water photo

For many guests, Harbin’s greatest allure is its spring-fed hot, warm, and cold pools. Our clothing-optional Mainside Pool Area now features a total of eight different pools. These include all the pools you may remember from earlier visits, plus a new, trellis-area Hot Plunge, and a dedicated Health Services Pool for semi-private professional aquatic bodywork treatments. All these pools are fed by the different-temperature springs on our property. These spring waters may be blended, heated, or cooled to produce and maintain the consistent temperatures that our guests have come to know and love – ranging from profoundly hot to chillingly cold, and perfectly in-between.


Harbin remains one of only three public facilities in the entire state of California not required to use chlorine as the primary disinfectant in its pools. Thanks to our historical water-management practices and state-of-the-art engineering systems, we have been state- and county-approved to continue cleaning our pools and their water primarily with a combination of hydrogen peroxide (what our grandmothers used for treating cuts and scrapes), ozone gas, and ultraviolet light. It’s a more complex and costly way to do it; but it’s also far gentler and healthier for the skin, eyes, nose, and lungs – and it gives Harbin’s pools the kind of water you’d be happy to soak in all day. As many of our guests do!



Historic Pools



Warm Pool. As you walk up the road into the pool area, the Warm Pool is directly in front of you: you’ll see the curved stairs leading up to it, and the familiar white railing around it. When people refer to Harbin’s “main pool”, this is likely the one they mean; it’s also where Watsu® was initially developed. The water temperature here is ideal for enjoying long, meditative soaks without getting either too hot or too cold.


Hot Pool. Harbin’s signature pool is its enclosed Hot Pool, under the peaked roof with manzanita-mullioned stained glass. You can enter this structure from the far end of the Warm Pool, or by walking around either side of that pool. The water in our Hot Pool is EXTREMELY HOT – so please enter it with awareness and care. And if you’re not experienced soaking in water this hot, please limit your initial dips to less than a minute.


Cold Plunge. Around the back of the Hot Pool and up a half flight of stairs is Harbin’s Cold Plunge, and the fig-shaded sitting area that is home to our Quan Yin statue. This pool has very cold water, which comes directly from its spring and flows quickly through the pool without any treatment. Many guests enjoy alternating rounds of soaking between this Cold Plunge and our Hot Pool.


ADA-Accessible Pools



One of the most notable updates to Harbin’s Mainside Pool Area is the level and contour of the ground in front of the Sauna, and around the pools under the trellises and adjacent to the Sundeck. This whole area, as well as its pools and structures, is fully ADA-compliant – making all these facilities accessible to all Harbin guests.


Trellis Cold Plunge. The square pool closest to the entrance of the Sauna building is our Trellis Cold Plunge; it was first built several years ago. Thanks to the physics of a pool-to-pool heat exchanger, its water is actually refrigerated – making this pool a truly bracing refresher following a hot plunge or a sweat in the Sauna.


Trellis Hot Plunge. This square pool is brand new: it’s located just in front of the Trellis Cold Plunge, and is a perfect mirror of it. Together, these twin Hot and Cold Plunges offer Harbin guests a second option for alternating rounds of hot and cold soaking. The water in this plunge is partially solar heated, and can be VERY HOT.


Heart Pool. Our easily recognized Heart Pool is named for its shape, and located in the trellis area. As in the Warm Pool, the water here approximates body temperature, making it another perfect place to relax for extended periods. Unlike the Warm Pool, quiet talking and socializing are welcome here – as are supervised children from 10am-dusk.


Swimming Pool. Harbin’s big Swimming Pool is the place to swim laps or exercise, lounge about, socialize, and play underwater in the deep end. For safety reasons, though, we do not allow diving into any Harbin pool. The water temperature here varies with the seasons, but is usually on the cooler side, appropriate for active enjoyment; during cold weather, we warm it slightly.


Health Services Pool. The oval pool under the oval roof is another new addition. This Health Services Pool was designed and built specifically to give our guests a more-private setting for their professional Watsus® and other aquatic bodywork sessions. Its body-temperature water is the ultimate medium for long, blissful treatments. The Health Services Pool is reserved for private sessions from 9am-9pm and available for guests to use from 9pm-9am.


Map of the Pool Area shows the upper road leading to the Pool area and the layout of the pools with locations of accessibility, restrooms, showers, parking and phones.

(click to enlarge)


Sundeck, Sauna & Facilities



Sundeck. Clothing-optional sunbathing is a favorite Harbin activity. Our new sundeck (accessible by elevator from the ADA parking below) gets beautiful sunlight from early morning through mid afternoon. This sundeck is also where you’ll find our temporary bathroom/shower facilities.


Sauna. Our new dry Sauna is more than twice as large as the one it replaced. It’s a beautiful cedar Sauna with ample seating and custom woodworking – including window, lighting, and railing details crafted from Harbin trees. (A new steam room is planned as part of our future permanent Dressing Room/Spa.)


Changing Area, Showers & Restrooms. The pool area features a covered changing area with storage cubes, outdoor showers, and a temporary restroom trailer with small private rooms with toilets and showers. All facilities are gender-neutral.


Be sure to bring your own beach towels; Harbin provides them for sale only.


Watsu® is a registered service mark assigned to Harold Dull.

Rates, Reservations (Lodging) & Pre-Check-In

To change, cancel or get assistance with Reservations or Pre-Check-In, call 707-987-2477 (9 am to 8 pm)

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