Indulge in Tranquility and VitalityBE A PART OF THE STORY
Back to the Beginning
In 1873, Juan Murrieta and his partners purchased a large area of land, in a region known as Temecula Rancho, which included the area of present-day Temecula and Murrieta, and—later renamed the region Murrieta Hot Springs. In 1902, after hearing of the area’s curative water and healing attributes, German immigrant Fritz Guenther bought a section of the land surrounding Murrieta Hot Springs with the vision of developing it into a world-class health spa resort. Soon after opening, Guenther's Murrieta Hot Springs brought people from far across the country, often by extensive train rides, to spend their vacations at the secluded retreat. Clientele, especially those familiar with European spas, came from long distances for extended luxurious vacations. To help fulfill his vision, Fritz picked up visitors at the Murrieta rail station and shuttled guests to the resort, ceremoniously including an orchestra as travel entertainment.
The vision continued through Fritz’s sons, Hugo and Rudy, who helped change the destiny of the resort while shaping the Murrieta Valley. Hugo's talent was in the operations of the resort and improvements to the hot spring operation and amenities provided to guests, while Rudy was instrumental in bringing Fritz's artistic vision to reality. Many of the unique landscape features and architectural elements seen today are Rudy’s designs.
The resort remained in the Guenther family until the early 1970s when ownership transitioned to Irving Kahn. Mr. Kahn continued to improve the resort, including his creation of a freshwater lake known as the Kahn Lagoon. A space for recreation and fun, originally brought to fruition by the Guenther’s, continued to be the resort's focus.
After a brief period of transition to a commune, the resort was purchased by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1995 and restored to prominence by church members under the direction of Pastor Chuck Smith and passionate guidance of local Murrieta community member Karl Bentz.
At the resort, guests utilized the soothing mineral waters to relax and escape the pressures of everyday life, as well as lounging in mud baths, and connecting with others. Social recreation was also an essential element of a Murrieta Hot Springs visits, with visitors often playing tennis and miniature golf, accompanied by evenings filled with nourishing meals, dancing, card games, and socializing. It was said the accommodations at Murrieta Hot Springs were luxurious, the entertainment grand, and the experience life changing.
Minerals, Soaks & Mud
Murrieta Hot Springs’ unique water comes from hundreds of feet below the surface, drawing healing mineral content from the geology found here. While the names attributed to the springs have changed over the years, the underlying quality of the water remains.
The minerals naturally found in the geothermal water, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, bicarbonates, chloride, fluoride, and boron, contribute to the health benefits of bathing in its waters. In addition to soft, nourished skin, soaking in these mineral-rich waters has proven to relax the muscles and relieve inflammation.
In 1904 Dr. Henry Worthington of Los Angeles published testimonials about the benefits of hot springs soaking in the Southern California Practitioner medical journal. The publication prompted even more people to flock to the healing hot springs for the curative and cleansing properties of the geothermal water.
Soothing hot mud baths were also a guest favorite for relaxation and detoxification. Guenther’s Murrieta Hot Springs’ guests would often enjoy massages, napping in the sunshine, or relaxing after their rejuvenating mud bath experience. Future guests of the renovated Murrieta Hot Springs Resort will soon be able to experience similar elements of minerals, soaking, mud, and enhanced well-being that made the resort the wellness destination of the early 20th century.
Modern Bathhouses & Luxury Accommodations
In 1904 the Monterey Hotel was added to the property with rooms complete with running water and modern bathroom fixtures. Shortly thereafter,; the California Hotel, with modern luxuries like heated rooms, was completed to keep up with the increased demand and popularity of the hot springs. By the late 1920's, a new Mineral Bath House was erected, with the second floor dedicated to a state-of-the-art gymnasium for more intense physical activity and personal training. At this time, the original structures known as Cottage Row were relocated to make space for another hotel building, now known as Stone Lodge. Over the ensuing decades, ownership continued to expand the property, with the addition of bungalows, employee quarters, and Cottage Row.
A Hot Spring Resort for Health & Wellness
The resort has always had a strong connection to health, with a Dr. Mudd serving as one of the first physicians at Murrieta Hot Springs as far back as in the early 1900s. Murrieta Hot Springs will continue this tradition with an onsite medical director focused on resort programming and providing guests with tools to maximize the healing effects of mineral water therapies.
A History Steeped in Recreational Wellness
Many people who felt a need to escape their daily routines and stresses took to the resort to spend time relaxing, having fun, and entertaining. Guests of the resort enjoyed a variety of recreational activities, including cards and billiards, swimming in the plunge pool, mingling at the bar, bicycle riding, competitive games of croquet, horseback riding, dancing, and reading. At Murrieta Hot Springs, there was no shortage of things to do.
Our mission is to continue the stewardship of those before us, maintaining Murrieta Hot Springs’ deep legacy while modernizing it and re-opening it to the public.
Experience the benefits for yourself.