Mineral Bathhouses originated during the Roman Empire in c.33 BC. Both public and private baths were used to cleanse citizens and rejuvenate them. These bathhouses were originally used for cleansing, but soon developed into meeting places to converse with others. The system called hypocaust was used to revitalize their bodies through a series of rooms offered varying temperatures of mineral springs that opened up the pores and hydrated the skin. The mineral bathhouses that are found in Saratoga NY today carry on this old-world tradition.
The birth of the first Saratoga NY bathhouse began with Congress Spring. This mineral spring is now Congress Park in Saratoga NY. Many of the bed and breakfasts in Saratoga are close to Congress Park; it is a great spot for picnics and picturesque strolls. Three of the bathhouses that were built in the early 1900s were the Lincoln, the Washington, and the Roosevelt mineral bathhouse. Today, the Washington bathhouse is not in existence, however the Lincoln Bathhouse is still operational. The Roosevelt bathhouse closed in 1996 and reopened in the summer of 2004. It offers a 13,000-square-foot spa among smaller baths and other amenities. It is owned by the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center. The Washington Bathhouse is now the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. Find out more about this museum on the attractions in Saratoga Springs page.
In Saratoga NY, the function of the bathhouses were once sanitariums, until the 1920s when they became a meeting place for the social elite to gossip and relax. Today, the interest in bathhouses has spread, due to people seeking out new ways to relax and reconnect with the past.
The Saratoga Springs Spa hotel, the Gideon Putnam has revamped the Lincoln Bathhouse, now called the Lincoln Mineral & Spa. An array of massage and spa treatments are offered. On the premise, there are 20 mineral baths. Due to the health-conscious lifestyle today, it is hard to get in to a mineral bathhouse in Saratoga NY without a reservation. Make sure to book a mineral bath reservation and experience the mineral springs for yourself the next time you choose a bed and breakfast for your Saratoga Springs lodging!