Novaqua: Water for life

18/Octubre/2012 | 17:00

By Lance Brashear

[email protected]

Following an investment of half a million dollars, Balnearios Duran - a company that for more than 80 years has leveraged its natural hot springs to create a national and international recreational and therapeutic destination – recently opened Novaqua, an exclusive spa that expands its geothermal facilities.

Novaqua was the one component still missing from an otherwise well-rounded retreat offered by Balnearios Duran, which counts on several popular facilities in the town of Baños, just 20 minutes from the UNESCO world heritage town of Cuenca. 

Balnearios Duran, part of a tradition dating to the late 1920s, includes Hosteria Duran, a 36-room full-service hotel with its own geothermal pool, Turkish bath, and private “reservados,” or reserved baths.  The hotel and nearby mineral pools have always been popular family destinations.  Until recently, they lacked a place made for adults and adults only.

“We realized that we have always serviced families,” says General Manager Susana Duran, whose grandfather founded the business and whose extended family still owns it today.  She says that two market studies confirmed their need to expand in a new direction.

Marketing Manager, Maria Inez Maldonado, says that with the addition of Novaqua, Balnearios Duran can be more inclusive by also being exclusive.  “It is fine to come with your family and enjoy the pools of Hosteria Duran, the kid pools and the adult pools, but in the case of Novaqua Spa, only those above 16 years of age are allowed so that you can relax as a couple or with people [your own age] without distraction.”

By focusing on the adult market, Novaqua has put a stronger focus on health and therapy, rather than recreation.  “We have always been recreational, even though there are people who come regularly…for their health,” Duran says.

The mineral waters of Hosteria Duran and Novaqua come from the same geothermal spring – a hillside that serves as a natural wall along their properties, 400 meters long and 10 meters high, which gives birth to mineral waters that leave the earth at a scalding 75 degree Celsius.  The waters are cooled in large tanks until they reach 38-40 degrees, an optimum temperature for the thermal pool.

Just as important as the water’s temperature are the contents.  The natural geothermal spring water contains elements and minerals such as iron, sodium, iodine, bromine, boron, chromium, and phosphorous, all of which work to regulate the metabolism of the body.  Together, with the water’s temperature, they treat a variety of ailments like rheumatism.  The hot steam generated in the Turkish baths fortifies the respiratory system.

Therapy instructor Betty Duran says the temperature of the mineral waters increase one’s body temperature, purifying it from toxins and increasing circulation and oxygenation, which helps with metabolism and digestion, not to mention reducing stress and anxiety.  Additionally they treat the skin and when combined with an exercise program relieve physical aches and increase range of motion.

“In my experience I would say that for the person to feel better it will take 11-13 weeks in a regular pool.  Here in five weeks they start saying how well they feel.  [They say] ‘so good, I was able to sleep, the pain is gone, I don’t have to take pain pills to go to sleep,’” says Betty Duran.

Novaqua is a full-service spa with massage and beauty treatments.  They use only Young Living Products – natural essences recognized worldwide for their quality.

For those who have never visited, Novaqua recommends trying their basic circuit.  Begin with a dip in the thermal pool followed by the contrasting thermal pools where you move back and forth from 40 degrees to 8 degrees, purifying the skin further of toxins.  Finish with a Turkish bath vapor rooms.  The basic circuit is $12, but can be augmented with the additional services.

Visit Novaqua today call (07) 289-2354 or visit the website at   For reservation at Hosteria Duran call (07) 289-2301/2485 or write [email protected].  Rooms range from $59 for singles to $120 for large suites, taxes and service included.   Also inquire about monthly, quarterly, and annual memberships.


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lbrashear - en Diario HOY - Noticias de Ecuador.