If you ask ANYONE that has ever been skiing in Japan what their favorite aspect of the trip other than the skiing was, the odds are that “onsens” (hot springs / baths – typically used after day of skiing) would be included in their response, i.e.; how they were a quintessential part of the experience, how you weren’t allowed to wear bathing suits, how relaxing they were, etc. I can certainly attest to this, having just returned from my third ski trip there…
But what the well-traveled onsen purveyor may not know is that you don’t have to go to all the way to Japan to get the onsen experience. In fact, the closest thing North America’s got, and I would argue that in many ways it’s superior, is just 5 minutes down the hill from Ski Santa Fe at Ten Thousand Waves Spa.
Here you can pay about $25 bucks to access the supersized but elegant outdoor coed grand bath (bathing suits required) where the temp is around 105 degrees F, the view is amazing, and despite the “spa” label its absent of pretentiousness.
Anyhow, I suppose the point is that there’s no reason this isn’t part of your quintessential Santa Fe ski experience. I’ve incorporated this into the itinerary whenever I have friends in from out of town, and it is always met with great reviews. In a few weeks I will have my first repeat customer (visiting friend), and surprise, surprise without any prodding, they asserted that even if we opt to ski elsewhere, we should still make a trip up to the “onsen”.
**I should also just note that they have a range of other options / services, including; private baths, saunas, spa treatments, guest rooms, and even a Japanese izakaya restaurant on site.