Celebrating over 150 years as a wellness destination, Glen Ivy Hot Springs* is a veritable Southern California institution for a relaxing daycation. And though it's been around forever, lately, I feel like it's been all over my Instagram feed and everyone's been talking about it. Even when chatting with relative strangers and mentioning going to a "day spa," many have immediately responded with "Oh, Glen Ivy?" After a lengthy renovation that finished a few years ago, it seems that Glen Ivy has only grown more popular with each year. We were lucky to spend a wonderful day there, try out some of their unique treatments, and flit from pool to pool.
Nestled right up against the mountain, the property itself is fairly large and beautiful. The property sits on a natural hot spring, and some of their hot spring pools have been around since the spa was founded; essentially, they pump (without needing heat) the water from the natural hot springs to their designated hot spring pools. Featuring Spanish-style details, plenty of pools, cabanas, a cafe, massage rooms, a salon and spa, men's and women's locker rooms (with showers, saunas, and steam rooms), and even exercise classes, this place has got everything. See below for some shots of the property.
After an hour and a half drive from LA, we arrived at 10am. Though this may seem early for a day spa, the day goes by quickly and the place stops letting people in at 4pm and closes around 6pm. One of the most popular activities for the spa-goers is to just hang out by the pool. They have one pool that's only a foot and a half deep, and people bring in rafts and just float in it...all day long (check out the first photo). We had our Grotto treatment at 11:15, which gave us plenty of time to grab some lounge chairs (of which there are many around their main pool near the cafe), get settled, and get a bit of sun. The Grotto Treatment-- one of their signature treatments-- includes going deep down into a cavernous grotto, getting a moisture mask painted all over your body, letting in dry in a warm room, washing it off, and then relaxing with tea and an apple in their relaxation room. The treatment was definitely unique and really fun; it's a great treatment to do as a group or couple, as you can stay together the whole time and take it at your own pace. Our skin definitely felt soft and moisturized afterward!
Up next, I ventured into their salon/spa and got the Tapioca Facial, which is their signature facial. And yes, this facial does mean that they put tapioca pudding on your face (because of its glycolic and fruit enzymes). The facial was really nice and relaxing; the facialist definitely customized it to suit my sensitive skin, taking the exfoliation part slow and steady. It seemed like a very classic kind of facial (fit with an extraction in the middle, which took me a bit out of my relaxed state), but I really appreciated the head, shoulders, hand, and facial massage. I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
After the facial, we went over to Café Solé for a bit of lunch. The cafe was cafeteria style, with different stations for salads, sandwiches, entrees, etc. We ordered the Ahi Tuna Poke salad and the nachos (which they're clearly known for). The nachos were really delicious and huge. The ahi tuna poke salad was alright-- there was a lot of lettuce and not a lot of dressing.
After lunch, we decided to make our way around to all of the activities included in the general day spa experience. One of them is Club Mud; an area with two different mud areas (one is the mud-water-hot-spring shown above) where you go cover yourself in healing mud, wait until it dries, get hosed down with soap (yes, a staff member literally uses an industrial hose to spray you with soap), and then wash off in one of the accompanying showers. It was fun, though I'm not sure I could fully understand the mud's special powers.
Another activity we decided to partake in was the cold plunge. The pool on the right was heated to 104 degrees, while the one on the left was cooled to 55-65 degrees. The idea here is that you're supposed to hang out in the hot tub for a few minutes, then plunge yourself in the cold pool for 30 seconds to a minute. They suggest doing this 5 times, which we did. Relaxing in the hot tub was great, and then getting yourself to actually get all the way in the cold water was hard. It got easier the more we did it, and each time was adrenaline inducing. We also forged bonds with the other people doing the cold plunge, as we were all in it together. It was also surprisingly competitive, with some spa-goers boasting that they had spent 30 minutes or more in the cold pool! Admittedly, I was not that tough, and I'm ok with that.
Overall, we had a really fun and relaxing day at Glen Ivy. It was honestly a bit difficult to stay awake on our 2-hour drive back into the city as we were so relaxed after a day of fun in the sun. Glen Ivy is quite the destination, and as it was a warm Saturday in February, the place was packed. With groups of ladies and couples alike, Glen Ivy is an ideal daycation destination. As they have plans to expand into a 90-room retreat, we're excited to see Glen Ivy continue to expand into a full wellness retreat.
Products/restaurants marked with an asterisk* denote gifted or free items/meals. For more information about how this affects my editorial policy, please click here.