Visit the Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort, located south of Santa Fe in New Mexico. This tranquil retreat is a great escape because of the healing waters, delicious food and peaceful setting.

Since my first visit 40 years ago to Santa Fe Plaza traffic and parking problems have increased dramatically. A 20-minute drive to Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort – one of Santa Fe’s most memorable wellness resorts – offered a scenic route with wide vistas.

The property map I received at check-in was a little overwhelming for me as I am not very good with maps. I was able to navigate the resort quickly and easily without it.

Arriving at my accommodation building around 5pm, I was pleasantly surprised. I was greeted by a large bathroom with a wall-length mirror and tile floor, a coffee station that included a sink, coffeepot, small refrigerator and coffee station, and a massive, king-sized bed. Two chairs and a small balcony provided a view of the sunlit treetops. The guestrooms of Ojo Santa Fe are also notable for not having TVs.

The TV-free room was spacious and comfortable. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

The Ojo experience was different from my previous visits at Ojo Caliente Resort & spa. Ojo Santa Fe is characterized by rolling hills covered with trees, while Ojo Caliente lies on a relatively flat and arid area.

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From one elevation to the next, winding roads and high staircases were used. Small waterfalls cascaded over rock-strewn mountains. This Ojo resort has geothermal pools that are spring-fed and mineral-rich. However, they do not have individual minerals like the pools with iron or soda at Ojo Caliente.

Ojo Santa Fe will open in 2020 on the former site of Sunrise Springs Spa. The property was built in 1991 and underwent extensive renovations before it reopened.

Ojo Santa Fe has multiple waterfalls among the rock-strewn mountains. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

Enjoy the Water at This Santa Fe Wellness Resort

The Santa Fe property, which is known for its healing waters and relaxation, offers three warm soaking pool that can be viewed easily from the spa. The rectangular Sages Soak Sanctuary, a 70-foot-long pool with a steamy surface, transforms into an artificial spring-fed pond. The round hot tub was a great way to relax after swimming in the heated junior Olympic saltwater pool. Hammocks, small cabanas and hammocks are available for relaxation.

Three soaking pools overlook the spa at Ojo Santa Fe. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

My night soak in the bubbling, steaming Ojitos private pool, which I had reserved in advance, was magical. As the aromatic fire of pinon-wood glowed inside the small horno, the stars blanketed both the ceiling and the canvases above. The wood-rich Ojitos enclosure of my pool also included an outdoor shower, and a glass container filled with fresh drinking water. As the temperature of the air dropped, I was surrounded by warm bubbling water.

Even though I thought the 50-minute session was too long, this is a private soak opportunity that I would recommend. I also suggest a steam shower afterwards. Ojitos pools open at 7:30 am for those who prefer to soak in the daylight.

The evening Ojitos swimming pool soak was magical. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

Relaxation at its best

I booked a morning treatment during my stay. Rachel guided me up two flights from the calm but slightly chilly reception area. The tiny treatment room was flooded with sunlight. Rachel massaged my muscles using a silky lotion. Her expertise helped me to relax after the 11-hour journey two days before. The time passed quickly, before I was able to wrap myself up in my robe and return to the women’s changing room.

Combine treatments for more relaxation and pampering. Choose from the Cactus Flowers Massage and Scrub or the Lavender Body Quench Wrap and Massage, as well as the Blue Corn, Prickly Pear and Sea Salt Scrub and Hot Oil Hair Therapy.

Enjoy a Surprise at This Wonder Santa Fe Wellness Resort

Then I went to the puppies. You read it right, puppies. Ojo Santa Fe maintains a relationship with the nearby Espanola Humane. The organization’s adoptable puppies stay at Ojo Santa Fe, a spacious indoor/outdoor pup paradise that features artificial turf and a shelter indoor. Overnight guests or day visitors can play with pooches to reduce their stress and take home a friend.

The Puppy Patch offers a wonderful place to relax and play. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

The ‘Puppy patch’ is open in the mornings and on select evenings. (Check for exact times). Two puppies from one litter and four others from another were present during my visit. We were asked to wear masks while we interacted with other families. This was done in order to prevent the spread of germs. They were cute, playful, curious and had sharp teeth. Visit the Silky Chickens if puppies are not your thing. They’re known for being sociable and having soft coats.

Fabulous Food

The sommelier’s wine list and fine cuisine will appeal to guests with refined tastes. Many guests dress up for an evening meal at this airy, bright space, including wearing three-inch heels, open-back dresses, bright white cowboys hats, and embroidered shirts.

The Ojo Fish Tacos were served with a Michael David Red Wine. The gluten-free meal included large chunks blackened wild-caught fish, crunchy fresh jicama slaw and sweet, creamy mango salsa.

Blue Heron’s restaurant served up a tasty dinner of fish tacos, California wine and other delicious dishes. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

Other entrees include Wagyu Flank & Frites, or Duroc Pork Tomahawk Chop with baby carrots and asparagus served alongside green chile cheese grits. Ceviche and charcuterie were two of the’starter choices’. Blue Heron serves brunch, breakfast and lunch.

Fresh from the Source

The Ojo Farm, a 1.5-acre farm near Ojo Caliente, is the source of many Blue Heron ingredients. The farm’s ingredients are listed on a wall-mounted board. The kitchen used Ojo’s Salad Mix, which included gem lettuce, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers mixed, poblano, beets mixed, and purple scallions.

Blue Heron Restaurant serves seasonal food in a bright, spacious setting. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray

Why You Should Plan A Trip To This Fabulous Santa Fe Wellness Resort

Ojo Santa Fe has a great selection of food, wine and massages. You can even go hiking. My travel schedule was calling, and I would have loved more time to relax. Wander with Wonder is your guide when planning a trip in Santa Fe or New Mexico.