We booked a night at the resort because we needed a place to stay on our road trip and we thought a hot springs resort would be a nice break from camping. We hasn't read the reviews until the day we drove over and they certainly scared us.
But a few reviewers have commented that the bad reviews seem to be a result of misguided expectations. I think that is exactly the case. This is NOT a true "resort". You are not waited on hand and foot, you don't get complimentary drinks or robes or even fresh towels outside every pool. This is an old-world motel build near hot springs. If you come with that mindset, it is okay. Not great; just okay.
It wasn't as smelly as we expected; after showering, we didn't notice our skin smelling of sulphur. The pools have natural algae growing on the rocks and some mineral deposits inside the pools, but it is all natural and not off-putting. Maybe others thought this was dirty slime from lack of cleaning but that is not the case. Unfiltered and untreated water creates these kinds of deposits. If anything, it's proof that these aren't just outdoor jacuzzis.
The set up of the pools isn't exactly relaxing or spa-like. The walk from one pool to another can be VERY uncomfortable. We were at the spa on a 10-15degree evening after a snowfall a couple days prior. The paths were covered in salt crystals (OUCH) and slippery. There is no shelter from the wind on the paths. The small towels they provide aren't very absorbent. In the end, we had to jog as quickly as possible to the next pool before our feet went numb. Bring flip flops if you don't want to get hurt from the salt.
On a positive note, the water was as hot as we hoped it would be! One of the upper pools hit 112degrees and felt awesome. And we arrived on an evening with almost no guests. We had every pool to ourselves when we wanted it.
Our biggest issue was with the room and indoor facilities. The room had no door on the bathroom, just a folding "curtain" that didn't close all the way. The heater was loud. There isn't any wifi in the room. Also, there is an intimidating sign inside that warns of high fines if you cook/bring pets/smoke in the room. We didn't intend to do any of those things, but it made us think twice about snacking on crackers inside which seems ridiculous in retrospect.
The changing rooms are dark, damp, and feel dirty. The carpeted floors seem to be perpetually soggy. And one little thing: no pegs in the bathrooms to hang your towel/clothes/purse. Annoying when you just want to use the stalls to change instead of the poorly curtained booths they have set up.
The staff was friendly and helpful. They offered conversation and assistance finding dinner in the town.
Overall, a lackluster and expensive visit to a hot spring that could be so much better. With some renovations and additions (a cafe maybe?!) it could be lovely. But for now... We would recommend going elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offers fifteen baths for guests to enjoy. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hot Sulphur Springs Hotel Hot Sulphur Springs
- Hot Sulphur Springs Resort And Spa