30 Favorite Hot Springs and Mineral Springs
Hot Springs and Mineral Springs Spas offer an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments. The resulting benefits are the backbone of “balneotherapy”, defined as “the branch of medical science concerned with the therapeutic value of baths, especially those taken with natural mineral waters”.
Balneotherapy as a field of study is truly ancient and has been an accepted part of education in medical schools worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia where ample water sources exist.
What’s the difference between Hydrotherapy and Balneotherapy? Simply defined, balneotherapy is considered a more-inclusive science of medicinally beneficial modalities which, while overlapping with hydrotherapy, includes the broader use use of mineral waters in drinking, bathing, soaking, treatments — including mineral water rich muds and sands for body wraps and scrubs — beyond recreational use.
We’ve selected a few of our favorite places to soak up the waters, both destinations for the simple pleasure of a mineral water hydrotherapy soak, as well as more advanced therapeutic waters used for balneotherapy. Among our favorites is a grand, landscaped pool filled with mineral waters in a resort setting in Tuscany, another is a visually stunning and almost mystical experience in the blue lagoon of Iceland, while another, Kanaguya Onsen in Japan, is believed to be the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away” bathhouse.
No matter grand or humble, a good soak always does you a bit of good.
The Chena Hot Springs resort is truly a one-of-a-kind destination whether you are interested in Aurora viewing tours, relaxing in the hot springs, enjoying an “appletini” in the Aurora Ice Museum, getting a fabulous therapeutic massage, taking dog sled or cart rides, enjoying flight-seeing tours or any of the other fabulous activities offered year-round.
Vichy Hot Springs Resort is designated as California Historical Landmark No. 980. Established in 1854, Vichy Springs has 18 rooms and 4 cottages. The pools include an Olympic size swimming pool, in-ground hot pool, the carbonated “Vichy” Baths and Chemisal Falls pool are all available for your enjoyment. Also enjoy therapeutic massage and herbal facials.
A “Sanctuary for the Self” in Northern California’s coastal range. Wilbur Hot Springs guests appreciate the natural healing mineral waters in the traditional Japanese style onsen and more – the hotel’s unique and rustic charm, the solitude and peace found here, the many opportunities to reconnect with nature on a private 1,800-acre nature preserve.
Located in historic downtown Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Temple Gardens features Canada’s largest therapeutic Geo-Thermal Mineral Water indoor/outdoor rooftop pool. Sun Tree Spa is named after the Sun Tree that was built by local Moose Jaw artists, saved from demolition, and moved to its home at Temple Gardens in 2002.
The springs originate in the Cody Caves area, west of Ainsworth Hot Springs. The water works its way down through porous rock and picks up temperature at a rate of 40C per km down until it strikes what is known as the Lakeshore Fault. This hot mineral water flows through Ainsworth’s pools, naturally changing the water at an impressive rate of six times daily. Open year round.
This award-winning spa is renowned for the outdoor Scandinavian Baths experience. Guests spend hours soaking whilst enjoying the serenity of the surrounding natural environment. Minutes from Collingwood & Blue Mountain Resort, the spa offers registered Massages, Getaway Packages and a bistro.
Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa sits on the edge of a fjord where water from the sea, waterfalls, and thermal springs converge with vistas of water and mountains. The Lodge has 3 thermal open air baths on the edge of the fjord that allow you to enjoy a rejuvenating open-air experience. The warm water and heating in the rooms also comes from its thermal springs.
Colorado’s Ouray Hot Springs region has five developed springs and mineral pools. Ouray Hot Springs Pool, the vapor caves and pool at the Wiesbaden Hot Springs, and the pools at Orvis Hot Springs are open to the public. Area hotels, Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, Twin Peaks Lodge and the Box Canyon Lodge offer solar-heated spring-fed pools.
This beautiful resort in the Colorado mountains is on the West Fork of the Dolores River, perched above beaver ponds and aspen groves. Dunton Hot Springs makes its home in a Ghost Town lovingly restored in rustic luxury. Enjoy fine dining, luxury lodging and camping, spa services, hot springs soaking, and so much more beneath the glistening San Juan peaks.
Glenwood is home to the World’s largest hot springs pool, plus a 107 room lodge, water slides, mini golf course, an athletic club, and a full-service day spa, Spa of the Rockies, offering skin care, massage, and more. A recent and complete renovation of the historic 100 year old sandstone bathhouse was done in a tribute to the spiritual beauty of this majestic landscape in the West.
The Historic Bath House at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort is open daily to the public. Enjoy the hot springs in Chalk Creek or the Soaking Pool and Exercise Pool. Each pool is fed by its own natural geothermal hot spring that is bubbling up into the actual creek bed and into majestic circles of stones that create natural pools of warmth and rejuvenation. Open late at night the hot springs are great to sit and gaze at the stars at night.
Indian Hot Springs Resort offers hot springs and geothermal cave baths that average from 104 to 112 degrees F. The resort is open all year, and is 45 min outside of Denver. Enjoy separate private indoor pools for men and women, and an outdoor mineral water swimming pool. If you are an overnight guest, you’ll enjoy complimentary mineral water soaks in the pool and discounted rates for hot mineral baths.
Hot Sulphur Springs is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and finest natural hot mineral springs resort, where the Ute Indians once healed mind, body, and spirit. There’s a cool water pool with a slide for children, four hot pools for the family, and dozens more for adult-only soaking. Minerals in the water include sodium, sulfate, chloride, silica, potassium, calcium, magnesium and trace elements good for the entire body.
Yampah has natural underground hot steam baths located in a historic hot springs mountain retreat. Hot mineral waters flow through the cave floors at 125 degrees F. to create the natural geothermal steam baths the Ute Indians called “Yampah” or “Big Medicine.” In addition to the Vapor Caves, the AVEDA salon spa offers a full range of health and beauty treatments, including skin care, massage, and more.
Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs have welcomed visitors for over 100 years. The Ute Indians who first settled the area knew them as “medicine” springs, frequenting them for sacred physical and spiritual healing. Later the pools were a gathering and bathing place for early homesteaders. Old Town is lucky to have the famous Heart Spring, the source of all the healing mineral water in eight different pools.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a short distance from Steamboat Springs, and offers a popular park for both day guests and overnight visitors. Enjoy private and public hot springs pools next to the Hot Springs Creek, in a pure and natural setting enhanced by unique stone masonry. The source water stays very hot throughout the year and the coolest pool temp hovers close to 102 degrees F.
Thanks to the Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there is a number of natural hot springs throughout this beautiful and wild region. Several Arenal Hot Springs and Resorts offer visitors an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring this area, and in a variety of styles from natural, to hot, to cold, and some with swim-up bars.
Termas de Papallacta Spa and Resort is located in the Andean highlands, in a unique natural environment. The resort welcomes day guests and lodge guests, and offers pools with different types of hydro massage, a restaurant, thermal club treatment area, a no cost medical clinic, and lodge rooms.
The best of sea and springs in one pool. The Ahalanui Hot Springs Ponds are approximately 30 miles from Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The hot springs pool is partly walled of from the Ocean to create a lukewarm swimming pool, with waves crashing over the walls to keep things lively and to cool the water to a pleasant 90 degrees.
The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa where guests relax in warm geothermal seawater. Facilities include modern dressing rooms and showers, indoor pool, conference room, and restaurant. A geothermal beach, lava caves and silica mud are parts of the lagoon area. In addition to bathing in the lagoon, guests enjoy relaxing in a lava cave and geothermal steam bath.
Bubbling out of natural underground springs, Lava Hot Springs water is laden with minerals, but has no sulfur and therefore no unpleasant odor. The spring’s temperatures range from 102 to 112 degrees. The pools are open year round, and heated sidewalks and floors means you never need to make a 20 yard dash. Visit the Massage Center to complete your Hot Pool experience.
Kanaguya Onsen inspired Hiyao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away and was deemed a National Cultural Asset in 2003. The historical 250 year old ryokan sits on a narrow street dating back to the Edo period, in Nagano. This traditional Onsen has both private and communal baths for men and women. Kanaguya’s hot spring water comes from 4 different sources of hot springs in the mountains surrounding the inn.
Takaragawa Onsen may be one of the most scenic hot springs on our list. Takaragawa means “river acquiring treasure.” The onsen is 2 hours from Tokyo, this traditional riverside onsen village looks like a film scene. The onsen has both large outdoor baths (both mixed and women-only) and indoor baths. The famed mineral water has a reputation for healing. Day guests are welcome, and the baths are open year round.
Boulder Hot Springs B&B rooms come complete with a hearty, satisfying, nutritious breakfast prepared for each guest. Rates also include use of mineral pools and spa. The natural geothermal mineral baths and steam rooms are an important part of the spa facilities at Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa. Enjoy massage, healthy outdoor exercise, nutritious food, and a natural environment of healing.
Located in the historic town of Truth or Consequences and near Spaceport America, Riverbend Hot Springs is an affordable, smoke free, hot springs spa, where guests can relax in a beautiful, laid back environment. Riverbend is one of our favorite hot springs in the southwest for its clean, comfortable pools and its unmatched views of the Rio Grande river and Turtleback mountain.
Krause Springs is a camping and swimming site located in the Hill Country, about 30 miles west of Austin. There are 32 springs on the property. Tent and RV sites are both available. Guests are welcome swim, relax and stroll through the Butterfly Gardens; The man-made and natural pools have some of the cleanest natural Texas spring water flowing through it non-stop.
Thermopolis is home to the World’s largest mineral hot spring. The park features indoor and outdoor pools, relaxing sauna and steam rooms and huge water slides for the kids. Visit Hot Springs State Park and see a Buffalo herd bring to life visions of an old west frontier where Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid made Thermopolis a regular stop.
Granite Hot Springs is located above Granite Creek Falls south of Jackson, and features a waterfall-fed, 104-degree soaking pool and a man-made swimming pool built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. While open year-round, during Winter, a trek to the springs is arduous, accessible only via snowmobile, dog sled, or skiing, making the hot soak all the more enjoyable.
Take a dip in the Saratoga Resort & Spa’s healing mineral hot springs. The incredible high mineral content and no sulphur odor ranks these springs with the world famous German springs. Guests enjoy on-site dining with hand-crafted microbrews are available, pampering spa treatments, healing mineral hot springs, numerous activities, comfortable accommodations, and a friendly staff.