Spas in New Mexico are as interesting as the state itself, with historic hot springs, luxury inns, resorts, and even a destination spa near Santa Fe. The state is rich in sunshine and natural beauty, while the living Native American culture infuses it with a deep sense of place. New Mexico spas tend to cluster around Santa Fe, the historic town that is the state's cultural center. There's a strong tradition of hot springs in New Mexico, including Ojo Caliente in the north and the plain (but delightfully inexpensive) Jemez Bathhouse west of Santa Fe.
An hour north of Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente is a beloved destination in New Mexico and the only place in the world that combines four distinct geothermal mineral waters (also known as hot springs). Ancient Indians built their Pueblo overlooking these hot springs, whose name means “hot eye.” Today at Ojo Caliente you can stay in the historic (and affordable) 1916 hotel, cottages, luxury suites, private homes or even a round barn.
The owners of Ojo Caliente opened this wellness resort in 2015 after an interesting property near Santa Fe came on the market. Some of its most interesting innovations are a Puppy Studio where guests can play with future service dogs; a breezy outdoor chicken coop where you can sit with the hen, and an art studio that can accommodate a range of talents. Along with spa treatments and private outdoor baths, try a surprisingly affordable life consultation and enhancement sessions with Michael Schroeder MA, LMFT.
Inspired by the great Japanese hot springs resorts, Ten Thousand Waves is just ten minutes from Santa Fe but feels a world away. Enjoy your time in the private outdoor cedar tubs set among piñons and junipers, or hop into the co-ed Grand Bath, where only swimsuit bottoms are required. (Women may prefer the retreat to their own communal bath.) The massage and bodywork is excellent skin care, and restaurant in casual Japanese small plate dining called izanami. Most people come here for the day but there are fourteen luxurious overnight suites designed in a soothing Japanese style.
Four Seasons stands for a high level of quality and service, which you'll find at this 65-room jewel-box hotel. The spa featuring regionally inspired treatments, including an altitude-adjustment massage that helps your body adapt to Santa Fe’s elevation (over 7,000 feet), and you can get spiritual add-ons like smudging and chakra-balancing). There are daily yoga classes, Pilates instruction and a free morning desert hike. It also has an adventure partner that plans custom itineraries for hiking, mountain biking and cultural tours to historic sites like Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu.
La Posada is located on six lush acres just two blocks from the historic Plaza in downtown Santa Fe. The historic adobe hotel has 157-rooms, many with kiva fireplaces and patios. The 4,500 square foot Avanyu Spa has eight treatment rooms and a roof-top terrace with cabanas for outdoor treatments. Indigenous treatments include a stimulating chocolate-chile body wrap and a remineralizing adobe mud wrap.
This pueblo-style resort between Albuquerque and Santa Fe has 350 rooms and fabulous views of the Sandia Mountains. It offers golf, horseback riding, and tennis, and native-inspired spa treatments like "Ancient Drumming," a body wrap that uses mud from the Jemez Mountains infused with New Mexico red chili. The therapist gently "drums" the stress away using flaxseed-filled muslin bags that have been dipped in pinon-scented oil.
El Monte Sagrado is an unusual property set on four acres just a short walk from the shopping and gallery-filled historic town of Taos. Its 36 suites are inspired by Navajo culture, and the resort as a whole is known for its commitment to sustainability. The spa includes traditional services as well as special offerings like sound and vibrational therapy, rapid eye technology, and spiritual cleansings.
This simple bathhouse first built in the 1870s in the spectacular Jemez Mountains west of Santa Fe is a true old-fashioned spa experience (and a state historical site.) You recline in a large concrete tub behind a curtain and enjoy the benefits of the hot mineral water. An outdoor cedar tub is available for groups of up to six. Don't expect luxury, but it's a great destination for spa and hot springs enthusiasts. And you'll love the old-fashioned prices--$12 for a 25-minute soak. The bathhouse has no accommodations, but there are inns and B&Bs nearby.