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An Oasis in the Desert – Miracle Springs Resort and Spa

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by Patricia Perratore-Anis

Unless you grew up in California, we, oftentimes, think of the desert with dry and sandy landscapes and a spattering of cactus, probably stemming from the many cartoons we watched while growing up. However, the town of Desert Hot Springs is a whole new story with snow capped mountains, breath taking vistas, and an abundance of clear, crisp water and natural hot springs.

The Miracle Springs Resort and Spa in Desert Hot Springs, California, is a beautiful oasis located in the low desert and is situated in the foothills of Joshua Tree National Park. It, and its sister hotel, sits upon two of the 44 natural hot mineral springs in town. In the hills above the hotel, the snow from Mt. San Gorgonio melts and flows down through the town. The crystal clear mineral waters rise from aquifers that are 300 feet deep at a steaming temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The water flows to the pools and throughout the hotel where guests can actually drink the fresh and delicious cold water straight from the tap. Dr. Stuart Malkin, Director of Development at the Miracle Springs Resort, advises guests to bring their empty water bottles and fill it there, rather than to bring bottled water with them. As a matter of fact, the MSWD was recently awarded the gold medal for their clean and delicious water.

The hot and cold waters are naturally separated by the Mission Creek Fault; there is a clay barrier where the cold water passes down to a deep fissure in the fault. The Magma heats it up to create the hot springs. The hot water dissolves the rocks and minerals into a hot natural bath, loaded with beneficial minerals. The hot water then is pumped to the surface. One of the attractions of the hot springs is that there is no odor; it’s clear and fresh and has been said to have therapeutic value. The late Dr. Robert Bingham, well-known director of the Desert Hot Springs Arthritis and Medical Center, who had treated arthritic patients for years, said the waters were very soothing to his patients.

The Miracle Springs Resort and Spa has eight natural hot mineral spring spas, each at varying degrees in temperature ranging up to 104 degrees, plus a swimming pool warmed to about 84 degrees.  The resort features 110 spacious rooms and suites that are clean, spacious and freshly decorated in a southwestern theme, a lovely three-bedroom separate Villa, and a full service Spa and Massage Therapy facility that features the all-natural, environmentally friendly, l’Occitane beauty and bath products. They also have an extensive bar, a comfortable restaurant with delicious entrees, and banquet facilities suitable for meetings and special events such as weddings and quincinerras.

The newly built boutique at Miracle Springs Resort was recently chosen to showcase and sell the exclusive l’Occitane beauty and skin care products. Normally, products are only available in the l’Occitane company-operated boutiques; only a few carefully selected and very upscale retailers are permitted to offer l’Occitane products.

At my pre-scheduled appointment, I went to the Spa Reservation desk to check in for my spa treatment. Miracle Springs Resort has a nice assortment of massage services; I chose the “Combination Massage” treatment and it was very relaxing. This treatment is good for first timers and includes a variety of massage techniques. My masseuse, Bobbe, was very polite and professional. She did a great job in pinpointing, then relieving, my tense muscles and ligaments. She even did some reflexology and explained it to me as she went along.  I left there feeling so invigorated.  I’ll definitely ask for her again on my next trip. 

There are many things that set this resort apart from all the rest: the natural mineral springs and the clean relaxing pools, the delicious food, prepared by Canadian-born Executive Chef Nigel Gainor and his excellent staff, the clean and spacious accommodations and more. But the dedicated customer service that Dr. Stuart Malkin emphasizes to their staff is passed on to each and every customer that walks through their doors. “We are a 3-Diamond Resort that gives 4-Diamond Service to our guests,” according to Malkin. They even have a Hospitality Guide with over 20 goals that he and the staff live by which includes practicing teamwork and treating each other with the same respect that they afford their family and best guests and anticipating guest needs and be flexible in responding to them. Malkin expects them to practice “Proactive Hospitality.” In other words, they should also pick up on non-verbal cues to initiate personalized service and delight all guests. My favorite is to “think of creative ways to say “yes.”

The Miracle Springs Resort recently celebrated its 10th anniversary after completing a one-million dollar refurbishing and redecorating of all its guest rooms. They maintain a 3-Diamond Rating by AAA.  

Family owned by Michael and Lynn Bickford, the Miracle Springs Resort hosts the local Rotary Club for their weekly meetings as well as many Chamber of Commerce functions and civic and charity events throughout the year.

The Miracle Springs Resort is located at 10625 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240. They are located just 2 hours east of Los Angeles and north of San Diego with easy access from Interstate 10 and just 15 minutes from Palm Springs where you will find an extensive variety of dining, shopping and recreational activities such as the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, which takes you 8,500 feet up Mount San Jacinto from the desert floor, Off-Road Rentals and Dune Buggy Tours for ATV riding and tours around the Coachella Valley, and the famous El Paseo Invitational Exhibition situated in the mile-long El Paseo shopping district which features a myriad of sculptures, fine art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

When visiting Desert Hot Springs, be sure to visit the Cabot’s Pueblo Museum which features the historical journeys and home of Cabot Yerxa, who, in 1913, became the first homesteader in the desert.  The Museum is open for guided tours; however you should call ahead to 760-329-7610 for current information on hours of operation.

Miracle Springs Resort and Spa Reservations: 800-400-4414. Telephone: 760-251-6000. 

Email: You may also visit them on the web at

Related links:

Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce

Palm Desert Art in Public Places Tours

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

The Living Desert

Offroad Rentals

Dunebuggy Tours  

About the Authors:

Patricia Anis is photographer and writer covering a variety of subjects from travel to restaurants and family recreation.  You can reach Patty at

Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel and technology writer with 24 books in print. Nick’s beats include snow and water sports, and vacation destinations. Nick can be reached by email at:  

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Last Revised: Friday, May 15, 2015 06:38:58 AM
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