Review: Ojo Caliente in New Mexico

The Healing Spirits of Historic Ojo Caliente

Mother and sons relaxing in pool, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, USA
••• Mother and sons relaxing in pool, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, USA. JFCreatives/Getty Images

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in New Mexico has some powerful "mojo" going for it. Its geothermal hot springs have been a gathering place for thousands of years. And it’s easy to succumb to the healing spirits that roam the property still.

One Of America's Oldest Health Resorts

The use of the waters can be traced back to the earliest human regional settlements. The bathhouse itself dates back to 1868, making it one of the oldest in the country.

Ojo Caliente (which means "hot eye" in Spanish) is the only hot springs in the world that offers four types of healing mineral waters, including soda, iron, and arsenic (believed to relieve arthritis).

Its ten pools are filled with different types and combinations of waters, with temperatures ranging from 80-109 degrees. (But bring your own robe and flip-flops.) And the resort’s full-service spa offers an over-the-top serene experience.

One of the spa’s signature treatments is the Milagro Relaxation Wrap (“milagro” is Spanish for “miracle”), a simple detoxifying wrap. First, you soak in the waters to raise your core body temperature, then go to a private treatment room. You're wrapped in a light cotton blanket, then a heavier wool blanket. As you lay in this cozy cocoon, Native American flute music plays softly in the background. The Moor Mud Wrap and Earth Keepers Hot Stone Massage are also popular treatments.

Soak in a spring (or two) prior to your treatment (Native American treatments are a specialty). You will feel so relaxed and supple, your body will be like butter in your therapist’s agile hands. To top it off, the Artesia Restaurant offers healthy, delicious fare, ranging from Yucatan Barbecued Salmon to Mayan Chicken Tacos.

Lodging Ranges From Affordable To Luxury

Locals go for the day, but travelers will want to spend at least one night. The most affordable option is the Historic Hotel built in 1916. Its 15 charming rooms have half baths (no showers), as all bathing was historically done in the bathhouses. If you want to up the luxury quotient, there are new 500-square-foot suites with kiva fireplaces and private, outdoor, two-person soaking tubs. There are also 19 charming cottages and two private homes.

This timeless “village” is a mere one hour from both Santa Fe and Taos. Do not miss this experience. It's a magical place that will truly restore your spirits.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa at a Glance