Nothing winds down a hard day of vacationing better than a nice soak in the hotel hot tub. It’s a little cherry of luxury on the sundae of vacation decadence, where you can grab an evening cocktail and let the tension of the real world escape into the bubbling water. While even the run-of-the-mill chlorine-scented jacuzzis at indoor pools are nice, some put you in settings that will make the hot tub experience one you conjure up for relaxation when you’re stuck in traffic back home. Here are eight that won’t even require crossing an ocean to enjoy.
1. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
Snuggling up by a cozy fire in a historic Vermont farmhouse is the stuff on honeymoon fantasies, made even better by a hot tub looking out on the thick northeastern forest. It’s all yours when you rent out the primo Aviary Cottage, with large stone walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private granite jacuzzi. It’s as close as you’re getting to bathing in the mountain wilderness without getting leaves on your feet.
2. Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, Costa Rica
Jet-fueled hot tubs are cool and all, but nothing beats a jacuzzi heated by the molten center of the Earth. That, at least, is the theory at the Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa in Costa Rica, where each spa bungalow is equipped with a thermally heated jet pool. The secluded location gives you the feeling of soaking in a natural jungle pool but without the nagging concern that the water is filled with deadly piranhas.
3. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Most of the three-walled, Pitons-facing rooms at Jade Mountain have their own infinity pools, but if you want to get that little extra bit of unbridled luxury, spring for one of their SKY suites. These rooms come with 15-foot ceilings and private jacuzzis, where you can relax from a day of brutal hiking and diving with an unobstructed view of the island’s iconic mountains. Plus, you’ll have your own private butler to bring you champagne while you’re soaking.
4. Amangiri Canyon Point, Utah
Amagari’s Utah outpost feels like a luxury oasis in the middle of a stark, red desert, where the resort and its rooms feel miles from civilization, with five-star service and luxury cuisine. The best way to take it all in is from the hot tub set beside a red rock wall, where during the day you’ll get the sensation of bathing in a desert canyon. And at night you can gaze at the bright stars while the jets massage your back.
5. W South Beach, Miami, Florida
Few hotels in the US, or the world, have pools or hot tubs with views of both the beach and the skyline of a major world metropolis. But rent out the new E-WOW Penthouse Suite at the W South Beach and you can relax in the plunge pool while looking east over the white sands and turquoise waters of Miami Beach, and west over Biscayne Bay to Miami’s colorful skyline. It’s one of the best views of the city anywhere in South Florida and includes a dedicated concierge and four other balconies.
6. Melody Maker, Cancun, Mexico
Going to the beach can sometimes be a constant dilemma between bathing in the warm waters of the Caribbean, or enjoying its view from the pristine white sand. Guests at the Melody Maker have this problem solved for them, where jacuzzis in the spa’s bungalows sit right on the sand, so you can enjoy soothing warm water, shade from the sun, and a perfect view of the water all at once.
7. Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, Guatemala
Deep in Guatemala’s Peten Jungle, you’ll find this 19-suite escape where each room comes with a spacious terrace, complete with private jacuzzi with views out onto Quixel Lagoon. It’s like your own, private waterfront jungle treetop, where you can end the day enjoying a glass of Champagne while marveling at the Mayan sunset.
8. Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada
Alpine resorts with hot tubs at the foot of the mountain aren’t exactly uncommon. But nobody does it quite as well as the Fairmont Banff Springs. This hotel in Canada’s swankiest ski destination looks like a medieval castle built of dark stones with circular towers topped with snow-covered spires. At the base of the castle sits the steaming jacuzzi, where you can appreciate the towering Canadian Rockies that feel like they’re only a few feet away while basking in the shade of emerald green pine trees.