Travel Q & A: New Mexico spas
I’m considering going to have a high-end New Mexico spa weekend. Any ideas?
– Kristin Carlson, Morgan Hill In my dream world, the nation’s philanthropic foundations rise up in horror at the plight of the Fourth Estate, realize how inexorably linked our downsizing is to the future health of the democracy and put this watchdog industry back on sound financial footing. Then, maybe then, I could be paid to perform such public services as reviewing high-end spas in the Southwest desert. (Oh, sure, we could beef up the investigative reporting team, too. I’m a reasonable woman.)
Until then, we’ll have to rely on unbiased reports from those who do go to spas as regular ol’ paying customers. But wait, she says, pulling tongue out of cheek. Who does that these days? Many spa magazines and spa web sites are closely aligned with the spa industry itself. They may have terrific spa experts on staff, but I suggest you weigh their reports with the proverbial grain of salt (from the pink sands of paradise, to be used in your $150 salt scrub).
SpaFinder, for example, lists only three spas in New Mexico: Hyatt Regency Tamaya, RockResorts at La Posada and Spa Sumadhi at Sunrise Springs. There is no mention of the dozen other New Mexico getaway spas in the state.
Spa magazine’s Web site offers blurbs on six New Mexico spas, with each write-up more adjective-filled than the one before it.
We remembered that Allure magazine sends out “undercover reporters” to check out spas and salons. Alas, it appears they haven’t been to New Mexico yet.
But plenty of travelers who contribute opinions to Zagat surveys have, and they regularly give high marks to Ten Thousand Waves spa in Santa Fe.
“There are options for private hot tubs set under the piñon pines, or community hot tubs,” she says. “Don’t look for a facial or to get your nails done – it’s not that kind of spa. Instead, it’s a lovely, quieting place, like a Japanese onsen.”
Kyle Wagner of the Denver Post raves about Ojo Caliente.
“An hour southwest of Taos sits an oasis of sanity, and a true rarity: a reasonably priced spa, complete with four geothermal springs and a mud pool,” Wagner says. “It has wonderful American Indian spiritual undertones, and leans more toward the basics, but the full-service treatments are top-notch.”
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