Turtle Back Mesa

• Turtle Back Mesa B&B is a unique geothermal oasis in the California desert
• The area offers a unique soaking experience and 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 the city of Palm Springs. This area offers a unique getaway experience, a chance to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.

Turtle Back Mesa offer relaxation in the mineral-rich water in stunning surroundings with unobstructed views of the Santa Rosa Mountains and Mt. San Jacinto.

Hot mineral water comes out of the ground at about 139°F through a 425 ft well and then directed into the outdoor pool, a 16 ft by 9 ft soaking pool, and a 6 ft by 6 ft soaking tub and then is cooled down to a more comfortable temperatures. Geothermal water 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. There are 3 types of rooms. Clothing is optional. The B&B is not a pet-friendly area and ask the owner if you want to bring your kids. This is a non-smoking facility.

Besides bathing, there are also plenty of things to do and see in the area - from scenic hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing to visiting the world-famous Joshua Tree National Park, endangered Salton Sea, or riding Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of the Mount San Jacinto.


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

The name of the Turtle Back Mesa comes from the fact that from the bird's eye view, the area looks like a turtle back! The turtle theme started here when Marlyn brought Ernest a little pipestone turtle she got from Kicki Indian Village during her trip to Mississippi.

Next time she got him another turtle and then another one. Right now the Turtle Back Mesa has over 400 turtle-related art pieces, many of which you can see during your visit! It includes items from Native American cultures, as well as from Africa, Asia, and countries of the Caribbean. The turtle represents stability, long life, good fortune, and security of the house. Unfortunately, Marlyn passed away, but Ernest still welcomes guests at Turtle Back Mesa!

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

Turtle Back Mesa | Facts

Location: 22 miles east of Palm Springs • California • USA
Open: Year-round, 24 hours
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 is 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.

Phone: 760-347-5358
Reserve here

Address: 28700 Hotwell Rd, Desert Hot Springs, CA

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