My husband and I decided we could not leave Hot Springs without trying a real hot springs bath! Buckstaff is the only operable bath house out of the 7 original houses on bathhouse row. I wanted to experience this particular one as opposed to some of the hotels that offer mineral baths. We went on a Sunday morning, around 8:30. At the front counter, we purhcased the basic thermal bath package (around $20 each) and a loofah ($3). I think you could bring your own loofah if you wanted. Anyway, the men's locker room and spa area is on the main floor, to the left of the desk. I was taken in the attendant-operated elevator to the women's area. There was a row of stalls, each with 2 locked lockers and a chair. You can undress or wear a bathing suit. In a few minutes, an attendant came with a large white sheet and covered me a la toga style. My attendant was very cheerful and warm, leading me with her arm around my shoulder and explaining the process. I was brought to another room with more stalls (curtained), each with beautiful, old ceramic tubs. My attendant helped me in the tub and adjusted the water temperature to my liking. There was a motor attached to the tub providing a whirlpool/bubbling. I soaked in the tub for 20 min and at one point, my attendant came in and using the loofah I purchased, scrubbed my arms and legs briskly with a soap.
After soaking in the tub, I was draped again with the sheet and brought to the Sitz baths. You sit in these knee-heighth sinks to supposedly alleviate lower back pains, etc. After a few minutes in the Sitz, I was asked if I wanted to do the steam. I did, and was sat in a sauna for about 5-8 minutes. You can opt for a shorter time or to pass it altogether. After that, I was taken to a cooling area. There were old-fashioned looking massage tables with mats. While laying on my back, an attendant placed cold compresses on my neck/ears, and forehead. And that was the end! I'm not sure what the deluxe bath package would include, but they also offer massages and other spa services that we didn't try. All in all, it was a good experience and the staff was friendly. My husband said the men's attendants were very nice and friendly. Will go again when we visit Hot Springs!
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