Since Hot Springs is Arkansas’s original spa town, it’s natural that numerous spa facilities be found here. Hot Springs National Park is a great place to start since the hot waters have been rejuvenating travelers since the days of DeSoto and his explorers. Hot Springs spas run the gamut from the historic Buckstaff Bathhouse and Quapaw Baths and Spa on Bathhouse Row and the Arlington Hotel to the modern facilities at the Embassy Suites and The Austin.
Of the eight historic bathhouses on Bathhouse Row, two offer hot mineral baths:
Quapaw Baths and Spa now occupies the historic 1922 Spanish Colonial Revival Quapaw Bathhouse and features a large central dome covered with colored mosaic tiles, capped with a copper cupola. It has large capacity public hot water pools with fountains and whirlpools and has semi-private tub area. It also includes a day spa with massage and beauty treatments. Inside, visitors can choose from four communal thermal water soaking pools of varying temperatures, all cooled significantly from the 142 degrees at which the natural spring water emerges from the ground. Stained-glass skylights allow light into each pool. Directly above the entrance is a cartouche with a carved Indian head set into the decorative double- curved parapet. The motif found throughout the building reinforces the legend that claimed that Native Americans had discovered the “magical” healing powers of the spring, which runs through a cave in the lower level of the building. I’ve heard there is a new steam cave experience folks can add to their experience too. The spa is located at 413 Central Ave. For more information, call 501-609-9822 or visit www.quapawbaths.com.
The Buckstaff Bathhouse has operated continuously since it first opened in 1912. It is the only bathhouse on the Row that has never closed and it still offers the traditional spa treatment. Designed by Frank W. Gibb and Company, Architects the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which celebrated it’s 100th birthday last year, includes 27,000 square feet on three main floors. Classical in design, it highlights the Edwardian style of classically designed buildings popular during the first decade of the 20th century. Because it has been in continuous operation since it opened, it is the only traditional bathing facility
preserved of all the bathhouses, but it has undergone many changes over the years. Colorado marble is used throughout the interior, particularly in the bath halls. All levels can be accessed by stairs or the building’s original elevator, and the ornate interior is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Bathing. Buckstaff Baths operates under a contract with the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. For more details call 501-623-2308 or visit
The spa at the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa is on the third floor of the hotel, and is known for its Thermal Water Spa which allows guests to bathe in spring water pumped directly into the hotel. The Arlington is one of the most striking landmarks of Hot Springs. The building’s Spanish-Colonial architecture and two domed towers are an eye-catching sight as one ventures down Central Avenue. Home to 478 rooms within an eleven story central portion and two seven story wings, the benchmark hotel is also the largest hotel in Arkansas. The Arlington is located at 239 Central Avenue. More details on the Arlington can be found at 501-623-7771 or at www.arlingtonhotel.com.
More listings of spas in Hot Springs can be found here.
Just west of Hot Springs on the western edge of Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort is another spa you can head to. This spa stands out in that it is a destination spa. It also offers Lake Ouachita’s only lakeside spa experience. More details can be found here.
And it you want to keep the spa experience going, you can always hop on the spa trail!