How Nature Inspires New Mexico’s Wellness Offerings
New Mexico is fondly called “The Land of Enchantment.” Mesmerizing natural landscapes like mountains, ancient volcanoes and sand dunes, plus a rich Native American cultural history give this destination a certain magic.
Such beauty and diversity extend to the state’s resorts, exemplified best in their wellness offerings. As wellness continues to be a priority for attendees at meetings, consider adding these truly inimitable experiences to the meeting itinerary to heighten your attendees’ well-being in New Mexico.
The Spa, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino
The Spa at the AAA Four-Diamond Inn of the Mountain Gods opened in October 2018—a welcome addition to the already popular group magnet, which has 40,000 square feet of meeting space that includes 15 rooms and a convention center. The resort is set in the Sacramento Mountains of South Central New Mexico on the Mescalero Apache Reservation and weaves elements of nature throughout its property, including in the spa.
Photo: Spa room at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino; Credit: Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino
“As Apache people we have always known that nature, plants, animals, trees, water, have always sustained us and healed us. The Creator made these things to take care of his people. With that in mind the look and feel of the spa was designed to give our guests the feeling of peace and well-being,” explained Sarah Kazhe-Kirgan, director of marketing for the resort.
The centerpiece for the spa is a statue of an Apache woman created by artist Jordon Torres. Kazhe-Kirgan said that she symbolizes beauty, strength and health. The spa rooms are colored with deep browns and neutral colors to represent the forest and the earth, and the treatments are inspired by natural healers such as Juniper, sumac, spring water, stones and clay that are combined with various massage techniques.
The spa also has a full-service salon and oxygen bar for attendees that need some aid adjusting to the high altitude.
For groups that don’t have enough time to schedule a full spa break after meetings, Kazhe-Kirgan said that the team can bring 10-minute massage breaks to the group after their meetings end.
“Santa Fe has some of the cleanest air in the U.S., and the area’s high elevation at just over 7,000 feet at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains plays a big role in the draw to the area,” said Joanne Hudson, public relations manager at TOURISM Sante Fe.
“The landscape of New Mexico with its wide-open views and variety of landscapes has an energy that adds to the guest experience, making it memorable, unique and transformative,” she continued. “Many of the great spas in the area offer unique treatments that bring in ancient Native American techniques and alternative healing rituals, such as prickly pear-blue corn body scrubs and chakra aligning sessions.”
Photo: Mountain hiking, Santa Fe; Credit: TOURISM Santa Fe
Hudson also added that many ingredients used in spa treatments are ones that have been cultivated and foraged from the Santa Fe area for centuries.
Groups can experience such treatments at a variety of resorts that are within close proximity of Santa Fe’s convention center. Most of the city’s popular meeting hotels are three to six blocks away, making it easy to schedule breaks in between busy sessions. Notable examples include:
- Nidah Spa at Eldorado Hotel: Many of the treatments here are inspired by the ancient healing techniques of the region’s pueblos and draw upon healing properties of stones, plants and herbs. During the signature treatment, “Spun Gold” massage, hot stones are placed on the back and warm chamomile oil infused with flecks of gold is massaged into the skin, meant to create a sense of calm and peace. Crystals are also present to cleanse “chakras,” or a body’s energy centers.
- Spa Sage at La Posada de Santa Fe: This spa features treatments like “The Spirit of Santa Fe,” which is a blue corn exfoliation scrub and a massage infused with desert sage essential oils; and “Santa Fe Chocolate Chile Wrap,” which uses a custom blend of warming Chimayo, New Mexico red chile, and a rich chocolate and cocoa butter mixture.
Other wellness experiences tied to Santa Fe’s landscapes and native culture include purification ritual spa treatments at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado’s spa, and fitness activities at wellness-focused resort Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, about 20 minutes from Santa Fe’s historic plaza. Hudson notes that groups can coordinate a buyout of the 52-room property with meeting space that can accommodate up to 120, making it ideal for mid-sized corporate retreats.
Photo: Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Santa Fe; Credit: Heritage Hotels & Resorts
New Mexico’s largest city sits a mile above sea level and enjoys a high-desert climate, giving it more than 310 sunny days each year paired with cool evenings. Plus, its mountain surroundings provide a picturesque backdrop for meetings and events.
“Albuquerque is located within the Rio Grande Valley and is lined to the east by the towering Sandia Mountains and ancient volcanos to the west with the legendary Rio Grande flowing through the heart of the city,” said Kristin McGrath, vice president of convention sales, services and sports for Visit Albuquerque. “The city’s geography and topography make it a natural playground for wellness and adventure-seekers.”
Indeed, even track and field Olympic hopefuls make their training home base in Albuquerque, thanks to its high altitude and abundance of trails. Mountain biking and hiking are popular activities for groups meeting in Albuquerque. Corporate teambuilding options are available at Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals, like city tours and scavenger hunts.
Much like Santa Fe, Albuquerque’s resorts also take inspiration from the land and cultural tradition to craft relaxing spa offerings. Tamaya Mist at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa is well known for its therapies that are rooted in the history of Albuquerque and use indigenous ingredients.
“Their ‘Ancient Drumming’ treatment uses red chile, piñon oil and mud from the Jemez Mountains; their ‘Spirit Path’ treatment incorporates blue corn flour; and their ‘Three Sisters Salt Scrub’ features an exclusive blend of native Tamaya blue corn meal, Anasazi bean and pumpkin seed,” explained McGrath.
Planners can follow these spa treatments with cultural programming in the meeting itinerary at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, with activities like Adobe brickmaking or gourd painting, which make for engaging group teambuilding activities.
Photo: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm lavender fields, Albuquerque; Credit: Dirt Road Travels
For retreats or incentive groups that want to go all in on wellness, McGrath recommends Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, which sits on 25 acres of fields and gardens (2.5 of which are lavender fields used to make guest room lavender amenities) and offers activities like yoga classes, farm tours, bicycle rentals, lawn games and field-to-table experiences at the onsite restaurant.
TOURISM Santa Fe | 505.955.6200
Visit Albuquerque | 505.842.9918