Tucked away against the red rock and the green pine trees sits the Jemez Bath House. The bath house has been a staple in Jemez Springs for over a hundred years. It was the first public building constructed in Jemez Springs at the end of the 1800s. Today, not much about the building has changed. A small store greets guests upon arrival, offering everything from clothing to specially blended bath salts. Down a short flight of stairs, and you step into the historical part of the building, built in 1876. Two bathrooms face you with curtains on either side that lead to the baths. Generally the women’s side is off to the left and the men’s to the right, each side holds about 5 tubs that can be separated by curtains. Peaceful music plays overhead and talking is asked to be kept to a minimum. Hot water is clearly marked, and comes straight from the hot springs. The cold water isn’t really cold, its held outside and cooled to around 80 degrees. The tubs are partially filled for you. Once inside, you are given a container to store your things in, if needed. The Bathhouse offers a variety of soaking times along with herbal and towel wraps and massages. Today we are indulging in the Bathhouse special – a 30 minute soak, 30 minute herbal wrap, and a 60 minute massage.
After picking some lovely smelling bath salts I spent a peaceful 30 minutes soaking in the big old stone tubs. I could hear the birds singing outside the windows above. I’ve been told the Bathhouse is haunted, so no matter how relaxed I am, I have one eye open for anything spooky. The half hour flies by and I’m asked to step out of my private tub space onto a massage table lined up against the other wall. A hot, wet towel soak with herbs lays on the table and then I’m covered with another, before being wrapped with blankets. A cool compress is place behind my head and over my eyes. A light mist of lavender and rose is sprayed over me before I’m left alone to relax further.
By the time I get to my massage, my tension has drained away and I’m ready for a nap. The friendly therapist carries my things into a private massage room through the next door. There is quiet music playing with a small air-conditioner running in the window for wonderful gray noise. The massages at the Bathhouse are light and designed to relax. If your hoping to have an issue worked out, this isn’t the place. The atmosphere is meant to take you away from your everyday life and soothe you in the energy of the mountain hot springs. They succeed every time.
The main drawback to the Bathhouse is the fact you won’t want to leave Jemez when you’re done.