By Julie Diebolt Price
Let’s say you’re feeling a little stressed, and you’ve finally decided to “take the waters.” The following is how to create a perfect spa day in Southern California.
Learn and Reserve
Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, California, is a wellness retreat designed to help every guest realize their perfect day. Celebrating 160-years of serving up the mineral hot springs and creating the resort, they’ve had lots of experience to perfect their presentation.
Visit Glen Ivy Hot Springs website to plan your day and make reservations for services. If you want a massage or a visit to the Grotto, you must reserve ahead of time. They have very few walk-in appointments available, particularly in the summer months.
With 19-pools, dry and wet saunas, mineral baths, clay mud, water fitness classes, massages, nail, and facial services, it’s best to pick your favorites to relax and save some activities for your next visit.
Go early, stay late
Begin your day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs at Check-In, where friendly attendants provide a map, direct you to the Bath House and your services, and answer questions.
End your spa day at closing time. Wind down your day with a relaxing moisturizing treatment guaranteed to last for hours.
Where to start
“Taking the waters” begins with a 20-minute soak in sulfur-rich water that’s been bubbling out of the ground for thousands of years. The water relieves joint pain, softens the skin, and still has a healing effect on the body and soul today.
In busy summer months, reserve a lounge chair in Paradise Falls. With a birds-eye view over the lap pool and the mountains in the distance, this exclusive area is surrounded by palm trees, bamboo, and ferns. Sipping sparkling wine in this treehouse setting is a perfect way to ease into the rhythm of Glen Ivy Hot Springs.
The Vista pool, filled with bubbling mineral water, provides stunning views of the Santa Ana mountains. The Saline pool, filled with Epson salts, eases muscles, joints, and inflammation in the body.
Giant piles of local red clay at Club Mud, are begging to be gouged out in big clumps. Spread this moist clay in a thin layer all over your body. Air dry in the sun on lounge chairs or sit in the Wafa room – a sauna – to speed the drying process. The clay, a great skin exfoliator, draws impurities out of your body and leaves you with baby-soft skin.
Playing in the mud is excellent entertainment. Slather up your body to fashion yourself into a clay monster and view your handiwork in a giant mirror poolside. This primitive experience is liberating and fun-provoking. The raucous laughter escaping from the Wafa cave among strangers is hilarious.
With the waterfall at Paradise Falls creating background musical notes, enjoy a light and healthy lunch before your afternoon services.
The GOCO Café offers fresh, organic choices for breakfasts and lunches. The Chill Zone, the juice smoothie, and yogurt station use fruits from the Glen Ivy orchard right on the property.
Himalayan Salt Massage
The Himalayan Salt Massage, offered in the cool months of January and February, starts with aromatherapy of Mediterranean oils. These oils are applied to your skin, and the deep tissue massage begins.
The massage technique is intriguing. While the deep tissue manipulation is familiar, the application of heated salt blocks comes in two stages. The therapist runs his hands over the heated rock and rubs your skin with warmed fingers three or four times. He then applies the salt block to your skin and runs it along the meridians on your back, legs, and arms, all the while keeping up the deep tissue massage.
When I asked him about the technique, Jason said, “I take some of the heat out of the salt, so I don’t burn you.” By the time the warm salt is applied to the skin, it penetrates the layers of skin and sends a deep, relaxing sensation to the cortex of the brain.
The Grotto is an experience in the subterranean treatment cave, where your body is painted with a warm aloe vera, coconut oil, eucalyptus, shea butter, and lavender masque. An ideal way to end the day with richly moisturized skin finished with a cup of tea or water, and a crisp green apple.
End of the day ritual
The labyrinth is a thought-provoking walk taken at dusk that helps you appreciate its mystical power after taking the waters and unwinding with the services. Bid farewell to Glen Ivy Hot Springs as Mother Nature sends you on your way from a perfect spa day in Southern California. ~TPM
About Julie Diebolt Price—Julie is a professional photographer, journalist, educator, and guide. Along with extensive travel in the United States, she has many European, Mexican, and Chinese stamps in her passport. She enjoys planning, researching, creating, and sharing experiences. Julie is a member of TravMedia, Travel Massive, Professional Photographers of America, and International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance.