Photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado
Story by Jain Lemos for Local Flavor magazine
Spa menus often read like romance fiction sprinkled with glimpses of celestial desires. Who doesn’t want to touch heaven or paradise for an hour or so while splayed naked on a comfy-toasty treatment table? We poked around Santa Fe and Albuquerque spa destinations looking for the most unique offerings available—especially those with a distinct burst of New Mexico elements, designed to arouse your inner and outer senses. These six cures for sore muscles, dry skin, toxic buildup, getting old, zapped energy and stress overload will go a long way in helping to usher in a year of wellness.
Betty’s Bath and Day Spa
The management team at Betty’s Bath and Day Spa started thinking about a way to work more closely with their neighbors at Los Poblanos the historic inn and organic farm set on a magnificent property featuring 25 acres of lavender fields. For years, the spa had used the Inn’s lavender salve in some of their treatments, so making the leap to collaborate on creating a luxurious 90-minute experience was a natural next step. The result is Betty’s Los Poblanos Field to Table Package, a sigh evoking hand-fingers-feet-toes deep rub, followed by a one-hour massage. For the entire session, you’ll become engulfed in a Los Poblanos-crafted mist and salve, topped off with a very neighborly lavender-infused oil. Spa Director Adriana Candelaria says, “One of the really special things about this treatment is that as your therapist helps you off the table, you are treated to a house-made chocolate lavender truffle from Los Poblanos.” Nirvana is sure to follow.
Betty’s Bath and Day Spa is located at 1835 Candelaria Road NW in Albuquerque. 505.341.3456. bettysbath.com.
Tamaya Mist Spa and Salon
From start to finish, the Ancient Drumming session at the Hyatt Regency’s Tamaya Mist Spa will gently steer your thoughts to contemplating the essence of New Mexico. These primordial visions are greatly enhanced by the native elements being smeared all over your body. A custom-recipe, rosy-colored mud, sourced from the Jemez Mountains and infused with local red chile, is warmed to slightly above body temperature and applied with care. As the detoxifying mud mixture is penetrating layers of weary skin, you become the drum as your therapist lightly beats away tension using satchels dipped in piñon-infused oil. Next, a proprietary concoction of ground piñon, sea salt and oil forms a resin that is scrubbed into the mud for a tingling exfoliation. “It’s a little messy, but so good,” promises Tamaya’s spa director, Stephanie Martinez. You’ll pop into a private shower to feel the lingering oil moisturizing every inch as you finish. Don’t forget to sample the spa’s dark-chocolate red-chile bark or their candied green-chile granola made by the resort’s chef for a dash of sweet heat. When this slice of ecstasy is over, don’t be surprised to find yourself lightly drumming the steering wheel all the way home.
The spa is situated in the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa at 1300 Tuyuna Trail in Bernalillo. 505.867.1234. tamaya.hyatt.com.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Spa
In February 2016, the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado unveiled Spiritual Journey, an offering with a formidable name to live up to. Rest assured, the Four Seasons meets the challenge. Since taking over the 57-acre property in the summer of 2012, the innovations of this high-standard hotel are noticeable. “We are determined to bring back more local and regional treatments,” explains Spa Director Emily Richey. The concept for the session echoes a Native sweat lodge experience as the room is smudged with New Mexico sage for clearing and purity. A body mask of adobe clay sourced from Arizona is smoothed on before stepping into a private dry sauna, helping to bake out any residual bone chill. This is also the moment when your meditation journey peaks as you revel in the body-mind-spirit connection. After your temp has risen, you’ll return to the table for a full body massage. The oil—made at Rancho Encantado—blends lemongrass and ginger, a combination promising to enhance your mood and lift any heaviness of heart. Topping all of this cleansing is a chakra balancing. Seven crystal-like attunement stones are placed in alignment to revive and calibrate the body’s energy. Emerging from 110 minutes of harmony, stay in tune by exploring the property’s tranquil hiking trails. At last, spring has arrived.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is located at 198 State Road 592 in Santa Fe. 505.946.5700. fourseasons.com/santafe.
Inn and Spa at Loretto
Spa Director Suzanne Chavez takes the health-resort version of farm-to-table to an entirely new level. Calling Santa Fe her home for more than three decades, Suzanne grows some of the best sage in town in her organic gardens. After harvesting and drying the leaves, Chavez grinds and mixes a proprietary body scrub that she uses exclusively for clients of the Spa at Loretto. “This is a well-kept secret, although many people ask where it comes from and how they might come to purchase some,” she laughs. “I love making the product for our guests.” You can add her signature Native Desert Sage Scrub treatment as an embellishment to any other massage. The Spa offers a fully customizable menu (which one to pick?!), with great selections for every need. For example, the Sports Enthusiast Massage is awesome for limbering up before golf or after a morning of horseback riding. Their extensive rituals are meticulously planned, calling their Native Reflections Ritual a New Mexico favorite. The choice becomes clear: sage clearing, Native blessing, warm soak, stone massage and Chavez’ home-crafted sage scrub. Feeling soft and uplifted, Divinity rules.
The Inn and Spa at Loretto is located at 211 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe. 505.988.5531. destinationhotels.com/innatloretto.
Wo’ P’In Spa at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino
After zipping out to the Hilton’s Buffalo Thunder Resort, you’ll be thrilled to set everything down and drop onto one of their plush massage tables. If pressed for time, consider their delicious 25-minute Warm Oil Scalp Treatment a la carte or splurge for their full 80-minute Desert Sage Journey, which includes the hair treatment during a full-body relaxation session. While resting on your belly, a thick desert sage cream—made locally by Milagro Herbs in Santa Fe—is rubbed into your aching back. Flip over for the skull and follicle rejuvenator, which is poured along the scalp and massaged into your hair and head, giving the brain a much-needed reboot. “We love Milagro because they incorporate locally harvested, organic ingredients that reflect the resort’s Pueblo heritage,” says Tiffanie Droddy, Wo’ P’In’s spa director. Their Abundant Hair Oil includes New Mexico globemallow and rosemary soaked in olive, jojoba, avocado and neem oil. Before or after these much-needed restoratives, follow the spa’s purification ritual outlined in their steam, sauna and hot tub area. Soft hair, blue skies, big smile.
Buffalo Thunder Resort is located at 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail in Santa Fe. 505.455.5555. buffalothunderresort.com.
Ten Thousand Waves
Ten Thousand Waves is not a spa about beauty. You won’t find caviar rubs or Botox on their list of services. “Our mantra is constant, thoughtful change,” says Courtney Morris, who has been with the resort for 12 years. As the spa’s director, she implements their philosophy of wellness, health and healing through attentively listening to guests and taking plenty of time to develop and research every offering. Their Deluxe Herbal Wrap includes body-covering linens that have been warmed and soaked in locally grown herbs. Here’s the best part: the herbal infusions are customized seasonally for maximum suitability. Their blends are designed by the folks at Jae Bird Botanicals who organically grow and ethically wild-harvest their plants in the Pecos Wilderness. Their Spring Blossoms blend includes nervine relaxants and inflammation alleviants such as white willow bark and passionflower. During a 15-minute sauna period, the herbs will soak in deeply. Morris explains that a body wrap is prescribed for those wanting to change a bad habit; no doubt this is a cocoon-to-butterfly allusion. In your room, pay attention to the music selections. Oh, and Ten Thousand Waves has their own music director, Wolfgang Blümel, who carefully chooses every track heard. Cloud Nine looks closer than ever.
Ten Thousand Waves is located at 3451 Hyde Park Road in Santa Fe. 505.982.9304. tenthousandwaves.com.