Spa File: Glen Ivy Hot Springs, the Amusement Park for Grownups

glen ivy hot springs labrynth

Glen Ivy Hot Springs charges admission – more than Magic Mountain – to let you in the gates of this wonderland spa, and while that might seem unusual, well…it is. But it’s worth it.

Admission gets you into the Disneyland of spas – a maze of pools, palm trees, treatment rooms, and servers who bring you drinks, right to your spot in the pool. Services like massages and facials are extra, but you could spend the whole day just lounging around. I made the 2-hour drive to Corona to spend a day there with my friend Desiree (who posted about it here, with more enticing photos).

IMG_5830Little boxes of natural hot springs. Good for the complexion.

We started by soaking in a few of the pools, then each went in for our massages. My massage was very relaxing. I could have ended the day right then and there, but this place charges admission, plus I had driven 2 hours. And I had a hall pass to be on my own for the day. If I close my eyes and think of a happy place, this is it.

IMG_5837Post-massage, post-lunch, post-cocktail. Happy place indeed.

There’s a certain order you’re supposed to “take the waters.” The natural hot springs, the salt baths, the cool pool. And “Club Mud,” a pool of  murky water with a plinth of clay at its center – people scoop a handful of the clay off of the main lump, rub it all over the body, and then wait for it to dry like a full body mask. On this day there was a special event. Every 15 minutes an attendant would assembled mud-covered crowd into lines and spray them down with castille soap suds with a giant hose. I did all of this, and then we showered it off. Castille soap is very soft. I had no idea.


A special experience takes place underground in “The Grotto,” where polo-shirt-wearing young women paint your body with warm moisturizer. It’s supposed to rub the lotion on its skin for 10 minutes, then shower it all off, then sit on a rock ledge in an underground cavern like a set from Land of the Lost, drinking tea and eating fresh cold apples. I just followed Desiree through all the motions because she’s been there before, but I was definitely confused. Still, I found it very pleasant.

A more bizarre, more relaxing experience I cannot imagine. Plus experiencing it all with a friend I hardly ever get to see was great. I didn’t even mind the 2-hour drive back home that I had ahead of me. I rolled in around 9:30, kissed everyone hello, and went straight to bed. Best day ever.


I received complimentary admission to facilitate this feature. All photos except the top one are by Desiree Eaglin.