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“Well, we loved it!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

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Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa
50 Los Banos Rd, Highway 414, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Ojo Caliente
Washougal, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Well, we loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2008

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.

  • Liked — The unique environment
  • Disliked — Kind of a lot of rules regarding keys, check out time, etc.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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  • Italian first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2008

I stayed in one of the the historic hotel rooms which has only a partial bath--showers are in the spa changing rooms... the hotel is funky but clean and very comfortable, except in the summer--no A/C means you will swelter even with the box fan that is in the room ... best to go in fall, winter or spring if you are sensitive to the heat...

The pools are very hot and sunny, and the pool area is very nicely landscaped...changing room is clean and adequate, with lockers available...you can reserve a message or wrap (I didn't)...the large swimming pool is quite comfortable with a sun shade and cooler temperature...

I did not eat in the restaurant as there are two wonderful cafes for locals out on the highway with exceptionally cheap and delicious food...

  • Liked — We went for the pools and they were perfect for the price...
  • Disliked — No A/C or shower in the room...
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2008

We actually stayed in the same exact room as last year. It was very comfortable; they even added window AC units. The grounds haven't changed much except upgrading some of the suites. We toured the Plaza Cliff suites and will book that for next year. They have all the amenities of the cottages plus a kiva fireplace and private pool that fills with mineral springs on the back patio.

We discovered that some people always go to Chimayo while they are visiting Ojo Caliente. We went to the old Catholic church that has healing dirt blessed by the priest and we had lunch at Ranchos de Chimayo. They serve great Mexican food.

  • Liked — rustic ambience
  • Disliked — mosquitos in late May
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2008

Firstly, be advised that as of May 2008 the spa facilities are undergoing construction - this made it impossible for us to relax and enjoy the mineral pools.

On our stay we were subjected to hammering and jack hammering, as a result we left early on our second day. Be sure to ask if the construction is completed before reserving your room if this will be an issue for you.

We stayed in one of the north cottages, the room was very nice but was expensive and not really worth $200.

Both of us also got 50 minute deep tissue massages and foot treatments; I found the treatments to be quite disappointing. I've been fortunate enough to have been able to get many massages in my life so I do feel that I am able to have a good basis for comparison and critique.

The "deep tissue" was nowhere to be found, it was really just a light rub. Although the masseuse asked if there were any areas that she should focus on she ignored my request.

When we added up the total for one night we spent $580; a huge and rare splurge for us and it was NOT worth the money.

Next time we're going to Taos instead!

  • Liked — The room
  • Disliked — Construction ruined the experience
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Issaquah, WA
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2008

The Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa:

My wife and I decided on the spur of the moment to call the resort and make an appointment. When we asked for directions, the staff member was unable to provide adequate directions to the facility. We made a second call and received better directions from another staff member.

Upon our arrival, the front desk staff had a great deal of difficulty in determining what services and times were available, a great deal of confusion ensued, but eventually, they separated a great deal of money from us for two massages, a facial and 50 minutes in a private spa. My wife’s massage and facial should have been a package rate, but upon review of the receipt we find that we were charged individually, contrary to our request of the package... it was quite confusing with staff members coming and going and interrupting the clerk every few minutes.

Once again confusion reigned as my wife and I were bounced between buildings and masseuses...

I had requested a "Deep Tissue" massage as I have a nagging injury from a fall off of a cliff while skiing many years ago. While I was fortunate to land on my head (no trouble there) the spinal compression in my neck resulted in temporary paralysis and a constant muscle spasm radiating from my neck, through my shoulder, arm and hand. I shared with my masseuse that these areas were the primary reason for my visit, and in addition, time permitting, my calves are like steel cords and need a little attention as well. What I received was, a masseuse on "Auto-Pilot", she spent the first five minutes doing some sort of Woo-Woo lying on of hands! I do not believe that she had any training in Deep Tissue Massage. When she started the massage, she began on the left side of my neck and shoulder and spent less time on the problem area on the right side! The massage was anemic at best. Although, she did do a good job on the calves!

My wife's (Jennifer) experience was generally the same. Woo-Woo lying on of hands, little actual massaging of trouble areas. Once again, masseuse on auto-pilot with little attention on the trouble areas as requested. Why even bother asking where the problem areas are if you’re not really going to do anything with them? All the fawning of concern when compared with the results is truly dis-ingenuine.

After Jennifer's massage, she cooled her heels for 40 minutes in the lounge waiting for her facial. The attendant arrived 10 minutes late, and my wife received a 20 minute facial, because Jennifer was late for her appointment. This is a new and difficult concept for me to understand, waiting in the lounge for your appointment well in advance and being short changed by ten minutes with no credit, because the attendant was late and then blames it on the customer!

Next, we spent 50 minutes in a private spa which sported a hot iron and arsenic pool, chaise lounge chairs and a kiva fireplace. The material in the lounge chairs was pulled out and when you sat in them, you were actually sitting and or lying on the metal frame! The fireplace (which can only be used from 6-11pm) had not been clean from the night before and the wind blew ash all over us and our bags and hanging clothing. (May and June are the windy months here in New Mexico as the cold air feed by the snow in the mountains flows onto the plains.)

As we departed, I requested to speak with the manager of the facility, it turns out that there are managers for each area... If I wanted to speak with the general manager, I should walk over to the hotel. The spa staff seemed uninterested in facilitating this conversation.

At this point we felt absolutely filthy and had quite enough of this place, and raced home to soak in our Jacuzzi tub in our lovely room at the Adobe and Stars B&B (great place, see our review there!).

The resort does sport varied types of hot mineral springs and a mud bath. A day rate for general spa use in the public area would be our only recommendation.

At the time of this review, the facility is currently undergoing construction of a new Spa Facility and the general condition of the resort and the facilities is poor but should improve greatly with the opening of the new facility in the fall of 2008 (late now by 6 months).

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
18 reviews 18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2008

I've been going to Ojo now for about 30 years and enjoy the hot springs very much, but it seems that the way the facility is managed is not good. Upon check in to one of the North cottages, we reminded of all of the extra charges that apply in case of loss of the key, pool badge, late check out ($100). In all, these little fees could really add up if you ran afoul of the rules. The North cottages, with taxes, run about $200 per night. You'd think a cottage would have a stove, right? Not at Ojo, during the "remodel" the stoves were removed. Paper towels in the kitchen-- no way. Any extras at this price-- forget it. What Ojo management is trying to do is overcharge for the room, strip out any way of making your own meals, and force you into their overpriced restaurant. Now for the staff. While they are minimally friendly, they are poorly trained and will happily gab with one another while blocking the doorways and otherwise ignore guest. For a spa that is trying to be first class, they are really struggling and need some basic training in customer service.
After this experience, I will still go to Ojo, but I suggest that other accomodations nearby such as the much cheaper Lomita Motel (sorry, not luxury but not a rip off either) would be a better experience.

  • Liked — Charming facilities and location
  • Disliked — Poor value
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2008

How many disappointments can one person endure on vacation?

- They ignored our request for the kinds of massage therapists we wanted and gave us one who had almost no experience (and it showed)
- The person giving a mud wrap had never had one himself, had only a vague notion of how it should be done (seemed to not have been trained), and bad-mouthed the management during the whole procedure
- The towel guys and gals are really nice, but the desk people range from clueless to nasty
- They overcharged us not once or twice, but three separate times and tried to get away with it when we complained to them
- Their prices are exorbitant for very mediocre work
- Many workers seem to despise guests and treated us accordingly
- The workers obviously hate the owners because they continually badmouth them in front of guests
- Management makes no effort to stop rowdy, loud behavior at the pools and I watched an much older man nearly have sex with his teenage female companion - complaints went nowhere

It's a terrible shame that the spa services are so very, very bad because this place is so very, very beautiful with wonderful soaking pools

  • Liked — The pools
  • Disliked — Everything but the pools
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

Address: 50 Los Banos Rd, Highway 414, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549
Location: United States > New Mexico > Taos County > Ojo Caliente
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Ojo Caliente
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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

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