Since opening its doors just over a year ago, Sensei Porcupine Creek has joined the ranks of the most premiere luxury resorts, with Travel + Leisure voting it “#1 Best New Wellness Retreat in The World”.  Set within the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains near Palm Springs, California, a true desert oasis awaits you on your wellbeing journey.  The mountain range on the horizon creates a tranquil backdrop to the expansive, immaculately manicured, 230-acre property.
Sensei Swimming Pool
Sensei was founded by technology pioneer Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, a world-renowned physician and scientist, who transformed a private Rancho Mirage estate into an intimate wellness property featuring luxurious accommodations, premiere golf and tennis facilities, and Sensei by Nobu dining.  The “Sensei Way” philosophy is led by science, backed by evidence-based practices, and facilitated by some of the best-in-class, ultra-vetted practitioners.  Sensei applies data-driven health knowledge to their 5-star wellbeing retreats to promote preventative care and healthy lifestyle practices.  Whether your goal is to focus on relaxing in a rejuvenating environment or to achieve peak sports performance, an enriching stay at Sensei Porcupine Creek is designed to match your wellness experience with your individual intentions.
5-Star Well Being Retreats - Sensei.
The adults-only, exclusive resort integrates stone architecture with vibrant landscapes, centering you in the natural beauty of the desert.  Their retreats enhance self-discovery with expansive gardens, celebrated artwork, world class wellness facilities, daily fitness classes, and mindful activities.  Embrace the luxury of choice with a variety of packages and programs designed to meet your unique needs with private wellbeing consultations, spa treatments and tailored sports instruction.  Introductory packages are more self-guided, while their structured Optimal programs invite you to discover how innovative technology and Sensei Guides can help strengthen your overall wellbeing, built around the paths of Move, Nourish and Rest.
Dog Sculpture at Sensei
Upon arrival, I was met at the gate house by a friendly security guard who checked my ID and encouraged me to open my windows to let in the fresh air and view the grounds’ art installations.  As I followed directions, down the winding drive to turn right past the “you can’t miss it” dog sculpture, I was suddenly saturated in serenity.  A welcome crew greeted me by name, whisked away my luggage, valeted my car, and led me to the bar for a refreshing coconut water cocktail.  While we toured the high-ceilinged, light-filled main house and wandered the curving stone pathways to the pool, yoga cottage, and fitness center, my bag was delivered to my spacious, room.  What I noticed right away was that there seemed to be very few people on the property.  The intimate setting is designed to feel like you are retreating to your own private estate.  When I looked out from my patio deck, over many shades of green, I knew for sure there would be no fighting for lounge chairs by the pool.

Porcupine Creek Accommodations

Each style of accommodations at Sensei Porcupine Creek creates a personal sanctuary with luxuriously appointed details and thoughtful amenities.  Choices include 10 Estate Rooms, 4 Casitas and 8 standalone Villas. When you make a reservation, you will first select your preferred wellness package before being directed to a room selection.  Since I wanted to spend most of my time in the spa, I chose a Discover Sensei Experience that included daily Wellness Credits to use towards services and an Estate King room.
My room was technologically savvy with a remote control for the “sleep-in shades”, a touchscreen guest-services pad, a multi-functional-heated-seat spaceship of a toilet, and an 85-inch theater grade flat screen TV.  There was a sweet coffee and tea set up, a drawer full of mindful minibar snacks (on the house), an ample welcome fruit bowl, and a refillable stainless steel water bottle, complete with “Kira” engraved on the top.  It is an extra nice touch compared to the decal name labels most places provide. Refill stations are plentiful while chilled still and sparking filtered water is delivered daily to my mini fridge.  Turn down service includes my next days’ itinerary of fitness activities and spa treatments as well as artisan gourmet chocolates.  I may never leave...

Food Philosophy at Sensei
Focusing on a wholesome food philosophy, Porcupine Creek’s wellness menus blend nutritional balance with culinary enjoyment for a one-of-a-kind dining experience.  Sensei by Nobu, open exclusively to resort guests, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner al fresco amid lush gardens or in the elegant interior dining room.  As a solo wellness traveler, I loved having the option to sit at the Sushi Bar and enjoyed sampling their all-day poolside menu on my own timeline.
Sensei by Nobu restaurant
Sensei by Nobu serves all my go-to favorites, like Yellowtail Jalapeño and Black Cod with Miso, and offers enticing specials like King Crab Tacos and Lobster Dumplings.  And for those like me who enjoy a little breakfast in bed before a busy day of Yoga and Sensory Walking Meditation,Sensei also has round the clock in-room dining.
Coachella Valley
Desert Activities

The Coachella Valley has long provided a sanctuary for wellness seekers, artists, and adventurers.  Experience the restorative benefits of the arid climate while marveling over a mountainous landscape dotted with date trees and desert palms.  A well-maintained 1.5-mile route nature trail winds above the grounds with a moderately challenging 500-foot elevation.  Plus, Porcupine Creek’s world-renowned private golf course and tennis facilities are legendary.  After a post-strike, super-condensed Hollywood awards season, I was in serious need of some deep decompression.  I gave myself permission, on this first short stay, to simply focus on rest and rejuvenation.  After switching out my high heels and make up for some grounding and nourishment, I sampled from a menu of restorative fitness classes and healing bodywork.
.Morning Yoga at Sensei.
Morning yoga was a small class of six people.  There was more scientific based talk of things like “proprioception” (the sense of self-movement, force, and body position mediated by mechanosensory neurons located within muscles, tendons, and joints) than the usual chakras and Sanskrit.  Functional Fascia was a one-hour therapeutic movement class that rolls out connective tissue.  The chemistry being that we can release lactic acid back to the bloodstream and flush out toxins to heal more quickly and get through muscle soreness faster.  I liked how the teacher emphasized that we could break down the work into “movement snacks” throughout the day by keeping a foam roller out for when watching TV or therapy balls in the office to roll out tension when we have a few minutes in between tasks.  I lucked out with a private afternoon Pilates session with a terrific instructor who guided me through mindful moves incorporating Melt balls, sliders, Manduka bands, and tension rings.  I got a full body workout doing seemingly simple micro-movements.  I was a little sore in all the right ways the next day – perfectly prepped for some serious body treatments.
.Custom Massage at Sensei.
Reflexology wasn’t limited to just feet, but also hands and scalp.  I was offered up some custom essential oil blends based on the elements of earth, water, air, or fire to choose my favorite.  I was drawn to the “Earth” scent and the nice therapist gave me a little bottle of the body oil to take home.  Next up: an amazing Custom Massage.  I learned something new – that scar tissue is “trainable”.  It is malleable and can be extended, softened, and shaped.  I like deep tissue work and my practitioner didn’t hesitate to dig in once he discovered how much I could take without writhing in pain.  One breath at a time, I melted through the most epic, transformative massage I’ve experienced in recent memory.  My shoulder blades have not been this open in years.  Thank you, Sensei!.

Optimal Wellbeing Program at Sensei...
I can’t wait to return for a longer stay at Sensei Porcupine Creek to explore their Optimal Wellbeing Program.  Or, perhaps, make my way to the Hawaiian tropics for a visit to their sister property Sensei Lanai.  After just a couple of days in this desert wellness utopia I feel strong, rested, and balanced.  I leave open hearted and receptive to all the good and abundance of this beautiful universe.   Even if this “on top of the world” feeling is fleeting, that’s alright with me.  I am an ever-evolving creature and know my wellness journey is a life-long process.  I am willing and ready to embrace the flux.  To discover for yourself why Sensei Porcupine Creek holds a unique space in the modern wellbeing realm visit: