Note: The different colors are for different people- blue for Phil and red for Rachel
We went to the Quapaw Bathhouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas at about 9:30 as I recall. We were very impressed with the building from the moment we first stepped inside. Despite the age of the establishment, it is apparent that numerous attempts to remodel have had a positive effect on the general look and feel of the lobby and the public baths. Overall I would describe the venue as both fancy and laid back. The staff was extremely friendly and we were helped almost as soon as we walked in the doors. They were very patient with us as first-time visitors. One of the best things about this bathhouse is that there is a free parking garage across the street. We had maybe a 5 minute walk at the most! I know we’ll say this again- get there early! People were fighting for parking places later in the day!
The first thing that we did when we arrived and checked in was to go and change into a provided set of bathrobes and sandals. It was not much trouble to find the changing rooms and then wait for the rest of our group to change. We all met up outside the changing room and took the elevators down to the massage area together.
Once we arrived at the downstairs spa it was a simple enough matter of checking in with the receptionist for that area and then waiting for our masseuse. The various rooms were prepared individually. The wait for the rooms and the masseuse was not very long at all. I think we were outside in the spa reception area for less than five or ten minutes. When our rooms were ready we were taken inside and given some very simple instructions before the massage began. My favorite thing about the downstairs area was the heated floors. I would imagine in the winter they would feel amazing. I asked my masseuse if her feet ever got hot and she said that they did. The beds were heated too- which I didn’t know at the time.
I can not attest to what the rest of our group experienced, but my massage was very relaxing. I don’t think I went in with any major concerns about a particular area that was tight, but I did notice that my masseuse did seem to focus a lot on my shoulders and upper back. I guess I carry a lot of stress in that area from sitting up at a desk all day. She made a few helpful comments about how beneficial a return visit would be for my back, but overall we mostly just chatted about various polite topics the whole time. I did mention the wine tasting locations that we planned on visiting later. She said that those were all great spots to visit. From what I could gather it sounded like there was plenty to do in the area just around the bath house, so it was no surprise that my masseuse had not tried everything in the downtown area. My masseuse was very chatty- which wasnt a problem at all. She also had a lot of recommendations for places to go. Some were things that we had already planned to do, and others were great ideas. I’ll leave links at the bottom for some of her suggestions! The massage itself was great, she asked me if my lower back gave me problems, and it does! She said I was tight there.
After the massage was over everybody met back up in the spa and we went upstairs to change clothes and go to the baths. It wasn’t a huge surprise that the guys all finished changing into our swimsuits first. We tried to wash as much of the massage oil off as we could, but there was only so much that we could do even with the soap and shampoo that was provided in the showers. Regardless, we were well-hydrated by the time that we entered the public baths.
Now, when I say public baths I don’t mean that they are open to everybody, but they are certainly shared by a plethora of people all at once. So, in that sense they are public as opposed to having a private bath to ourselves. It was actually quite fun to get into the first bath. Somehow, I don’t really recall how exactly, the guys all chose to get into the hottest pool first. It was a little after we got into that pool that the ladies joined us. I think they might have chosen something a little more temperate than our first choice.
After a while we had all steamed ourselves to a moist pulp in the hottest pool, so we decided to move down in temperature to the pool that was slightly lower than the hottest pool. Somehow we managed to end up in sequentially lower temperature pools until we were up at the very top of the pools which is actually the coolest for some reason. This whole process took the better part of an hour, so I am sure that we looked quite silly hopping in and out of the various pools after a short soak in each one. We all had fun though, and there was no lack of relaxation to go around. Ice cold water was provided to us the whole time we were soaking, so nobody really got too hot or overheated. It was a very interesting experience even though we had to share the pools with other people.
I would say that the overall experience was very enjoyable. The massage was very nice, and the baths were both fun and relaxing. It was very neat to experience the public nature of the various pools. The massage was understandably a highlight of the experience, but the baths were an unexpected pleasure. I would not have expected that it would be so much fun to soak in the pools and chat.
I would agree with Phil- I had a great time. It was well worth the money spent. Not only was everyone incredibly friendly the services that they offered were great. I really liked being pampered and they had so many services available. One of the things that really stood out was getting to meet some people in the pool from Ukraine! Most of the tourists that visit Hot Springs arent even from Arkansas! Crazy that we have such a fun spot in our home state and not many people from AR visit!
The total cost per person was under 110 I believe, but for just the bath or massage it would have been cheaper.
Make sure to check out our Vlog of the visit. Give our vlog a thumbs up and subscribe to the youtube for more tiny adventures!
Places you should check out:
Quapaw baths: http://quapawbaths.com/
Oldest Bar in HS: https://www.theohioclub.com/
Superior Bathhouse Brewery: http://www.superiorbathhouse.com/
These are just a few places- we have more to come!