Glen Ivy Hot Springs…. the good, the bad the ugly
If you live in Southern California you’ve probably heard of Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona. A massive, historic spa retreat featuring several massage villas, salon, multiple pools, fitness classes, an underground grotto, natural clay mud baths, restaurant, café, spa shopping and more. As a spa junkie it was blasphemous that I had never been and considered it the mecca of West Coast spa destinations. I anxiously awaited the day when my Mom, Sister and I would embark on a day-long spa-cation that included massages, facials, body treatments and full use of every amenity. That day finally arrived last year and while I have many beautiful memories from that day my overall experience was less than stellar. Not to deter you from a visit to Glen Ivy if you are so inclined however, take a tip from me and plan ahead, this Disneyland-esque place is not for passive spa virgin as only the most assertive, organized and overzealous spa-goer will survive its goliath proportions.
Here’s my tips and tricks for making the most of your time there; along with my unapologetic personal experience so you don’t make the same mistakes I did:
Tip 1– Book ahead and take advantage of their online package specials; yes, its possible to walk in same day and see what’s available for massage or treatment but don’t expect much as their schedule fills up and you will most likely only be able to “take the waters.”
Tip 2 – If you’re able to go during the week; do it! I went on a Thursday and it was uncomfortably packed; I was told by my masseuse that it was a slow day and Saturday’s are worse…fuck that! Are they going to start selling flash passes like amusement parks too??
Tip 3- DO NOT BE LATE! Without going into too much into detail let’s just say that after footing a $800+ bill I enjoyed just 20 minutes of what supposed to be an hour-long massage. Yes, it was partly my fault and that of my uber-slow walking Mother, but a good 15 minutes was totally on them so yeah.
Tip 4- The most unique and memorable part was their underground grotto body treatment. For just a nominal add-on fee you can experience this very cool and very effective skin and hair smoothing masque while basking in their different cave chambers. Do not miss this one.
Tip 5- Eat a hearty meal beforehand because there are some ridiculously hungry spa-goers at this place. I’m being generous when I say that I waited in a 90-minute line for a basic salad and oddly-enough their very popular Chicken Nachos. Yes, they were pretty yummy, but 90-minute yummy um no.
Tip 6- Put on your game face when you attempt their namesake natural, mineral hot springs. So, the actual tubs are side-by-side and cozy to say the least. They also reek of rotten egg which is actually a good thing because it means it’s rich in Sulphur and other essential minerals. Since this is THE reason the visit everyone and their Mama (literally, me included) stand at the ledge like hawks waiting for someone to get out. Uncomfortable, yes but it’s a rare treat for a reason.
Tip 7- When in doubt choose a facial. While my massage therapist was sweet and helpful the whole massage experience put a bad taste in my mouth; which was immediately redeemed by the amazingly thorough estheticians working at the salon. All three of us walked out literally glowing and raving about having experienced the best facials ever.
Tip 8- Wear the darkest and tiniestswimwear you’re comfortable wearing because otherwise you’ll be missing out. Light colored swimmer could stain with the copper hue of the clay mud and with the skin tightening benefits of the drying clay you’ll want to slather it on as much as possible. I wore a one-piece and was disappointed as the subtle lifting and detoxification of the clay could have done wonders on my tummy. So sad☹
Tip 9- Is it a spa? Is it a bar? Who knows? But plan accordingly. There’re two types of people here (I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect) there’s the retired yogi’s who are serious about non-GMO’s and natural healing and the 20-something, bridal party drunkards haphazardly slathering themselves with clay just enough for a selfie. Somehow, the contrast works as long as you stay in your lane and find your people.
Tip 10- Take the time out and enjoy as long as possible. There’s so much to do that a quickie just won’t suffice. Follow your map and bask in every amenity- in my opinion, you have the experience the whole place to really get a feel for Glen Ivy.
To learn more or to book your spa day click here: https://www.glenivy.com/