My husband and I recently sprung for a night in a Cliff Suite at Ojo Caliente as part of our New Mexico road trip. We had previously visited the mineral springs on a day trip from Taos, but were ready for a more in-depth relaxation experience.
We arrived at the Springs at 10:00, and to my surprise, were told that we could “have” our room then, rather than wait until the three o’clock check in time. Our room was a short drive from the main lodge, and is one in several whose rear faces a near vertical “cliff” that affords guest total privacy while using the outdoor portion of the suite. The room itself, which smelled pleasantly of pinon smoke from past use of the corner kiva fireplace was immaculate and well-appointed. The two queen size beds were made up with decently threaded sheets, fluffy sueded duvets and heaped with cushions. Twin leather chairs were set up in front of a table before the fireplace. Lighting was low, and came from tableside lamps and small spotlights concealed in the vigas overhead. A microwave and mini-fridge were discreetly placed near the sink area, and cups and glasses provided, along with the usual selection of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. The bathroom was well stocked with towels, and spa-style soaps, conditioner, shampoo and lotion. Outside, on the patio, a deep, two-person soaking tub was ready to be filled with mineral waters from the free-proof faucet. We did have a little desert debris in our tub, along with a wayward insect, but what do you expect from the out of doors? :0) Chaise lounges were also set up by the tub, and thirsty bath sheets were to be found in the t.v. cabinet for use after soaking.
We went directly from an extended soak in our own cliff side tub, to lunch in the Artesian restaurant which is part of the Resort. The menu was southwest in flavor and boasted natural, and mostly local ingredients. Sangria and Agave Margaritas were refreshing and scratch-made. After a short post-lunch siesta in the huge cotton hammocks in the courtyard, we went on to sample the various springs, noting that nearly all all guests observed the “whisper zone” and kept their voices muted and their cell phones off. As the sun went down, we hiked up into the hills surrounding the resort and found literally hundreds of pieces of Tewa pottery scattered through the low brush. Guests are asked to observe the restriction against removing these pieces of history and we were happy to see that other guests had set out their findings on the rocks around the trail for others to share – rather than taking them as souvenirs.
As evening fell, Ojo Caliente itself seemed to take on a sleepy quality, and we heard nothing but the sounds of the night as we soaked in our tub and later, sat in front of our own kiva. We were totally relaxed, and felt completely consumed by the “Ojo experience” as we drifted off to sleep.
We really felt that our experience at Ojo Caliente was meant to be “ours.” Service was pleasant and definitely not intrusive. We felt free to wander and experience on our own without being herded or guided. Rather that feeling like guests in someone else’s place, we felt like we were in our own. It was an expensive indulgence for us, but for such a sybaritic experience, was well worth it.
Sated with relaxation, we had a leisurely breakfast of the best pancakes (blue corn and pinon nut) we’ve ever had. I immediately came home and Googled an approximation of the recipe. Sunday morning, I whipped up a batch and was instantly transported back to Ojo. Heaven!
For more New Mexico Hot Springs see this helpful guide: