Beijing's best hot springs

We tested the waters to find the best hot springs to wash away winter blues

The tumbling mercury can mean only one thing: it's time to take a dip at one (or all) of Beijing's best hot spring resorts. We've checked them out with a view to a day trip in mind, but if you're after a multi-day bathing bender, nearly all offer overnight stays in a variety of rooms.

Chun Hui Yuan Hot Spring Resort

Chun Hui Yuan Hot springs

What’s it like?
Chun Hui Yuan (春晖园温泉度假村) bucks the trend in the world of Beijing hot springs, forgoing kitsch adornments and faux tropical scenes for something more stylish, with classic wooden trellises and sleek stone furnishings dominating the decor. The baths are divided into three areas – one indoors, two outdoors – and vary in size with plenty of options for both couples looking for a bit of privacy and large groups. The Garden Baths garner the most attention: ten steaming open-air pools offer different types of aromatic-infused waters to help relaxation; stay here into the evening for a soak under the stars. The next-door Lakeside Baths shouldn’t be missed either, offering views of Chun Hui Yuan Hotel’s grounds beyond.

Facilities
Alongside the 30-odd baths, Chun Hui Yuan has a heated indoor swimming pool, hot stone resting beds, steam rooms and saunas – the ‘hot’ sauna even has a plunge pool and television for optimum chill time. There’s an onsite spa offering a range of treatments, including a 40-minute foot massage (88RMB) and a whole-body oil massage (398RMB).

Yu Zhuang, Gaoliying town, Shunyi district (6945 4433, ext 1030). Open 9.30am-midnight Mon-Fri; 9.30am-1am Sat-Sun. 168RMB Mon-Fri; 268RMB Sat-Sun.

Feng Shan Hot Spring Paradise

feng shan hotsprings

What’s it like?
Feng Shan (金隅凤山温泉度假村) offers paradise from the perspective of a particularly sleazy toddler, with a landscape of concrete caves, plastic rocks, frog-shaped fountains and semi-submersed basketball hoops. Grin and embrace it, because it’s huge, it’s tasteless, and it’s open 24 tacky hours of the day.

Provincial leisure centre on acid it might be, but we enjoy this psychedelic idyll precisely because, at the end of the day, lying on a bubble bed next to a model elephant is always going to be a giggle. And if you look beyond the glare from the fairy lights and illuminated swans, the outside spring area offers spectacular views of the nearby mountains.

Facilities
Feng Shan offers stacks of reasonably private pools both inside and out, with noticeably different water temperatures and mineral levels. There’s also a 25-metre swimming pool complete with disco-tastic decor, some toasty kang beds, saunas and a cinema.

10 Mangshan Lu, Changping district (6071 3942). Open 24 hours. 238RMB Mon-Fri; 268RMB Sat-Sun.

Longxi Hotspring Resort

longxi

What’s it like?
Here at Longxi Hotspring Resort (熙温泉度假酒店), a system of small tubs and larger swimming pools offer a great mix of relaxing getaway vibes and waterpark thrills. While the resort’s heyday may have passed – the wood-panelled walls and kitschy decor could use a bit of a revamp – Longxi is still great for a warming winter soak.

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