Hot springs deliver happiness year round. Freezing temperatures, snow and powder-blue skies? Hop in and warm up. Hot air and summer breezes? They're just as inviting, nourishing the muscles and skin with their rich, natural mineral makeup. Rain gathered through cracks on the Earth's surface makes up the bulk of the liquid in hot springs; magma and mineral residue from the core give them their bask-worthy heat. Here, we go beyond Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon and take a peek at some of the world's most coveted geothermal waters, all of which come complete with luxury resorts for easy access.
Tabacon Grand Spa
It’s important not to forget the temperamental nature of something as pure as water. How’s the temperature? How high is the mineral content, specifically the sulfur? And are the springs completely natural, without recirculation of water or other human interventions? You can’t get much more organic than at Tabacon. The springs of Costa Rica are 97 percent rainwater and 3 percent magma minerals; the low sulfur level means there’s no overpowering odor and the water isn’t harsh on your skin. Tabacon is entirely natural, environmentally friendly, and carbon neutral, which makes it an ideal hydrotherapy holiday location for luxurious eco-tourism.
The roots of the spring are ancient — going back to the Bronze Age — but the resort’s aesthetic is far from it. The ultramodern design has won roughly a gazillion awards; architect Peter Zumthor made over the centuries-old health spa in the ’80s, before it was rechristened with the chic name 7132 (derived from its Swiss postal code, or postleitzahl). Resort residents have a special pass for moonlight bathing in the waters, which are contained within 60,000 slabs of Vals quartzite. When you’re out of the water, indulge in a more culinary way at 7132’s trio of restaurants, which feature numerous Michelin stars. (For a more low-key affair, order a cheesy pie at Dapapa Pizzeria.) The hotel’s grand hall features live saxophone or Steinway piano music every evening.
In northeast Bali you’ll find all sorts of wondrous scenery: rolling green landscapes, clear star-studded night skies, and the world’s most indulgent infinity hot springs. There are so many adventurous activities cast at you from every angle here, all of which are set within lush, mountainous rainforests. Climb, bungee jump, raft — then bask in the rippling infinity springs and affordable yet luxe beauty treatments.
Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa
Flip your Nordic spring fantasy on its head and head to Chilean pastures to experience southern fjords. Patagonia famously has some of the most exotic wildlife in the world; don your camouflage garb and head out bird-watching in the Enchanted Forest, or marvel at wonders such as the Hanging Glacier. Go back to the resort around sunset and disconnect from life as you know it. In colder months, these virgin springs aren’t necessarily hot, but their powers of invigoration, when paired with local purple grape, milk or seaweed oils, are second to none. Perched on Dorita Bay, the Puyuhuapi eco-lodge echoes the natural elements with native wood and stone; its focus is nature and wellness, but its gastronomy does not hold back. There’s fjord-fished king crab and king clip, endless Chilean red wines, and desserts featuring rose hip, rhubarb, and other fruits grown in the on-site greenhouse.
Terme di Saturnia
Make like a Roman: throw off your toga and lower yourself into 98.6-degree heaven (in Celsius, that’s a steamy 37). This spa is renowned for its medical and alternative-medical spa therapies, from mud and saltwater scrubs to high-tech skin and muscle treatments. Oxygenate your face while planning your four-course Italian dinner, or remodel your abs as you schedule your Tuscan hike or afternoon round of golf on the eco-conscious course. The resort takes its name from an Etruscan legend in which Saturn, frustrated with mankind, throws a lightning bolt that causes a volcanic eruption and a pouring out of “wiser and happier men.” We assume Saturn also liked women, as most of the treatments seem to tend to the fairer sex. Natural lip re-sculpting, anyone?
This post was originally published on Savoteur. Savoteur is a digital publication celebrating what makes the world rich and unique - the food, music, art, culture, nightlife, style and travel.