Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Family Camping, Historic Places & Landmarks, Uncategorized
Our Soothing Visit to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
A week ago I wrote about a bit of the history of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa in northern New Mexico. We paid a visit to the springs earlier this month to entertain our luxury-loving daughter before she headed back to college. Surprisingly, our visit to the spa was remarkably inexpensive. We wanted to be able to spend time in each of the pools, so opted for just the day rate of $18, which gave us access to all mineral pools, steam room, sauna and the mud pool. We did not even entertain the entire menu of specialized spa treatments available, all at reasonable prices. Our day rate also entitled us to a towel and the use of a locker.
After changing, we started out at the Arsenic Pool, attracted by the idea of poison. Said to cure arthritis and digestive maladies, the pool was very warm. We immediately began to relax, but soon felt the need to cool off a bit.
We next entered one of the cliff side pools, a bit cooler at 101 degrees. Then, too tempted to refuse, we opted for the mud pool. A sign posted in the mud pool area gives guests instructions on how to mud. We were to get wet (we already were), then to apply mud liberally to our bodies and faces from a large bowl off to the side of the pool. We were then to bake in the sun until appropriately “done.” Then it’s off to the actual mud pool to soak a bit before rinsing off to head to another spring. It was indeed an unusual experience. The mud we applied to our bodies was actually cool, but warmed and dried to a crust as we baked in the sun. It reportedly helps to remove toxins from the skin. While it’s difficult to know if that is true, we felt as if it could have done exactly that.
Another unique aspect of this Resort is that the entire area is a “whisper zone;” guests are advised not to speak above a whisper so as not to interrupt anyone else’s spa experience. Cell phones are not permitted, except in the guest rooms. We left ours locked in our car. Accordingly we were not able to photograph the pools due to the respect for others’ spa experience.
Rooms are available in either the new or the restored hotels, as well as in small freestanding casitas located onsite. For the campers and RV enthusiasts, however, there is also a full service RV campground located on the grounds so you have your choice of accommodations. Ojo Caliente also has a very informative website at www.ojospa.com which contains not only restaurant menus, but also an entire menu of the spa treatments available at the resort.
During our day, we tried each of the pools but our favorite was the arsenic spring. We even spent time in the swimming pool, mostly to cool off. Also on site are all of the original buildings, restored with loving care. The original hotel is now the wonderful Artemisia Restaurant, complete with gourmet menu and wine bar. We did not stay to dine during our visit, but we are planning a return trip in September. You see, New Mexico residents are admitted free of charge on their birthday. My day, on September 11th, seems like the perfect occasion to check out the restaurant. I will let you know how it goes.
Browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico Campgrounds for other places to stay in the beautiful southwest.