5 Hot Tubs for a Restorative Soak in San Francisco
The warm and lovely soaking tub at Onsen. (Courtesy of bellavitastyle.com)

5 Hot Tubs for a Restorative Soak in San Francisco


There's nothing quite like warm water to melt away stress, and San Franciscans undoubtedly love a good soak. If you can't get away to one of our region's glorious natural hot springs, don't fret. There is a hot tub near you.

Of course, SF spas take the bathing experience above and beyond, and also offer massages, steam rooms, saunas, and tea. Here's where to warm up and chill out.


Part Japanese-style bath house and part tea room, the Tenderloin's Onsen is flooded with warm, natural light. Lush plants surround the 104-degree communal soaking pool, and a redwood and cedar sauna, steam room, cold plunge, and showers are also available for extra relaxation. Cuddle up in a plush robe and enjoy a hot cup of tea, or go all out with a massage or acupuncture. Peckish afterward? Order light, seasonal Asian fare at the restaurant. // 466 Eddy St. (Tenderloin); reservations ($38/bath except during special hours for $28) are available at onsensf.com.

Pearl Spa

If you haven't yet tried a Korean spa, think of it as beauty initiation (er, hazing really). The scrubs are implemented with militant force but promise to leave you with rejuvenated, glowing skin—as does Pearl's 24-karat-gold extract full-body scrub and massage ($150). This women-only oasis has a jacuzzi, cold tub, sauna, steam room, and areas to just chill, but you should also try the offerings more unique to Korean spa culture. Let a pool of marble-sized clay balls massages your aching muscles, or balance your energy and blood sugar levels in the Himalayan salt room. // 1654 Post St. (Japantown); reservations ($35 general admission plus additional fees for treatments) are available at pearlspasf.com.

Spa Vitale

An oldie but a goodie, Spa Vitale still delights us with its bamboo-encircled rooftop soaking tubs where all it takes is 50 minutes and a glass of prosecco to help us mellow out. The bathing rituals here are infused with lavender milk and sea salts to soothe aching muscles and come with an herbal beverage, fresh fruit, and cucumber slices and a cool cloth for your eyes. Take it all in with panoramic views of the city. // 8 Mission St. (Embarcadero), reservations ($95-$190 for a bathing ritual) can be made at jdvhotels.com.

Archimedes Banya

Archimedes Banya offers an assortment of global spa treatments. You can have a soak, scrub, and sweat it out with Greek, German, Russian, and Turkish hammam–style bathing. Couples can also share the pleasure and pain of the Russian-style venik platza, a massage-slash-light-beating with tree branches in a steam room. They also offer massages, facials, and wraps. // 748 Innes Ave. (Bayview), reservations ($47 for a basic pass, $39 during weekday happy hour) are available at banyasf.com.

Kabuki Springs and Spa

The recent addition of CBD-infused massage, promising an aromatic and anti-inflammatory experience, is reason enough to revisit the beloved Kabuki bathhouse, where communal hot tubs, a cold plunge, steam room, and sauna promise you'll feel refreshed. In need of some deeper pampering? Try one of their worldly services like a matcha body wrap, an Abhyanga oil massage with Shirodhara, or the Javanese Lulur—a traditional Indonesian ritual with a massage, turmeric and rice body scrub, a moisturizing yogurt application, and exotic flower bath. // 1750 Geary Blvd. (Japantown), reservations ($30 for the communal bath, $15 with treatment) are available at kabukisprings.com.

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