Step into a shallow pool and feel the current gently massage your leg muscles. Walk forward onto the river stones beneath your feet; if you feel a tinge of pain, stop and work out that pressure point. Feel the water temperature change as you wander through the maze-like pools and embrace the healing powers of water.
Typically, a hydrotherapy (water therapy) spa includes a step-by-step treatment involving saunas, steam rooms, and plunge pools. And while most spas have your typical sauna or steam room, these 10 hydrotherapy spa treatments take healing waters to a whole new level.
The Best Hydrotherapy Spas in the World
From Bali to the Arctic Circle, these 10 hydrotherapy spas offer therapeutic treatments worth traveling for.
Gem Spa at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
This 40,000 square-foot spa at Grand Fiesta Americana’s Coral Beach location in Cancun is home to a unique 10-step hydrotherapy spa program. Your personal attendant will take you through the steps, which start with a beautifully-tiled steam room and end in the massive “pool of sensations.”
Spa at The Chedi Andermatt
Set against the Swiss Alps, the spa at The Chedi Andermatt is a hydrotherapy spa dream. It has a temperature-controlled outdoor lap pool, a Zen indoor pool, sol-steam baths, hot and cold plunge pools, and bio and Finnish saunas. Day passes are available.
The Setai Spa Wall Street
The exclusive Setai Spa and club juxtaposes the chaos of the nearby New York Stock Exchange: The hydrotherapy spa experience consists of a sauna, steam room, aqua grotto, and rain shower. Day passes are available.
Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach calls its hydrotherapy treatments “water journeys.” Arrive before your booked spa treatment to participate in one (or all) of the five elements that complete a water journey, or pick a recommended path like the “Passage to Wellness,” which includes a eucalyptus infusion steam, rain tunnel, mineral co-ed pool, and a rain room.
This New York City day spa has a variety of hydrotherapy treatment options—like indoor and outdoor Bade Pools complete with a bar (yes you read that right). These pools have different stations of jets that target specific pressure points on the body. This hydrotherapy spa also has a nude water lounge with hot, warm, and cold baths; wet and dry saunas; and rain showers. Another feature of the hydrotherapy spa (which is part of the Spa Castle family) is “Sauna Valley,” a collection of six different healing saunas, including the ice igloo room, which helps strengthen the immune system and relieve chronic pain.
KurSpa at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa
This hydrotherapy spa with lake and mountain views is located on the edge of Ellison Provincial Park in British Columbia. It’s home to seven different steam rooms and saunas—the most unique being the crystal room—four nature-themed showers; an outdoor infinity pool that’s open year-round; an indoor saltwater pool with underwater music; an indoor hot pool with counter-clockwise jets; and Kneipp Hydrotherapy, or water-stepping, at varying temperatures.
AYANA Resort and Spa Bali
AYANA Resort and Spa in Bali refers to its hydrotherapy spa as “thalassotherapy,” meaning it uses seawater as a form of therapy. The star of the show is the aquatonic pool, filled with 185 million gallons of water from the Indian Ocean. The pool features 12 hydromassage stations as well as jet streams and geysers. You can also book a pavilion at the resort’s Spa on the Rocks, where you can take a private bath filled with rose petals to enjoy panoramic views of the open ocean.
Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s Willow Stream Spa is set on a thermal mineral spring, providing an abundant source of warm, mineral-rich water for hydrotherapy treatments. The spa offers a bathing ritual experience with an exfoliating shower, Roman Mineral bath, Jacuzzi hot bath, and rain tunnel with cold plunge, all arranged in an elegant space under a softly glowing domed roof. The spa also offers heat experiences like a eucalyptus steam sauna and a Himalayan dry salt sauna.
Aire Ancient Baths Barcelona
You’d never guess that this old warehouse near El Born Market in Barcelona has been transformed into a tranquil, candlelit bathhouse. The AIRE Experience consists of five thermal baths, including a flotarium—a salt water pool for floating—as well as steam rooms with aromatherapy. And for those who prefer alcohol with their water therapy, AIRE also has a wine bath experience.
There are similar locations in New York City, Chicago, Seville, Almeria, and Vallromanes.
Set to open early this year, the Artic Bath is a new floating hotel and spa in the Swedish Lapland, near the Arctic Circle. Open year-round, the hotel freezes over ice in winter and floats in the Lule River in summer. The circular-shaped spa has an outside cold bath, a hot bath, as well as outdoor and indoor showers and saunas—a beautiful example of natural hydrotherapy at its finest.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 7 Bucket-List-Worthy Ways to Experience Ecotourism in Costa Rica
- Calistoga: A European Spa Town, California-Style
- 10 Bizarre Spa Treatments