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King Ventures Acquires Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa in
Desert Hot Springs, California; Plans to Add
High-end Residential Units
By Bernard Burt -, August 2006

August 2006 - The new owners of Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa in California have seen the light. After years of mud baths and thermal water therapies, the resort will soon add a healing arts program and a grass labyrinth. But the big bucks will come from sale of condos.

Real estate development company King Ventures acquired Two Bunch Palms last May from Sinclair Resorts & Hotels Management, which bought it in 1996. King Ventures, based in San Luis Obispo, now owns 14 resort, spa and hotel properties in California. John King, the company's president and chief executive officer, said, "The goal of our Health and Wellness Division is to help establish California's hot springs as credible and respected properties that can serve the growing interest worldwide in the health potential of a natural mineral spring."

The 56-acre Two Bunch Palms Resort and Spa has 45 guest room suites, plus gated villas, A very private oasis with low-key atmosphere, it has been a hideaway for Hollywood celebrities and Mafia members. King Ventures has plans to add high-end residential units in "little villages" on 206 acres surrounding the spa resort. Located on the outskirts of Desert Hot Springs, it is 10 miles from Palm Springs.

Spas and resorts are the "primary industry here in Desert Hot Springs, if you can even call it an industry," says Lane Sarasohn, president of the Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce and general manager of Miracle Springs Resort & Spa. Historically, they have generated $800,000 per year in Transient Occupancy Tax revenues, Sarasohn said, adding there are about 40 spas and resorts in the city. "Many are small hotels - six to 12 rooms, boutique hotels - restored by their current owners, he said. "There is quite a revival here among our little spas and resorts, and even among our larger ones." Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa, Sarasohn said, is the flagship for Desert Hot Springs, employing 125 people, including 50 massage therapists.

Grotto at Two Bunch Palms

Grounds at Two Bunch Palms

Featured in “100 Best Spas of the World” recently published by The Globe Pequot Press, Two Bunch Palms Resort sits on a sea of thermal water charted by Army map makers in the 1800s who noted “Two Bunch Palms.”  The main pool, shaded by date palm trees, is in a rock grotto fed by the hot springs. It’s not unusual to see Hollywood stars reading scripts while soaking.  Built in the 1920s, the original facility included a fortress-like house said to have been a hideaway for mobster Al Capone. Despite the dated look of accommodations and treatment facilities, the rate of return guests is high. At the open-air Mud Cabana, you are immersed in greenish mud dug from pools of thermal water on the property, But some guests were shocked recently when a man emerged from the mud bath totally nude. Clothing optional rules are still in effect. 

Contact: ; phone 760/329-8791.

About the Author:  Columnist for Healing Lifestyles & Spas magazine, Bernard Burt authored "100 Best Spas of the World" recently published by The Globe Pequot Press; online at

 Bernard Burt

Also See: A Spa is Born in Pennsylvania - The Lodge at Woodloch / July 2006
Kohler Co. Makeover of Scotland's Old Course Hotel Features First Kohler Waters Spa Outside America / July 2006
The Asian Spa Market Experiencing Brand Expansion / Bernard Burt / June 2006
Kohler Co. Acuires the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in St. Andrews, Scotland from the Kosaido Company of Japan / October 2004
The American Club, Owned by Kohler Co., Building an Onsite Spa Showcasing the Kohler Brand / Mar 2000


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