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The Well - Spa Review

Make a Wish!

by Kim Fay

From 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.

Situated 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 begins.

Opened 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.

Treatments 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.

Before 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.

Following 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.

The Well
Miramonte Resort & Spa
45000 Indian Wells Ln.
Indian Wells, CA 92210
800-237-2926, 760-341-2200
Visit The Well official website


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