Make like the Romans (and French, and Russians, and Turks) and survive winter by taking to the waters. At these luxury hotel pools and mineral springs, you’re guaranteed to find a fresh perspective on things this winter.
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s Willow Stream Spa is built on a historic Native American site with its own source of natural thermal mineral water flowing 1,100 feet below. The resort’s signature geo-thermal bathing ritual is a self-guided experience featuring an exfoliating shower, two mineral water soaking pools, an herbal steam, a dry sauna and cool-down showers. There’s also a Watsu treatment pool (where therapies combine shiatsu massage with the relaxation of floating in the warm water) and main pool, plus Kur rooms (where treatments involving baths and mud wraps take place), Vichy rooms and private couple’s suites, one of which has a massive, bell-shaped metal bathtub that’s filled with the inn’s thermal mineral water and dried herbs so you can have a soak followed by a rubdown.
Jackson Hole, Wyo.
It might be cold and snowy at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel, but don’t worry about braving chilly temperatures to swim in the outdoor pool. Heated to 90 degrees, the pool is comfortable for laps and you need not worry about turning to ice when you get out — towels, robes and slippers are also heated. Staff is also at the ready with complimentary hot chocolate and s’mores — adults can enjoy theirs while relaxing in one of the three hot-spring-style outdoor whirlpools as kids snack and play in the hotel’s newly built igloo. The resort’s Millionaire Mocha hot toddy made with Baileys, Frangelico, Kahlúa, espresso and hot chocolate will also keep you nice and toasty as you watch skiers swish down the mountain and take in the panoramic view of the Tetons during your soak.
Canyon Point, Utah
It might be in the middle of the desert at the Four Corners (where Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico meet), but water is a central feature at Amangiri. The Four-Star hotel is built around a pool and large rock escarpment and has a hot tub and day beds for relaxing. The sleek desert resort also includes both flotation and water pavilions in its cool spa. The Water Pavilion features an open fireplace and stone-lined step pool, plus a steam room and dry sauna. The Flotation Pavilion is a unique room with color therapy to accompany treatments such as the Black-North-Onyx-Night, which involves a clay wrap, a chakra-balancing treatment and flotation therapy.
Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande is known for its termé hydrotherapy circuit that involves hopping among 50-jet showers, a Roman whirlpool with cold-plunge pool, Japanese furo bath with cold and hot plunge, massaging waterfalls, five Hawaiian sea salt baths, a dry redwood sauna and a soothing eucalyptus steam room. The termé also includes a complimentary loofah scrub. The water features are free to use if you’re having a treatment in the spa, or you can pay to access them on their own.
Who better to tailor a water-centric getaway than the folks who made a name making bathroom fixtures? The cozy resort located a couple of hours outside of Chicago is centered around the Five-Star Kohler Waters Spa, a place where guests spend weekends padding around in robes near the heated relaxation pool and waterfall. Naturally, water treatments use the latest technology developed by Kohler, like the acoustic bath featuring music and sound along with a body exfoliation and custom Vichy hydro-massage, and the river bath involving color therapy and body brushing. New at the spa is the hammam treatment. The traditional Turkish bath therapy involves having warm water poured over you from copper bowls, a full-body exfoliation with a kesa mit, black soap scrub and a scalp massage using Moroccan shampoo and conditioner.
Photos Courtesy of Aman Resorts, Four Seasons and Kohler Co.