Spa Wellness: Two Bunch Palms
In an effort to provide tip-top wellness offerings, Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, California is making innovative moves.
Over the years, Two Bunch Palms has built its reputation on wellness-oriented treatments such as watsu and chakra balancing performed by veteran healers, as well as the restorative properties of its natural mineral springs. However, in a bid to better meet the needs of every guest, the management overhauled the menu and brought in a new executive chef with a flair for vegetarian and vegan cooking. Healthy cuisine? Check.
That left just one item: movement. The resort’s yoga dome opened last fall as part of Two Bunch Palms’ renovation (the final phase of which is scheduled for completion in early 2015).
This is no ordinary dome. It’s actually a 3,000-square-foot passive solar mound that insulates heat or cold, depending on the weather. The palapa (thatch-like roof) helps keep heat in, while the center of the roof can be retracted to circulate air (vital in summer, when the desert’s temperatures regularly hit triple digits). “It’s a natural form of climate control that’s in keeping with the resort’s commitment to sustainability,” says Rianna Riego, corporate director of brand and communication. “We try to do everything in line with our brand, which is all about health and wellness—of the planet and yourself,” she adds.
The dome hosts up to seven classes a day: yoga and movement classes such as stretching and expressive dance, as well as sessions with tai chi/qi gong master Michael Hamilton. It also serves as a modern-day music venue, with “sound bath sessions“ a regular fixture on the schedule. Explains Riego, “Because of the way the dome is built, the sound is contained and it resonates through your whole body as you rest on a yoga mat. It’s very relaxing. People fall asleep while doing it!”
Even now, the staff is looking to improve the client experience, so the final touch may be a poetic inscription on the dome’s floor. “Our theme is ‘Find your better self,’ explains Riego. “Our mission is to make sure every guest leaves in a better place than when they arrive. If we did that for them, we’ve done our job.”