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Santa Fe: Spa Mecca of the Southwest

Santa Fe has established itself as a major spa destination. From day spas to resorts where you can spend days ensconced in beautiful surroundings with endless treatment options, there is a spa and a specialty for everyone in this town. There are spas at most of the better hotel resorts, but the spas listed here stand out for their highly trained therapists, specialized treatments, and overall experience.

Absolute Nirvana. This intimate spa set amid the gracious gardens beside the late-Victorian Madeleine Inn lives up to its name with its lush, peaceful Indonesian-inspired setting and sumptuous treatments, some of which—like the pumpkin-infused massage, exfoliation, and mask offered in the fall—are change seasonally. Master-level massage therapists use all-organic, delectable food-grade ingredients. Among year-round treatments, the Indo-Asian hot-stone massage and Chocolate Decadence facial are highly popular. Most treatments finish with homemade snacks, and a variety of add-ons are available, including 30-minute foot massages and leisurely rose-petal baths in a massive stone tub. Cozy, low-keyed, and eco-friendly (it's certified by the nonprofit Green Spa Network), Absolute Nirvana has more limited facilities than some of Santa Fe's major resort facilities, but that's a big part of its charm—the price is right, too. It's $105 for a 60-minute massage and $325–$375 for a half-day spa package. Madeleine Inn, 106 Faithway St., East Side and Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87501. 505/983–7942. www.absolutenirvana.com.

Body. This day spa just south of the Guadalupe District is known for having one of the most popular vegetarian restaurants in town (the specialty is raw, organic fare), plus a great little boutique and comprehensive child-care services. Other big strengths of Body are the dance classes and yoga school, with an extensive slate of classes like body sculpting, personal training, and Pilates. The spa here offers the full range of treatments that you'll find at the bigger resort properties, but at lower prices than at most. The staff is friendly and the space unpretentious. Consider body wraps, facials, and Thai, Swedish, and Japanese massages in addition to Rolfing, Reiki, and prenatal massage. Also popular are the lemon-verbena body glow, and custom facials using top lines of holistic products. It's $80 for a 60-minute massage; the gym has cardiovascular machines, free weights, and weight-training equipment. 333 Cordova Rd., South Side, Santa Fe, NM, 87505. 505/986–0362. www.bodyofsantafe.com.

La Posada de Santa Fe Spa. The first-rate, 4,500-square-foot spa at this historic Downtown resort emphasizes regional ingredients in its extensive offerings of treatments and services, including a signature Spirit of Santa Fe body rub that uses ground blue corn as a skin exfoliant, and a body wrap using chocolate and red chiles from nearby Chimayó. The 25-minute Collagen Quench is a great way to combat the effects on the skin of New Mexico's sunny, high-desert climate. Hair and nail services are also available, and there's an expansive fitness center (24-hour access for hotel guests) with Cybex equipment and personal-training as well as private yoga sessions offered. After working out, or being worked on, go for a swim in the heated outdoor pool, or just soak up the Sangre de Cristo views on the rooftop terrace. There's also a poolside patio grill serving light fare. It's $179 for an 80-minute massage. 330 E. Palace Ave., East Side and Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87501. 505/986–0000. www.laposadadesantafe.com.

Ten Thousand Waves. This renowned Japanese-style spa with outstanding facilities and treatments is just 10 minutes north of Santa Fe toward the ski basin, nestled peacefully among the pinon trees on a sheltered hillside. Primarily a day spa—the private and communal hot tubs, especially nice in the evening under a starry sky, are a popular option—Ten Thousand Waves also has 13 sleek and inviting overnight casitas and a lovely new izayaka-style restaurant, which opened in fall 2013. The treatment rooms and spa facilities here are simple yet elegant, with a zenlike vibe—perfect for relaxing while undergoing a four-hands massage, a salt-glow body exfoliation, or the Japanese organic facial, which includes a thorough neck and shoulder massage. If you've been skiing or hiking in the mountains up the road, stopping here on the way home is a great way to heal sore muscle. It's $109 for a 50-minute massage and $230–$480 for half-day packages. Nature walks are also offered. 3451 Hyde Park Rd., East Side and Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87501. 505/992–5025. www.tenthousandwaves.com.

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