On the spur of the moment my husband and I decided to visit and stay at the property during our last visit to NM. We booked a room at the historic hotel for $109/night which included access to all the pools. It was a Thursday night and I think the rates increase by $10 on the weekends. If you just visit the pools and don't stay at the property the cost is $16 each and decreases after 6 p.m.
Our inquiry calls were accurate and informative and our check-in was quick and courteous. Our room (#140) had a queen iron bed, rocker, dresser and bathroom with sink (no shower, you do that in the pool/bath house area.) The A/C worked well and the room was wonderfully cool when we arrived, though we didn't need to use the A/C in the evening as it really cools off outside. Our room's window faced the front portal of the building which has swings and rockers as well as tables where you can eat breakfast and lunch. The bed was firm and comfortable and the room very charming and clean. Since they had only two rooms left in the historic hotel we had our choice of two queens or one queen and since it was just my husband and I we said we needed only one bed. I caught a glimpse of another room w/2 queen beds and they are a bit larger. If we had our daughters with us the room would have accommodated us all just fine.
The pools are pretty amazing - all have different chemical compositions which are said to remedy certain ailments. There is even a mud bath which is a real treat. We didn't do any of the spa treatments. Honestly, the bath experience was a pretty adequate "relaxer" for us, and we both felt ourselves feeling really good after a couple of hours of sampling them all. Visiting on a Thursday in mid-June we didn't feel it was too crowded and the amount of people really thins out after 6. In the morning hours there were even fewer people and we had the mud bath to ourselves! There were quite a few Europeans staying here (enjoying the low dollar) and I can only imagine they find the whole scene tremendously unique.
We loved, loved, loved our dining experience in the hotel's restaurant. It is a quaint, lovely room, and our server was charming and efficient. I had a glass of Chilean wine the server recommended and my husband had a New Mexican beer. We had a brie appetizer that was paired with a sweet preserve-type of fruit. It was interesting and pretty good. I had a small spinach salad that was unremarkable, followed by the penne pasta with sun dried tomatoes and pinon nuts. A huge portion and very, very good. I can't remember what my husband had (the wine had kicked in) but he did enjoy his meal and did finish mine as well. They served a rosemary focaccia bread w/olive oil that was memorable, and when I complimented it the served wrapped some up for me to take with me. Our dinner and drinks only came to about $50 - that's a bargain just about anywhere. We felt extravagant leaving a hefty tip and still came in well under $100. It was a great experience, romantic too!
From the restaurant we could see they started a fire in the fire pit in front of the hotel, so after dinner we went to check it out. They have logs cut into seats circling a big pit and guests can sit and take in the cool evening while watching the fire. We chatted with some other guests for a while and enjoyed the scent of the burning pinon wood.
In the morning we took a few more dips in the pools and checked out right at 11. We had skipped breakfast so we hung around for a half an hour until they served lunch. Again, it was delicious, reasonable, and we enjoyed excellent service. I had the penne pasta (again! I'm embarassed to say, but it was that good) and my husband had a green chili burger. We also drank about 4 cups of coffee apiece, trying to pull out of our "relaxed" mode in order to hit the trail.
My husband and I travel very often to New Mexico because we are so enchanted by it. We find there is no where quite like it in the US. I am always disheartened when I hear people complain about the same things I find unique and charming in this very special state. Prior to our visit I read in the Frommer's guide book that Ojo Caliente was an "earthy" place and "if you are fastidious this isn't the place for you." As soon as I read that I knew we had to go, that we would probably love it, and we did!
The only regret we had is that our teenage daughters weren't with us because they would have really loved this place. We've already had to promise to take them to Ojo Caliente when we visit again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs is one of the oldest natural health resorts in the country. Our sulphur-free, geothermal mineral waters have flowed from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years. Over 100,000 gallons per day come to the surface, revitalizing those who soak in the long believed, healing waters. We offer a variety of lodging accommodations, including new enchanting suites and charming cottages, the historic hotel and private homes. We suggest that you make reservations for spa treatments and private outdoor pools before you arrive. We also offer spa treatments, pools, hiking and biking trails, a wine bar and lounge and a full-service restaurant. The Artesian Restaurant provides a casual dining experience and charming atmosphere. Our chef blends local flavors with global cuisine. Heal yourself body and soul with a retreat to Ojo. Whether it's for a weekend or a longer stay, you'll leave rejuvenated and refreshed. Welcome! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Hotel Ojo Caliente
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort