What to consider when choosing a hot springs spot in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
by N J Howell
thinking of going to burning man?
Around 2005, I took an online test that was designed to narrow down all the places on earth that I might like living, to the one place that would suit me best. That place for me, according to that test, was Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. So....5 years later, I decide to check it out. I spent 9 days in what the locals call T or C, and soaked in the hot tubs most of those days.
During my stay, I walked a lot. Since most of the hot springs spas are located on two or three main streets, it wasn't hard to visit most of them. I discovered that each was different and that, depending on a person's preferences, the differences might be important. Finances dictated my stay so I chose The Charles Hotel and Spa. Picture of the Charles.
It was very reasonable and even more so than what is on the websites because I happened to be there during a rare and small lull in business that apparently happens every year. Apparently, the best time to go to T or C to get a great deal and also to avoid the throngs, is between New Years and mid-January. After that, everything starts filling up and rates are as posted. I stayed in one of the suites upstairs. It was nothing fancy at all but comfortable. However, and this is without judgment or rancor, the very nice couple who caretake the place are both smokers and they have a room upstairs as well.
At times, I could smell smoke even though they were obviously considerate and careful about smoking around me. They have several small dogs too, which I liked but you may not. The dogs did not bark but one, Arabella, was very friendly and always ran to greet me whenever she was out side at the same time I was outside.
The rooms downstairs different in furnishings so be sure to ask about kitchens, etc. There is wifi that can be picked up in the lobby but not in the rooms so can use laptop in lobby.
What I liked about the Charles:
The Charles has a rooftop jacuzzi which is just heaven at night. The first night I got there, very tired from driving all day, I got in that and looked up at the spectacular New Mexico night sky and thought, well, it doesn't get any better than this.
I liked the location of The Charles because it was within walking distance of a grocery store, a place to use the internet, a neat thrift store and a couple of very cool places to eat. In particular, I liked eating breakfast at the Turtleback Oasis and the Happy Belly Deli also has great food.
One thing that was a challenge for me with many of the spas was that they tended to have gas heat. Gas heat does not agree with me at all. At the Charles, I requested and got a radiator-type electric heater and used it instead of gas. If, like me, you are allergic to gas heat, best to ask when you make your reservations. It was also very interesting to me was how run down everything looked. One store owner told me that part of the reason was that the mineral springs sit directly under the buildings and seep up. Floors deteriorate quickly and so do walls, apparently. So, don't expect an attractive place, exactly.
The weather was great even in January. Sunny every day and temps above 50. However, the nights got very cold a couple of nights.
T or C Healing Air:
The main thing I loved was the air. I felt like I was breathing something delicious. I really felt a difference in my ease of breathing there.
I can well imagine how healing that air might be for someone with lung problems. I met one person who was there because of respiratory ailments and she said the weather was helping her a lot. Another woman, who had been injured in a car wreck, said the hot springs were wonderful for helping her body heal too.
I loved those hot springs too, man did I love them! However, I had concerns about hygiene. If you can swing the bucks, better to rent a room with a hot springs tub right in the room. That way, you are the only one using it while you are there.
About other hot springs in T or C
Why I Won't Be Moving There
Health Disclaimer: Staying in hot water for long periods of time can lead to dizziness and there was a caution against going into the springs if you have heart conditions or some other types of health challenges. Ask about medicine considerations if planning a trip to the healing hot springs.