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“A California Treasure!”

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Living Waters Clothing-optional Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 June 2013

All I can really do is echo what all the other 5-star reviewers have said up to now, and so I will. Jeff & Judy have created a paradise for those of us who just want to live out the day au naturel, absorbing the SoCal sun and relaxing with books, conversation and a cold beverage along the way, in a safe, comfortable, hassle-free environment. My wife and I are occasional visitors to San Diego's Blacks Beach and do enjoy a skinny dip in our own backyard pool when circumstances allow, but we are rookies to the clothing-optional spa experience, and Living Waters Spa (LWS) has ensured that we will very quickly become veterans. We're so enamored of the place, in fact, that we booked a return visit just several weeks hence before we’d even checked out. 

What LWS is not: As the owners, through their website, promotional materials, and responses in this forum, make clear, LWS is NOT a "hook up" joint. It is not for those looking for a party by the pool. And it is not a large facility that accommodates enough guests to fill a small village. LWS will not tolerate sexual activity in its public spaces - though it certainly does allow, and even blesses, public displays of affection that would be appropriate in any other public setting, and it certainly has no issue with its overnight guests getting a groove on in the blinds-closed privacy of their poolside suites or adjacent condos. LWS expects that noise from guests be limited to normal conversational tones. LWS does pipe in music through its poolside sound system, but you'll find only the soft sounds of relaxation tracks and not the manic beats of a DJ club mix.

What LWS is: LWS is a spa, built for the purpose of rest & relaxation, sans clothing, in a private, peaceful and intimate setting. It is a reclaimed mid-century motor hotel formerly known as Kismet Lodge (and still proudly displays the original neon marquee bearing that name). The main property is a U-shaped structure with eight guest rooms and a massage studio surrounding two pools, through which naturally heated mineral water flows constantly from an underground source. The "small" pool is the warmer of the two (I'm guessing 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and is protected from the summer sun by an overhead canopy. The large pool below, which receives its in-flow of water from the smaller pool courtesy the natural tug of gravity, has full exposure to the day's sun and (I’d guess) sits at a very comfortable 90 degrees. The public area around the two pools is comfortable but quaint, so don't come looking for room to run around. Even then, if all of the 20 or so lounge chairs by the pool and on the sun deck were full of bodies, each guest would have ample personal space. 

My wife and I stayed in Room 8 - a "corner" suite with full kitchen situated at one end of the "U," not more than twelve feet from the pool - and absolutely loved it. As with the rest of the property, the room reflects the spa's mid-century heritage but is very well maintained, very clean, and very comfortable (especially the custom-designed king bed). With the full kitchen (most of the units have them), we were able to bring all of our own food and drink and never leave the spa's protective walls, meaning we could savor the bliss of non-stop nakedness from arrival to departure. The rooms are not large, and neither are the bathrooms, but the quarters are certainly spacious enough for two people with a reasonable sense of proportion, and especially for those who prefer to spend their time doing what they've paid for - relaxing in and beside the pools under the sun during the day and the stars at night. For guests who need more living space, LWS also owns six 2-bedroom spa condos just across the street (but also outside the protective walls of the spa proper, meaning you have to don shorts and tee shirt at least twice a day).

We also discovered almost immediately upon arrival that the signature LWS massage, especially when done in the couples format, is a little slice of heaven on earth. If you choose to do so (and I suspect most people do), you'll receive this relaxation massage while fully nude, which truly is a special experience. And lest you think any "funny business" might take place, know going in that the LWS massage therapists are (a) fully clothed and (b) consummately professional in every respect. And they are very good at what they do. Very well worth the extra splurge, especially when you know your "sweetie" is receiving the very same treatment just a few feet away (something you should take at least a little time to observe when the position of your own body on the table allows).

Other touches include: A personal greeting at the front gate by Jeff, Judy or one of the staff when you arrive (and be prepared for their wrap-towels to fall away, and your clothing-optional experience to begin, as soon as the gate closes behind you); continental-style breakfast from 8:00 to 10:00 each morning (complete with fresh-brewed coffee made from fresh-ground Starbucks beans); and beverages with light snacks in the warmth of the small pool at 3:00 each day. Overnight guests who have checked out of their rooms are welcome to extend their stay on the grounds until 5:00pm, when the spa closes to day-use customers; while departing guests whose rooms are not otherwise booked by incoming guests can remain in their rooms all the way up to 5:00. And, of course, we can’t forget the beautiful, panoramic view of Mt. San Jacinto, which towers almost 11,000 over the Coachella Valley floor below.

If you're a newcomer who is, as we were, at least a smidge apprehensive at the thought of making conversation with strangers while nude in three feet of water, don't worry. We found the apprehension melting away almost immediately upon our noontime arrival, and it was long gone by the time we finished our 1:30 massages and made our way to the first 3:00 refreshment break of our stay.

You can tell by now that my wife and I left LWS with nothing but excitement for the clothing-optional spa experience and gratitude that we live close enough to return anytime and every time we wish. Jeff & Judy (and Lily & Kat), thank you for making our first time - and our wedding anniversary to boot! - a very special experience.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SurfNSkiSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 - 151 of 424 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2013

This was our second time to the spa to celebrate my wifes birthday. We made a last minute booking. Jeff and Judy are wonderful hosts. The happy hour in the spa is always very good and the BBQ and potluck was amazing. Great people all the way around. We could not have a better day of relaxation. Thank you Living Waters Spa once again.....

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cary_c9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2013

This was our third time to Living Waters. We had the couples massage, as good or better than before, and spent the day lounging in the pool. Host Jeff brought out sangria, hibiscus brownies, and great conversation for those of us visiting. A nice treat!

We find Living Waters incredibly welcoming and with a high level of respect for guests. Although we've been to a few other c/o places nearby, this is our favorite.

FYI, don't count of Apple maps to get you there. It tried to take us across an area of desert with no road! Out front, there is the Kismet Lodge is homage to the original property. The Living Waters sign is at the bottom. You can't miss this sign, it's a classic.

We'll be back!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ValerieinVB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

Once again....we treated ourselves to a long weekend of relaxation and reluctantly returned home in a totally rejuvinated state. LWS caters to the mind, body and spirit. We truly appreciated the hard work of Jeff, Judy, Lilly and Kathy during our stay. As usual, the facilities were well maintained, the massages (Jeff and Lilly) were better than ever and the other guests were warm, interesting folks with a great attitude.

We have made several visits to LWS in the past 3-4 years and have found the staff and facilities to be consistently excellent. We love the desert look, the nostalgic feel, and the overwhelming comfort of LWS. This facility offers hot mineral waters directly from its' Dersert Hot Springs source. The water is pure, clear, odorless and feels absolutely amazing. The traditional sauna adds to the overall experience of relaxation.

Kudos to the LWS owners and staff......we are already looking forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: We enjoy the added comfort and convenience of the kitchenette room, but still visit the continental...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Chi56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Living Waters Spa is truly one of a kind for many reasons. The waters in the mineral pool and the spa are very healing. Every time we spend a day or two in these waters, we feel rejuvenated, but who wouldn't, sitting in some of the most mineral rich water in the world, surrounded by blue skies, fresh air, palm trees and scenic mountain views? The rooms and facilities are impeccable and I attribute that to the owners' - Jeff and Judy’s - high standards.

Living Waters offers many different types of massage packages, which are an added bonus to a couple of days of relaxation. They offer a fantastic little continental breakfast and also have a gas grill on premises if we want to do a little barbecuing. And let me not forget; some rooms have kitchenettes which are very helpful if we don't feel like dining out.

Each time we return to Living Waters we are greeted like old friends who are back in town. The folks we've run into at the resort all seem to be respectful and mature. The pool and common areas are always quiet and serene so that maximum relaxation is possible. No cell phones are going off. It's just such a relaxing vibe. My girlfriend is fairly new to the clothing optional scene and kind of shy, but has found it easy, natural and freeing to walk around in her birthday suit at Living Waters Spa. There's not another feeling like it in the world. I would highly recommend this spa to anyone who would like to take advantage of the healing waters and relaxation of Desert Hot Springs in a beautiful, serene setting.

Thank you, Jeff and Judy and all of the staff at Living Waters Spa!

Ray and Maryam

Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Ray C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2013

We treated ourselves again this April.

It had been six months since our last visit and Desert Hot Springs was once again beckoning .

The best option from our part of the World still seems to be to fly to Ontario and take the hour drive rather than try to get reasonable flights to Palm Springs.... so we went.

The weekend was great - fine and warm (hot actually) and J and J were the same gracious hosts. If there are any potential LWS visitors out there looking for a relaxing, healthy, friendly weekend this is the place to be (use the Sauna too - it's great).

In six months we will be looking to get there again!

Room Tip: Poolside rooms are great.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank burtfp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2013

I bid a sad farewell to LWS on April 15, 2013 after my second seasonal stay of five and a half months (11/1/2012-4/15/13). When added to my 5 month stay last season, I've had the privilege of calling LIVING WATERS SPA home for nearly one of the last two years. PRETTY AMAZING! As a twice daily dedicated soaker...that translates to over 600 hours of immersion in this one-of-a-kind, free-flowing, rejuvinating mineral water.

I enjoyed numerous poolside conversations with returning guests and made a few new friends. The eclectic nature of the patrons who practice clothing optional behavior that visit Living Waters, is part of the charm. The valley offers a great mix of activities that enhance my recently retired lifestyle.

The Bowman's continue to run a tight ship and as stated in my first review titled;
You had me at aaaHHHH!!!

Guests actually become part of a small community. Jeff and Judy often host holiday dinners and special events. They seem to have the unspoken knowledge of when to interject and when to respect your privacy.

I may be giving away a secret here, but the condo lodging is one of the best values in the Palm Springs market. Truly a bring your clothes or lack thereof environment. Amenities include custom made beds, comfortable mattresses, wonderful linens, fluffy pillows & towels, wireless internet, satellite TV, garage parking and a nice courtyard.

The winter months in Desert Hot Springs serve up a multitude of meteorological conditions. Shorter days pair with pleasant temperatures that are perfect for working on your tan. Expect cool nights, freshening, sometime blustery winds and the very rare...rain shower. A small price to pay for the panoramic views of the desert and mountains while you sunbathe poolside or soak in the hot mineral water.

Longer spring days warm quickly to 80-90 DEGREES AND ARE A JOY AU' NATUREL.

I've already booked my return for the 2013-14 SEASON.

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Room Tip: Rooms 7 and 8 offer a larger kitchens. Great for longer stays
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank fred r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Living Waters Clothing-optional Spa

Address: 13340 Mountain View Rd, Desert Hot Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92240-6444
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > California Desert > Greater Palm Springs > Desert Hot Springs
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
#1 Best Value Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
#2 Spa Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
Price Range: £75 - £150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rates: $99-$209. We are a clothing optional mini-resort spa with two natural hot mineral water pools, stylish rooms and condos, distinctive massage and spa treatments, king size beds, custom mattresses, free wifi, massage workshops, breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres, early check-in and late check-out, complete privacy, great people and a relaxing, romantic and de-stressing environment. Experience "more than a vacation" at Living Waters Spa and you take home the coolest vacation souvenir of all: no tan-lines! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Living Waters Hotel Desert Hot Springs
Living Waters Resort

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