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Possibly The Best Baths Ever: The Blackstone New Mexico

August 13, 2009 at 4:42 PM | by | Comments (4)

The beauty of a roadtrip is being able to stop exactly where you want when the whim takes you – especially if it’s in a town with a funny name. That’s how we ended up in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (we were aiming for Roswell but the name was calling us too hard to miss).

Truth or Consequences used to be a popular spa town called Hot Springs before it changed its name to that of a game show in 1950. Then in the sixties, the hippies moved in, and never left. And now it’s on the cusp of turning upscale thanks to the Virgin Galactic Spaceport America being built 30 miles down the road.

And in readiness for the type of clientele who’ll spend their life savings (and more) on a trip into space (it’s scheduled to open next year), a new hotel has opened up in town. Blackstone is a 1930s motel done up to top notch modern standards: HD TVs in half the rooms, semi-private terraces on one side, and different themes for every room – like the Jetsons room (complete with original Hanna Barbara cartoon) and the Roy Rogers room, stuffed full of Western pictures.

All very nice. But the real reason to stay here is the humongous baths in every room, which you can fill with hot spring water pumped straight from the ground. So not only do you get your own spa experience (and you’ll have to pay to use the facilities elsewhere), but you can do whatever you like in there, since the tubs are big enough for about four (a conservative estimate).

We actually stayed at hippy central Riverbend round the corner (review to come tomorrow) but Blackstone is the place for a more lux spa experience. And prices are fantastically low for what you get – starting at $75 for the Roy Rogers room, and going up to $125 for the Jetsons, with its swish fountain-style bath.

If you can’t afford that, non-guests can hire the equally nice Wet Room with its own little pool, fountain and steam room, for $25 an hour. Us? We’d probably do both. It really is that nice.

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I will surely stay here when I visit mexico someday. I wanna try the baths there. They're very relaxing I guess.

Health, Safety & Sanitation of Hot Springs

Before putting hot springs in T or C, NM on the Conde Nast "favs", better really check the story facts - and get it right.

For those commercial hot springs establishments in NM willing to oblige themselves of rules and regulations provided by the NM Environment Dept. for health, safety and sanitation of hot springs - whether tubs, pools or baths will immediately find "non-compliance" at MANY of the establishments.

The reporter wrote that tubs are so big that "anything" could be done in them - suggesting at least four people could get in one tub at the same time.

In July, '08 new regulations and rules stated only ONE person may soak/bathe per FIFTEEN SQ. FT. of pool/tub.  No more "multiple use".

Cleaning of tubs:  you just better ask to watch how they do it.  You won't be impressed.  Do realize, many people interpret "bath" quite literally - even though rules required consumers to shower before soaking in pools.  You know how your home bath tub can look after a typical bath.  Now visualize lots of people you don't know leaving their "deposits".

Other rules and regulations commonly violated are that certified operators are required who are trained in CPR, First Aid, and Emergency Procedures.  Unfortunately, in 2007, then again in 2008, tourists died in T or C's hot springs - and at a commercial hot springs that calls itself a motel and spa.

Infectious diseases are on the rise.  Do you think ANY business who offers hot mineral water in T or C even asks customers about their possible disease affecting the health of others while using their facilities? Ask to see health reports.

Water testing of hot mineral water is now required of T or C's hot mineral water establishments.  Ask to see their recent (weekly) reports.

The NM Environment Dept. recently admitted it had not done inspections of hot mineral water establishments in T or C, NM since 1991.  Now it's asking consumers to "shout out" and report ANY and ALL non-compliance.
Please do.  

Sitting in hot mineral water can have very serious health interactions.  It behooves EVERY consumer to know that heart rate increases significantly, and can be deadly when interacting with hot mineral water.

Check out each establishment's emergency personnel before booking your stay.  Many of them are not trained, not even in proximity to where you may be soaking in hot mineral water, and have poor equipment for contacting ANYBODY in an emergency.

After appreciating the cosmetics of the named Blackstone's upgrades from a 1930s apartment complex, be sure to really look at what's happening in the town.  It's up to you how you wish to spend your time, but the obvious poor and deteriorated condition of MOST properties in the town leaves a lot to be desired.  Suggesting there's a "hippie central" - even though we're in the 21st century should give a clue.  There are currently significant contamination issues being investigated.

For more appealing hot springs experiences, try northern New Mexico at Ojo Caliente - a true hot springs spa resort.  For VERY clean and stunning environs, try Ten Thousand Waves at Santa Fe on the way to the ski basin.  No won't be disappointed.

You may find that going to "hot springs less used" may be more appealing.  Southern New Mexico offers several "wild" hot springs in the Gila Wilderness near Silver City, NM.  The "Gila" is an adventure in itself.

As far as T or C goes, I think the reporter may be having a "flashback" during this "Woodstock" anniversary, or the T or C tourism folks are at it again - working overtime to create a spin - unfortunately.  T or C just doesn't make the cut.

Sour Grapes alert!

Folks - the lengthy post above was written by a woman who (circa 2006) opened a business in Truth or Consequences that failed. The business, ironically, offered massage and other forms of "healing." It shuttered earlier this year.

She also applied for the Tourism Director position for the county, but was not hired (fall '07). Then she ran for T or C City Commission but was not elected (2008). Her next project was gathering enough signatures (through questionable methods) to organize a recall of the man who beat her in the City Commission election. This recall (spring 2009 - which essentially cost local taxpayers $5000) failed, and by a landslide.

She has moved away, but still has an enormous vendetta against our town, especially the hot springs district. She monitors the internet and posts variations on the above vitriol after every positive review written about T or C. She is obsessed. She is not well. The State Environmental Department knows this.

If we could find a way to have her arrested, we probably would. Unfortunately mudslinging posts are not illegal.

Please don't let her comments sway you in any way. T or C is a wonderful place - our springs are divine, and the lodging and restaurant options, always charming, have been upped several notches over the past 2-3 years.

The numerous reviewers who've given it thumbs up are not crazy. HotSpringsMonitor is.

The Facts Are The Facts

The poster didn't get the facts right - and likely never will as the STP (same ten people)  try to "spin" the town of Truth or Consequences loosing continual sight of the facts, and in group unison, attack people instead.  People who live in glass houses, should not throw rocks.

Check out ALL the facts for yourselves, and THEN decide if soaking in the hot springs at Truth or Consequences, NM is really worth it.

Tourists should not die in hot springs.  Commercially permitted hot springs are required to report deaths and follow strict procedures.  The July 6, 2007 death went UNREPORTED until the Enviornment Dept was alerted by a third party.

Cleanliness and sanitation is a matter of health. There will soon be an announcement of the Benzene-Cancer connection alledged in T or C's hot springs by a local resident who now has cancer of the lymph nodes.

Go to all of these sites for information, and to report violations of rules and regulations:

click on left column "New Regulations"




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