Looking for a luxury hot springs getaway for the new year? Put these resorts on your bucket list.
Hot springs resorts have long been valued for their natural beauty and therapeutic waters. Combining these natural wonders with five-star luxury creates an experience that’s both indulgent and rejuvenating.
In recent years, the trend towards sustainable tourism has significantly shaped the travel industry, influencing accommodations to adopt greener practices while maintaining a luxurious experience. Among these, hot springs resorts stand out, offering relaxation and a connection with nature. It’s a natural fit as the resorts rely on a healthy ecosystem and natural resources, making protection key.
Why visit hot springs?
Visiting hot springs is not only a relaxing and enjoyable experience, but it also offers a range of health benefits. The therapeutic properties of hot springs have been celebrated for centuries, and modern science supports many of these claims. Here are some key reasons to visit hot springs and the health benefits they provide:
- Muscle Relaxation and Pain Relief: The warm water of hot springs helps to relax tense muscles and soothe aches and pains. This is particularly beneficial for those suffering from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or muscle injuries.
- Improved Circulation: Soaking in hot springs can help to improve blood circulation. The warm water causes the body’s temperature to rise, which in turn causes blood vessels to dilate. This increased blood flow can help to promote healthier circulation and oxygen flow throughout the body.
- Stress Reduction and Mental Wellbeing: The natural setting and warm waters of hot springs are conducive to relaxation and can help reduce stress. This relaxation effect can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Skin Benefits: Many hot springs contain a variety of minerals, including sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and silica. These minerals can have beneficial effects on the skin, such as improving skin texture, treating skin irritations, and promoting a healthy glow.
- Detoxification: Soaking in hot springs can help the body detoxify. The sweating process can flush out toxins, and the minerals in the water can also help to draw out impurities from the skin.
- Improved Sleep: The relaxation effect of hot springs can also lead to better sleep. The rise in body temperature followed by a gradual cooling after leaving the water can promote deeper and more restful sleep.
- Boosting Immune System: Regular use of hot springs can potentially boost the immune system. The minerals in the water, along with the heat, can stimulate the immune system and improve overall health.
- Connection with Nature: Hot springs are often located in beautiful natural settings. This connection with nature can enhance physical relaxation and provide psychological benefits, like a sense of rejuvenation and a deeper connection to the environment.
Best luxury hot springs resorts
For those looking to improve their physical and mental health in a serene and natural environment, find relaxation and healing at the world’s finest luxury, sustainable hot springs destinations.
1. Amanemu, Shima Shi, Japan
Amanemu is set in the idyllic backdrop of Ise Shima National Park in Japan. This resort embraces the ancient Japanese bathing tradition of onsen, using nutrient-rich thermal waters. The serene setting complements the luxurious amenities, offering a peaceful retreat.
2. Banyan Tree Tengchong, Tengchong, China
Banyan Tree Tengchong is a haven of tranquility in the volcanic hot springs region of China. This resort blends luxurious accommodations with the therapeutic properties of its hot springs, offering a unique and rejuvenating experience.
3. Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski, Portsmouth, Dominica
Dive into luxury at this hideaway surrounded by natural beauty. It provides a blend of adventure, relaxation, and top-notch amenities, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a lavish hot springs experience.
4. Nayara Gardens, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Garden is an eco-friendly, luxury resort situated in the lush Costa Rican rainforest. This resort focuses on privacy and luxury, set against the backdrop of the rainforest and Arenal Volcano. There are also nearby camping options with springs access and an adult-only option.
5. The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal, La Fortuna, San Carlos, Costa Rica
Another luxe Costa Rican destination, The Springs Resort is known for its spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano. This resort boasts 28 hot springs pools and an array of luxury amenities and activities. It offers a blend of adventure and relaxation in a stunning setting.
6. Adler Thermae, Tuscany, Italy
An Italian vacation wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Adler Thermae. Located in the heart of Tuscany, Adler Thermae is a luxury spa resort that offers a combination of Italian charm and exclusive wellness treatments. The natural hot springs and picturesque countryside setting provide a serene escape.
7. Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado, U.S.
Dunton Hot Springs is a restored ghost town in Colorado, transformed into an exclusive luxury retreat. The resort offers a unique blend of rustic charm and high-end amenities, set amidst the beauty of the Colorado wilderness.
8. Hotel Royal Evian, Evian-les-Bains, France
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva in Evian-les-Bains, France, this luxurious resort is known for its therapeutic natural springs and exquisite setting. Hotel Royal Evian offers a mix of elegance, history, and wellness, making it a top choice for luxury travelers.
9. Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, U.S.
The 150-year-old Ojo Caliente is one of the oldest spas in the country. The waters have been prized for centuries by eight Northern Pueblo tribes. Soak in the pools surrounded by natural rock formations. Also on-site: mud pools and a wood-burning Kiva fireplace.
10. Blue Lagoon, Grindavík, Iceland
Nestled in the heart of Iceland’s dramatic landscape, the Blue Lagoon is more than just a geothermal spa. It’s an icon of sustainability, using the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant’s superheated water, which is rich in minerals and known for its healing properties. The resort’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its renewable energy use; it includes a strict water management system and a commitment to local sourcing, all while offering a luxurious, otherworldly experience in its silica-rich waters.
Note: the resort is temporarily closed as of December 2023 due to the volcanic eruption that began on December 18 in Sundhnúkagígar.
11. Pamukkale, Denizli, Turkey
Pamukkale is one of Türkiye’s iconic vacation spots. The spa town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular since the Roman era. Soak in the same ancient pools Cleopatra visited as you enjoy the views of the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Stay at the nearby Doga Thermal Health Spa for luxe comfort and more healing waters.
Related on Ethos: