Relax and Recharge in Palm Springs

Incorporating wellness options when you are traveling for work/business is insanely important. If you can get yourself out of the hotel gym and out in nature for a walk or a hike, while you soak up some sunshine and hear the birds chirping, it will not only elevate your mood, but get your blood pumping.

Big Morongo Preserve outside of Palm Springs is a great place to hike and birdwatch. A change from the typical desert scenery can be found here. You’ll find some of the oldest exposed rocks in California, almost two billion years old.

Where to Hike in Palm Springs:

Since it’s summer time, and the heat is in the Triple Digits, I headed to what the internet boasted as the “coolest” place to hike, Big Morongo Preserve. It’s nestled in the San Bernadino Mountains, it’s one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian stream habitats in California, and spans both the Mojave and Colorado Desert. Elevations in the preserve range from 600–3,000 feet, and the diverse landscape offers some great shade if you are looking to get outside in the heat.

A view of the mountains is visible from inside the compound at The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs.

Where to Stay in Palm Springs:

Think outside of the “big box” hotels and go for the boutique experience. My Pick: The Monkey Tree Hotel. It boasts 17 rooms (think peace and quiet), a Scandinavian Spa (hello relaxation), and a lot of (Palm Springs type) history. The property was designed in 1960 by the infamous Albert Frey and was built by Charlie Farrell’s famous Racquet Club. It was once a celebrity haunt (at least one JFK and Marilyn Monroe rendezvous).

Early morning coffee and some time inside the Scandinavian Spa at The Monkey Tree Hotel.

After hiking or exploring Palm Springs, the Scandinavian Spa at the Monkey Tree Hotel is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate. A traditional Scandinavian Spa Treatment is a three part treatment focused on repairing the muscles. The first stage includes heating the body up which dilates the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, reduces blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. The increase in body temperature causes considerable perspiration, which helps cleanse the skin and release the body’s negative energy. You can do this in the sauna or the heated spa.

The second stage focuses on closing the pores of the skin with a very brief, but, highly beneficial cool rinse. Think Polar Bear. A dip in the cold plunge pool at The Monkey Tree Hotel will release your endorphins, and increase your heart rate. This stage is where you will receive the most benefit of the hot-cold-relax circuit.

Lastly, relax. Allow the cardiovascular system to regulate itself. After spending time in hot and cold environments, it is recommended to rest the body to help stabilize blood flow and heart rate. This is a time for body & mind rest and relaxation. There’s a bench in the spa to sit and reflect, or you can enjoy the view of the mountains while you sit poolside.

Make sure to enjoy the homemade breakfast before you head to a meeting, and return for complimentary sangria and bar snacks at 4pm. If you don’t feel like hiking, strap yourself into the exercise pool, and of course take in the relaxation pool while you are on property at this unique hotel in Palm Springs.