Rebuilt Castle Hot Springs aims to transport visitors back in time

In its heyday, the Castle Hot Springs, located northwest of Phoenix, was one of the most popular resort destinations in the world.

It's warm spring waters were a favorite for the rich and famous, and people from wealthy families like the Rockefellers or the Kennedys to recovering World War II veterans discovered the water's healing power.

For the last 40 years, the area has been a ghost town, but all of that is about to change.

"It was originally purchased back in 2015 for a little less than two million dollars, which included over 200 acres," said Steve Sampson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Castle Hot Springs.

Sampson says the main attraction has always been the natural springs: water at 125°F (51.67°C) that bubbles up from 10,000 feet below ground, filling three natural pools.

"It produces 200,000 gallons a day that's been measurable since the early 1900s," said Sampson.

Most of the original buildings are still there, but restoration work continues.

"This place really strikes a chord in people's emotions," said Sampson.

Castle Hot Springs was discovered in 1867, when the U.S Cavalry chased down some robbers who raided a mining camp near Prescott.

"They take off for the Bradshaw Mountains, and they are being chase by colonel Charles Craig and cavalry officers from Fort Whipple," said Sampson.

After securing the robbers...

"They tie them up, basically reconnaissance the area, and find the hot springs about a quarter mile up the path," said Sampson.

Before the turn of the century, the first buildings go up, and Castle Hot Springs is open for business.

"It opened in 1896, and for that first part of the 20th Century, this was one of the most desirable resort destinations in the world," said Sampson.

A fire, however, ended all that.

"In December of 1976, a spark from a fire in the fireplace in the Palm Buildin,g which was behind us, the Palm Building, was the main hotel that burned to the ground in 1976," said Sampson. "Then, it was a ghost town."

Work on a new resort started and stopped for over 40 years, but this time around, the historic property will finally be open for business once more.

"We will have this property open in early October," said Sampson.

New private bungalows will feature an outdoor tub, so guests can soak in natural spring waters while star gazing.

"The unique feature of the spring bungalows is they have these large oversized tubs with an open ceiling, and you can literally flick a spigot and the water from that hot springs is going to come in at 120 degrees, fill your tub, and you'll be able to soak under the stars at night," said Sampson.

Water from the hot springs will also fill a pool that was once the largest in Arizona, and that's not all.

"We even plan on bottling Castle Hot Springs water, and we will have it in our guest rooms," said Sampson.

They've restored all the buildings that survived the fire, and hope to re-capture the history and charm that was once Castle Hot Springs.

"It's going to transport you back to the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, that heyday and glory of Castle Hot Springs. So, its going to be a pretty amazing place," said Sampson.

There is no cellular phone service and no TV at the hot springs, and it will only be open during the fall and winter months.

Castle Hot Springs