Christian Retreat Centers

39405 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd
Murrieta, California 92563
United States
(951) 200-8000


Purchased in 1902 and opening for business in 1904, the Murrieta Hot Springs was to become a health spa and resort much like the ones that Fritz Guenther had seen in Europe. Fritz was a German immigrant who moved to New York with his brother to escape the Franco-Prussian War. When his brother moved to the west coast, Fritz opted to stay in Chicago, practicing his trade as a cabinetmaker. That is until the Great Chicago Fire wiped out his entire business. Fritz moved to Virginia City, then to Sacramento, and filially Los Angeles, opening several saloons on the way. In 1902 Fritz decided to buy the Murrieta Hot Springs and sold all three of his saloons in addition to both is son's businesses to make the purchase. Over the next 30 years Fritz and his two sons, developed the Murrieta Hot Springs into Fritz' original vision of a world-class resort and spa. Families would travel by train with large trunks to escape their troubles and breathe the fresh air. They would bathe and even drink the mineral spring water, which was believed to "cure rheumatism and stomach problems," as one postcard put it. The Murrieta Hot Springs was "the place to be" for stars and debutants of that day.
After the Guenther family sold the resort in the mid 1900's many different individuals and groups took ownership of the Murrieta Hot Springs; such as the Teamsters (who purportedly laundered money at the Hot Springs), some holistic groups and even a new age cult who aggressively advertised their resort offering a gourmet vegetarian restaurant, saunas, steam baths, mud baths, and facials. Year by year the Murrieta Hot Springs fell into disrepair until it was purchased by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in 1995. The Hot Springs were purchased out of a necessity and vision to facilitate a grater amount of Bible College students, which could no longer be accommodated at Calvary Chapel's Twin Peaks facility. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, under the direction of Pastor Chuck Smith, began a massive restoration project. Rather that demolish the historical facility, Calvary Chapel meticulously restored everything that they could. However, because it had fallen into such disrepair, many features could not be saved and were unfortunately destroyed. Items such as tile and antique glass were broken into pieces and re-used in the various mosaics that adorn the property.
The Murrieta Hot Springs is now home to the Calvary Chapel Conference Center which serves to "refresh the saints" by providing an oasis for Christians from the cares of this world and spend time with the Lord. In addition to church retreats, Calvary Chapel Conference Center also takes private reservations Sunday through Wednesday.