Created in the 17th century, the Acequia Madre, or “mother ditch,” vitally sustained Santa Fe’s Canyon Road neighborhood, then a humble farming community, with water from the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Still running parallel to now iconic Canyon Road, the acequia is one example of the region’s historic association with health and wellness.
Another is the perennially dry, clean air, which when found to be a life-saving tonic for respiratory illnesses, was directly responsible for attracting the early 20th century painters who transformed Santa Fe into a global art destination. These and other area stimulants, ranging from spas to stargazing, make the laid-back New Mexico trio of Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos ready uplifts for the mind, body and soul.
Home of the globally preeminent International Balloon Fiesta, which celebrated its 45th edition last month, Duke City helps groups rise to the occasion with a diverse set of elevating experiences.
“With inherent features such as natural hot springs, scenic beauty and wide-open spaces, Albuquerque and New Mexico offer groups much in terms of health and wellness offerings,” said Tania Armenta, president & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “Whether enjoying a relaxing afternoon soaking in a mineral hot spring, partaking in a spa treatment that uses local and indigenous ingredients, or reawakening the body through active pursuits like hiking or biking, Albuquerque is a sanctuary where visitors can truly embrace their natural surroundings and leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and even transformed.”
One such escape is the Tamaya Mist Spa & Salon at the 350-room Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Located on the Santa Ana Pueblo 25 minutes north of Albuquerque International Airport, this luxurious property offers groups 27,000 square feet of high-tech space. The spa, meanwhile, is for appointments with Native American-inspired treatments such as “Ancient Drumming” and “Spirit Path,” which incorporate local spices, oils and mud.
In Albuquerque’s North Valley, the landmark 1930s Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, designed by the “Father of Santa Fe Style,” John Gaw Meem, is a bucolic escape for meetings and events. Still a working farm, the property is presently undergoing renovation, including increasing capacity from 22 rooms to 50 guest suites and relocating its James Beard-nominated La Merienda restaurant to newly renovated barn space, new bar and bakery included.
Set on 130 acres in the Cibola National Forest about an hour south of Albuquerque, Manzano Mountain Retreat hosts corporate meetings, teambuilding, reunions and other gatherings for around 150 people. Backed by the majestic Manzano Mountains (Spanish for apple, after the orchards planted here by early conquistadors), the retreat’s facilities include private cabins and meeting rooms.
Backing Albuquerque, meanwhile, are the magnificent Sandia Mountains, with the famed Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway transporting groups above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain. With a full-service base facility, recreational options include hiking and mountain biking.
Embracing the state’s unofficial “Land of Manana” moniker (or “Carpe Manana,” the adaptation coined and copyrighted in the mid-90s by George Adelo, Jr. from nearby Pecos) with open arms, the “City Different” is a singular departure for groups.
“People have been traveling to Santa Fe for many centuries to enjoy its rare beauty and climate, but also to refresh and renew themselves in a wide variety of health and wellness traditions created by the native inhabitants long ago,” said Randy Randall, executive director for TOURISM Santa Fe. “Santa Fe provides groups with rich opportunities to gather in truly inspiring locations, experience a unique spectrum of treatments—many native inspired and locally sourced—and enjoy outdoor pursuits in some of the most dramatically beautiful country imaginable,” Randall continued. “These features put a genuine, relaxed smile on meeting attendees and their family members.”