AHHH- The Pause That Refreshes
Waves of pleasure, as I sink into the hot healing waters of the communal bath at the Ten Thousand Waves Resort and Spa. Layers of tension melt away. If you want a quick getaway that looks like a resort in the mountains of Japan, complete with landscaping and bamboo-style construction, then don’t pass up this opportunity while visiting Santa Fe.
The venue is ultimately about relaxation, rejuvenation and regeneration.
The three of us climbed the ninety gravel-filled stairs to the lobby of the resort. Upon arrival, we were given a kimono robe, rubber thongs and a towel. You pay at the end, so you don’t have to be concerned about anything other than soaking or your chosen bodywork. This time I chose to indulge in an hour long massage.
Downstairs, lockers and a unlimited supply of dry towels are available as well as be-days or “totos” (there is a rear and front cleansing as well as a dryer). These are located in the toilet stalls complete with warm toilet seats. Which was perfect for this chilly afternoon.
There are so many amenities in this resort as well as waterfalls. I counted at least 5 waterfalls which gives off a sense of calmness and feeling closer to nature. Bonsai plants stand tall against pinewood fences. Wood slat boardwalks are available for walking safely and live fish swim in a small pond, decorated with fish painted fish flying merrily.
First a Massage, Then Take Time to Meditate
Open year round, there are private spa suites, a meditation room, a hot foot bath near the front lobby, massage and other spa treatments such as herbal wraps, salt glow, aromatherapy, East Indian cleansing treatments, Watsu, acupuncture. facials and much more. Furthermore, there is a clothing optional women’s only outdoor pool available that allows babies to soak too.
The most popular pool is the outdoor communal bath where both men and women congregate to soak, laugh and relax. In this section, is also a sauna, a cold water plunge and a waterfall you can get under to beat that tension out of your neck.
When you get thirsty, don’t miss trying the cucumber and ginger with ice chips that are available in the lobby. Very refreshing!
There is actually no natural hot springs here. Well water is heated by the use of a gas heater and purified before reaching the tubs, which ranges in temps between 97 and 106 degrees F.
Opened in 1981, Ten Thousand Waves was not always received warmly by locals. The property was once owned by a cannabis grower, who had to dump it in a hurry. Duke Klauck purchased the property with the idea of opening a Japanese-style spa and resort.
Lodging is Available
Lodging is also available on the property with a choice of 8 different suites ranging in price from $125 to $205 a night. Camping is not permitted on the grounds, but the Santa Fe National Forest is conveniently close. There is also a gift store and a nearby restaurant, Izanami that serves upscale Japanese bar food.
Ten Thousand Waves is a bit more expensive than most other hot springs spa. Tub rentals range from $59 per person for 90 minutes to $28 for unlimited time in the communal pools. However, they do offer packages if you schedule a massage or other bodywork.
After my massage, I floated over to the meditation room. Relaxed on one of the comfortable mats, put on the headphones and listened to soft music for awhile. Feeling rested, I sauntered back out to the baths for another round of soaking.
Directions: From the plaza in downtown Santa Fe, follow Washington Avenue north, past the Scottish Rite Temple to Artist Road. Turn Right on Artist Road and follow it as it turns into Hyde Park Road, with signs for the ski area. Stay on Hyde Park Road for about 3 miles to Ten Thousand Wave on your left.