FINDING SERENITY AT SANTA FE’S TEN THOUSAND WAVES
While I was there, we happened to be driving around and passed a spot about 10 minutes outside of downtown called Ten Thousand Waves. Intrigued by the name, I did a little Internet surfing and found out it was a spa facility dedicated to providing a Japanese sense of serenity and relaxation and offering a variety of wellness treatments as well as communal and private bathing experiences modeled after the great hot spring “onsen” of Japan.
I strongly recommend reserving a private hot tub in advance and enjoying some time among the beautiful Japanese gardens in your own tub, which is maintained at a welcoming 104-106 degrees Farenheit. There are also a number of cold plunge tubs interspersed around the gardens which are 55 degrees and also great to invigorate your system in between the hot tub soaks.
While the hot tubs are great any time of year, in the winter when there is snow on the ground, the scene is quite stunning. This setting captures the Japanese philosophy of the powerful healing and release gained by sitting in hot water surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Since my visit, Ten Thousand Waves has also added hotel accommodations and a Japanese restaurant. The small number of accommodations includes Zen Rooms, Townsman Rooms, and Emperor’s Rooms where you can truly get away from it all and relax. Lodging guests are given a casual kimono upon check-in and some never put their street clothes on again until departure. You are welcomed with your kimono throughout the property including in the restaurant and are given priority access to the baths and spa treatments and also early morning access to the Grand Bath before the spa opens to the public.
Also worth a look is Izanami, Ten Thousand Wave’s upscale izakaya restaurant serving typical Japanese small plates in a casual atmosphere. The menu is designed for sharing, ordering one dish one at a time, and is served when ready from the kitchen. The restaurant prides itself on utilizing organic or sustainably raised pork, chicken, wagyu beef and produce and only serves fish on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 5 pm (since they are a thousand miles from the ocean). There are many gluten free and vegetarian items on the menu.
In this time where everything is about being constantly connected and always on, it’s worth some time to disconnect among the warm and healing Japanese-inspired waters at Santa Fe’s Ten Thousand Waves.