RV Park Rating – Sam’s Family Spa (Desert Hot Springs, CA)
A very basic & quirky park with fabulous hot mineral pools in Desert Hot Springs, South-Central CA
Note/ Review updated as of last stay Nov/Dec 2015
- Site quality = 3.5/5
We’re in the desert here, so these are basic gravel/dirt sites with not much extra “fluff”. All sites offer 50Amp/water/sewer with concrete pad “sitting area” and picnic table. Sites are reasonably sized and nicely landscaped with palm trees/oleander bushes & hillside views all around. Biggest dings are sites are mostly open (no real privacy between sites) and many sites are uneven requiring leveling blocks to get flat (the entire campground has a front to back slope and we usually need at least 3-stack of blocks to get flat). Also water pressure tends to run low here. It’s open seating so you chose your site on arrival and just check-in at the front desk when you’ve found one you like. Sites at back of the park (furthest from the spa) tend to fill up last on busy family week-ends, so if you’re looking for more space & quiet park your rig there.
- Facilities = 4/5
Bathrooms are in somewhat dated buildings, but showers are large individual stalls with attractive new tile and good temperature & pressure. All are kept nicely clean. The spa bathrooms are lovely with modern tile and fancy “raindisc” shower heads.
- Amenities = 4.5/5
The amenities are what make this park special, especially the spa area. There is a good-sized main pool with lounge chairs, separate kiddie pool, 4 huge natural mineral hot pools, relaxing waterfalls, small lake, grassy picnic area, and even a modern sauna + steam-room, all beautifully landscaped. This is most definitely the highlight of the park. Decent working WiFi throughout the park but you need to pay for it (only ding). Full-sized and very modern laundry, plus a small general store available at the office.
- Location = 3.5/5
You’re somewhat out in the boonies with this park. You’re not that close to Palm Springs (~30 mins), or to Joshua Tree (~40 mins), but within easy reach of downtown Desert Hot Springs and reasonable driving distance to the rest. All the major stores are in the surrounding area, but still need to take a little drive to get there.
- Pet friendliness = 5/5
Great area for doggie.There is a small grassy fenced-in dog area inside the park which is OK, but the real draw is access to miles of open land for dog-walking & hiking all around the park. Open desert can be reached from either the front or back gate entrance, and longer walks can be done all the way to the mountains. Relaxed and friendly about pets in general.
Overall rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT: 4 gorgeous natural mineral pools for soaking within crawling distance of your RV!
Summary: This is a quirky park with very basic sites, but it’s got fabulous hot pools that lure us back year after year. Half the park is offered as RV sites while the other half is permanent mobile homes. The RV sites themselves are very basic and nothing too noteworthy -> open sand/gravel pads many of which are rather uneven (we almost always need levelers here), but you get full-hookups, separation is decent, the landscaping quite nice and you have mountain views all around the park. What makes this place exceptional is the pool/spa area. It’s a gated-access near the main entrance that contains 4 huge mineral pools of varying temperatures surrounded by a beautifully landscaped spa area with water-falls, playground, lovely showers, steam-room & sauna. The mineral pools are drained each night and are also one of the very few in the area that don’t use Chlorine. When you pay for the RV site you get unlimited access to the pools, so this is definitely the main reason to come here. This is a family spa so it can get very busy on week-ends and holidays, but it tends to be rather quiet in-between. Snowbird season (Jan-Mar) can also be busy. Daily rate ($50) is way more than we like to pay, but the monthly rate ($540) is an absolute deal, plus you can extend indefinitely (pro-rated) after the month is up and continue to get unlimited spa access. Lots of space all around the park to hike and explore the hills with doggie plus you are within reasonable driving distance of Salton Sea, Johsua Tree and Palm Springs with associated sights and shops. If you’re looking for a relaxed park with fabulous pools this is the definitely spot. We’ve come her 4 years in a row and will most definitely be back again.
Extra Info: Lightning fast Verizon LTE (there’s a cell-tower RIGHT by the park), but erratic ATT 4G (2-3 bars). On-site Tengo Internet works ok, but you need to pay for it. Sites cost $50/night (daily rate), $300 (weekly rate), $540+elec (winter monthly rate) -> all rates include unlimited spa access.