Japanese-inspired serenity is the vibe at this unusual spa retreat in the foothills east of downtown Santa Fe.
Ten Thousand Waves is atypical of upscale Santa Fe accommodations—it's Asian rather than Southwestern style, nestled on a hillside four miles east of downtown, and known foremost as a spa rather than a hotel. Some locals don't even know that this Zen-inspired retreat has thirteen minimalist, yet stunning, cottages offering stylish overnight accommodations. The light-filled, spacious cabins are set on a pine-studded hill and have wood-burning fireplaces with marble or stone hearths, stereo-CD players, and either futons or traditional beds with stylish designs and plush linens; most have DVD players, and a few have full kitchens. All have private patios, where you can sit and enjoy the aroma of pinon trees and junipers that dot the twenty acres of woodland that surround the property. Once here, you can opt for an herbal-wrap treatment or Yasuragi head-and-neck massage at the spa, or soak in one of this mini-resort's famous communal or private hot tubs. There's also a chichi gift shop where you can buy sushi, exotic juices and other good-for-you foods. Ten Thousand Waves is a ten-minute drive from downtown, and it's also on the main road leading to Ski Santa Fe and Santa Fe National Forest, where there's great access to hiking and biking trails in summer and terrific skiing in winter.