The legendary Hotel Termas de Rosario de la Frontera in Salta has conditioned its facilities and opened its doors once again to all the visitors in search of the tranquility and health offered by its hot spring waters.
We had heard about how beautifully the Hotel de Termas had changed after its façade had been repaired. Therefore, we resolved to spend a day in the historical house chosen by presidents, writers and national celebrities of the old days as a place to rest.
When we went along the leafy road and came across the hotel, I felt we were traveling back in time.
It was the year 1880 when visionary Dr. Antonio Palau built the hotel. He had discovered the hot waters springing from the mountain. By then, Dr. Palau would but suspect the variety in the local waters and their therapeutic features, which even nowadays give shape to one of the best hot spring resorts in the country.
Rodolfo Antonielli, present manager of the hotel, was expecting us for lunch. By 2:30pm, there were already few guests at the restaurant and the large room with gleaming parquet floor went back to silence. “When I was a little boy, you could only have lunch or dinner in the restaurant if you were wearing strict black tie”, Rodolfo confesses. Maître
Marcos Reynoso, just like David, has 30 years of experience acquired at the Ermitage school. The splendor of those days is evidenced in the traditional gastronomy and assistance.
The menu of the day was: Pickled beef tongue, soup of vegetables with outs and spaghetti with Bolognese sauce; all of them delicious, homemade and served from the dish, like in the old days. As David assisted us, Rodolfo explained that everything was done at the hotel, under the coordination of Chef Luis Corvalán and a team of 3 cooks and 3 assistants.
After the delicious meal, which we finished with some meringue with cream and coffee, we went round the hotel.
We strolled along the glass galleries, arranged with deck chairs and plants, leading to the rooms, decorated with iron beds and ancient furniture. We were tempted to take a refreshing nap, but they were expecting us at the hot springs bath pavilion.
Almost Miraculous Waters
Presidents Sarmiento, Bartolomé Mitre and Hipólito Irigoyen, poets such as Belisario Roldán, sculptor Lola Mora and writer Victoria Ocampo, many of the celebrities of Argentinian history would spend their days of rest and look after their health at the Hotel Termas. In 1900, the healing qualities of these waters were already famous and the resort would glitter with visitors from all round the country and South America coming to experiment various treatments.
Like in the old days, various hot spring therapies are implemented in the baths pavilion conditioned area: seven kinds of hot spring baths ranging between 26 and 99° C, among which we can mention the radioactive mud and the ferruginous or sulfurious vapors.
Rodolfo invited us to take an immersion bath with hot spring hydromassage to experiment its qualities. We gladly accepted the invitation to the test and after the usual medical check-up, two assistants were expecting to lead us to the individual rooms. In the baths, four kinds of water are mixed at approximately 35°: salty (rheumatism, articular, muscular), sulfurous (sciatica and neuralgias), ferruginous (convalescents, anemias) and silicous (high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis). Added to the hydromassage, the relaxing action of the waters quickly made effect. Rosa, member of the hot springs resort staff, called me after 15 minutes and, after lying on a stretcher, she completely covered me so that my body would absorb all the mineral properties. Another quarter of an hour and the session was over. I was totally renovated with a pleasant feeling of well-being.
After tea, Rodolfo escorted us to Yita Palén’s spa. She welcomed us with her daughter Lorena, her assistant and cosmetologist. Faithful reflection of Yita’s personality, nothing escapes the search for body and spiritual harmony in this small but comfortable corner of the hotel. Higher technician in hot spring therapies and biotherapist, Yita defines her therapy as holistic, as “it is not only physical, but worked from the inner self”.
The aim of the natural spa is to enhance life quality by means of the hot spring waters and integral nutrition, esthetics, health and anti-stress control programs.
Along with her team, which apart from Lorena is made up by Yita’s husband Jorge and physical education professor José Fernández, they offer the hotel guests and visitors in general various proposals for beauty and relax. Among the most innovative techniques, there are those based in wine-therapy –an immersion bath in rose petals and cabernet sauvignon.
We felt like undergoing a Thai relaxing session and continue chatting with Yita about ancient aborigine and eastern cultures methods, but we had to go back to Salta.
It was getting dark when we left the Hotel de Termas. The park and all the illuminated façade made the building glow like in its best years. And the new age in the Hotel Termas are more than promising.