The Parker Palm Springs Spa
A Yacht Club as Hip as It Gets
By Barbara Beckley
I’m lazing on a lounger, underneath a gaily striped beach umbrella. Sparkling water and nautical trappings are all around. Am I at the beach? A fancy waterfront yacht club? Well it could be – except that I’m in Palm Springs, and the beautiful desert.
This is PSYC – aka the Palm Springs Yacht Club – the lavish full-service spa at the tony Parker Palm Springs resort. The catchy name – I was “psyched” about pampering myself with sailing-themed treatments like the “Yachtsman’s Voyage” and “Lost at Sea” packages – is a perfect example of the hipster elegance that makes The Parker a celebrity-favorite hideaway.
“Welcome aboard. Here’s a cucumber-infused vodka,” First Mate Carolin Castello said to me, as I checked into the spa lobby, a grand nautical-themed hall, with a hipster mermaid and sailor gazing down from above. “Okay! This is my kind of spa,” I smiled, as I sipped the thimble-sized cocktail. It was a perfect introduction to PSYC. Located in a stand-alone building amid the Parker’s lush 13-acre grounds, PSYC’s huge indoor pool relaxation area is a bit rebellious to tradition, with two-story ceilings, solarium-like windows and a bright and breezy attitude.
While the décor bucks tradition – in a refreshing way – the treatments are at their classic best. PSYC is the only spa in the valley with the Tata Harper Skincare line, a small-batch, USA-made pioneer in plant-based skin care. Absolutely 100 percent natural and non-toxic. In addition to the pool, there is also a saline dipping pool, two Jacuzzis and gender separate steam rooms and saunas. And the massage therapists are seasoned professionals. My therapist, Jennifer Riley, has been with the Parker for more than a decade.
The spa menu has it all from massages to wraps and waxing to spray tans fortified with anti-oxidants and vitamins. (No surprise, Kourtney Kardashian chose the Parker Palm Springs for a sisters’ getaway with Kim and Khloe last year.)
I chose the “Tailor Made Massage.” Sixty minutes (or 90 minutes) of custom-crafted soothing specifically for my needs. Relaxing on the heated spa bed, I felt warm and cozy in the neutral-toned spa room. First, Jennifer gave me a choice of aroma fragrances. Each to promote a different sense of well-being, from anti-anxiety to mental clarity. I chose a cedar wood scent, to relieve stress and tension. Then, she asked what I wanted to accomplish. “Do you want to promote circulation? Increase flexibility? Range of motion? Regain vim and vigor?” I went for increased circulation. Next, she asked my massage touch preference. “Light to firm?” I chose medium firm. Lastly, did I have any problem areas? “Tense neck and shoulder muscles,” is always my answer.
Then she went to work. Her firm touch was heavenly and my 60-minutes raced by in a haze of soothing relaxation. I actually felt light on my feet afterward. Testimony to Jennifer’s skills. And my increased circulation, no doubt.
So if one treatment is good. Several have to be better. Right? The PSYC section of the Parker Palm Springs website has several good value packages and specials.