When American Airlines emailed me about my flight points with a “use it or lose it” ultimatum, I took that personally. I don’t like leaving points unused. Especially, when they could be easily applied toward a free flight.
So, after looking at a map of the United States, I tried to see where I could travel, using the points I had. The only city that stood out was Sante Fe, outside of Albuquerque in Northern New Mexico.
After speaking with some friends, I received two strong recommendations to stay at Ten Thousand Waves, located at the base of the Sangre de Christo Mountains in Sante Fe.
With reservations made, my intentions for my time were mentally set. I wanted this to be an artist retreat for myself.
Check In + Overview
Upon arriving at Ten Thousand Waves, I was truly impressed by the grounds, layout and feeling of being on the property.
When Ten Thousand Waves says that check in is at 4pm, they absolutely mean that you cannot access your room until 4pm. Instead, you have access to the communal spa areas of the Spa.
Since I arrived around 2:30p, I had a bit of time ahead of me. So, thinking ahead to the check in process I’d read on the emailed information sheet, I grabbed my swimsuit from my suitcase and took a ride on the cart to the spa.
Immediately, I was greeted with a smile, given an information sheet about the property and shown around the spa area.
After a few minutes in the relaxation room, I moved to a changing room. Here, I stored my items in a locker, showered and found my way to the communal area. There was a large hot tub, a small cold plunge pool and a sauna.
I relaxed, moving from the sauna to the foot soak and the relaxation room until my room was ready.
The Yado Room
At 4pm, I simply walked to Yado, pressed my wristband against the security doors and let myself in. My first thoughts of the room were “simple”.
The courtyard was lovely. However, one thing I noticed was that the room did not have a desk. This meant that all the watercolor art and writing I’d intended to do during my artist retreat couldn’t comfortably happen. Instead, I was allowed to relax into what was – vs what I’d projected I wanted.
The bed was comfortable and I slept extremely well, each night.
Breakfast was included in my stay. However, it was the most basic of breakfasts – in line with the spa aesthetic. One morning, it was a quiche with yogurt, granola, berries and fruit. Another day, it was yogurt, strawberries, berries and granola. It was something to eat. However, not the most filling of foods. However, I appreciated it being delivered to my room, based on preferences I chose.
The Spa Cat, Avi
This is one incredibly smart Spa Cat. He came to my room and meowed at the door. The second night, I let him in. He immediately crawled to his favorite spot on the couch and fell asleep. As I am already used to cats, this didn’t bother me. However, when I woke up around midnight, I felt the need to put the cat outside. Even though he didn’t want to go out. I gently used a towel to put him outside and say goodnight and goodbye. He was so sweet, smart and gentle. And yes, he is extremely well fed, gets all of his vet check ups and is flea free.
Dining at Izanamai was truly fun. Recently visiting Japan, I didn’t have expectations to compare cuisines. I just enjoyed my waiter and the fun of the restaurant.
What I loved the most was being able to comfortably walk to and from the restaurant.
The Spa at Ten Thousand Waves
The communal Spa Experience at Ten Thousand Waves was pleasant. From 8am to 9am, it’s for lodging guests only. On my last morning, I was able to utilize this accessibility.
The grounds were peaceful. I loved the welcoming koi pond and clean, serene space of the Spa. After turning on the jets in the large communal soaking pool and getting in, I finally was able to be at peace with my time in Sante Fe. The warmth of the water and the sun was exquisite. After two other guests came into the pool, I got out and went into the sauna.
The sauna was comfortable and hot. I didn’t need an exceptionally long sweat before I was ready to finish my experience.
Overall, I greatly appreciated my stay at Ten Thousand Waves. It was close to everything I wanted to experience in Sante Fe, with beautiful grounds and exceptionally friendly staff. Honestly, the staff was so friendly and helpful during all my encounters, it was on par with the best name brand hotels I’ve visited. All snuggled up in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Ten Thousand Waves
21 Ten Thousand Waves Way
Sante Fe, New Mexico 87501