Humans have been traveling to seek healing and comfort from the water at natural mineral springs since time immemorial.
Today hydrotherapy is widely available through pools, whirlpools, hot tubs, float tanks, Hubbard tanks and other modern devices, but there’s renewed interest in returning to the tradition of “taking the waters” directly from the earth.
Here are five gorgeous vacation spots where you and your loved ones can soak whatever ails you away:
Ojo Caliente, New Mexico — The Pueblo people have come to these waters for thousands of years, and this mineral springs resort between Santa Fe and Taos is one of the oldest in the nation.
This hotel and spa are steeped in Southwestern culture and offer numerous soaking pools, a casual-chic wine bar and restaurant, massage and other treatments.
The Omni Homestead Resort
Hot Springs, Virginia — This luxury property claims the country’s “oldest spa structure,” dating from 1761, and its springs have been visited by 23 presidents, starting with Thomas Jefferson.
The springs are located in an adults-only Serenity Garden where you can indulge in every other kind of spa treatment you can imagine.
Bad Sulza, Germany — Developed by musician Micky Remann, this spa complex and hotel gets its buoyant, warm salt water from an ancient underground ocean and its music from DJs and live performers under a futuristic dome, a project known as “Liquid Sound” deployed at four more locations.
Seven more mineral pools at Bad Sulza provide more tranquil enjoyment.
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Alajuela, Costa Rica — Set in 900 acres of rainforest preserve at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, this eco-resort has one of the world’s biggest private networks of mineral springs, heated by underground lava. There are numerous waterfalls and warm pools along this stretch of the Tabacon River.
Find ultimate luxury in the adult-hotel-guest-only Shangri-La Gardens.
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort
Saturnia, Italy — Another source of thermal waters frequented for thousands of years, the resort grew up around them in this Tuscan paradise.
The high sulfur content’s aroma can be a little overwhelming at times but has serious antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin.