AFTER STROLLING THE LANDSCAPED GROUNDS of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, I entered a luscious mix of historic architecture, antique art, and soothing color palettes that lulled me into a state of dreaminess. Aesthetician/massage therapist Leigh Ann Hernandez jolted me out of it with one question: “When was your last facial?” Certainly before the pandemic, I thought. But how much before? “I dunno,” I answered, stunned at how much time had passed since I last experienced any pampering.
That I chose to break the drought at the new Hacienda Spa was fortuitous. Hernandez soon had me on a table, with steam wafting the inn’s specialty scents over me. An alchemy of ointments followed, concluding with a scalp massage that masterfully unlocked my usually clenched jaw.
The spa opened last summer, taking over a space designed in 1932 by acclaimed architect John Gaw Meem. It’s where inn owners Penny and the late Armin Rembe raised their kids, including Matt, who now serves as executive director and has led expansions of Los Poblanos’s Campo restaurant, Farm Shop, artisan lavender products, and cultural programming.
When I arrived, a few lodgers were outside the hacienda chatting near a crackling kiva fireplace. Inside, paintings of nubile women, saved from the original property, decorated the women’s changing room. Two waiting areas—one indoor, the other an interior courtyard—delivered a meditative vibe with fountains and more fireplaces.
With prices for a range of skin-care and massage treatments beginning at $155, the spa has attracted a mix of lodgers and locals. “Most of them say that it was way overdue,” Hernandez says. “This property was missing a spa, and the hacienda was the perfect place to put it.” The recent addition of a Wellness Yurt opened opportunities for yoga classes, too.
Matt Rembe says it all nestles into the inn’s mission, as stated on a tile designed by Meem: Dedicada a la vida generosa (“dedicated to the generous life”). “The seasonal facials change every few months and are crafted with our climate in mind,” he says. “The herbal poultice massage uses nutrient-rich seasonal plants, flowers, and herbs—some of which are foraged from our fields. Relaxing in the Sala Grande lounge before or after, and watching how the desert light changes as it dances off the white hand-plastered walls and carved wooden vigas is magical.”
Indeed, by the time I left, a new sense of calm had settled into me, along with a commitment to indulge more often. “Self-care is important,” Hernandez reminded me as I stepped onto the porch. Above me, through the blackened sky, a pinpoint gleam broke through. It was Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, underscoring Hernandez’s words.
Tap into your true self at Los Poblanos.
At daily yoga classes ($18), mats and equipment are provided, or bring your own. Masks may be required.
Saturday morning docent-led Art & Architecture tours ($15) explore the property’s history.
The monthly Dr. Armin Rembe Lecture Series ($35) tackles topics like art, architecture, and agriculture.
Other events include behind-the-scenes farm tours, fermentation classes, high tea, and do-it-yourself workshops. Visit the events calendar for more.