Sit back and soak awhile in natural springs

04/27/2014 12:00 AM

04/23/2014 1:33 PM

Instead of pushing traditional spa services, several hotels around the world are focusing on expanding natural hot springs on-site as a way for guests to unwind. A recent renovation at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs in Napa Valley, Calif., for example, added four mineral pools with temperatures ranging from 80 to 106 degrees.

Dunton Hot Springs, a resort in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, has five natural sulfur-free hot springs and is working on creating a sixth. The new Nayara Springs in northern Costa Rica has natural hot springs running through it, and each of its 16 private villas has a plunge pool fed by their waters.

Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has two properties in China where natural springs are a highlight: the Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing has a 100-degree hot spring attached to its 107 rooms and seven additional indoor and outdoor springs as part of its spa. Angsana Tengchong Hot Spring Village (another Banyan Tree) in the Yunan province has 43 mineral-based springs spread over 180,000 square feet. Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., is in the midst of an $11 million renovation that includes adding two hot springs to its current one. The pools will be heated to 104 degrees and each will be able to accommodate at least 20 people.

Susie Ellis, the president of SpaFinder Wellness Inc., an online service that connects consumers with spas, said that soaking in hot springs is an ancient practice that’s finally coming into vogue because travelers are more interested in natural treatments. “They feel good, relieve stress, and there are a lot of them around the world which are finally being tapped into,” she said.

Any health benefits aside, the biggest perk of hot springs at hotels might be their affordability; most properties don’t charge their guests to use them.

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