There are few things in the world more relaxing than enjoy a soak. Sure, you can find hot water and a tub just about anywhere, but you can only extract so much ambiance from bathroom tiles. To really kick back, leave your well-treaded bathmat behind and head to a soak-spot that both calms the nerves and soothes the senses. Here is a list of some spectacular bathing locales that drip with history, luxury and natural beauty.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England
Once a relaxation haven for Roman warriors and elites, Bath’s hot springs have enticed travelers for about two millennia. Enjoy some steamy water accompanied by dramatic vistas in Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop pool. While you’re simmering away, you can look out over the beautiful, Gothic-style Bath Abbey.
Rome Cavalieri, Rome, Italy
Guests at the Rome Cavalieri have a one-up in avoiding Rome’s massive crowds: This ornate Waldorf Astoria property in the heart of Rome boasts a bird’s-eye view of the city. The scenery is particularly sweet if you’re savoring it from the steamy waters of the Penthouse Suite’s private rooftop whirlpool. Watch the city unfold beneath you as you soak; consider a nighttime dip to glimpse St. Peter’s Basilica illuminating the skyline.
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
Within two hours either side of low tide visitors flock to the usually deserted Hot Water Beach to find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. Families, kids and couples can be seen digging their own spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural springs. Often rated as one of the world’s most renowned beaches – this is one experience that should be on your bucket list. A truly unique Kiwi experience that every New Zealander should experience at least once in their lifetime!
Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
Mataranka Hot Springs, Australia
A series of natural pools found at the top end of Australia’s Northern Territory, Mataranka offers spring-fed soaking spots surrounded by paperbark and palm forests. The larger Rainbow Springs is perfect for groups, while the more off-the-beaten-path Bitter Springs is a little more private. The waters are a crystal-clear shade of turquoise and maintain a lower temperature than most natural hot springs.
Arenal Hot Springs, Costa Rica
The tropical paradise of Costa Rica has been blessed with natural beauty you need to see to believe and its hot springs are no exception-especially those near the Arenal Volcano. The active, but “resting” volcano lends its heat to waters at its base, which makes for a blissful retreat for all of the senses.
Palmukkale, Denizli, Turkey
These dazzling-white terraces formed by mineral deposits house pools of briny water said to have beautifying powers. Even though that’s probably not the case, you’ll surely find splendor in the scenery.
Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve
Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve: Just because you’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean you have to rough it: The Molori Safari Lodge’s five bungalows bring chic to the Savanna. These unique accommodations seated within the Madikwe Game Reserve include floor-to-ceiling windows that allow visitors to wake up to stunning African vistas. But for the best views, grab your swimsuit and head to the main lodge’s hot tub. This in-ground soaking spot looks out over an ever-busy watering hole, frequented by elephants, lions and zebras.