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“Turn back in time...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Buckstaff Bathhouse

Buckstaff Bathhouse
509 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
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Ranked #10 of 31 Attractions in Hot Springs
Type: Historic Sites, Spas, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: The only working bathhouse left on "Bathhouse Row," a popular hot springs bathing area in the 1920s.
Villa Park, Illinois
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Turn back in time...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

My daughter and I visited bathhouse row recently. The bathhouses are located on the same street. The buildings were clean and almost hospital like. It is possible to walk up and get a time for a bath and massage which I believe to be about seventy dollars. The national parks have a building with souviners in it and you can learn about all the bathhouses there. Due to time constraints on our part we were unable to have a bath.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“I'm not impressed either!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

OK, maybe the expectation bar was set too high compared to Calistoga, Napa Valley.
Buckstaff is what you would expect from the old days. Not a problem. Except for some significant deferred maintenance.
Hot mineral bath? - not hot enough until you finally get the attendant's attention near the end of your allotted time.
Steam booth? - terrific!
Massage? - I'd rather rassle with a stray dog. I was suffering some very specific ailments [ruptured disk in back; tendinitis/meniscus issue in knee]. I thought Dave the masseur could take some specific direction. Nope - 20 minutes, top to bottom, yer outta here!

I highly recommend the mineral bath, but pass on the massage.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“NOT impressed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

My husband and I were very disappointed in the service that we received here. It was not what we were expecting!! Too open and fast paced. NOT relaxing at all.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
252 reviews 252 reviews
74 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“The real thing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

You can do a spa anywhere, but Buckstaff Bathhouse is the only Hot Springs option for getting a "real" therapeutic hot bath treatment - just like they've done it for nearly 100 years!

Your modesty is threatened ONLY by your personal attendant, who does a good job and shielding you whenever possible using the white sheet you "wear" from station to station.

Once you've disrobed (in a private dressing room), your attendant wraps the sheet around you "toga style" and takes you to a small, private room with a large white ceramic tub. You slide in naked and spend 20-30 minutes in a whirlpool bath of crystal clear, HOT springs water.

Then, for some strange reason, you climb out, wrap the towel around yourself and are escorted to the sitz bath. You then spend another 10-15 minutes with your naked butt immersed in a sitz bath tub.

Next stop is a steam bath where you're tucked (naked) into a metal cabinet - with only your head sticking out, where you spend only 3-5 minutes in a super heated "can."

After that your attendant takes you to the "needle shower" where you stand in a small shower stall (naked) and are sprayed from all 4 corners with a vertical row of water streams. The idea is to rinse off the impurities you've sweated out.

Next you're taken to a "cool down room" where you lay on a padded table, are wrapped in hot towels and a sheet and left to rest & cool down for 20-30 minutes. The good news is that you get a cold compress for your forehead and a small cup of ice and water to sip.

Now that you feel like melted butter, you're taken to the massage room where you get a 20-30 minute full body massage.

Heavenly - and only $64 !!!

Fun, different, relaxing, interesting. Something you should definitely do - just not sure if I'd make a habit of it.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yakima, Washington
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Buck N*)@#”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

This place offers the bath, steam, cooling, shower and massage just like what was available back in the day, with the same tubs, steam rooms, cooling beds, etc. We treated ourselves to the full deal (Traditional) and it is finished off with a massage. The water even tastes good, at 4,000 years old. It was very affordable and I would do it again!

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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