Few can argue that women are attracted to Santa Fe. It’s more than the desert flowers made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s more than the silver and turquoise jewelry sold in just about every shop in town. It’s much more than the adobe buildings that contrast the deep blue sky, which serves as a backdrop to the town 320 days a year.
Santa Fe is a vortex that pulls in the estrogen-enhanced population. It’s ineffable. It’s undeniable. There’s just something in the air that makes women fall in love with the city. And, if they can afford to, they move there.
For those of us who don’t live in Santa Fe but make it a goal to visit regularly, we know part of the secret to enjoying the city is taking the time to reflect, meditate, and truly soak up the spiritual vibe that permeates the air.
One of the best ways to do so is visiting one of the area’s spas. (Allow me to pause to say this kind of research is one of the best parts about writing for this blog.)
While most of the hotels in Santa Fe offer spa services, here are some of top spots from which to choose.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
It’s easy to make a full-day trip out to Ojo Caliente. Start early with a hike to the mica mines, located behind the hot springs. This four-mile (roundtrip) hike isn’t too difficult, but is made more strenuous due to the altitude of about 7,800 feet. The front desk can provide a map of hiking trails; they are pretty well marked.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from your hike, have lunch at the Artesian Restaurant (the Tortilla Soup and Black Bean Wrap are my faves). You can then soak in one or more of the outdoor springs, including the Lithia Spring, Iron Spring, Soda Spring, and Arsenic Spring. Each has its own medicinal properties. Finish the afternoon with a spa treatment, mud bath, or both. Clothing is required at these co-ed springs.
Viewfinder Tip: Because Santa Fe is at elevation, temperatures can get quite cool by late afternoon. Be sure to wrap up before the sun goes down.
Ten Thousand Waves
This spa, located about 10 minutes from Santa Fe, is unique in that it’s Japanese-themed. The architecture, setting, and scenery are all inspired by hot spring resorts in Japan.
Note to the shy—the public soaking tubs are clothing optional until 8:15 p.m. but private baths are available for those uncomfortable with nudity. There’s also a women-only tub that’s clothing optional.
This spa and location are beautiful, but the Asian appeal always has struck me as a bit dissonant given the surrounding natural Southwestern beauty.
Also, there are lots of massage options available, including those featuring Japanese-style treatments.
This is one of my favorite hotels in the city because it’s 100 percent Native American-owned, and is the only spa in town to hold that distinction.
Located in its own building behind the hotel, The Spa has one of the widest ranges of offerings in Santa Fe, from foot massages to body scrubs to hot stone treatments. Personally, I never can resist a foot massage, given the amount of walking I do in town.
Traditional kiva fireplace
Inn and Spa at Loretto
Located very close to the town’s central plaza, you likely have seen this hotel and spa featured in magazines about the city. You can’t miss the adobe rooftops lined with farolitos—lit candles in bags that can be seen throughout Santa Fe in December.
The spa itself has an authentic New Mexican feel, with hand-carved furniture and a traditional kiva (arched and rounded) fireplace.
The spa’s treatments take on a Southwest feel as they specialize in native rituals. Try the sage clearing that includes a Native American-inspired blessing. You’re in for a real treat if you’ve never been cleansed of your stress with sage; you’ll feel like a new person after breathing in this herb’s aroma.
What do you look for in a spa?