Fodor's Expert Review Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

50 Los Baños Dr., off U.S. 285 Ojo Caliente, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico 87549, USA See on Map Fodor's Choice

Set in a remote village in the vicinity of the red rocks and rugged mountains of Abiquiu, this fabled hot springs resort fits the tastes and budget of all sorts of travelers, from spiritually minded adventurers on a modest budget to romance-seekers wanting an upscale yet secluded spa getaway (it's a favorite of celebs filming movies in New Mexico). Facilities include a beautifully designed lobby and lithia springs and mud pools at the bathhouse and spa, where all lodgers have complimentary access to the mineral pools and milagro (miracle) wraps. Don't miss the chance to explore the resort's many trails that wind through acres of gorgeous scenery.

Even if you're not staying here overnight, Ojo Caliente makes for a rewarding and popular day trip from Santa Fe. Soak in the pools, enjoy a meal, and hike the grounds. You won't be disappointed.

room

Accommodations run the gamut from the charmingly spartan and unfussy 1916 Mission Revival–style hotel (no TVs, simple furnishings) to the elegant, swanky suites--some with kiva fireplaces and kitchenettes, and all with refrigerators and microwaves. The Cliffside Suites are ultra posh, with private mineral soaking tubs and back patios facing the property's dramatic cliffs. There are also a couple of adobe homes with kitchens and multiple bedrooms that are well-suited to small groups. Guests are issued soft robes to use throughout their stay, even after check-out if staying longer to enjoy the springs.

bathroom

These range greatly in size and amenities, with the economical rooms in the historic hotel outfitted only with half baths (sinks and toilets but no showers); guests in these rooms bathe in the bathhouses. In the suites, bathrooms are quiet large and have high ceilings, walk-in showers, and stone counters. Bathrooms are outfitted with house-made bath products that use Southwest ingredients.

lobby

The resort's spacious lobby contains comfy leather chairs and is warmed by a kiva fireplace. It overlooks the pools and springs and contains a large gift shop carrying an impressive array of local art, fine spa products, and tasty snacks.

pool

Soaking is a major part of the Ojo Caliente experience. You'll find both larger pools and numerous private pools, which can be reserved individually for a range of fees. The mud pool is an enjoyably messy way to experience the resort's curative waters, while lithia, iron, soda, and arsenic springs pools are each shaped and designed a bit differently--your best strategy is to move amid the cloistered grounds, taking a dip in each one. There's also a kiva pool, filled with iron and arsenic waters, that's exclusively for guests in the Plaza, Pueblo, and Cliffside suites; it has longer hours than the other pools.

spa

Ojo's spa is in a historic building and is less fancy than those you'll find at many other high-end properties, but it's comfortable, and it certainly has character. More importantly, the treatments offered and the staff executing them are excellent. A wide range of massages are available, as well as blue corn–prickly pear salt scrubs, foot and hand therapies, purifying facials, and more.

Ojo Caliente's newer sister property, Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, is on the south side of Santa Fe and is also a wonderful spot for a spa experience.

dining

The romantic, softly lighted Artesian Restaurant is in the historic original hotel building serves delicious, healthy globally inspired cuisine at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The dulce de leche French toast is a specialty in the morning, while dinner favorites include roasted-vegetable chile relleno with red chile and goat cheese, and grilled ruby trout with rainbow carrots. Much of the produce is sourced from Ojo's own farm. There's a noteworthy wine list.

drinking

Adjacent to historic Artesian Restaurant, the hip and convivial Wine Bar offers a great selection of sips by the glass as well as New Mexico craft beers, and you can also order food here from the main dining room or from a separate lighter bar menu.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Ojo Caliente is in a small village about an hour's drive north of Santa Fe and 30 minutes' drive from the nearest large town, Española. A car is a must for exploring the area.

Restaurants

It's a scenic drive to the tiny Spanish Colonial village of El Rito, where family-run El Farolito (tk-minute drive) turns out hearty and delicious New Mexican fare, from chile rellenos to green-chile stew. The airy patio and stylish contemporary dining room at Terra (50-minute drive), at the posh Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, serves superb, sophisticated modern American cuisine.

Bars

The saloon and steakhouse at Taos Trail Inn (3-minute drive) is a reliable, and lively, option for cocktails. In Los Alamos, the excellent craft microbrewery, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op (35-minute drive), serves Hoppenheimer IPA, Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, and several other tasty ales.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The longtime owners of the beloved spa getaway take great care to preserve the property's historic charm while also continuously investing in upgrades and improvements. The resort's secluded setting promotes serenity, and the range of accommodations makes it possible for travelers on a wide variety of budgets to experience Ojo Caliente. The massage therapists and body workers here are some of the best in the Southwest, and there's an outstanding restaurant, too.

QUICK FACTS

Resort
Quiet
Remote
Local Flavor
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 505-583–2233;800-222–9162

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