The Best Spa
By Richard Mahler
Author of "New Mexico's
A few years back, Ten Thousand
Waves was voted "the best place to send friends" in a poll
conducted by the weekly Santa Fe Reporter. It also has
been dubbed "the best place for a romantic first date." Whatever
the "best of" category, locals can't seem to get enough of this
elegant Japanese-style onsen (outdoor health spa).
Tourists too can enjoy that special
pampered feeling that comes from indulging in a deep tissue massage,
steamy sauna, or soothing chlorine-free outdoor hot tub-there
are both private tubs and commercial tubs. Dozens of therapists
are on call, specializing in such exotica as watsu (underwater)
massages and steamy herbal wraps.
"They sure don't have this in Passaic!"
exclaimed one New Jersey visitor. And there's nothing else like
Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe, either. Efficient yet relaxed,
close to the Plaza yet enclosed by a cozy canopy of pinon pines,
this is a restorative refuge for mind, body and spirit.
Prices are not cheap-you can run up
a thre-figure bill in an eyeblink-but your soul will thank you
for it. For true decadence, rent one of the exclusive guest rooms
and spend the night.
If You Go: Ten Thousand
Waves is about 4 miles northeast of Santa Fe on Hyde Park
Road (which is called Artists Road downtown). It is open daily
from 10 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., and later on weekends. Reservations
are preferred (505-982-9304). Another 13 miles up Hyde
Park Road is the Santa Fe Ski Area (505-982-4429). After
a brisk day on the slopes, skiers often unwind with a stop at
the spa on the way back to town.
Insider Tip: Avoid the
crowds by skipping the busy weekend nights. If you're in Santa
Fe often, a multiuse discount card is available. Also, you can
use the mostly nude "community tub" and sauna for a much lower
rate than the private facilities. During specified hours th community
tub is reserved for women only.
Richard Mahler is author of "New
Mexico's Best" and several other books. A journalist and photographer
as well, he specializes in travel writing, among other subjects.
He has contributed to National Public Radio since 1973 and to
the Los Angeles Times since 1979. He has written thousands
of articles for more than 100 magazines and newspapers, including
The New Mexican, New Mexico magazine, and Santa Fean
magazine. A longtime resident of New Mexico, he lives in Santa
For a full listing of Richard Mahler's
books, and to place orders for them, visit Amazon.com.
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