Ojo Caliente Vs Ojo Santa Fe

Battle of the Ojo Spas in New Mexico



6/1/20236 min read

Ojo Caliente Posi Suite
Ojo Caliente Posi Suite

Torn between the two resorts, so we tried both out.

I'm not sure where I first read about the Ojo spas in New Mexico but it sounded fantastic, so I made a note to try it out someday. When reading there webpage, who could resit the erge to go for a visit? "Steeped in history and tradition, Ojo Caliente is one of the country’s oldest health spas. Tucked between the rugged desert cliffs and cottonwood-lined bosque, our hot springs await soakers seeking healing and respite." - Ojo Cailente website.

For our 11 year anniversary, I thought this would be the perfect place to relax. Then when I saw there was another Ojo spa a bit closer to us, I was torn. Should we go there or here? Since the two are only an hour apart, I figured, let's do both!

Picture of our patio in Caliente. The hammocks are wonderful. Image taken by Chelsea's iphone 2023. The pool it about 3.5-4ft deep at the deepest.

Ojo Santa Fe however....

It was so different. From the moment we arrived, it was different. The staff was friendly but it was kind of forced feeling. I get the impression they make most their cash flow from day pass players, but I might be wrong. The restaurant, basically had the same menu as Caliente, so that was a bit disappointing. Also, we dined for diner the 1st night and there was more staff then customers. Since the menu was the same and the prices are high, we dined in town the rest of our stay. The waters are from their spring reserve, not directly from the ground. The main area with soaking pools were just glorified large hot tubs that over looked a lovely pond. If it was my resort, I'd open that pond up for swimming! It was over crowed with day spa guests vs hotel spa guests. Also, it's beautiful here, but not peaceful. The guest are loud and the staff doesn't care. It was kind of like spring break. Yet this resort doesn't have any TV's in the rooms to "promote ultimate relaxing". Which was so humorous, compaired to Caliente, which was relaxing and did have TV's. Most guest were younger, 20's -30's vs, the crowd in Cailente were more mid 30'-70's. In Santa fe, the salt water pool was a lot of fun and didn't get too crowed, though the hot tub was always uncomfortably packed during day guest hours, so 10-10. If you got up early, they open the pools at 7am so you can get 3 hours of morning peace. Though on both days, they were about 15 minutes late opening the pools, so really 2.75 hours. They have plenty of signs posted about no alcohol in the pool/spa areas, but that didn't stop anyone. It was party time. We did see security come by and ask people to drink elsewhere, but once the guard was gone, the drinking picked back up.

Since no rooms have private pools, we stayed in the lest expensive room, no thrills but was cozy and quiet. We had the soak in love package which included, terry cloth robes to keep (disappointing because I thought it was going to the be Ojo soft grey robes, you know, a keep sake), chocolate covered strawberries with champagne, and an hour in the private soaking pool. We loved the private the soak, to could open the wall up and over look the pond and soaking area below, it was pretty. Or close it up and enjoy the wood burning fire. Even though we had a larger private pool in Caliente, this experience in Santa fe is a must.

The Santa Fe location did have some unique attractions, like sit and play with chickens and a puppy adaption area. According to their website, they have a 100% success rate adopting out puppies. We chose not to visit the puppies. One, we cannot have a dog at this time so why bother falling in love and two, the rules posted on the door did not mention taking off your shoes. When we tried to enter the woman running the play time, screamed at us to remove shoes. I just felt it was overly rude. If you are going to post rules, post all the rule and don't yell at people. We just turned around and said, f-it.

There was good hiking in both resorts. There was a very interesting hidden grave site, with homemade tombstones off the beaten track. We tried researching the names and found very limited information.

Overall, we had a great road trip and stay at two awesome resorts. Even though they are very different, you may prefer Santa Fe. Hey, we're all different and to each their own. Give them a shot if you are interested.

Ojo Caliente is the bomb!

The drive from Dallas to Ojo Caliente was a good 12 hours with stops. We were ready to start relaxing once we arrived. The pools stay open til 10pm and the Kavi pool, designated for suite only guest stays open till midnight.

When planning, I thought we'd do Caliente first since it was further from home, but we kind of wished we'd done Santa Fe first. The two are so different but you'd think they'd be similar from their website descriptions.

First, Caliente was stunning, placed in the cliffs at 6,500+/- elevation. The feel was rustic and well worn with hints of luxury scattered about. We stayed in the Posi Primo Suite, the largest room they offer. I chose this, that can sleep 4 because I thought it was the one with the largest patio soaking pool. It did have the largest soaking pool, but the Posi Suite, was the same size room, with the same size pool, just no sofa that had a pull out. So we could have saved $50/night. These are Pueblo-style Suites, with beautiful, private views of the cliffs to gaze at. Inside is a lovely wood burning fire place that comes loaded with wood and quick start fire building balls. There is a cold mini fridge and a sink and microwave.

The healing waters at Ojo Caliente are true hot springs feed from the earth, that have been around since the dawn of man, probably. I found it interesting to note that battling native tribes, would soak in the waters here, lay down their weapons in the sacred place and mend together. In Caliente, this spa is the only place in the world to have 4 different, pure springs pools that are naturally sulfur-free and rich in four elements: iron, arsenic, soda, and lithia. They have 4 other soaking pools with a blend of these elements and the private patio pools in some rooms are also blends. Our favorite pool was the pebble bottom iron pool, it felt amazing to walk in, followed by the soda pool. This soda pool makes your skin so soft and it was covered and a quite area where even whispering was suppose to not be allowed. In the soaking area, they had a belled staff walk around with a sing to remind people to whisper, as this was to help make the experience truly relaxing. In the 3.5 days we were there, most people followed the quite rules. I had the best message in my life in their spa. Caliente really lived up to my expectations and then some. The restaurant was delicious ever time, and always busy. It's kind of the only place in the area for upscale dining, so you had a lot of day spa pass people come in from town to dine. Diner reservation are a must, and we planed well in advance with the open table app.

Kitchenette and seating area in our suite at Ojo Caliente. Image taken by Chelsea's iphone 2023.

Massive walk in shower. Image taken by Chelsea's iphone 2023.

Hidden Graves in Santa Fe. Just happen to discover this on a hike nearby the Ojo Santa Fe. Tried to look them up, I did fine a little information only because the son happened to be in the newspaper as the first child born in the new year. But we did not find out why their graves are here or even if anyone knows about this site. Though there are lots of trail markers left behind so we think others do know. Photo by Chelsea Hoberer