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“infested with cockroaches”
Review of Two Bunch Palms

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Two Bunch Palms
GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“infested with cockroaches”
Reviewed 15 June 2014

- poor customer service and hospitality
- misinformation and uniformed staff
- grounds infested with cockroaches (by grotto)

Purchased an Amazon deal for two nights at TBP. When I booked the room, they conveniently were 'sold out' of the ones associated with the deal for the nights I wanted (which was a Monday and Tuesday in the off-season so it shouldn't have been crowded), but offered me the option to upgrade for $30 more p/night. Since I only had those particular two nights free for vacation, I purchased the upgrade to a standard grotto room. Seemed fine since most of the reviews on this site said to get a grotto room anyway.

When we checked in, we previewed a couple of the rooms to be certain what we wanted. I'd also read that every room is different and unique so, if possible, check out as many as you can before deciding. None of the standard rooms that we saw (13A and 16A--Tripadvisor reviewer favorites) looked appealing. They seemed small, dated, creepy, and had a weird smell. Because of the reviews I'd read that mentioned cockroaches around the property, I wanted to stay a bit away from the grotto because (call me crazy) it would make sense that that's where they would 'loiter'--by darkness and heat. We settled on suite 16 and opted to pay even more to upgrade hoping for a better space.

I won't bother commenting on the rooms in depth because I know that the property is currently undergoing a massive renovation and was told that all of the rooms were going to be refurbished this month (June/July 2014). However, in short, our room was dated and not cozy or charming at all. There were no rugs (not even area for decoration) in either room which gave it a cold vibe. Pics on the website show much more decoration in the suites. The couch and chair were old beat up leather (not in a cute or vintage way) with no throw blankets or pillows to give a homey vibe or to use while watching TV at night. Our patio's screen door fell off when we opened it and it was filthy. It just felt like the property and individual patios/backyards weren't well maintained. Simply put, not at all worth the $190 that we paid p/night.

Our first night at dinner, we were one of maybe three couples total dining in the restaurant. I liked the aesthetics of the new restaurant and I'd say the food was a 6/7 out of 10. But, they ran out of THREE different major items (the beef dish, one of the three prix fixe restaurant week desserts, and something else that I can't remember). Not uncommon at BUSY restaurants. But, here? When we jokingly complained under our breath, the female server said with levity, "I just work here. Write a review" and proceeded to walk away. That was our first taste of poor service at TBP. It also seemed like it wasn't the first time she'd had complaints with that response.

Oh, and a mouse ran under our table outside.

It was either that dinner server or our breakfast server who kept using the words, "I think so..." when answering our questions about wine or meats or prices. We'd ask specifics and she'd reply with, "I think the meat is grass fed" or, "I think the chicken is $10 extra", etc. Shouldn't they KNOW?!

After dinner, we changed and ventured over to the grotto for a soak. I'd remembered reading one reviewers account of cockroaches surrounding the grotto at night (one of my fears), but tried to forget about it and enjoy myself. His story involved putting a beer down on the side, turning his back on it for moments, then turning back to grab it only to find a roach crawling on it. When my boyfriend put his glass of wine down, I got nervous. We waded for all of thirty seconds then went for the wine and saw A ROACH crawling on it! Gross. We got out of the grotto, grabbed some towels, then proceeded to dry off. Suddenly, I saw a roach crawling on my boyfriend's shoulder. Then, a few little guys around our path when I looked down. We'd had enough and darted for our room (attempting to avoid all the roaches on our path to our room). We even put a towel under the door to seal it so that nothing could crawl in. Needless to say, that put me on edge the whole time.

That theme continued for the next two days once the sun set. Roaches came out at night and by the dozens. I know that they're normal in warmer climates and by water/food. But, if we can see them in such great numbers, that means the place is infested. For me, that's a reason to never go back unless the grounds are bombed. Cockroaches spread disease with their feces.

The spa was lacking. It didn't feel relaxing or tranquil to me. Was just a creepy underground place to get a massage. We both had the side by side mud bath which seemed like a good idea when I booked it. It was my fault for not asking sanitary/hygienic questions about the mud. Once I was in, it dawned on me to inquire about the frequency of the mud getting changed. When I was told only once a week (not in between each person), all of my relaxed muscles post massage tightened up and I felt nauseous. It was hard for the remaining 20 minutes to ignore the fact that I was mud bathing in many other people's skin cells/sweat, naked business, etc. Once in a lifetime.

Side note: I'd asked about the grotto and mentioned that I'd read several times that it was chlorinated. The front desk said, "only once in a blue moon to sterilize." A woman overheard my conversation and chimed in saying that the spa employees told her, "absolutely" re: chlorination. Total misinformed staff giving mixed information.

When we lounged by the "cool pool" during the day, we inquired about food and drink service. Nobody could give us a straight answer about whether or not someone would come around. One person said, "yes, until 3pm someone comes around." We never saw anyone all day, so we asked. Someone else said, "no one does service by the pool." Annoyed, we ended up getting up and going to the restaurant each time we wanted a beer or a snack. Frustrating when you're on vacation trying to relax.

Oh, and did I mention the fact that almost everyone on the staff told us how the grounds are haunted and shared several different guest's terrifying ghost stories when we asked about it? Yep.

It was a bizarro stay/adventure to say the least and only tolerable because I was with my boyfriend and we always have fun together. But, I'll never go back there again. I'll stick with someplace with better hospitality and less/not infested with bugs (or rodents).

Room Tip: I would've liked to have stayed in the rooms above the property (i.e. 7). They looked more charm...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank LALinzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 26 June 2014
We regret that you had this experience and we have been actively reaching out to you. We look forward to speaking with you and resolving this matter.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We went tot TWO BUNCH PALMS again. We had to know if the the first time was just lucky. This time the food was even better and the spa treatments were fantastic. I highly recommend the Watsu water massage. Im not a massage guy but this was fantastic. The grounds are always immaculate and the service is great. No fluke..its all good.

Room Tip: ask to see the rooms - each area is different and unique. all good.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank keith k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
That's what we like to hear! Next thing we need you to try is a facial :-)!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I admit that the route to this resort was a turn off. I didn't want to stay....and what's with "Quiet Area" signs all over the place? Before too long I was totally blown away with this awesome property! Loved the wild Road Runners, Rabbits, Ducks, Turtles, Fish, flowers, history, the Grotto, even our room! I understand renovations will be underway soon....adding about 50 more rooms. I appreciated the "quiet area" signs. Never been to a place where you can't talk "above a whisper". How refreshing. I opted not to sit in the Mud....wasn't impressed with the little "hot boxes" in which to soak. Seemed I would pass out. Got a great massage from Gabriel, however. My friend got an even better one from Elia. How cool? This used to be Al Capone's Desert Hideaway back in the days.

Room Tip: all the rooms/cottages are so cute....you can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank VoiceQueenViv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Do you know that Two Bunch Palms was an oasis that travelers used to stop at for rest since 1857? Our healing waters have been flowing for 600 years and we pride ourselves in being stewards of the land and the history. It takes a special person to overcome their initial objections and allow themselves to let their guard down so they can really embrace the magic of this place. We hope you'll come back soon to your heaven on earth.
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Highland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We totally loved this place! Everyone was friendly and helpful. As we were taking our bags to the room there was a roadrunner, who just stood and watched us. The room was decorated with a few choice antiques and had a small kitchen and a big closet. The grounds are well cared for with thoughtful consideration for meditation or just some relaxing quiet time. I spoke to the tai chi instructor, who seemed very knowledgeable and took the yoga class. The yoga dome is great. It's so hard to find healthy food when dining out but Two Bunch Palms does a great job with the meals. Service was wonderful. I didn't try any of the spa treatments but plan to on our next visit.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Wallyscpt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
You definitely have to try our spa the next time - our treatments are truly designed to help you feel better. Our spa has a seasoned team of intuitive therapists and we utilize only the best natural products. Our rooms will all be refreshed by the end of summer and we hope you return to try them out!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 May 2014

This property has not only the natural mineral spring water (almost no places in Palm Springs do), but it is historically interesting. There was a "Nature Walk" in the morning, which I enjoyed. The Suite that I upgraded to in the "Casa Blanca" was Amazing; with a private jacuzzi just off the bed, a bidet; very spacious, including a wall-mounted flat screen tv, leather couches, and kitchenette. But one of my favorite things about this property is the ponds containing turtles, which I love to feed.
Unique to this property are old-growth trees; one can float in the mineral springs grotto while still in the shade. I also appreciate the "whisper policy"; the quiet atmosphere helped me relax and decompress. The staff were helpful, warm, and accommodating. The Restaurant serves tasty, healthful food without being overpriced.

Room Tip: The Casa Blanca Suites consisted of a four-plex with a nice large jacuzzi in the center and private...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karen Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
It's nice to read that people still get what we are all about - serenity and sanctuary. What we offer is the opportunity to find your better self - whether that be floating in our healing waters or feeding our ducks, turtles and fish by the pond. Please come back soon!
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Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Well, here is my third review of this property. We go every year in May, and were excited to see the changes that the new owners had made.

First, the good:
The spa was uniformly excellent. Every person there went out of their way, the facial (thanks, Linda!), the massages, and the mud bath were all terrific, with thoughtful touches. Thank goodness.
The restaurant looks nice. I was afraid that I would miss the deck, and I didn't. They did a really nice job of making it comfortable, with an outdoor area also. Very nice!
Our room was still quite comfortable and everything worked. That has not always been the case.

Now, the bad:
Service is amazingly inconsistent and amateurish. We arrived 30 minutes after check-in on an unseasonably warm day. Our room was not ready. So, we went to the restaurant, since there was nothing else to do. We were told that they were out of lots of foods, and the bartender wasn't sure how to make a marguerita. This was a theme for 3 days, as the regular (and very good) bartender was rarely there, and people were filling in.

At dinner, we were given the list of 5 dishes that they no longer had. The menu isn't that extensive to begin with, so this was odd. At one meal, the waitress spilled our wine twice, so we started pouring our own. EXTREMELY NICE people, but they need some training. Apparently, they have lost their chef, and have not replaced him.

I was stung by a wasp in a pool. There are bugs everywhere, many flies in the restaurant. Staff appears to be somewhat indifferent to all this. . I went to the front desk to ask if some repellant could be applied. No one was too interested.

We've been coming here for 30 years. They need to get their act together. It's very sad. Prices are up, service and property are down.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Sandyrk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 1 June 2014
Thank you for taking the time to bring to our attention these service issues. The memorial day weekend was quite busy, and we were training several new people. Indifference is not an excuse... especially for a property that promises to create a nurturing space so people can find their better selves. We will be refreshing all the rooms this summer and hope you will return.
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Boulder City, Nevada
Level Contributor
77 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Two Bunch Palm has been around about 70 years. I started going back in the early 80's and it's still a great place. If you don't know it's the old great Hollywood hang out was built by Al Capone and he lived there at times. A great deal of history in this place and by far the best spa in the world. Hot water pools that come right out of Mother Earth! If you like to go chill out and relax this is the place. Rooms are very nice and have been updated or you can still rent the Al Capone suite! Have fun

Room Tip: Casablanca suits are very nice!!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rianna R, Corporate Director of Brand & Communication at Two Bunch Palms, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
We agree! Our healers are some of the best in the world and they complement the therapeutic effects of our healing waters. Thank you for being such a loyal Two Buncher!
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Additional Information about Two Bunch Palms

Property: Two Bunch Palms
Address: 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trl, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240-6034
Region: United States > California > California Desert > Desert Hot Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
#4 Spa Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
#10 Romantic Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Two Bunch Palms 3.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marking 75 years in 2015, Two Bunch Palms has much to celebrate. Last year's incredible renovation of the 270-acre property resulted in 70 'soulful' new room accommodations, a farm-to-table restaurant Essense, passive solar earth mound yoga dome and a new View Point conference center and meeting facility with views of the valley against the San Jacinto Mountains. This physical transformation, including the addition of a 3.5-Acre solar field, puts Two Bunch Palms on the destination spa map as the first "Sustainable Wellness Resort" in North America and the first carbon-neutral resort. A legacy that spans several generations of guests-from notorious gangsters to Hollywood elite to romantic spa seekers-the property and its newest incarnation brings a rich and storied history full circle. This adult-only sanctuary (guests must be 18 or older) invites you to explore the four pillars of the resort: waters, spa, movement and cuisine. Their renowned, natural lithium-infused spring grotto features two mineral water pools carefully kept at a consistent temperature to ensure therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties. Guests are encouraged to "take to the 600-year old waters" and connect body with spirit before enjoying the spa well-known for its intuitive healers and authentic treatments. The new Essense restaurant features healthier gourmet dining prepared by a Le-Cordon Bleu trained chef with the help of a PHD nutritionist. With a nourished body, guests may partake in more than 35 wellness activities, such as meditation, art classes, tai chi, qigong and yoga in the beautiful new dome. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
2 Bunch Palms Resort & Spa
Two Bunch Palms Resort And Spa
Two Bunch Palms Hotel Desert Hot Springs

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