Gay Desert Hot Springs

Spa portion of Agua Caliente Cultural Center in Downtown Palm Springs to open April 4

Posted on January 20, 2023

The spa will be in its fifth iteration when it opens at the former site of the Spa Resort Casino, which was torn down starting in 2014 to build something that could protect and preserve the spring. 

The Palm Springs Post BY POST STAFF ● NEWS ● JANUARY 20, 2023

A rendering of the entrance to The Spa at Séc-he in Downtown Palm Springs. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced Friday it will open in early April.

Almost five years after breaking ground in Palm Springs on one of the most ambitious undertakings in tribe history, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is planning to open the doors on one part of its Cultural Plaza in early April.

The Spa at Séc-he, a 40,000 square foot luxury spa, will open April 4, a tribe spokesperson said Friday morning. It is currently under construction at one of the tribe’s most sacred sites — a hot mineral spring containing water believed to be more than 12,000 years old — located at the intersection of East Tahquitz Canyon Way and Indian Canyon Drive.

The spa will be in its fifth iteration when it opens at the former site of the Spa Resort Casino, which was torn down starting in 2014 to build something that could protect and preserve the spring. 

An original bathhouse on the site opened in the 1880s and is considered the city’s first tourist attraction. As visitors began to flock to the desert, the tribe made efforts to keep pace with demand. A bathhouse was constructed on the site in 1910, followed by mineral baths in the 1930s, and finally the hotel in 1961.

Ground was first broken on the Cultural Center project in May 2018, but its completion faced delays during the pandemic. The second part of the project, a Cultural Museum, Gathering Plaza and Oasis Trail visible behind fencing, will open later this year.

“The opening of The Spa at Séc-he is a defining moment for the tribe,” Chairman Reid D. Milanovich said in a prepared statement. “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.”

When open, The Spa atSéc-he will feature 22 private mineral baths, 15 treatment rooms, a cryotherapy chamber, a boutique fitness area, and more.

“Design inspiration is rooted in Agua Caliente traditions such as basket weaving, pottery (ollas) and botanical elements native to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indian Reservation,” a news release stated.

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