First Look: Sensei Wellness Resort Opens in Southern California This Fall
You can now book a stay at the luxury wellness retreat near Palm Springs.
There’s just something about autumn in the California desert. Come November, the stifling summer heat begins to subside. Restaurant misters are turned off. Locals and tourists alike relish the cool breeze that rustles palm tree skirts under the full moon.
And this fall, you may have one more reason to visit the Palm Springs area. (Did you really need one?) Reservations open today for stays starting Nov. 1 at the new Sensei Porcupine Creek, a spa, golf, and tennis resort spanning more than 230 acres and nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains. You can expect sweeping villas inspired by Japanese architecture, a lagoon-style pool, yoga pavilion, guests-only Nobu restaurant, and more at this former residence turned luxury retreat in Rancho Mirage.
This is the second location for the wellness brand Sensei, which debuted a Four Seasons resort on the Hawaiian island of Lāna’i, and its first standalone property. You’ll find similarities in the way this wellness experience is designed. A variety of practitioners, or “Sensei Guides,” onsite provide customized fitness classes, nutrition sessions, sleep data, and more to help you achieve your personal goals, whether it be rest and relaxation or a better tennis serve. The team wants to create “safe places for discovery,” CEO Kevin Kelly tells Sunset.
“We want to make sure that whatever we share with you, whatever program we bring you through, whatever information we give you, has been vetted,” Kelly adds of Sensei’s technology-based approach. “People are selling everything today using the term ‘wellness.’ If we use science and medicine and efficacy as our filter, then … it will be something that you can rely on, that you can depend on.”
Unique to this location are an onsite 18-hole private golf course and tennis courts previously used by professional athletes. (Sensei co-founded Larry Ellison, who co-founded software company Oracle, also owns the nearby Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which plays host to the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament.)
Accommodations range from two- to four-bedroom villas with wide-angled vistas, to indoor-outdoor rooms with their own spas centered on a courtyard. Across the property, vine-covered stone arches complement buildings of white oak and teak. “Museum-quality” art pieces will dot the grounds, Kelly adds.
Estate rooms are ideal for the solo traveler looking to “turn inward” and listen to their “own inner voice,” Kelly says, while a villa might be “part of your healing process” if you’re looking to “reengage’ with friends you haven’t seen for years due to the pandemic. Relationships, Kelly adds, are “part of one’s greater well-being.”
A two-night base package starts at $1,200. The brand’s signature Optimal Wellbeing Program, which begins with pre-arrival consultations, starts at $1,570; together, you’ll craft a specially curated itinerary full of myriad experts and sessions to collect a slate of data to inform your health routine. The program, which requires a minimum of five nights, can also be tailored to golf and tennis players; rates range from $1,700 for tennis and $1,855 for golf.
“You have best-in-class practitioners who are giving it to you with an open heart,” Kelly says. “You have knowledgeable science that you rely on. You have the best technology that makes it easier to aggregate information and use it as a window into your own wellness.”
More inclined toward a facial or massage (or ready to get one after a full day on the courts)? The property has that, too. Spa rooms open to a private garden, allowing for both indoor and outdoor treatments like massages and facials. Or, take in the beauty of surrounding nature with a nearby hike or trip up to experience the high desert in and around Joshua Tree. “You don’t change behavior with data alone; you have to add experience,” Kelly says.
“There’s something about the desert—the shadow, the light,” the CEO adds. “You have to calm down.”