The origin of the “spa” dates back thousands of years with healing waters as the primary spa treatments to rejuvenate the mind and body and to treat ailments. The best hydrotherapy spas have been embracing the healing powers of water since antiquity in cultures across the globe.

New luxury spas are trending towards focusing their services on hydrotherapy treatments with state-of-the-art luxury facilities. Typically, a hydrotherapy spa includes step-by-step treatments including mineral water baths at varying temperatures for contrast therapy, saunas, steam rooms, and rejuvenating body treatments. Treat yourself to the benefits of a hydrotherapy spa for a special day of self-care.

Hydrotherapy spas can be found all over the world and some even date back to the 16th Century and will take you as far as Iceland. And while most spas have a sauna or steam bath, our list of the top five hydrotherapy spas in the world take healing waters to a whole new level.

Looking to hit the reset button to do a deep cleanse and detox – physically, spiritually and mentally? Then book some time at one of these wanderlust-worthy health and wellness sanctuaries.

1. AIRE – Barcelona, Spain

The AIRE spa experience harkens to and is inspired by the hydrotherapy thermal baths and soaking traditions of the Greek, Roman, and Ottoman time. Located in the heart of Barcelona, AIRE has created a deeply atmospheric luxury spa that takes you back in time with its intimate subterranean caverns lit by candles and lanterns with steam that warms up the exposed brick walls and arched doorways leading from one glowing hydrotherapy pool to another.

Each luxurious private cavern has 3 Ancient Thermal Baths at different temperatures from extreme heat to extreme cold that you can experience at your own pace to reawaken your system and take you through a journey of multiple sensations. At the core of the AIRE experience is relaxation. This is the ultimate romantic setting for couples to disconnect your mind and body from reality.

Taking water as the main element and creating an atmosphere of pure magic and sophistication around it, the AIRE experience is complemented by an exclusive selection of spa treatments including indulgent massages with essential oils, detox packages, holistic hydrating treatments for skin and hair, and a signature floating in-water massage.

This is a space truly full of magic and serenity in which history and water converge to provide you with a unique spa experience of total relaxation, an unforgettable journey through the sensations.

2. Palatinus Baths – Budapest, Hungary

Palatinus Baths and Spa is Budapest’s first outdoor thermal baths, currently with over a dozen indoor and outdoor newly renovated pools filled with natural spring cold, cool, and hot water for the health benefits of hydrotherapy water treatments.

The expansive bath, spa, and leisure complex expands over the entire Margaret Island area in the center of Budapest. With 3 kids´ pools, a full lap pool, artificial wave pool with colorful slides, indoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, spa experiences including massage and mud treatments, and other wellness services – it’s easily one of the best hydrotherapy spas in the world. It’s ideal for both families and vacation goers seeking a pampering hydrotherapy experience.

The Palatinus Baths opened in 1919 and has since grown and modernized to be a full-service hydrotherapy spa in addition to its multiple indoor and outdoor recreational and therapeutic pools.

The property includes indoor medicinal thermal water hot and cold pools as well as soaking pools with calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate and sodium as well as another pool with carbonated water for recovery and prevention of health problems. Alternating between hot and cold pools stimulates blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, and aids detoxification.

Between your bathing, soaking, and plunging take some time to further recharge and cleanse in the sleek and modern aroma sauna filled with healing eucalyptus steam or the hot sauna proven to be restorative and beneficial to health.

The spa also offers 3 decadent massage treatments to relieve stress, relax, and improve overall mental and physical well-being.

3. Garza Blanca Resorts Spa Imagine

Spa Imagine is a world-class hydrotherapy spa designed to take you on a blissful and pampering journey towards achieving your beauty and wellness goals hosted at one of the most luxurious hydrotherapy spas in Mexico.

Hydrotherapy is designed to be an immersive experience for relaxation, calming the mind, and putting the body in balance. Water therapy has been treasured as an important element in our journey towards optimum well-being ever since ancient times.

Bask, sink, and float while allowing your stress to slip away amidst the ultra-modern and sleek hydrotherapy circuit with 10 vitality stations. Your wellness journey begins with a revitalizing circuit where you alternate between the hot indoor pool and ice-cold dipping pool to make the most of contrast therapy, resting in between on lounge beds overlooking the sparkling blue waters of Mexico. From the warm sauna or steam room to the power plunge shower to the pulsating jets of the jacuzzi, you will instantly feel the health benefits of this luxurious spa experience.

Spa Imagine is part of Mexico’s best luxury hotel brand, Garza Blanca Resorts, with idyllic beachfront locations in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas. Spa Imagine also offers bespoke spa treatments based on the philosophy of the seven chakras and five elements for spiritual balance and health in ocean view therapy suites. The resort also boasts luxury accommodations, stunning infinity pools, and 5-star dining experiences.

4. Banjar Hot Springs, Bali, Indonesia

The sacred Banjar Hot Springs ‘Air Panas’ are nestled deep inside the jungle in a beautifully landscaped tropical garden, close to Lovina Beach in northern Bali. The beautiful hot spring is a destination unto itself, with 3 public and one private pool and Jacuzzi area – all with healing mineral waters.

The modern on-site spa offers restorative massages and rejuvenating body scrubs for additional wellness experiences to make your day of relaxation complete. But it’s those healing waters you’re really there for. With a 26 percent sulfur content that can help ease a variety of ailments, and a temperature of about 100.4 degrees, the opaque jade-colored waters feed into the three different pools. There’s a 6.5-foot-deep main swimming pool, a three-foot-deep kids’ pool, ideal for bathing, and a pool with overhead spouts in the shape of dragons.

5. The Blue Lagoon – Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is a manmade geothermal spa on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. It is one of the most unique and best hydrotherapy spas in the world, known for its steaming baths of 104-degree opaque azure waters that are filled with healing minerals.

Here you can experience the radiant powers of the geothermal seawater in a mind-blowing setting surrounded by magnificent jagged black rock lava landscapes. The natural landscape melds perfectly with the sleek modern luxury of the Blue Lagoon’s full-service spa.

The Blue Lagoon offers a wide range of luxury features and packages. The day pass for Blue Lagoon has 3 packages: Comfort, Premium, and Luxury Retreat Spa. Each with different options ranging from access only to the Blue Lagoon with a few extra perks all the way up to the 5-hour Luxury Retreat Spa package, which will give you an unforgettable experience.

The Luxury Retreat Spa gives you an exclusive and intimate private experience that is designed for absolute privacy and affluent wellness to transport your mind and body to new dimensions of peace and rejuvenation. You’ll have unlimited access to both the Retreat Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon, exclusive access to a private changing suite and 8 subterranean spaces, which each hold its own unique experience including a hot to cold plunge pools, Finnish sauna, volcanic rock steam room, pool side silica tubs to bathe in after your restorative body treatment of silica, algae, and mineral and a private lounge with massage and wellness treatment rooms.

Imagining a place as extraordinary and unique as the Blue Lagoon spa is not easy. The level to which they’ve taken the hydrotherapy spa experience of wellness and nature and contemporary Icelandic design is truly astonishing.

These hydrotherapy spas are our favorites. Now choose your favorite and go to enjoy all the healing powers and health benefits of water and enter the world of restorative relaxation.