Nestled at the base of the Santa Ana Mountains is a calming oasis, seemingly far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Located only about an hour’s drive southeast from Los Angeles or northeast from San Diego, Glen Ivy Hot Springs is tucked away beneath a backdrop of oak-studded hillsides. In this sanctuary, multiple pools are encircled by palm trees, bamboo thickets and bougainvillea-draped trellises. Lush gardens, trickling rock waterfalls and ponds stocked with koi add to the illusion of being at a tropical hideaway. Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa invites you to relax, renew, refresh, rejuvenate, revitalize.
General admission to the facility is called “Taking the Waters.” A fitting name since you literally take water in its many forms—from drinking in cool spring water to soaking in hot mineral baths that wash away your stress. Entrance gives access to Glen Ivy’s resort-like grounds and lounge areas, as well as its nineteen unique pools. These include multiple thermal mineral baths, hot and cold plunge pools, a saline pool, and a traditional lap pool, among many others. Glen Ivy has separate areas for men and women in its Bath House with indoor Roman Baths, steam rooms, showers and locker facilities. Towels, the Spa’s signature lavender & eucalyptus body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion are also provided to all guests.
As you enter the Spa, you’ll be given a map of the sprawling grounds and pointed in the direction of the Bath House to change. It’s recommended to first immerse yourself in Glen Ivy’s geothermal mineral baths, located just past the lap pool. The 104°F (40°C) water from the hot springs will open your pores, and soothe aching joints and muscles. The water has a distinctive sulfur smell, but isn’t too overpowering or off-putting.
After ten to fifteen minutes in the mineral baths, it’s time for a trip to Club Mud,the only therapeutic red clay mud bath in California. Clay has been used as a purifying agent for centuries; it draws impurities from the pores, removes dead skin cells, and tightens and revitalizes the skin. At Club Mud, there are two areas to access the clay—in a waist-deep pool of warm, murky spring water or piled high on a pedestal beneath gentle water misters that keep the clay soft and moist. It’s really fun to smear yourself head to toe in the silky-smooth red clay, which is mined locally in the Temescal Valley and mixed with water from Glen Ivy’s mineral springs. After you’ve covered yourself with the mud, grab a chaise and lay out in the sun, lizard-like, allowing the mud dry completely. It will become loose and powdery so you can simply brush most of it off. Glen Ivy supplies rust-colored towels so you don’t have to worry about ruining your own. However, it’s recommended to wear an old swimsuit since the clay will stain some fabrics. Finally, rinse off the remaining mud at one of the surrounding outdoor shower caves.
The facility features many pools in various sizes and temperatures. Centrally located at the resort is the freeform-shaped Lounge Pool. It’s only two feet deep and is a perfect place to just kick back and relax while floating on a spongy, blue foam raft. There’s also a cold plunge pool, kept at around 55°F (13°C), a lap pool for exercise and aqua-robics, the more secluded Vista Pool and two Terrace Pools with varying temperatures. Some are perfect for swimming, others are great for just lounging and catching some rays.
For an additional $25 fee, Glen Ivy guests can visit The Grotto, an underground lair where an attendant literally paints your entire body with a warm, hydrating masque made of aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil. (It’s suggested to do this step after exfoliating at Club Mud.) After you’ve been painted with the light-green masque, you enter a warm hydrating chamber where the rich moisturizer is absorbed into the skin. You then rinse off and can return outdoors to enjoy more of your day. This was definitely worth the supplemental charge.
Glen Ivy also offers an array of à la cart treatments as well. You can pamper yourself with a full-body massage; techniques available include Swedish, Shiatsu, hot-stone, or their special “Under the Oaks” massage where you’re outdoors, beneath a canopy of ancient live oak trees. Other services include body scrubs & wraps, facials, manicures and pedicures.
If you get hungry, Café Solé serves made-to-order breakfasts and an assortment of Mediterranean and World cuisine for lunch. I chose the Ahi Hawaiian Poke Salad, which was beautifully presented and garnished with an orchid. You can enjoy a tropical drink like a mai tai, piña colada, or one of Glen Ivy’s own specialty cocktails from the Paradise Bar, located behind the Lounge Pool. Also on the premises is Sunflower Sushi, another great option for lunch or a quick bite between treatments.
I really enjoyed my day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs and look forward to returning sometime soon. I’m not a connoisseur of health spas, but Glen Ivy felt really inviting. People from all walks of life from Southern California (and around the world, I presume, since I saw many tourists) can feel comfortable as they enjoy a special day of relaxation. If you’re looking for a perfect little respite from your ordinary life, a day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs will definitely fit the bill.
Here are some tips to enjoy your day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs:
Here’s a slideshow of some photos from my day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs:
What: Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa Where: 25000 Glen Ivy Rd. Corona, CA 92883 How much: “Taking the Waters”Monday – Thursday: $46; Friday – Sunday & Holidays: $64. * With the Purchase of a Spa Treatment 50 Minutes or Longer: Monday – Thursday: $39; Friday – Sunday & Holidays: $52. Additional services, extra. Who: Ages 16+ (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult), 18+ for massage and body treatments. When: Warm Season (May 1st – Oct 1st) 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM; Cool Season (Oct 2nd – April 30th) 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Closed on major holidays. For more information: Visit the official website at:www.glenivy.com
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author