12 Swoon-Worthy Hotels Built on Hot Springs
Between natural hot springs, onsens and geothermal pools, there’s no shortage of healing bodies of water on planet Earth. Known for their medicinal benefits (aka the ability to cure a myriad of skin issues such as psoriasis and provide relief to aching muscles), these magical watering holes have been in high demand for centuries. They’ve also been somewhat tricky to locate, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of ’Gram-worthy contenders that can be found at hotels, resorts and Japanese-style ryokans (or inns) around the world. Bath time never sounded so good.
Castello Di Velona Resort, Thermal Spa & Winery (Tuscany, Italy)
After you recover from the initial shock of pulling up to this 11th-century military fortress, spend your days living la dolce vita under the Tuscan sun, frolicking from one thermal pool to the next. When you’re ready to retire, opt for the extra-plush sunset rooms and suites overlooking Velona’s vineyards and by all means, do not leave without partaking in the epic truffle hunting excursion. Obviously, that’s paired with a long, leisurely lunch alfresco and generous pours of vino.
Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt (Going am Wilden Kaiser, Austria)
The hills are alive (and so are the thermal pools) at Stanglwirt. The subterranean water world has won more awards for its eco-friendly spa and one-of-a-kind wellness program than we can list here, but it’s worth pointing out that the five-star hotel has just as many pastimes that don’t require a bathing suit, such as riding the prized Lipizzaner horses and roaming the surrounding alpine pastures.
Calistoga Ranch (Napa Valley, California)
Calistoga’s woodlands are brimming with rugged charm—and tension-releasing mineral pools—so you won’t have a difficult time unplugging and zen’ing out in this tucked-away canyon retreat. At the Auberge Spa at Calistoga Ranch, you can take advantage of geothermal treatments like the Sensuous Soak, which includes an intimate dip, followed by side-by-side massages and scalp treatments for two.
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
True rainforest vibes come with neighboring volcanoes, cascading waterfalls and restorative hot springs—and Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa encompasses all of these features. Naturally heated by the volcano’s magma, the river pools can reach temps up to 105°F, but the real draw is the adults-only Shangri-La gardens where you can lounge around in private cabanas (post-soak) with cocktails from a full bar.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland (Grindavík, Iceland)
Iceland is lauded for its abundance of hot springs, but the most famous of the bunch would have to be Blue Lagoon. Otherworldly beauty abounds here, thanks to a dreamy landscape carpeted in dark green moss and milky blue water, and the newly opened Retreat at Blue Lagoon is what #suitegoals are made of. Pro tip: Plan your arrival to coincide with the Northern Lights.
Dunton Hot Springs (Dolores, Colorado)
A closer look at this former 1800s ghost town turned luxury Relais & Château resort reveals plenty of reasons to check in. Cozy-chic accommodations, tented outdoor living rooms, steamy hot springs and icy plunge pools make Dunton worth the trek. If you’re worried about a lack of Wi-Fi in these remote parts, don’t be. There’s high-speed connectivity in every cabin.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (Alberta, Canada)
The historic (and Insta famous) Fairmont Banff Springs, also known as the “Castle in the Rockies,” has it all: close proximity to the national park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), fairy-tale-inspired scenery and tranquil hot springs to soothe tired joints after a rigorous day on the slopes. Plus, you can’t beat the plethora of year-round options for an outdoorsy audience—hiking, fishing, river rafting, dog sledding and snowshoeing are the norm.
Mimpi Resort Menjangan (Bali, Indonesia)
Nestled between Menjangan Island and West Bali National Park sits a tropical paradise rich in biodiversity—and natural hot springs. Unwind in the secluded watering holes (that are naturally enriched with sodium chloride, calcium and sulfate and reach 115 degrees) before making new monkey friends, sampling delish Balinese cuisine and exploring local markets and coral reefs teeming with exotic species.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa (Ojo Caliente, New Mexico)
“The Land of Enchantment” is much deserving of its nickname and one of its most mystical—and stress-free—properties would have to be Ojo Caliente. Set on 70 rustic-meets-relaxing acres, finding the path to spiritual enlightenment and physical well-being has never been easier. Fun fact: The storied health resort is home to four different types of mineral water (lithia, iron, soda and arsenic) and the only hot springs in the world to claim that accolade.
Galeria Thermal Bešeňová (Bešeňová, Slovakia)
When in Slovakia, bathe in the lap of luxury at Galeria Thermal Bešeňová, a holistic haven with its own private thermal pools and sauna. Or, venture over to the outdoor geothermal pools at Water Park Bešeňová for a balmy swim and thrill-inducing slides. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, recharge with a piping hot bowl of spiced goulash soup, or bryndzové halušky, gnocchi-shaped dumplings topped with sheep’s cheese and bacon. PS—can’t convince your crew to book a trip to Europe anytime soon? Check out Flash Pack, a new site that connects like-minded solo travelers on group adventures, including this one to Bešeňová.
Homestead Resort (Midway, Utah)
So you’ve been wanting to go scuba diving, but what about scuba diving in a 10,000-year-old crater? Totally possible at Homestead, thanks to the 96-degree geothermal spring hidden within a massive limestone rock. As the only one of its kind in the continental U.S., the recreational options are endless, but our favorite is the must-try .
Tobira Onsen Myojinkan (Nagano Prefecture, Japan)
Tobira Onsen Myojinkan is unlike most ryokans found in Asia (or in the States, for that matter) and that begins with its location, high up in Japan’s “Northern Alps.” Over 3,000 feet above sea level, to be exact. Snow-dusted mountains are your backdrop during alkaline water fueled soaks, where you can wash away aches and pains—and the notion of ever returning home. And for those travelers seeking an authentic experience, it offers traditional Japanese-style rooms and accommodations, in addition to Western ones. Did we mention there’s a sleeping bath on the premises? Now that’s calling our name.