My boo and I recently took a quick getaway trip to good ol’ Desert Hot Springs (It’s close to Palm Springs, but looks a little more like The Hitcher than Dinah Shore Weekend). We had snagged a Groupon for Aqua Soleil Hotel & Mineral Water Spa. We were drawn to this deal because they also offered an upgrade for a room with your very own personal indoor mineral water pool. The room looked nice and clean on their website pictures, so we took a chance and booked an overnight stay.
On our way out there, we passed spooky industrial windmills and the famous Cabazon Dinosaurs (Where the T-Rex from the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure lives). We put the dinos on the to-do list for the way back, and continued our eerily rural yet tranquil ride to our destination. We arrived early on a weekday afternoon, and they promptly checked us in despite their 4pm check-in. Contrary to their fancy name, the hotel’s outside and lobby looks like a Holiday Inn, and their outdoor mineral pools and jacuzzi area resemble a (nice) off strip Las Vegas hotel.
We made our way through the interior courtyard, passing groups of hedonist pre-seniors sunning themselves in spite of the gale force winds. Some seemed like they may not be wearing anything under their towels, others had the look of having dropped a few room keys in fishbowls back in their day.
When we unlocked our room with our charming but dated key, a room from many eras greeted us. The front sleeping area was straight out of any eighties momo, right smack up against the front door and window with an outboard floor level air conditioner and drab carpet. This changed gears as it led into a nicely updated living area with dark wood flooring stocked with just-above-Ikea chic Urban Home furnishings. The bathroom was well appointed with a huge modern tiled shower and complimentary robes and slippers.
The real treat was waiting for us in the enclosed patio pool room; A legit 6×10 six person mineral water pool complete with heat and jets!
As we looked out our pool room window past the wind blasted tree with a plastic bag snagged in it, we were treated to a wonderful view of distant snowy peaks rising majestically over fields of mobile home parks, and a drifter wandering through the scrub brush on his way to the highway.
Despite the room’s quirks (one of the lamps didn’t work, the wind breezing in through the completely un-weather-stripped front door), the pool alone raised this head and shoulders above the rest. We didn’t care about the wind outside, the other pools, any of the other advertised amenities, or even a bed really; having our own private mini pool was so perfectly awesome it eclipsed any itinerary.
Maybe it’s a recurring theme in the Palm Springs area that there are hidden gems like this covered up with kitsch or offputting exteriors, but with that one shining feature that makes them an amazing find.