The Well - Spa Review
Make a Wish!
ancient times to the present, the well has served as
an anchor for life in villages around the globe. Women
gather not only to collect water, life’s most
essential elixir, but also to commune. It is this spirit—unifying
and unobtrusively social—that
pervades The Well at the Miramonte
Resort & Spa in Palm Springs.
at the center of the resort, The Well draws both locals
and out-of-towners with its relaxed, intimate atmosphere.
You won’t find a morgue-like hush here. Rather,
throughout, discreet Italian music plays in the background,
bringing to mind visions of the sun-kissed Tuscan countryside—we
loved it. Two women chatted softly over Champagne in
the intimate sitting room while they waited for their
treatments. And as we were led out to the courtyard,
given a coin and instructed to drop it in a small well
and make a wish, sunlight shimmered in the bougainvillea,
glazed the buttery yellow walls and danced over the
surface of the Watsu pool. Thus, The Well experience
in May 2004, the spa is steeped in the charms of Italy,
from its Tuscan architecture to its congenial attitude
to its techniques. Its skin care line, Comfort Zone,
is from Parma, and many of its treatments incorporate
the therapeutic powers of one of Italy’s most
beloved fruits of the land: vino. Or to be more precise,
grape seed oil extract. The spa also offers a full range
of treatments and rituals based on its mission statement,
which was created by its director, Jennifer Di Francesco.
This statement focuses on the concept of intention,
which for The Well includes satisfying each guest beyond
his or her wishes and helping that guest achieve a higher
level of physical and spiritual well being.
are designed to be taken individually or combined to
create a day of wellness—the
staff can assist you in tailoring a package. Among your
many options are Vichy showers taken on tables built
from 100-year-old acacia cedar carved into the shape
of mangrove leaves, and classes including Dosha Yoga,
Hydro Yo-Chi and Floated Guided Meditation. For couples,
there are four special therapy suites, a couple’s
Watsu ritual and a Painting Party, where partners paint
mud on themselves and one another. The spa also offers
two-person moonlight massages on its veranda. Because
we had some knots that needed working out, we chose
the Maestro Massage, a customized massage based on the
client’s specific requests and needs.
the treatment began, the masseuse opened a small bag
containing some stones and asked us to pick one. Ours
said, “Just be.” This, the masseuse explained,
should be the focus during the treatment. While it felt
a little gimmicky at first, like making a wish at the
well, it in fact had a soothing effect on the treatment.
As the masseuse concentrated on the trouble spots, “just
be” lingered in the room. It is a simple device,
but one designed to help bring you to a place of tranquility.
We also liked that we were given a choice of music (from
serene to invigorating), and that treatments are a full
sixty minutes long. In addition, the turnaround time
is fifteen minutes, which means therapists aren’t
rushed between clients. As a result, our masseuse had
time to give a small lesson on a Tai Chi move that can
be used during the day in an office, to give reprieve
from the strain that comes from working on a computer.
the massage, we enjoyed a foot ritual on the sunny balcony
overhanging the lobby. Cocooned in a headset playing
a CD of peaceful nature sounds, we tucked into a cozy
armchair and entered a state of quiet ecstasy as warm
water was slowly poured over our feet. This simple act
is calming and humbling, and with our eyes closed, we
contemplated the purpose of this ritual: to wash away
the negative energy that builds up during the course
of everyday life. As rose petals drifted against our
ankles and the perfume of citrus filled the air, one
thing was clear. Negative energy does not have a home
at The Well. This is a place for renewal. And, of course,
to remind you of the gracious art of communion.