Every year I take an annual pilgrimage to natural hot springs somewhere in the Western Cape, so when the opportunity arose to visit The Baths in Citrusdal, I could not refuse.
I had not visited The Baths at Citrusdal for about 10 years, and in the interim, the property had changed ownership and the accommodation upgraded, so I was keen to see what changes had been made.
The Baths are about a two and half hour drive from Cape Town up the west coast. The weather was perfect when I set off from Cape Town and the west coast flowers were in full bloom.
Along the way, there are numerous farm stalls with colourful signboards inviting passing tourists to pop in for coffee, cake and wonderful homemade culinary delights. However, I decided to resist the temptation and headed straight for Citrusdal.
Set in a kloof on a lush citrus farm with a natural hot spring, The Baths was established in 1739. This self-catering resort with Victorian-style stone buildings maintains an old world charm in a stunning rural setting. The air is filled with birdsong and the soothing sound of flowing water from the warm spring river that runs through the property. As the sun sets the sweet fragrance of Jasmine wafts across through the air.
The Baths have of two main pools – the warm one is 43 degree, and a cold pool. For those who prefer a bit of privacy and a more rustic environment closer to nature, there are 3 rockpools on the mountainside where water flows from the mountain spring.
Resort manager, Cobus, who has worked at the Baths for 18 years, showed me the main eye that delivers over 105 000 litres of pure spring water per hour. The water comes out at 43º Celsius and is crystal clear and perfect to drink.
The accommodation includes 16 self-catering chalets and 19 flats with self-contained kitchens and braai areas. Many of the chalets and apartments have the own private jacuzzi. The stylish decor is uniform throughout the resort with all the chalets being decorated in hues of blues and greens with crisp white linen.
For those who prefer to camp there are 25 shaded caravan and camping sites with ablution facilities and electrical points. Other activities on offer are tennis, trampoline, a games room with pool table, playground for children, 2 hiking trails, mountain biking and bird watching.
The McGregor Restaurant is a casual eatery with a bar and terrace overlooking the caravan site. It offers a selection of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dinner, I enjoyed a surf and turf of rump steak and calamari which was delicious. There is a small cafe where visitors can get the basics.
The health benefits of the hot springs were known to the indigenous San people for hundreds of years. As their physical and spiritual worlds intertwined, the San used the hot spring water for healing purposes. Evidence of this can be found in the rock art found near The Baths.
The water is rich in minerals and trace elements which aids in soothing aching muscles, improving blood circulation and detoxifying. Although the management does not claim that the waters possess any healing properties, anyone who visits The Baths and spends time in the waters will undoubtedly leave feeling relaxed and healthier than they did on arrival.
The mineral-rich waters not only detoxify our overly stressed and polluted bodies but also benefit us by the wide spectrum of minerals that our bodies absorb while soaking. Truly a gift from mother nature, bathing in pure spring water can be described as almost magical!
I would highly recommend a visit to The Baths for anyone who suffers from fatigue and is looking for a natural way to detox and heal their body.
The Baths are situated on The West Coast Way Wild Route