I recently had the pleasure of visiting Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, California. The resort has undergone a renaissance in recent years, in large part due to former CEO Kevin Kelly and Rianna Riego, Executive Director of Wellness, Brand & Communication. Kelly, who coined the term “sustainable wellness,” led the charge for Two Bunch Palms to become a leader in sustainability within the wellness-resort industry.
The “new guard” set out to develop a wellness space that reminds people that personal well-being and planetary health are part of the same equation. In addition to Essence, the new farm to table restaurant, and upgrading rooms with local materials and patios, Two Bunch Palms implemented the Four Pillars of Wellness concept: Waters, Food, Spa and Movement. Through physical improvement and the integration of wellness and lifestyle experience, the resort has doubled revenue and occupancy in the first 24 months, experiencing an annual growth of 40% in 2014 and 2015.
Two Bunch Palms has received its share of accolades. In 2015, the resort was named Best Hot Springs in America by the Wellness Travel Awards and Corporate Brand Dedicated to Sustainability by the Green Spa Network. Advanced sustainable practices include offering healthier farm-to-table cuisine at Essence, Two Bunch Palms’ award-winning restaurant, water conservation practices, use of non-toxic cleaning and treatment products and recycling throughout the property.
The “pièce de la resistance” is the new 550kw 3.5-acre solar field, saving more than 13 million pounds of carbon emissions and 375 million gallons of water over 21 years. The addition of the solar field secures Two Bunch Palms’ status as the carbon-neutral resort in North America.
And let’s not forget those magical waters. The mineral waters in The Grotto have been flowing for 600 years. The unique composition of this mineral water is world-famous for its therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties. Analyzed regularly for their mineral content, the waters are low in sulfur and rich in lithium
According to Riego, next on the agenda are new mineral springs pools, state of the art fitness, spa & wellness buildings and the addition of 40 more rooms. “We have re-branded to highlight the authentic history (Al Capone was rumored to have slept there once.) The next level of scale will be ramping up the spa and wellness programing. We will soon have the rooms and facilities to expand, but will always stay authentic to our core mission. We want to be a portal to wellness and catalyst for our guests’ experience.”