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“Best hot springs ever”

Downata Hot Springs
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Downey
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Attraction details
Owner description: Downata Hot Springs is a 100 year old hot springs ranch located 4 miles south of Downey Idaho. We now have new hot pools and a new dining room! Downata has several cabins and yurts for lodging along with a campground, picnic areas, tepee and wall tent rentals and more. The water facilities include a large naturally hot spring heated pool with three slides. There is also two large tube slides on the hill and a water playground, sauna and hot tub. Summer activities include lighted volleyball court, meeting room, snack bar, swim lessons, horseshoes, playground and several pavilions for family reunions. During the winter, steak and soak and pizza and pool deals are offered along with massages. A new pool log was added in the winter of 2011 for some steamy winter time fun. Downata is an old resort but the lodging is new and the owners are adding more improvements each year to this old hot springs resort. Come join us down at a hot springs.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Idaho
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best hot springs ever”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Such therapuetic waters, has the effect of an epsom salt bath-soak. They even throw a fun Halloween party!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank solitary_sister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DownataHotSprings, General Manager at Downata Hot Springs, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Thank you for the great review. We hope you will return soon!
Darlene Downs
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Wonderful Hot Springs Resort -- RV Area is Rather Bleak!”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Review of Donata Hot Springs Resort RV Park of Downey, Idaho

SETTING:
This resort is in a very remote location near the tiny dying town of Downey, Idaho. It is at the edge of a hillside and the underlying reason for its existence is the natural hot springs that bubbles up at the site.

QUALITY OF THIS FACILITY:
The hot springs pool, spa, and water-related activities are wonderful and not to be missed. At this resort they have a plethora of covered picnic areas for group events and several nice restroom facilities to accommodate guests.

I reserved a site at this resort for my RV for two nights in early September. The rate seemed to be very reasonable per night but it did not include access to the hot springs pool, etc. The cost to use the pool, etc. was very reasonable at around $8.00. I would have felt that it would have been worth twice that price. And it was wonderfully warm and enjoyable. The staff and clientell are all very civilized and wonderful people to be around. This is a privately-owned resort reportedly owned by a group of medical doctors as an investment.

Unfortunately the park has developed over time in a piecemeal manner so that it is somewhat of a bunch of hap-hazard add-ons in a poorly arranged manner. The map on their website appears to reflect the haphazard nature of the resort complete with many oversights and omissions. But they have done the best they can to make the pool area a wonderful place to enjoy a rejuvenating experience. I loved experiencing the pool area and highly recommend it.

If possible I would recommend not staying in the RV area and either stay in one of their lodging units or drive in for the day to use the pool. The RV area is like an unwanted orphan that gets no attention or maintenance. The RV area is definitely not a place to stay if you are not there to enjoy the hot springs heated pools. It has serious problems and limitations.

To begin with the sites are ridiculously small and dysfunctional. Nobody cleans up the trash around them. They do not have a sewer hookup and they do not have a sewer dump on site. This could be a serious problem. They do have plans to put in some more sites to accommodate larger motor homes in the future and plan to install some hot tubs that will be open during the week which would make staying there more desirable.

The two restrooms were a very long way from the site they pre-assigned to me and yet those two restrooms were very close to each other. The restrooms have pay showers even though they get a tremendous amount of free hot water they could use for them.

They don’t trim the extremely large trees associated with this RV area. You will need to bring a tall ladder and loping shears if you don’t want the branches banging and scraping into your RV with the afternoon breezes. They just don’t care to take care of any maintenance associated with this orphan RV park area. They really need to either take care of it or shut it down! Another amazing thing is that they used a pea-sized black volcanic iron-rich gravel that is impossible to keep out of your RV. It took a week to finally get rid of the last of that residue. It sticks well to a magnet.


AMMENITIES AND AESTHETICS:
The hot springs heated pool and spa are the main amenities. They also have a recreational field that unfortunately was right next to my RV so children were screaming and yelling while enjoying the facilities and volleyball court that was lighted until 11:00 PM. I can’t understand why I was assigned a pathetic site next to that noisy and bright volleyball court when the park was only 10 percent full! But they operate with no feedback from guests so they keep blundering on with bad management which likely affects return visitors.


RECOMMENDED IMPROVEMENTS:
I would recommend that the owners place someone in charge of insuring that the current managers are customer-orientated and do not abuse their priviledge. Believe me this park does not provide feedback questionaires to RV Park visitors. They absolutely do not want to hear any feedback and the vacancy rate of the RV park probably proves me right. There are endless problems associated with the RV park area. The owners really need to have someone give them some feedback on what is really going on there to improve the cash-flow. I would never stay there again (the way it is current managed) and I am sure that others must feel the same way that I feel. But I would definitely want to enjoy the pool area again. But with a few changes I could see where the RV park could become a desirable destination and a big money-maker since it is adjacent a fabulous hot springs resort.

The pool area hours were already reduced to only Friday night and Saturday. If there was a quality RV park there they certainly could have at least a smaller pool opened everyday. But without any of the pools open Sunday through Friday evening, there is absolutely no reason to stay in the pathetic RV area.

The managers (for the owners) are very nice people; however, they appeared to be allowing their grandchildren to joy-ride through the RV Park area with small gas-powered maintenance vehicles at all hours of the morning, afternoon, and evening the two days I was there. This included very small children continually riding in a loop through the RV park area. I was most afraid that these tiny children would run into my vehicle because they were so young. I felt it was very dangerous entrusting them with driving these vehicles at full-speed endlessly throughout the RV park. This situation was an extreme annoyance that the owner’s likely do not know about. Because the sites are so tiny and the gravel road is so narrow these tiny children continually passed just feet away from my vehicle at full-speed for those vehicles.

SUMMARY:
All the staff and management at this park are really nice, friendly, and likeable folks. The hot springs resort is wonderful. But I would say that the owners need to show some interest in insuring that the managers keep a customer-orientated focus, pick up the trash, maintain the trees and vegetation, solicit feedback from customers (forwarded to the owners), and provide some form of visible presence in the RV area. They also need to stop allowing their grandchildren to misuse the maintenance vehicles for joy-riding through the RV area. The owners would likely be well-rewarded if they could reorient the management to strive for and achieve excellence in managing the RV park area of this resort.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DownataHotSprings, General Manager at Downata Hot Springs, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
I am excited that you enjoyed our hot springs pool at Downata Hot Springs. I am not sure if you read our history while you were visiting our 100 year old hot springs but I would like to let you know a little bit more about Downata. I started working for Downata Hot Springs 25 years ago. When I took over, the campground and pool was in very poor condition and close to being shut down. The campground was built in the early 60's when RV's were not as big and wide as they are today. The campground had only 30 hookup sites, 1 restroom (no showers except for at the pool), two pavilions, one with a dirt floor and three tepees. We added and approved the campground over the years with many hours of labor and little capital investment. The added tepees, pavilions, and all the cabins and yurts have been a great improvement. Each year we improve and add to our campground with what money is allowed for capital improvements.

The campground is built on a marsh so we have a very high water table. Tons of gravel was brought in when the campground was built. This makes it difficult to put in sewer in any areas of the campground. Our county denied us a permit to put in a RV dump in our new sewer system and that is why we don't have a dump on site. The reason why we have coin operated showers (we actually heat the water in the showers in the restrooms) is for control of the showers being left on and filling our system. We know we don't have very many showers and so the 50 cents for 6 minutes fee also makes it possible for other guests to use the showers. We try to keep our camping fees low so families can enjoy the hot springs and we have some of the lowest rates in the area.

I assure you I work very close with the owners from Utah who visit often. Only one owner in California is actively involved in the operation. I give them feed back from customers all the time. Feedback from our guests helps us get the needed capital improvements. You visited after a very busy Labor Day weekend. All of my yard workers had left for school and my camp host left for the summer. We operate with a very small staff after Labor Day.

I apologize that my grandchildren had bothered you. I work seven days a week during the summer and that slow weekend was the only time that we were able to camp with our grandchildren the entire summer. We had our reunion at Downata so that we could still watch over the campground because my camp host was gone. Our resort gets most of our revenue from reunions and groups who travel to Downata. The volleyball court is very popular area. I would have moved you to a quieter site away from the volleyball area and closer to the restrooms if I had known. The sites along the bottom are some of our most popular sites.

I will be glad to take your suggestion and put out some feedback forms for our campers. I have done this is the past, and you are right it is a good idea. I like to visit with our guests and my camp hosts are very good about getting feedback from our guests during the summer season.

I would like you to know that we started our big hot pool project. You can go to our Facebook page or www.downata.blogspot.com and see the pictures. The completed project is going to be awesome. We are putting in a large dining room, dressings rooms for the hot pools, new entrance and two large hot pools. We plan on opening full time when the project is finished. Downata use to close every Labor Day and open Memorial Day weekend. The past four years we have been able to keep it open on the weekends after Labor Day. You are right about Downey being a dying town and so we depend on distance travelers and family reunions to support the resort. When the interstate came through the area, travelers stop passing through the town of Downey. Downey was a pretty active town before this happened. It is a great place to retire and has become a retirement community.

I have offered exercise classes during the week year around for the past several years. I have seen miracles with people who have arthritis and other health problems improve their lives by coming to the hot springs to soak and exercise. I have taught these exercise classes for over 20 years and I have to say we have the best water around. I am so glad you enjoyed the pool. I invite you to join us again when you are in Idaho and I appreciate your review. I would love to put you up in one of our cabins and I think you will find them to be very comfortable and nice. I will be sure to share this review with the owners when we meet with them again.

Sincerely,
Darlene Downs
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Mistreatment because of our religion.”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

After many glares, not being allowed to do much but wade in the pool and if you do you will go on public display on their pool Mic. If our girls were being rude that would be one thing and even then not a reason to be singled out but when asked what they had done they let us know it was a couple girls diving and that we were Mormon and expect handouts. We were told different prices over the phone and then charged more once we got there. Our girls only brought what we were told over the phone. Not expecting handouts just for them to be consistent in their prices. I won't comment on the other events however LDS groups beware. They made it very clear our kind are not welcome there. On the positive side we were able to talk to our girls about persecution. It is important to know how to conduct oneself when subjected to persecution. We will never go back as a group or with my family.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jmizzle101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DownataHotSprings, General Manager at Downata Hot Springs, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
We love the LDS people. Most of our staff belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). We welcome any youth group to our facility. However, we expect all groups regardless of their religion, gender or type who attend our resort to adhere to our rules in our campground and water facilities, be respectful of other guests and pay the clearly posted rates on our website and brochures. The rules at the pool facility, such as diving, are regulated by our health department and must be enforced for the safety of our swimmers. I am sorry your group had a bad experience but I assure you that we do not persecute Mormons or any other religious group. We have many groups of all religions come to Downata Hot Springs and enjoy our resort both winter and summer.
Darlene Downs
Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Nice place to stay”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I was looking for a place between yellowstone and Santaquin on my iPad Allstays app and spotted this. Looked good. Campsites are dry, E and WE. No sewer but they say a dump is close. Not many people here this time ofmyear. Sites are nice and wide with a grass strip to relax on. Lots of grown trees. It is a little weathered but looks pretty good for a hundred. We loved the pool and my wife got a massage from the on site masseuse. We plan to add this to our places to visit when in this area.

We were here the weekend after Labor Day so it was pretty quiet which was great for usmoldies

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Walter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Ogden, Utah
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fun family friendly pool”
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

The pool is clean and kept at a good temperature. There are slides for all ages. There is also a hot tub.
There is a snack bar that you can get pizza, burgers, shakes, etc at.
We stayed in one of the large cabins there. There was plenty of room. It's a little old but it was clean. It had a fully stocked kitchen. The space and amenities met out families needs. The water pressure in the showers was way too low. The decor fit the cabin. The beds were not comfortable at all though. There is a fire pit for each cabin and ours even had a BBQ grill. Fun environment. There are placed to pitch tents, park a trailer, different kinds of cabins, and even tepees you can reserve.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cami W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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