Once a towering symbol of opulence in the region, the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa is a reminder of how much the world has changed, as well as a fascinating look into the lives of people in the Victorian era. Founded because of a nearby sulfur-rich spring, the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa once hosted many famous and influential guests, including Theodore Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz. Today, the ruins of the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa are a preserved historical park open to tourists for exploration. Officials have made improvements to the hotel site to make it more accessible to visitors as well as to better preserve its history for future generations.
Watch a news report on the revival of the ruins in the following video:
Sulfur rich water was a kind of health craze at the time, as many people believed that bathing in it could help with many diseases—a reputation that Hot Wells Hotel and Spa encouraged and built upon. In addition to the public bathing areas, they also had a number of private rooms where wealthy guests could enjoy the water in their own porcelain bathtubs, complete with several amenities that were new for the time.
Learn about the history of the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa in the video below:
One of the more unusual attractions was an area for ostriches. They would host races for guest entertainment as well as provide their feathers, a staple of women’s fashion at the time. As time passed and fads changed, sulfur water was not as popular as it used to be, and the hotel closed.
Cover image by Diann Bayes is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0