ASHFORD, Wash. — Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience with a one-of-a-kind view?
Check out the Cannibal Hot Tub at the base of Mount Rainier!
It’s located on the grounds of Paradise Village Hotel and Restaurant, just off State Route 706.
$95 gets you one hour in the wood-fired hot tub with family or friends.
"It's like a Ukranian type thing, they've got tons of them out there,” said William Zaika, whose family owns and operates the hotel. “They've got whole entire resorts."
The Zaikas immigrated from Ukraine and William swears by the positive effects of plunging into very hot (and cold) water. They had a tub shipped overseas to create what they believe is the first Cannibal Hot Tub experience in the Northwest.
The giant cauldron is filled with fresh water and heated exclusively by a fire built below.
"The water's super clean,” Zaika said. "(It’s from) the river, from the mountain.”
The only other ingredient is you. Tara Hitchcock traveled from Hood River, Ore. to try the tub.
"I'm a sucker for something with a good story, I'm a sucker for something with a good name, and I'm a sucker for hot tubs,” she said.
After the fire is first lit and burns hot, it becomes an "extra-hot tub." Rocks are placed at the bottom of the pot to protect sensitive feet. Cold water can be added, as needed. But when the flames turn to embers, the temperature feels just about right.
“It's great,” Hitchcock said. “You're outside, it's a beautiful day, it’s Washington State, and Mount Rainier."
The adjoining hotel has 12 rooms, a restaurant and bakery (filled with Eastern European pastries baked by Zaika’s mother.) They also sell fresh honey harvested from hives on the property.
You don't need to book a room in order to rent time in the Cannibal Hot Tub, but you might want to.
“It’s so relaxing,” Zaika said. “You get in there, you smell the smoke from the wood. 30 minutes in, I'm just like, ‘I’ve got to go to bed!”
The hot tub is available for one, two or three hour sessions and can be booked online. Zaika said they disinfect the space between guest visits.