Hot springs have been popular for their curative and relaxation properties for millennia, and to this day people around the world seek out hot springs for their medicinal benefits. While hot springs abound wherever there is geothermal activity, many exist on private land or at the end of long trails deep in the forest. Fortunately, plenty of hotels and resorts have built facilities around hot springs, ranging from elegant upscale spas to rustic getaways with simple baths. Here we've picked out 10 worth traveling to for complete restoration.
Although there are plenty of hot springs hotels in Costa Rica, The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal is easily one of the most gorgeous. Tucked away in a gorgeous swathe of rainforest, a 20-minute drive from La Fortuna, this upscale jungle retreat has a host of impressive features, including a rock-climbing wall and a wildlife sanctuary with 22 varieties of animals. Of course, the main draws are the 18 hot spring pools spread across the property, many with gorgeous volcano views.
Dating back to 1886, British Columbia’s Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa is a serene place to soak away your ailments while breathing in the fresh forest air of the Pacific Northwest. On the shores of Harrison Lake, about a 90-minute drive east of Vancouver, this family-focused property has five mineral pools of varying temperatures, including an outdoor lap pool and both family and adults-only outdoor pools. There’s also a large spa with a huge variety of treatments, and the resort features multiple restaurants and bars, meeting facilities, and plenty of nearby hiking trails.
Travelers looking for a traditional Japanese onsen (bathing house) experience should consider a stay at Shibu Onsen Kokuya, a traditional Yamanouchi inn. Rooms are traditionally furnished, with tatami-mat floors and low-lying furniture, and some have open-air bathrooms. The onsen itself features multiple soaking pools, including three indoor baths, two open-air baths, a natural steam sauna, and a row of six soaking tubs, each with different water compositions.
For travelers who can’t quite make it all the way to Japan to experience one of the country’s famous onsens, Ten Thousand Waves just outside of Santa Fe is a good alternative. This low-key 12-room spa resort is surrounded by pine forest. The property has a series of hot springs-fed soaking tubs and cold plunges, and there are massage therapists on staff to help guests relax knotted muscles.
Budapest is filled with natural thermal springs, and plenty of the Hungarian capital’s hotels and resorts have their own private bath facilities. Located right in the city, the sprawling Danubius Health Spa Resort Helia is one such option, and features its own medical spa that relies heavily on thermal water therapies. Along with multiple baths filled with thermal waters of varying temperatures, there’s an indoor pool, a salt cave, and regular and infrared saunas. Ayurvedic massages and therapies are also available.
Though Bali has plenty of resort hotels with excellent spas, most don’t have their own on-site hot sprints. Enter the Mimpi Resort Menjangan, a mid-rage resort in the island’s isolated north with its own diving school and mineral springs spa. Features include a thermal springs whirlpool tub, a herbal spring bath, and a variety of treatment options. The water used here comes from the on-site Banyuwedang spring, which is also suitable for drinking.
One of the snazziest spots to stay in California’s Sonoma Valley, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers an 18-hole championship golf course, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and regular wine tastings. However, the on-site Willow Steam Spa is perhaps the biggest draw; along with a number of unusual facials, massages, and other therapeutic treatments, the spa offers a gorgeous bath house with thermal mineral pools fed by the local springs.
One of Tuscany‘s most popular luxury getaways, the romantic Fonteverde Tuscan Resort & Spa offers elegant rooms and facilities surrounded by beautiful Tuscan countryside. The resort offers an overwhelming number of medical and relaxation treatments, including submerged hydro-massages. There are seven spa pools in total (including specialty pools for children and dogs), and one of the outdoor pools has an infinity edge overlooking the countryside. There’s even a pool used for balneotherapy, a specialized modality employing colors and scents.
Popular with vacationing families, Felda Residence in Perak is a small hot springs property featuring a mix of small therapeutic baths and larger pools with features that kids will adore. Standout features at this mid-range property include a shallow hot springs pool, a private hot springs-fed reflexology, a hot springs whirlpool, and a huge outdoor swimming pool with cooler waters, a fountain feature, and a kids’ play area complete with a waterslide.
Located in the desert outside of Palm Springs, The Spring Resort & Spa is a good getaway spot for travelers seeking some low-key quiet within easy driving distance of San Diego or LA. While there are only three pools here, the resort also only has 12 guest rooms and a no-kids-allowed policy keeps the vibe tranquil and relaxation-focused. There’s also a spa offering massages and other treatments plus a large Finnish sauna on-site.