Glen Ivy Hot Springs: Play in the Mud and Rejuvenate

Want to get away from it all and enjoy a day of R&R and maybe immerse yourself in a mud bath? Look no further than Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Riverside County, California. Glen Ivy Hot Springs dates back to 1860 when commercial use of the naturally occurring mineral waters caught on. Since 1977, it’s been hosting guests from around the world to enjoy the refreshing hot springs, and above all, a unique oasis.

I headed out from Los Angeles (just 70 miles inland) to experience as much as I could for the day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs.

I was intrigued to at last visit Glen Ivy Hot Springs, named Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa in North America by the World Luxury Spa Awards and one of Spas of America’s Top Spas in 2017, to experience some of the peculiar sounding (I did say mud bath) treatments.

Arriving at Glen Ivy Hot Springs

I was relieved to see that parking was free and ample as I arrived at the day spa. With a 12 o’clock check-in, I enjoyed a smooth and warm welcome from the concierge. With 11 acres and 19 pools to explore, it was a bit overwhelming to know where to begin. Luckily, the staff is happy to assist in helping you plan your day based on your scheduled treatments.

As we checked in, I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous spa lifestyle shop in the lobby, as well as the Goco Café. At this grab and go bistro, enjoy an extensive menu powered by Starbucks, as well as several snack options. If you take a look in their shop, consider bringing home some gifts. They have a wonderful selection of self-care goodies like bath salts, moisturizers and lotions. If you forgot your swimsuit or are looking to update your wardrobe, a handful of racks have some cute, laid-back apparel.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs. FWT Magazine.
Chill out with a drink by the pool (c) Mary Farah.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs. FWT Magazine.
Alaskan cod fish tacos from the Ivy Kitchen (c) Mary Farah.

The Ivy Kitchen

Although my friend and I were anxious to hit the waters, we were equally interested to check out the bustling Ivy Kitchen. Just like their services and amenities, Glen Ivy Hot Springs offers a top-notch dining experience (including breakfast until 11am) in a casual atmosphere.

Despite a bit of a wait, I was thrilled the Ivy Kitchen will gladly make any menu item gluten-free. They also ask if it’s an allergy or preference. I was a bit skeptical about their dietary accommodations as this was not listed on their menu. This definitely caused some jitters as I attempted to relax at the retreat. I hope they consider making this more clear on their information.

I enjoyed every bite of my fish tacos while my friend had to try their popular chicken nachos. Easily the largest plate of nachos I’d ever seen, other menu favorites included flat breads, salads and cupcakes for dessert. Feeling like a libation? Grab a beer or glass of wine at the Ivy Kitchen. For a cocktail, head on over to the Lounge 1860 and enjoy one poolside. The nearby chill zone will have you covered if you’re feeling like some frozen yogurt or a smoothie.

Club Mud

So, I’ve had a few people inquire about playing in the mud at Glen Ivy Hot Springs. It’s true to an extent. Club Mud is Glen Ivy’s iconic pool and shower treatment included with the price of admission. Club Mud is the only mud clay bath experience of its kind in California.

Clay is said to be an excellent exfoliator, known throughout history to draw out impurities from the body. California red clay is mixed with the nourishing mineral water, and dispensed out of outdoor showers. You can also jump in the mud pool to truly immense yourself in it. After you slather yourself in the mineral-rich goo, step into the quiet room to allow the clay to dry onto your body. Afterwards, lounge in the sun for another few minutes before you wash it off. You’ll love how refreshed your skin feels afterwards.

Some laughs over the fact you’re covered in mud are inevitable. The final verdict? I thought my skin felt great and the softest it’d been in a long while. It did take a bit to wash it all away in the shower and I’m sure I had mud somewhere on me the rest of the afternoon. If staining your clothing is a concern, take the resort’s advice and wear ‘last year’s model’ for your swimwear choice.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs. FWT Magazine.
Club Mud awaits you (c) Mary Farah.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs. FWT Magazine.
If all the R&R leaves you needing a cat nap, Glen Ivy has you covered (c) Mary Farah.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs. FWT Magazine.
1 of 19 pools to take a dip in (c) Mary Farah.

The Grotto

Next up, we had an appointment to enjoy the Grotto, one of Glen Ivy’s add-on favorites. We were brought on an underground elevator ride to the spa’s ‘secret cave’ to enjoy a unique moisturizing treatment. A spa associate greeted us when we arrived and painted us head-to-toe in a mix of oil-based body masques. With oils like aloe vera and eucalyptus, this felt heavenly. We then moved on to a heated cavern where the oils can soak further into your skin as your body heats up and your pores open.

The cavern heat was tolerable for about 15 minutes. We were then ready to move onto the final and cooler grotto. The warmth from the oils felt amazing on my skin, and definitely complemented my Club Mud experience.

I did find it difficult at times to completely enjoy my Grotto experience as the spa has photography associates on hand taking photos of your time at the resort. Upon your exit, you’re given the option to purchase these photos. While this is a fun addition for a day at a theme park, several people already feel self-conscious enough wearing bathing suits without photos being taken. While I know Glen Ivy wants its guests to have memories from their day, I think being asked at check-in if this service interests you would be a better alternative.

Pampering Facial

Following Club Grotto, it was facial time. I’d decided on the Classic Solution treatment and was promptly greeted by Court, my esthetician, for the treatment. The Classic Solution consists of a customized facial focusing on daily concerns like oiliness and dry spots. Court used a variety of products and I appreciated how precise she was and focused on common issues I have. Extremely educated in skincare, Court gave advice I’ve taken to heart and implemented it in my daily routine since my visit.

Along with much pampering and focus on my facial, Court also incorporated a bit of a massage into my appointment. I loved how collaborative she was with my 50 minute session. I left feeling so relaxed, and ready to take a nap by the pool.

Visit Glen Ivy Hot Springs

Glen Ivy Hot Springs is centrally located at 25000 Glen Ivy Road in Corona, California, next door to Temecula Valley’s wine country. Twilight hours at Glen Ivy will be through October 27th. Regular hours are 9am to 6pm daily.

The author was a guest of Glen Ivy Hot Springs. All comments and opinions are that of the author.

Mary Farah

Mary is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to FWT, she contributes to Go World, Locale, and Big Blend Radio Magazine. She has managed her blog, Along Comes Mary, since 2012. Mary also serves as an Executive Board Member to IFWTWA and on the FWT Editorial Committee.