The Supreme Soak: Best Hotel Bathtubs Around the World
Slipping into a sudsy tub after a long day of travel is reward enough, but we’ve found some incredible bucket-list bathtubs that are a destination in themselves.
Bath with a View
Wrapped in a plush robe and slippers, settle in for some additional sightseeing, right from the tub. As you unwind, you may look out over a bucolic Himalayan valley with terraced fields of green. Perhaps you will map out your touring plan for the next day with a panoramic perspective on the city you are visiting.
An outdoor bathtub brings you into the landscape, surrounded by the sounds of a rushing river or the silence of a misty mountain forest. Maybe you’ll do some bird watching and see an elephant lumber by on its way to a tributary of the Lower Zambezi. You may never want to leave.
Immersed in Culture
Bathing is an important part of life in many destinations. The hammam dates back to Byzantine times, later evolving into the ornate vaulted and tiled bath houses which became widespread under the Ottoman Empire. Historic examples can be seen in northern Africa, the Middle East, and even India.
In a country blessed with natural hot springs, bathing became a daily ritual synonymous with its source. Japan’s onsen have been a way to soothe away worries and pains for centuries, first popularized with the arrival of Buddhism in the 6th century. Today, mineral-rich public and private baths can be found all over the country.
From Bhutan to Bali, herbal baths, scented with flowers and fronds, are said to keep the skin glowing and mind calm. There are many bathing traditions to explore as you travel around the world.
We asked our illustrious travel designers to share their thoughts on the best hotel bathtubs. Here’s the short list—you might want to fill the tub as you read it.
1. Shinta Mani Wild, Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia
Luxurious Bill Bensley-designed tents feature an elegant roll-top tub perched on a teak deck overlooking the river below. This jewel of a jungle retreat is a conservation-focused base for active adventure and relaxation, complete with a spa.
2. The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa
Facing a wall of pillowed-glass windows, a glamorous freestanding tub commands jaw-dropping views of Table Mountain and the city below. Built in the grain elevator of an historic silo complex, the hotel has a sky-high vantage point, and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art on the ground floor.
3. Awasi Patagonia, Torres Del Paine, Chile
Choose to soak indoors, taking in views of the pampas and peaks from a chic beech-paneled bath, or step outdoors to a private wood-fired hot tub sheltered by lenga and ñirre trees for a 360-degree vista. Low-impact design preserves the environment.
4. Gangtey Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan
With a fire in the nearby hearth, step into a deep roll-top bathtub with views over the Himalayan valley. Or make your way over to the bath house for a traditional dotsho Bhutanese hot stone bath. Immersed in a pine wood tub, mineral-rich waters are heated with river rocks to release their healing properties. Built in the style of a Bhutanese farmhouse, the lodge sits above a 17th-century Buddhist monastery.
5. Old Mondoro Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Screened by reed panels, a spacious outdoor soaking pool under canvas provides a view directly onto the Zambezi or the hyacinth-filled channel weaving through camp. Elephants are frequent passersby en route to the river for drink. Soak in the scene from one of five chalets, listening to the calls of birds and rustling of wildlife.
6. Museum Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey
A deep circular tub encircled by illuminated stone panels invites you to take in views of the valley (often with hot-air balloons floating above) out a perfectly placed window. Walls crafted with ancient stones and carved cave alcoves match the traditional architecture of the area.
7. Iya Onsen, Shikoku, Japan
From a soaking tub perched high on the slopes of Iya Valley, the mist parts to reveal panoramic views of fall foliage or spring shoots. At the base of the gorge a natural onsen hot spring steams, and a cable car delivers guests to traditional open-air baths. Secluded and serene, this is the only hotel in the valley.
8. Titilaka, Puno, Peru
Gaze across the shores of Lake Titicaca as light reflects off the water from the expansive tub-side window. Located on a four-acre private peninsula, the sustainability-minded hotel shares access to the lake with a nearby Aymara community and supports education and conservation projects in the area.
9. Segera, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya
Watch the watering hole from the comfort of a super-sized rock-carved bathtub on the Kenyan savannah. The restored farmhouse and freestanding thatched villas are set in a luxurious garden oasis on a 50,000-acre private reserve where giraffe and lions roam the plains.
10. Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala, Sri Lanka
A free-standing handmade copper bathtub is reminiscent of early expeditions in old Ceylon. Between the jungle and the beach, tented domes look out on the landscape, where birds and wildlife from the adjacent national park may be observed.
Whatever your destination, washing away the dust of the day and reflecting on your adventures and discoveries is best experienced in a beautiful bathtub with a captivating view. Lather up and luxuriate in some of the best hotel baths around the world, soaking in the scenery and having some good clean fun.
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To add a dreamy bathtub with an outstanding view to your next adventure, call our travel experts at 888-570-7108.