Natural hot springs are found in so many places around the world, it's surprising more hospitality management companies haven't developed destination hotels where guests can simply relax in their healing properties and enjoy nature.
Although there are plenty of rugged hot springs spots where hikers, climbers and campers can enjoy the soothing waters, the more upscale clientele generally want the experience in a more glamorous setting.
For instance, in the more elegant and luxurious hot springs locations the water is piped in to accommodate the plush surroundings. In some hotels, the special waters are also piped into the guests' in-room showers and baths. After all, soaking in an over-sized bathtub filled with mineral-infused water in the privacy of your penthouse suite is definitely a luxury that money can buy, so why not?
Natural hot springs come from deep within the earth and are legendary for their healing powers. The temperatures vary and are within the 70-122 degree range. Some resorts pipe in water from various springs into a group of pools, each maintaining a different temperature and percentage of mineral content. Certain springs contain a high sulfur content as run through volcanic craters and collect deposits. These are said to contain the most healing properties. Franklin D. Roosevelt frequented hot springs to temporarily relieve the symptoms of his paraplegia.
Although there are hot springs resorts in over 50 countries and in every price range, we knew the most exotic and amazing locations would be the most interesting. So we did some digging to find the most amazing "hot spots" that are frequented by the rich and famous who seek solace in water therapy. The exotic locations coupled with just the right resort accommodations, put this group of ten on the most exotic list.
10 The Homestead - Hot Springs, VA: $570/Night
The Homestead sits on 3,000 acres within the Allegheny Mountains in southwestern Virginia and recently added the world famous Canyon Ranch Spa Club. This resort is considered to be a family spa and includes water slides, a lazy river and other water activities perfect for families. The 48-stable Equestrian Center, off-road Segway tours and back country driving lessons give this resort a well-rounded menu. The available treatments are innovative and inventive and the kids can even enjoy chocolate pedicures and strawberry and cream manicures while mom and dad relax in the Jefferson soak or melt in the outdoor hot springs.
9 Adler Thermae Spa & Wellness Resort - Tuscany, Italy: $850/Night
Family owned and operated, Adler Thermae Resort is only 11 years old, located in the Orcia Valley and because of its spectacular beauty, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The thermal waters that come into the resort are created by rainwater which get absorbed into the bedrock of the mountain, minerals and sulfur mix in and then it surfaces at 122 degrees at various locations around the resort's property. Adler's Spa World includes a thermal pool in the park, indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, steam bath, sauna, relaxation area with waterbeds and a Turkish steam bath in a peaceful grotto. Adler's Fitness World is also available with machines, classes and outdoor sports activities.
8 Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel, Iceland: $1,000/Night
About 30 miles outside of Reykjavík, Iceland is the famous Blue Lagoon. Guests who stay at the Clinic Hotel are automatically booked into the Blue Lagoon. The hotel itself has a private hot springs lagoon, but the Blue Lagoon is a short 10-minute walk. Rich and famous visitors make sure to get the celebrity treatment by booking the exclusive Spa Lounge, replete with light refreshments, a private lagoon and an outdoor area with incredible views. There's only room for 12, so this lounge must be booked well in advance. A private attendant is assigned to each guest to make sure their well-being is maximized in every way. Back at the Clinic Hotel, guests stay in private facilities that include a veranda and views of the lava fields. Those who have never seen this part of the world would be delighted with the volcanic rocks, bright green moss and steaming springs. The high level of silica is good for reducing inflammation and revitalizing skin. We're also told that the waters reduce UV damage, stimulate collagen production and encourage exfoliation.
7 Tabacon Grand Spa & Hot Springs - San Carlos, Costa Rica: $1,000/Night
Unlike many of the other hot springs that rely on pumps and mechanical systems, Costa Rica's Tabacon relies on a completely natural system. It uses gravity to direct the water flows into the pools and waterfalls. The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is located at the foot of the Arenal Volcano and is known for having the perfect balance of temperature and mineral content (having low sulfur content is best for avoiding strong sulfur odors.) The hot springs are 97 percent rain-based and 3 percent magma-based. The property boasts three thermal springs that flow in at 122 degrees Fahrenheit and two springs that are used for drinking water. The top quality spa chambers are appointed with luxurious features and all the hydrotherapy one could want is included in the rate.
6 Fairmont Banff Springs - Banff, Canada: $1059/Night
The Royal Suite at the Banff Fairmont is the way to experience the natural hot springs while awakening your healing senses. Located in the middle of the Banff National Park, it's quiet, refreshing and includes waterfalls and onsite mineral pools. This hotel is considered to be one of the most luxurious hot spring hotels in the world. It's architectural splendor makes its guests feel elegant and ready for complete pampering in the Willow Stream Spa. The property also includes restaurants, lounges and nearby attractions, such as; golf courses, shopping and more.
5 Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort - Tuscany, Italy: $1,874/Night
In the ancient spa town of San Casciano dei Bagni in Tuscany, Italy, sits Fonteverde; a luxury spa resort filled with rich thermal spring waters. Evidently, this structure was where the nobles went to get away from the hectic life in the Sienese hills. Although there are exclusive spa treatments available, there are also nutrition and physical diagnostic tests that the on-site medical staff members can perform. The goal is to help each guest create the best plan for their specific well being. The rooms are Renaissance-rich yet modern and the spa is considered one of the best in the world with a heated grotto, thermal pools and disciplines used in the Far East.
4 Hotel Royal Evian - Evian-les-Bains, France: $1,975/Night
The Hotel Royal is one of the world's most exclusive resorts and is located on the French side of Lake Geneva. The view of the Alps and the surrounding 47-acre park is spectacular. The 5-star hotel price includes breakfast, indoor and outdoor hydro-therapy pools, relaxation facilities, steam room, jacuzzi, a hydro contact trail and more. The full-service health spa includes massage and spa treatments and there is on-site tennis and 24-hour room service. The luxurious hotel is currently updating some of its rooms and will be finished during summer 2014. While in this lovely town, guests can take a ferry over to Geneva for a bit of shopping.
3 Dunton Hot Springs - Dolores, CO: $2,150/Night
Considered one of the most relaxing and energetic spas in the world, although more rustic than most, is Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado. For a couple thousand a night, guests indulge in the most effective holistic and therapeutic treatments while staying in a cabin. The cabins are, of course, top-of-the line and when not engaging in hot springs-related activities, people can participate in additional outdoor activities, such as: skiing, hiking and sipping wine from the local vineyard. Dunton specializes in natural treatments and the staff works hard to ensure guests relax in the lap of casual luxury.
2 Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland: $2,250/Night
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a year-round resort located in beautiful Switzerland, at the foot of the Alps. Thermal hot springs grace this resort along with impeccable landscaping and an amazing Health and Beauty Club. The rooms are modern and large, with separate living and bedroom spaces. We hear the chambers include beds that are to-die-for with ergonomic support and the Airtouch® sleep system. The delightful thermal spa water is piped into the enormous bathrooms that have whirlpool baths and steam showers. Each bath also includes a sauna, Swarovski crystal lights, make-up table, walk in closet and more. For those who want the utmost relaxation, there is an on-site butler, should they want to have something done. The nightly room rate includes the scrumptious breakfast buffet.
1 Evason Ma'In Hot Springs - Jordan: $2,525/Night
Gorgeous mountain, valley and waterfall views grace the suites balconies in this incredible hot springs hotel. Guests of each large suite enjoy a sitting room, private spa room, living room with a games table, espresso machine, rain shower and large bathtub. Every amenity a guest could want is easily accessible. Spa treatments can be scheduled in the suite's private spa room or the spa, which is situated beneath one of the hot spring waterfalls that spill out onto the gorgeous spa pool. While in Jordan, many visitors take a side trip to the lost city of Petra.