Turtle Back Mesa

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• Turtle Back Mesa B&B is a unique geothermal oasis in the California desert
• The area offers a fantastic soaking experience with plenty outdoor activities

Turtle Back Mesa Bed and Breakfast is a tranquil oasis nestled in the Spa City of Desert Hot Springs, 25 miles east of Palm Springs. This area offers a unique getaway experience, a chance to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.

At Turtle Back Mesa, you can enjoy mineral-rich water with an unobstructed view of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

Hot mineral water comes from the ground at about 139°F through a 425-foot well. It is then directed into the 16 ft by 9 ft soaking pool and the 6 ft by 6 ft soaking tub. The water then gets cooled down to a temperature comfortable for the guest. The geothermal water at Turtle Back Mesa contains sodium, sulfate, chloride, borate, boron, bicarbonate, fluoride, and traces of other minerals.

Turtle Back Mesa Bed and Breakfast is open to overnight guests only.

The location is not pet-friendly. Clothing is optional. Also, if you want to bring your kids, please get in touch with the owner first.

Bathing is by no means the only thing you can do when visiting Turtle Back Mesa B&B! Plenty of other
activities and places of interest are available in the area: from scenic hiking, horseback riding, mountain
biking, and wildlife viewing to visiting the world-famous Joshua Tree National Park, and endangered Salton Sea. You can also climb all the way to the top of Mount San Jacinto with Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Turtle Back Mesa
Soaking Tub
Turtle Back Mesa
Turtle Back Mesa
Swimming Pool


This lovely B&B was started by Marlyn and Ernest Sussman when they bought 10 acres of land with a hot spring well. Marlyn was an outstanding designer and an exceptional artist who created the Santa Fe-style home with a B&B and an art studio. It features nine-foot ceilings, thick walls, rounded corners, wood-beamed vegas, and curved openings leading from room to room. Most of the furniture indoors was designed and built by Marlyn herself.

The name "Turtle Back Mesa" comes from the fact that the area looks like a turtle back from the bird's eye view. The turtle theme began after Marlyn gave Ernest a little pipestone turtle she brought from Kicki Indian Village in Mississippi.

Later she got another turtle, then another one, then another... Right now, Turtle Back Mesa has over 400 turtle-themed pieces of art, many of which you can see during your stay there. It includes items of Native American origin, as well as those from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Mythologically, a turtle represents stability, long life, good fortune, and home security.

Unfortunately, Marlyn has passed away, but Ernest continues welcoming guests at Turtle Back Mesa B&B!

Turtle Back Mesa | Facts

Location: 22 miles east of Palm Springs • California • USA
Open: Year-round
Development: B&B & spa, swimming pool, and soaking tubs
Clothing: Optional
Amenities: Spa
Hiking distance: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle
Day-use: No day-use available

Elevation: 900 ft (274 m)

Water T° (source): 139°F (59°C)
Water T° (swimming pools): Depends on the air temperature
Water T° (tubs): Adjustable
Chemical used: Water in the swimming pool and soaking tubs is not chemically treated
Odor: Free of the sulfur smell

More Adventures

Directions to Turtle Back Mesa

From Palm Springs,

  • Head north on Indian Canyon Drive for 6.5 miles to Dillon Road
  • Turn right onto Dillon Road and follow it for 18.4 miles to Hotwell Road
  • Turn right onto Hotwell Road and continue 0.5 miles to the destination on the left.

Reserve a room

Phone: 760-347-5358

Address: 28700 Hotwell Rd, Desert Hot Springs, CA

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