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31 Jan 2023

The Spa at Séc-he: upcoming Palm Springs spa to flow with legendary waters of 12,000-year-old hot spring
BY Megan Whitby

The hot spring has been used for millennia by the tribe as a powerful natural healing resource

The hot spring has been used for millennia by the tribe as a powerful natural healing resource
photo: The Spa at Séc-he

A large new hot springs and spa destination is coming to downtown Palm Springs, California, this April.

Located on 5.8 acres of sacred land owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, The Spa at Séc-he is named after the area’s sacred Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring claimed to be 12,000 years old and used as a healing resource for thousands of years by the tribe.

According to tribal legends, the ancient springs burst into life after one of its senior members Tu to meet first came to the area and found no water. After striking the ground with his staff, the waters sprung up above the earth and Tu to meet decided to call it Séc-hem (meaning the sound of boiling water).

Owned by the tribe and operated by Agua Caliente Casinos, the Spa at Séc-he will cover 40,000sq ft.

It's being built within the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza – a museum dedicated to celebrating the history, culture and modern times of the tribe. Part of a long-term plan, the tribe first broke ground on the project in May 2018 after demolishing a 1960’s spa resort hotel to make way for the new development.

Visitors will have access to an impressive 22 private mineral baths and 15 treatment rooms alongside a comprehensive set of wellness facilities. This will include a menthol dry sauna; a eucalyptus steamroom; cryotherapy chamber; two float pod suites; a grounding room; an acoustic wellness lounge; a tranquillity garden; and two halotherapy salt caves.

Design inspiration for the spa is rooted in the tribe’s traditions and intended to honour its heritage. Prominent features will include basket weaving, pottery (ollas) and botanical elements native to the reservation.

Equipped by Gharieni, The Spa at Séc-he will be completed with a boutique fitness area, a resort-style mineral pool with four Jacuzzis, luxury cabanas, a full-service salon with scalp treatment beds, a cafe and a poolside bar with food service.

“The opening of The Spa at Séc-he is a defining moment for the tribe,” said tribal chair Reid D. Milanovich.

“The hot spring water means everything to us. It’s at the heart of tribal life and has been a cultural resource for us and our ancestors for thousands of years. It’s not a myth; these waters are truly healing waters.”

Lynn Curry of Curry Spa Consulting was instrumental in the project from its infancy. She was involved in the early stages of feasibility through concept and design development together with San Diego-based firm JCJ Architecture.

The wellness facility will be led by seasoned spa professional Daniel Spencer as spa director, who brings 27 years’ experience to the role (including time at Glen Ivy Hot Springs).

The tribe has decided to open Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in two phases: first, The Spa at Séc-he on 4 April, followed by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Gathering Plaza and Oasis Trail later this year.

Information on how to book services at The Spa at Séc-he will be available soon.



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