When most of us hear the words ‘hot springs,’ images of natural hot springs probably come to mind. The pools at Poly Hot Springs are definitely man-made, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of them. In fact, the springs are one of the best places in town to beat a hangover, and are easily within the budget of most expats in the city. For a mere 160 (ish) RMB, you get access to all of the heated pools, the wave pool, and the very green grounds until 2 AM, when they close.
ARRIVAL AND PAYMENT
Upon arrival, head to the left side of the lobby to get your numbered rubber bracelet to unlock your locker. Pay upfront for entry. There are extras within the hot springs that cost extra, but if you just enjoy the hot springs, hop in the wave pool or swim some laps, you won’t spend any extra. If you want full body scrubs, massages, and food, bring your phone in to pay for things as you go.
After getting your bracelet, you’ll be sent to your changing room. Men need to head to the right, women to the left of the front desk. From there, you’ll find yourself in the change rooms. Every guest gets a locker that matches the number on their bracelet. To open it, find a change room attendant and hand her/him your bracelet. If you’re heading to the springs, change into your swimwear, throw on your sandals and head past the showers, downstairs and past the indoor swimming pool to meet your friends and explore the grounds.
When you’re all done, give your bracelet to the attendant in the change room and they’ll swap it for a swipe card you need to exit. Before exiting into the lobby, you’ll need to insert the card into a turnstile.
Poly Hot Springs spa is really just a collection of beautiful outdoor hot tubs. Paths meander through trees and shrubbery, with a decent amount of privacy between the pools. When you leave the indoor pool area, you can head right to find several small pools, or go more to the left to pass the wave pool. On the left of the wave pool, there’s a small cave entrance where you can find the kids’ area. Beyond that, behind the large swimming pool, you can find a path and stairs to find the “Seven Stars Pool to Therefrom,” seven hot tubs up the mountain at the back of the resort. There are signs to find these pools, which are generally empty because they’re harder to find.
Next to every pool, you should be able to find a few different things. They all have a rack for your towels and things. Nearby, you can find a temperature display in degrees Celsius. A 35-7 degree pool is a pretty normal hot tub temperature. Some of the pools go up to 43 degrees, and those ones are seriously hot. Finally, each hot tub should have a sign bearing a description of the pool and properties of its water. The English is pretty bad on these signs, but you should get the gist of what the added flowers, herbs or tea mean in traditional Chinese medicine.
The Poly Hot Springs spa is in the Baoli Wenquan neighborhood, in Wudang district. It can be reached by heading out past Zhongtian Huayuan or through the Future Ark developments. Taking a taxi from downtown should be between 25-40 yuan from the downtown area, depending on traffic. When you arrive, you’ll see Poly Hot Springs Hotel. If you’re facing the hotel from the street, look to your right and you’ll see the domed entrance to the hot springs.