5 of the world’s best outdoor baths
Slipping into a bath is one of those lovely highlights of staying in a hotel – or outside of a hotel. These five experiences combine lovely accommodation and spectacular views with an outdoor tub worth travelling for. Don’t forget the bubble bath!
1. Zaborin, Japan
Superb minimalism at Zaborin, Japan credit Zaborin
This is Japanese luxury at its best: understated, private and surrounded by nature. Nestled in the woods in Niseko, Hokkaido, each of Zaborin’s 15 contemporary villas have indoor and outdoor onsens, both filled with hot natural volcanic waters from the ryokan’s own spring source. While soaking, take a deep breath and inhale the scent of the pines and energy of the forest – a traditional Japanese practice known as shinrin’yoku (forest bathing).
2. Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa
Views for days at Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa: credit Madikwe Safari Lodge
This five-star Madikwe game reserve is not only home to the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and buffalo – but also one of South Africa’s most impressive outdoor tubs at Madiwke Safari Lodge. The baths are perched on the outdoor deck of select suites and villas overlooking the reserve’s water hole, where you can almost always spot wildlife.
3. Minaret Station Alpine Lodge, NZ
Yes please: the outdoor tub at New Zealand's Minaret Station Alpine Lodge: credit Minaret Station Alpine Lodge
You won’t find bathtubs inside the four luxury chalets in the secluded Southern Alps Minaret Station Alpine Lodge, instead each has an alfresco hot tub. The station, located on a glacial valley, is only accessible via helicopter, making these surely some of the most secluded hot tubs in the world. Insider tip: go for a dip at night to unwind beneath the stars nearly one kilometre above sea level.
4. Freycinet Lodge, Tasmania
Luxury both indoor and out at Freycinet Lodge, Tasmania: credit Freycinet Lodge
With world-class hiking trails, pristine beaches and secluded bays on offer, there’s a lot to do in Freycinet National Park, which makes wrapping up the day with a long, hot bath to soothe tired muscles a must. And Freycinet Lodge’s Coastal Pavilion is just the place to do so. The open-air baths are private, but still boast views of the wild landscape surrounding them.
5. Bambu Indah, Bali
Bali's Bambu Indah retreat: credit Bambu Indah
If you want to escape the concrete jungle and immerse yourself in a real one, try Ubud’s Bambu Indah. The eco-friendly retreat is made up of 18 guest pavilions and is dotted with lush open-air baths and natural plunge pools. Our pick is the copper bathtub found in Riverbend house, which is generous enough for two and perfect for bathing under the moonlight.
Words by Constantina Demos; published Friday 31 January, 2020