anxiety and reduce insomnia. Guests in the float pods will also be able to adjust the music and fiber optic lights overhead that mimic floating under the stars.

“After COVID, spas are trying to figure out ways to promote wellness, but don’t require touch,” Spencer says. One of the ways they’ve found is by creating an acoustic wellness lounge. The lounge will feature wave-shaped chairs that use transducers and come with headphones. Guests can select music for a specific goal such as anxiety, relaxation, or helping with insomnia, and when the selected music plays, vibrations will run through the lounge chair, allowing visitors to not just hear the music, but also feel it.

A mineral bath at the Spa at Séc-He

Courtesy of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

The spa will also offer zero-gravity conductive recliners, which will help ground and reconnect guests to the earth to restore electromagnetic balance in the body. This balance is often thrown off by the excessive amount of electrical currents we experience daily — from electricity to devices — and it’s believed these electromagnetic fields increase inflammation in the body.

Other spa facilities will include a 2,000-square-foot fitness area, luxury cabanas, a full-service salon with scalp treatment beds, a cafe, and a poolside bar with food service. Guests who book a treatment will also have access to an indoor tranquility garden with palm trees, native desert plants, and a waterfall.

Exterior of the Spa at Séc-He

Courtesy of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Ultimately, Spencer says, the experience at The Spa at Séc-he is meant to be both immersive and experiential. “We designed the spa to be very inclusive so everyone has the opportunity to experience wellness and take to the healing waters.”

The Spa at Séc-He will be open year-round. Guests will be allowed to book starting in late March.

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