Insider's Guide to Spas
Ishan Seefromthesky

10 Soothing Hot Spring Getaways

There's something magical about water. Its restorative properties are well-documented and legendary. Here's a collection of 10 of our favorite hot spring havens for pure relaxation.

Mary Bemis

Indian Springs, California

For more than a century, guests have been happily immersing themselves in the good-for-you thermal mineral waters at this historic resort in one of America’s iconic spa towns. The property is home to California’s largest outdoor naturally hot-water-fed pool that stays open until midnight, seasonally. Stay in the Lodge, the restored 1930s Mission Revival building, or in one of the cottages, originally built in the 1940s.

The Gideon Putnam, New York

The only hotel situated in beautiful Saratoga State Park, the Gideon Putnam is where one may experience the Roosevelt Baths & Spa—a bathhouse that opened its doors in 1935, thanks to President Franklin Roosevelt’s thoughtful act to preserve the Saratoga Springs. The water here is known (and loved) for its effervescent qualities. This is old-school spa-ing at its best.

Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado

The Yampah spring feeds the mineral hot spring pools at this historic property, peacefully located next to the Colorado River and surrounded by the Rockies. Yampah translates to “Big Medicine” in the Ute Indian language—and the spring, originally used by this tribe, is still considered sacred. If you’re a lover of hot springs, you’ll be happy to note that Glenwood boasts the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world. In business since 1888, the 107-room lodge and springs are an ideal family destination.

Blackstone Hot Springs, New Mexico

The historic spa town of Truth or Consequences is a must-visit for hot springs aficionados, and Blackstone, located downtown, is fun and funky, with a creative twist. The 10 guest rooms pay homage to bygone television shows (The Jetsons, Golden Girls, and the Babaloo Suite, to name a few), and best of all—feature hot spring tubs for unlimited in-room soaking.

Stewart Mineral Springs, California

The rain didn’t deter us from taking a restorative plunge in Parks Creek at this wonderfully funky mineral springs resort. This 130-year-old resort is the real deal when it comes to taking the waters, and its mineral water that bubbles up from the ground cold, is heated, and then run into deep tubs for bathing, is considered some of the most healing around. Alternate between one of the 13 private tubs (try the old six-foot-long claw- foot tub), the spacious dry wood sauna, and the nippy waters of Parks Creek for the traditional cold plunge. Note: Clothing is optional at this rustic retreat.

Lithia Springs Resort, Oregon

You could drive right past this delightful 38-room resort, situated between a hippie hotspot called Jackson Wellsprings and a car dealership—but that would be a real shame. This is a whimsical oasis, a couple of miles from the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival that offers healing mineral water springs piped right into your soaking tub. Flower gardens, arbors, koi ponds, and all kinds of secret spots (plus some killer scones) only add to its allure.

Miracle Springs Resort & Spa, California

We didn’t spend much time in our room at this laidback hotel, because it was only a few steps from our veranda to a choice of eight natural hot mineral pools in the courtyard. We tried them all, large and small, and basked in the desert sunshine. This historic hot spring property, not far from Joshua Tree National Park, was discovered by the Cahuilla Indians hundreds of years ago, and rediscovered by pioneer Cabot Yerxa in 1914. (A side trip to Cabot’s Museum is a must!)

Cottonwood Hot Springs, Colorado

“We consider this place magical,” says Cathy Manning, owner and steward of the property, located in the San Isabel National Forest. “People come stressed and leave feeling peaceful and relaxed. That’s what it’s all about.” Book one of 12 rooms in the Old West-style lodge or one of the cabins, built in the early 1900s, and enjoy some of the purest geothermal water in the States. On offer: five separate soaking areas of varying heat and lots of nature.

Two Bunch Palms, California

This carbon-neutral hot mineral spring spa resort has a very loyal fan base that keeps on coming back—and for good reason. The lithium-rich waters at this 270-acre property simply put, make you feel great. Time seems to disappear when you’re soaking in the palm-tree-lined Grotto. Add authentic mud treatments, tasty and healthy cuisine, and a yoga dome and you have the makings for a restorative and restful getaway.

Jackson Wellsprings, Oregon

This is the ultimate Ashland hippie hangout. Situated on 30 acres, this natural hot springs spa has been a healing destination since 1862. Clothing optional at night, the property features a great cedar sauna and a massively steamy steam room that looks out over the mineral-water-filled swimming pool. Solo women may prefer Monday night, which is for women only. Aside from taking the water, there are frequent music, dance, and educational events and gatherings.






Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis is editorial director of She is an award-winning spa journalist, honored with Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and the distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She sits on the board of Wellness Warrior, is a Global Wellness Day Advisor and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.