The history of hot tubs
A little lesson in where and when we came to enjoy sitting in a big tub of warm water for anything other than cleaning ourselves.
Step one – nature’s hot tubs
It had to start somewhere, and we have Mother Nature to thank, of course; hot springs. What’s one of those, you ask? Well, according to the Oxford dictionary it’s ‘a spring of natural hot water, typically heated by subterranean volcanic activity’ – the earliest recorded and most famous being in what’s now Western Australia and on Central Asia’s Tibetan Plateau. And people weren’t wrong to start making use of them – they have health benefits too (due to the very high mineral content) and are still highly-visited at various locations around the world today.
Step two – bathe like an Egyptian
Once the love of hot water was found, things progressed – starting with the Ancient Egyptians building bathing chambers in their homes. Cleanliness was really important to them, as they believed that the cleaner a person was, the closer they were to the gods.
Step three - what have the Romans ever done for us?
By 33AD 170 baths had been built in Rome – aqueducts channelled cold water to public bath houses, to then be heated by a system called a hypocaust. The Ancient Greeks on the other hand, were all about the healing powers of hot spring water, believing that bathing helped cure illness and disease.
Step four - cultural transformation
After the Roman Empire fell, taking most bath houses with it, the bathing craze carried on in other countries, especially Japan. They created three different types of bathing:
- Onsen – public and private baths heated by natural hot springs
- Sento – communal bathhouses heated by furnaces (thanks to lack of electric after the war) - the tall chimneys can be seen for miles
- Ofuros – private wooden hot tubs for home (perhaps the first official ‘hot tub’!?)
Step four - world domination
Next came the Second World War, where American soldiers learnt and made use of these bathing practices whilst stationed in Japan. And, of course, they were too good to leave behind so the trend spread to America and, in turn, the wider world. And just like that the hot tub obsession began!
Is a hot tub a jacuzzi?
It can be. Jacuzzi is a trade name which originates from the family name of two Italian brothers who invented the very first portable hydrotherapy pump. They did so to try and help a family member to gain some relief from rheumatoid arthritis and ended up creating a world-recognised phenomenon.
So, the next time you’re sitting in a hot tub, bubbling away, not a care in the world (just the way it’s meant to be!), take a moment to think about all the history behind making that very moment possible – but not for too long, get back to sipping on that glass of fizz ASAP, you are on holiday after all!
We’ve given you the lowdown on how hot tub holidays came to be, now let's find you one:
Come on holiday and get lost in the Great Outdoors by day, let little ones soar like eagles and four-legged friends dive headfirst into the undergrowth, then by night sit and soak under the stars and appreciate the quiet.
Lodges with hot tubs are popular for family breaks as they’re a great distraction for the kids but, more importantly, when little ones are safely tucked into their comfy beds, the adults can get a few hours to themselves. In fact, why bring the children? Don’t underestimate the benefits of them bonding with their grandparents and leave them behind so you can have yourself a romantic hot tub hideaway. Have you thought about a winter break? The kids will be happier to be left behind if the weather is 'bad', but you'll get to luxuriate in peace and quiet with a...hot tub in the snow?!
Romantic weekend breaks with hot tub
Downtime is precious. Whether it’s a degree of separation you need or some together time with your favourite other, hot tub breaks for 2 take it to another level. Strawberries, champagne, birthday suits and bubbles; it sounds like something out of a cheesy holiday advert but…oh, wait. Erm, honestly it’s as good as it looks in the movies. You can’t help but be happy in a hot tub and how romantic is it under the stars? Very.
The health benefits of hot tubs
Holidays are meant to make you feel better and just getting away is convalescence in itself. But a little R&R in a jacuzzi? Just what the doctor ordered. A long soak lets you stop and be still for a change, the heat relaxing muscles, melting away stress to relieve tension, headaches, sore bits and tired bobs. Blood flow increases letting your body heal faster and that fabulous floating feeling? There’s less pressure on your joints (damn you gravity) so you feel lighter in body and soul.
Get those water jets bubbling for a bit of underwater massage – hit the right spots to release a few endorphins and enjoy your evening. A glass of wine may be enjoyed responsibly but you won’t need chemical relaxants when you’re in a wood-fired spa.
Log cabins with private hot tubs
Picture the scene; surrounded by nature but cosseted by creature comforts, you step out of your holiday cabin onto the deck and survey the view. The sun is still shining but there’s a cloud or two on the horizon so you set up the radio, your book, a bottle of XYZ and step into the warmth of your bubbling hot tub. Initially you pick up where you left off with your novel but soon an hour’s passed (along with half the wine) so you set it aside and put your head back to watch the cloud’s gather overhead – rubbish! A few drops start to land and you contemplate making a dash inside – but something stops you. A small thunderstorm crackles overhead as the rain gets surprisingly heavy but this is exhilarating! You’re still toasty immersed in the water but you get to feel the energy in the air like a child’s nervous excitement. No sooner it started, the clouds clear to reveal the night sky filled with stars and seems like the perfect excuse to stay another hour. After all, there’s no one around to tell you otherwise.
Yurt hot tub holidays
Yurts are too often associated with festivals and luxury camping but as you know, we go beyond those expectations with our own version of luxury glamping. Our yurts are set in special places, with en suite facilities and… our yurts with hot tubs are clad in cedar, set among the trees and utterly spectacular.
Traditionally a yurt is a circular tent with collapsible framework, a staple of the nomadic lifestyle. Our cedar yurts are a nod to the yurts of yore but brought up to our luxury glamping standards – seriously, these places to stay are amazing quality with ridiculous eye for detail. The hot tubs are, you guessed it, cedar tubs tucked onto private decks among the trees so you can stare up overhead through the towering canopy to the stars.
Shepherd’s Hut holiday with hot tub
As if Shepherd’s Huts weren’t gorgeous enough, we’ve gone and found a load perfect for hot tub glamping! Wake up with a view at your feet, fling open those double door to the countryside in front of you and get in that bubbly water. Al fresco breakfast of orange juice and croissants followed by a dip in the tub? Check. A quick walk down the little lane to feel like you’ve done something productive followed by a dip in the tub? Yep. Light lunch followed by a dip in the tub? Definitely. Dip in the tub followed by a dip in the tub? Ok, ok, hot tub holidays are the best, we get it. But in the shadow of your adorable hut on wheels? Perfect.
Places to stay with private hot tubs
Quirky accommodation is the name of the game, but unusual places to stay with a hot tub are the icing on the holiday cake. Holiday parks and too many neighbours do not make for a luxury glamping experience so they don’t make it into our curated collection – you can rely on a much more private experience when hopping in and out of your hot tub in the middle of who knows where.