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Two people tasting the plants in the garden at Castle Hot Springs
Credit: Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

As if soaking in natural hot springs surrounded by mineral-tinted rock walls were not enough to send you to a Zen-like state of bliss, Castle Hot Springs, a luxe all-inclusive resort voted the best Arizona resort in Travel + Leisure's 2021 World's Best Awards, offers an array of activities designed to enhance your experience.

Among the newest to join the resort's extensive list of opportunities for relaxation, wellness, learning, and physical activity are sound bath ceremonies, scenic desert e-bike tours, and gardening workshops. These are in addition to already existing on-site activities, including yoga, meditation, hikes, archery, farm tours, mixology classes, and more.

Two people tasting the plants in the garden at Castle Hot Springs
Credit: Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

The goal of the Gong Bath Sound Ceremony is to relax the body, soothe the soul, and balance energy through a combination of different musical frequencies that both calm and stimulate brain waves. Vibrational sound therapy combines powerful vibration and sound to induce a relaxed state, helping to re-align the frequencies of the body for balance and healing.

Guests at Castle Hot Springs are treated to seasonal produce from the resort's organic farm and greenhouse, cultivated for flavor rather than size and yield, and they can now take the same concepts back to their home gardens. The Homegrown Gardening Workshop is presented by the resort's experienced farmers, and farm tours are also available for those who want to see the source of the delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs served in the resort's restaurants.

The appropriately named in-house restaurant, Harvest, serves up breakfast, lunch, and a five-course dinner tasting menu, based on the daily harvest. The cuisine is complemented by a wine selection expertly curated by sommelier Sarah Foote, formerly of The French Laundry. For a more casual option, guests can dine on the patio overlooking the farm with lunch and dinner from Bar 1896.

Taking advantage of the resort's surroundings — the Bradshaw Mountains, Sonoran Desert, and Saguaro cactus-covered hills — Castle Hot Springs' activities roster already includes experiencing the outdoors through horseback riding and hiking. Now, guests can also explore the desert on e-Bikes or the new 2022 Polaris XP-1000 Razor off-road machines. Cap your adventure off with the resort's challenging Via Ferrata Adventure Course, which takes guests to new heights — literally — as they explore the canyon and mountain with a trained guide.

Person walking over narrow suspended walking bridge at Castle Hot Springs
Credit: Courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

The journey to the thermal springs is not new. Indigenous people were the first to appreciate the medicinal powers of the warm waters, and later, a wellness resort was built around the turn of the century, bringing in visitors by train. Celebrities and wealthy visitors with names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Astor traveled to the desert. President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the resort, and future president John F. Kennedy spent time at Castle Hot Springs during World War II when the resort was used as a military rehabilitation center.

Guests at Castle Hot Springs today not only enjoy the warm mineral waters, but they can also choose unique activities to create their own personalized wellness experience surrounded by the beauty of nature in the desert.