Hanging out at the spa with Jennifer Aniston isn’t as much fun as you might think. For one thing, there’s the autograph issue. Instead of relaxing, enjoying the soothing New Age music, your mind is spinning, wondering, “Should I ask or shouldn’t I?”
Even though you’re at the spa to completely forget about your crazy life, you’re suddenly overly self-conscious, worrying about your unshaved legs, the middle left toenail you forgot to repaint. Instead of getting in the spa frame of mind, you’re obsessed with trying to remember if she’s still with John Mayer or is it Gerard Butler? Believe me, it’s much too stressful sitting next to a celebrity.
Which is why spas now have VIP spa suites, private rooms where the stars (and others who can afford it) can sneak in, get royally pampered and leave without the white-robed plebes in the waiting lounge being ever the wiser.
Desert Springs Resort in Palm Springs has two spa suites or sanctuaries as they call them. As the largest spa in southern California, it’s a good thing. Not only does it spare the A-list from having to deal with admiring fans, but it gives other customers the space to truly focus on their own bodies and needs.
Although no one’s admitting it, I have it on good authority that the largest of the two spa suites, ringing in at a massive 600-square-feet, is a favorite of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and has been rented by Oprah and the stars of the Housewives of Orange County.
It’s also perfect for girlfriend getaways, bachelorette parties and couple’s retreats. I recently spent the day at Spa Desert Springs in the very same suite. Staffed by a personal butler, the Sanctuary not only has a private entrance (a flag on the wooden double door indicated that no one else was allowed to disturb my party of nine girlfriends), but it has a private courtyard (allowing Howard Hughes-types unnoticed access to the resort’s two award-winning golf courses) and a tastefully decorated sitting room where we were served a luscious low-cal lunch. It has two adjoining (and private) treatment rooms, digitally programmable overhead rain showers, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a wet bar and a flat-screen, high def TV. While no one’s about to ask for my autograph, I definitely felt like a star.
The spa itself, recently named to Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot List,” rings in at 38,000-square feet with a whopping 47 treatment rooms. Part of Desert Springs recent $30 million renovation, the spa incorporates limestone and Brazilian walnut throughout. It has a gorgeous 10-foot waterfall adjacent to the check-in desk, Turkish-inspired hammams and uses products and treatments from the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Their signature treatment, the Desert Journey, is inspired by the scents of the desert in bloom.
Click here for more information on the spa and the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort, located in the heart of California’s Coachella Valley.