The year of the tub is upon us. With bathing culture at an all-time high (even sparking the launch of an entire biodegradable beauty brand), there’s a clear connection to high-stress environments with an instinct to submerge.
—whether for the seemingly soul-deep cleanse that ensues, the womb-like safety and warmth, or simply the feeling of being cared for, rather than taking care of business.
Brides and couples looking to escape the pressures of pre- and post-wedding day planning with unapologetically luxe soaks can start in New York and Chicago, where AIRE’s Ancient Bath locations specialize in clients hoping to unplug. “We have many brides come before their big day and after to just unwind and relax,” says Silvia Barnett, the brand’s head of marketing. “We allow a very limited number of guests in the space, so people come searching for a unique experience in which they lose sense of time while they relax in a restored historical building— all candle-lit. It’s magical.” Another perk? A quiet time policy that encourages guests to keep it down, so the mood feels more like an escape and less like a locker room.
To accommodate larger wedding parties, the eco-friendly Two Bunch Palms resort in Desert Hot Springs, California is opening up its natural grotto’s famous “healing waters” to brides and grooms who just want to stop by for a day of hot spring lounging. “More and more, we find that all of us are seeking to find escapes that are meaningful—not just for a pretty picture, but to speak to our soul. Our guests want to do what is healthy and beneficial, but also fun and unique,” shares events manager Rachelle Mares. “Enjoying the magnesium, calcium, and lithium-rich mineral waters and a day of soaking aids in relaxation, reduces inflammation, enhances mood and supports restful sleep.” For a more intimate moment with your partner (or maid of honor) the wellness spa also offers outdoor mineral-rich mud baths, while the site’s popular Capone Suites and Spring rooms feature outdoor soaking tubs for an invitation-only VIP session.
Even Napa is gaining a reputation as the new bathing culture hub, where Spa Solage features The Bathhouse and its magnesium tranquility pool and renowned Calistoga mud and mineral water therapies. A skip away at Calistoga Ranch, a trained “aquatic therapist” is available to guide tired bodies through relaxing movements in their own heated mineral pool. More surprisingly, their Ale Immersion bath eschews the expected wine route and instead offers a tub filled with locally-crafted IPA beer—a technique long-believed to help with skin conditions like pre-wedding breakouts.
In Palm Springs, Spa La Quinta offers comforting Spanish-style soaks in their large Garden Bath Tub with a view of the Santa Rosa Mountains, not to mention “bath truffles” in flavors like Oolong (lime blossom, lavender, oolong tea, petit grain and bergamot) and Mandarin (comprised of ginger mandarin, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and vanilla bean). And for the bride in need of a total-body detox, a Find Your Zen Ritual even uses calming biodynamic flower essences and healing tonics ready to sip.
For brides looking for a taste of the soaking life without the trip, simple essentials like therapeutic salts, tinctures (like Collosol Eau De Lait, a favorite of the late Karl Lagerfeld, who used the French makeup remover as a silky bath tonic), and even a well-staged spread of candles and exfoliating accessories can offer the same reprieve on a daily basis.
Below, a few of our favorite chilled-out classics.