There is something about the rain in Asturias that purifies the soul. The region’s greenery welcomes the urbanite newcomer with an essential energy that sanitizes every pore with the bucolic charm of an enchanted land. And if the visitor stops in Las Caldas, the calming effects of the winds seems to multiply.
Las Caldas is a beautifully secluded village surrounded by lush vegetation, where guests arrive under the effects of stress and leave refreshed and revived. In this magical place on the banks of the Nalon River the locals built a resort—years ago— to honor and take advantage of its medicinal waters. The current managers have taken care of every detail to make sure their guests enjoy a truly relaxing experience. Six miles separate this sublime town from Oviedo, the capital of the Spanish autonomous community and Principality of Asturias. Las Caldas is a holiday destination in itself, with two hotels and numerous facilities dedicated to leisure and sport. The medicinal waters that flow from its entrails have cured and served travelers since the 17th century. Review our selection of luxury resorts.
Luis Alfonso de Carvallo was the first to write about “natural spring baths considered effective against various diseases” in his 1695 tome Antigüedades y cosas memorables del Principado de Asturias (Antiquities and memorabilia from the principality of Asturias). By the 18th century, the thermal waters had been channeled through bathhouses and guest rooms. The town’s Old Bathhouse—a natural cave—is the primary source where the precious waters flow through cracks in the carboniferous limestone rocks, at a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Las Caldas Villa Termal Resort—with a large spa circuit and treatments cabins — is longstanding, but modern blocks have been added in recent years. There is the Aquaxana, an eco-thermal space to enjoy the water and relax outdoors in an 8,600 square feet area dotted with pools of various shapes and sizes. Also, the Fitness Institute provides therapeutic programs and a healthy diet, as well as a sports center for exercise. What makes the stay in Las Caldas Spa a really pleasant experience are the luxurious details. The five-star Grand Hotel dazzles with its splendid Hall of Mirrors, its iconic iron gateway and the rooms and suites of a classic hotel but designed with modern ideas of well-being and comfort. Places to restore body and mind.
For its part, the four-star Enclave Hotel showcases a more severe architecture, but as you access its old rooms, a relaxing breeze packs your lungs. Everything is complemented with friendly attributes. The small reading lamps, 24 hours laundry and room service, a card that opens the door of your room, the parking and the hotel entrances, and especially the great idea of building transparent walls to enjoy the beauty of nature from your bed.
And, like all small towns, this one offers all kinds of curiosities: from a neighbor in her 50s conversing via Skype on a public bench, to a bulletin board featuring information as varied as an obituary or a macrame workshop. Las Caldas is a unique place where you will always want to return. ■