Looking for the best hot springs in Arkansas? Situated in the Southern region of the United States, Arkansas has long been a sanctuary for wellness and relaxation, thanks to its abundant natural hot springs. Particularly noteworthy is Hot Springs National Park, which sits adjacent to the city of Hot Springs. It offers an array of thermal waters that have captivated visitors for over a century.
The story of Arkansas’s hot springs dates back to the early 1920s when the idea of thermal spring treatments was becoming a cultural phenomenon. Fast forward to today, and the allure of these springs hasn’t dimmed; it’s evolved, combining the traditions of the past with modern-day spa services.
Stay tuned for the best ways to soak, relax, and renew in the natural hot springs in the state of Arkansas.
Why Visit the Best Hot Springs in Arkansas?
Arkansas’s hot springs are a marvel of nature’s ingenuity, offering soothing, warm waters that emerge from the Earth’s crust at temperatures well above 140°F. In fact, some of these waters, like those in Buckstaff Bathhouse, pour directly from 47 protected springs.
Arkansas has been a hotspot for thermal water baths since the early 20th century. This was a time when the concept of water therapy was just gaining traction, and Arkansas was at the forefront, establishing itself as a leading destination for wellness. The bathhouses on historic Bathhouse Row stand as testimony to this rich history, some of which have been operational since as far back as 1912.
A Wellness Destination Like No Other
Today, the state of Arkansas has built upon its storied past to become a go-to wellness destination. With establishments like the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa and Hotel Hale offering world-class amenities alongside their thermal baths, the state combines luxury with the age-old benefits of thermal waters. As a result, visitors from around the globe flock to Arkansas, not just for its hot springs but also for an overall environment of rest and relaxation.
1. Quapaw Baths and Spa
This iconic bathhouse offers a modern twist to the traditional hot spring experience. Quapaw Baths and Spa is well-known for its four mineral hot spring-fed pools, each with varying temperatures to suit your comfort level. Their unique steam cave provides an immersive and rejuvenating thermal experience unlike any other in the area. It’s an ideal setting for both relaxation and natural therapy.
Online reviews frequently commend the cleanliness, excellent customer service, and tranquil atmosphere. With a consistently high rating on travel websites, Quapaw Baths and Spa has solidified its status as a must-visit wellness destination in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
- Quapaw Baths and Spa Map & Address: 413 Central Ave, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901, United States | See on Map
- Contact Number: +1 501-609-9822
2. Buckstaff Bathhouse – Hot Springs National Park
Buckstaff Bathhouse has been a staple of Hot Springs National Park since its opening in 1912. This makes it the longest continuously operating bathhouse in the area. The bathhouse is renowned for its classical architectural elements that give it an air of timeless elegance.
The facility offers mineral baths filled directly from 47 protected springs in the area. The water is naturally heated to temperatures of around 147 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s cooled for safe and comfortable soaking by the time it reaches the tubs. Additionally, the bathhouse offers other traditional services like massages, facials, and manicures.
For the best value, consider their combination packages which may include a mineral bath, massage, and facial at a discounted rate. Customer reviews frequently highlight the value for money and the authentic, vintage atmosphere of the Buckstaff experience.
- Buckstaff Bathhouse Map & Address: 509 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901, United States | See on Map
- Contact Number: +1 501-623-2308
3. Hotel Hale
Elevate your hot springs experience with Hotel Hale’s standout feature: every suite has its own private hot spring mineral water soaking tub. It’s the ultimate in luxury and privacy, allowing you to enjoy the healing waters without ever leaving your room.
Special Features: Garden of Eden, Weekend Brunch, and More
When not soaking, you can relish the hotel’s ‘Garden of Eden,’ an exquisite dining experience that focuses on energizing, healthful foods. For those staying over the weekend, don’t miss the brunch offerings that include lavish Bloody Marys and a choice of mimosas.
Hotel Hale not only offers a private, rejuvenating mineral soak but also a holistic experience with its high-end amenities. It’s ideal for those looking for both luxury and the benefits of thermal water. Make sure to book in advance to secure your own private piece of this Arkansas wellness heaven.
- Hotel Hale Map & Address: 341 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901, United States | See on Map
- Contact Number: +1 501-760-9010
4. The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa is the largest hotel in the state and steeped in history. Its architectural grandeur and long-standing operation make it a notable landmark in the realm of thermal wellness.
Thermal Bathhouse and Spa, Venetian Dining Room, and More
Offering a multi-faceted experience, the hotel houses a thermal bathhouse and spa on the third floor. Here, you can luxuriate in hot spring water piped directly into the establishment. For dining, the Venetian Room offers a culinary journey that complements your wellness retreat.
To ensure availability and a streamlined experience, it’s advisable to schedule your spa treatments and dining reservations in advance. The spa offers a wide range of treatments, from traditional soaks to modern skincare routines.
- The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa Map & Address: 239 Central Ave, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901, United States | See on Map
- Contact Number: +1 501-623-7771
5. Chrysalis Day and Med Spa
Located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Chrysalis Day and Med Spa is your go-to destination for both modern esthetic treatments and traditional thermal baths. It’s the perfect blend of ancient healing practices and cutting-edge wellness procedures.
The spa is being owned and operated by a certified medical esthetician. This ensures that you are not only relaxing but also taking effective steps for your skin and body care.
Recommended Packages: “Day at Chrysalis”
To get the most out of your experience, opt for the “Day at Chrysalis” package. This package includes a range of treatments—from thermal baths to facials—designed to give you a comprehensive wellness experience.
Combining certified medical expertise with the age-old allure of Hot Springs, Chrysalis Day and Med Spa offers a unique wellness journey that promises to rejuvenate both body and soul.
- Chrysalis Day and Med Spa Map & Address: 4332 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71913, United States | See on Map
- Contact Number: +1 501-520-5400
6. Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park offers a variety of trails suited for both beginners and seasoned hikers. If you’re looking to extend your stay, camping options are also available but remember to book in advance.
As tempting as it might be, swimming directly in the natural springs is not allowed. The water temperatures exceed 140°F, making it unsafe for bathing.
Curious about the thermal water? There are designated spots like the display spring and the hot water cascade where you can safely touch the water and feel its warmth.
Activities: Hiking, Guided Tours, Bathhouses
Beyond the trails, the park offers guided tours providing valuable insights into the geological and historical aspects of the area. Don’t forget to visit the bathhouses where the hot spring water is safely channeled for therapeutic use.
The park is located in Garland County, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs. It’s accessible by car and public transportation. The best times to visit are late spring through early fall when the weather is most accommodating.
How Hot Springs Are Formed?
Hot springs owe their existence to geothermal energy, a renewable source of heat generated by the Earth’s core. This natural process is what heats the water in the springs to temperatures as high as 140°F, providing a consistent and natural form of relaxation and therapy.
Two Primary Events Creating Hot Springs: Earth’s Core and Radioactive Decay
Hot springs are formed through one of two primary geological events. The first and most common occurs when rainwater seeps into the Earth’s crust, reaching underground reservoirs called aquifers. This water then delves deeper, encountering the Earth’s molten magma, which heats it before it resurfaces.
The second mechanism involves the Earth’s natural radioactive decay below the soil. This process generates significant heat, warming up any natural sources of water that are present, which then rise to the surface as hot springs.
Hot Springs Packing and Preparation Tips
A hot springs trip requires a little more than your average day trip essentials. Along with your swimsuit, pack water-friendly sandals and a high-quality, quick-drying towel. To optimize your relaxation and healing experience, bring Epsom salts or essential oils if the facility allows it.
Precautions to Take
- Hydration: Hot springs can be dehydrating. Always carry a reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
- Sun Protection: Even if you’re soaking in indoor pools, you’ll likely spend some time outside. Pack a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, sunglasses, and a hat for optimal sun protection.
Can children visit these hot springs?
Yes, children can visit but they must be accompanied by an adult. Age restrictions may apply depending on the facility, so check in advance.
Are pets allowed?
Pets are generally not allowed inside bathhouses or spa areas, but some hotels and trails in Hot Springs National Park may be pet-friendly.
What are the health benefits of hot springs?
Hot springs are known for their therapeutic properties, including improving circulation, alleviating muscle pain, and promoting skin health. The mineral-rich water can also aid in relaxation and stress relief.
What is the temperature of the Quapaw bath?
The Quapaw Baths have four mineral hot spring-fed pools, with temperatures ranging from 95°F to 104°F, suitable for different soaking preferences.
What do you wear to a Buckstaff bathhouse?
Swimsuits are generally required for communal pools, while private baths can be taken without a swimsuit. Towels and robes are typically provided.
Which is better, Buckstaff or Quapaw?
Both have their merits. Buckstaff offers a more traditional bathing experience, while Quapaw provides a variety of modern spa services. Your preference for traditional vs. modern will guide your choice.
What happens in a bathhouse in hot springs?
A typical experience involves soaking in mineral-rich thermal water, either in a private bath or a communal pool. Many bathhouses also offer additional services like massages, facials, and other spa treatments.