Ojo Caliente 1994
Ojo Caliente: hot springs, cool comfort OJO CALIENTE — Two years ago this winter, a fire destroyed the main bath houses at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, a fustic spa resort located between Santa Fe and Taos. But as the prehistoric Pueblo Indians realized long ago, this place is magical. This week, a new women's bath house opens, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the old. "We have been fully open and operational since the fire. But we are excited about the additional services the new bath house will provide our guests," resort manager Jerry Mauro said. The 3,720 square-foot building follows the northern New Mexico territorial style of the other historical buildings at the resort, featuring pitched roofs, portals and vaulted ceilings. Architect/ builder Kim Uriger of Santa Fe designed and constructed the building. "One innovative feature of the new bath house is the heating system," Mauro said. "Through a radiant floor sys t(;m, we are using the heat from the natural geothermal waters to warm the new bath house, as well as the exterior walkways, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tub. It's efficient and it's clean." The bath house's airy entrance features wall renderings and water sculptures by Santa Fe artist Gary Muuro. Inside, 13 private arsenic tubs pipu in the warm waters from the mineral springs. Seven new body treatment rooms, a ladies' changing room, sauna, fitness room and relaxation wrap room also are included. Considered to be one of the oldest health resorts in North America, Ojo Caliente's waters have been sought and enjoyed by many for centuries. The ancient people regarded the waters as an opening to the underworld, the residing place of the Great Spirits. "Legends tell of trails leading to the springs like the 'spokes of a wheel,' " Mauro said. The Spanish conquistadors stopped here on their long journeys. During the first half of the 20th century, people flocked to the springs from all over the United States to seek relief for health problems. The resort's hotel building was built in 1917, the coed bath house was built in the 1860s and the springs themselves are on the state and national historical registers. Jerry Muuro's grandfather, Frank Mauro, purchased the springs in 1932, believing he had found the fabled fountain of youth. It has been a family-owned and operated business ever since. "I am part of the third generation to have the opportunity and privilege of running it," Jerry Mauro said. Today, he said, people come to Ojo Culiente Mineral A look at the renovated exterior of the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs Hotel Springs for renewed spirits, rejuvenated bodies, and a complete relaxation experience. "Ojo Culiente is the only natural hot springs in the world with the remarkable combination of five bubbling waters: arsenic, iron, lithia, soda and sodium. Each mineral provides a different benefit to the body," Mauro said. Arsenic, in trace amounts, has been known to help relievo arthritis, rheuma- tism, stomach ulcers and skin problems. Iron is beneficial to the blood. Many people believe lithia helps with depression and sluggish kidneys. Soda and sodium are good for over-acidic stomachs. Weekday rates for the mineral pools start at $7. Ojo Culiente Mineral Springs, located on State Road 285 north of Espaftola, is open yoar-round. For more information, call (506) 6832233.