Concierge.com's insider take:
Thanks to the area's New Age reputation, many visitors expect a Zen—or at least spiritual—experience. Ten Thousand Waves is the only property in Santa Fe that delivers on that premise. Opened in 1981 as a Japanese-inspired spa in the Sangre de Cristo mountains that tower over the town, it has gradually added guest rooms (13 altogether) in a string of detached structures down the hill from the large spa area. Both rooms—called the Houses of the Moon—and spa are set in a forest of pine trees, interconnected by footpaths. Inspired by ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), the rooms are sparsely decorated in Japanese style, often with sliding screens and bamboo mats. It's a tough look to get right, but Ten Thousand Waves nails it, creating a soothing, even meditative, atmosphere. The drawback is the absence of an on-site restaurant: Guests must drive 15 minutes back to town down a two-lane road. We suggest you spend several nights in town, then book here for the last night or two for the ultimate chilled-out experience.
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