Nestled among the majestic Appalachian Mountains along the French Broad River in Western North Carolina is a most relaxing getaway: Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Located approximately 30 miles past Newport, TN on Hwy. 25/70E in the town of Hot Springs is a relaxing resort offering natural hot mineral springs. These waters have long been sought out for their restorative and healing qualities. The natural hot springs are diverted to provide water for the resort, and guests are actually encouraged to bring containers to fill for the return trips to their homes. The town of Hot Springs is located along the Appalachian Trail, and hikers will frequently be found in the Spring, Summer, and Fall months. The town itself boasts trail markers engraved into the sidewalks of the main street, blazing the trail for the Appalachian Trail hikers.
This is a town offering not an abundance of fan-fare, but rather a wealth of relaxation and history. The resort itself is located on the banks of the French Broad River, and boasts a main lodge, a building housing the private suites, a campground for both traditional and RV camping, and cabins. The private suites (there are four) are quaint, and create an air of romance with their heart-shaped jacuzzi tubs, which are filled with the hot mineral waters of the original spring. There are also outdoor tubs for the guests to use, for a time-based fee. The outdoor tubs are open to the public, so this could be easily turned into a day trip for those who cannot stay overnight. It is a getaway which offers a trip back in time, slowing down the pace and urging the guest to relax and enjoy all the natural beauty of the area.
The resort was, in the early 1900’s during World War I, used as an internment camp for Germans who were passengers on luxury liners docked in New York Harbor when the war broke out. The original village housing these Germans has long since been gone, having been swept away by a flood in 1916. Fortunately, no lives were lost. Many of the Germans returned to the area after the war as a result of the close bonds formed with the townspeople of Hot Springs during their internment there.
At one time, Hot Springs Resort & Spa boasted one of the largest luxury hotels in the country, with the second largest ballroom in the Southeast. Sadly, a fire destroyed all but the foundation of this beautiful building. There was also a bath house, which housed sixteen marble tubs filled with the hot mineral waters. Patients would soak in these tubs, and then walk to another room for massage therapy. Today, the resort still offers massage treatments. There is a highly qualified staff offering a wide variety of spa treatments and massage therapies. Throughout the grounds, you can find a bench upon which you may sit and soak in the beauty of nature, while enjoying the warmth from a fire in one of the many fire pits. This is also a popular wedding venue, offering a beautiful backdrop for the perfect outdoor ceremony.
The area is simply beautiful, and the history is rich and entertaining. A walk through town is a leisurely stroll, offering peaceful interaction with the locals and the visitors alike. The folks at the Smoky Mountain Diner offer home town cooking, with home town hospitality. The prices are more than reasonable, and the portions plentiful. If you leave there hungry, it is by your own choice!! The drive itself from Newport to Hot Springs is a winding course through the mountains, following the river. Hot Springs does not offer a busy, hectic lifestyle, but rather a step back into a simpler, more relaxed way of life. The pace here is easy and peaceful, and the time spent in this resort town is a restorative to the soul.