A Great Place to Take a Bath


Never heard of the place, nor the town, but naked lust for a bath drove me 67 easy miles, almost all freeway, to get to Okawville, Illinois, in about an hour and ten minutes, and find in the tiny old German town a turn-of-the-century building, The Original Springs Hotel (established 1867), built over a mineral spring discovered after the locals noticed how the spring’s water affected their pots and pans. The hotel building with 36 rooms and a quaint lobby has at its center a huge beautiful
modern utterly clean heated mineral-water swimming pool beneath a two-story skylight and because I went on a Thursday morning I had the pool all  to myself. Weekends are the busy time. (The Divine Cabin has no tub, only a shower.)

The bath attendant gave me towels and a robe, and I put my bathing suit on in the women’s locker room and swam in the pool for 45 minutes. Then in one of the many little private tub rooms, the bath attendant ran me a hot bath with whirlpool. I luxuriated in it for half an hour practically weeping with joy; I had last had a hot bath in January. Iced mineral water is served everywhere including the bath. Then there’s the dry sauna. That much and all the mineral water you bring jugs for you can get for $23. Spa services at additional cost include massages, wraps, and scrubs, and I got a salt scrub and a heavenly 50-minute Swedish massage in a beautiful pink room with soft music, scented candles, and chimes, and my skin (toughened by the hard water at home in rural Missouri) is now baby-butt smooth, and I felt as if I had entered as a caterpillar and come out a butterfly.