Ojo Caliente understands the power of warmth on an elemental level. Nourish your body and soul at one of New Mexico’s oldest and best-known spa resorts, where the hot springs supply four different sulfur-free, therapeutic mineral waters. “It really does set the stage for deep relaxation and connection,” says Sarah Sims, Ojo Spa Resorts marketing director. Soak in one of the specialty pools (try the calming Lithia Pool, near the brand-new bathhouse with saunas and steam rooms) or rent a private bath alongside a piñon-burning beehive fireplace. If the weather’s nice, step outside and curl up beside the stone fire pit, under the wide desert sky. “It’s only an hour from Santa Fe and 45 minutes from Taos,” Sims says. “A perfect spot for an overnight date.” What you’re drinking: The Ojo Margarita.
Near the verdant hills and peaks of the Gila National Forest, the Black Range Lodge bed-and-breakfast serves travelers passing through the tiny community of Kingston. “It’s a historic building, lovingly restored and renovated for comfort,” says owner Catherine Wanek. Several rooms in the rustically elegant lodge feature private balconies, including one overlooking the Gila. An antique wood-burning stove keeps the main room toasty as Wanek serves fresh, house-made breakfasts with organic ingredients. “We cater to the people who are interested in getting off the beaten track,” Wanek says. What you’re drinking: A cup of Justo coffee, sourced from a co-operative in Mexico.
Snuggle up in Collected Works, the oldest independent bookstore in Santa Fe. With a large fireplace and comfy seating by the café, the bookstore and coffeehouse makes for a stimulating afternoon rendezvous. “It’s a place to gather and feel like you’re time-traveling,” says bookseller and café manager Jill Prendergast. Browse the excellent collection of local travel guides, Southwest and Native American histories, and regional poetry and fiction while sipping an Iconik Coffee Roasters brew. “Every day you come in and see something you might never have known you needed in the form of a book or an interaction,” says Prendergast. What you’re drinking: A house-specialty cookie butter latte.
Opened in 1931 as a 13-room hotel, the Sagebrush swaddles you in New Mexico hospitality. “Some of our guests have been coming here for over 30 years,” says general manager Elena Dumond. “They got married here, and they want to revisit those moments.” While the recently renovated property has expanded to 156 guest rooms, the original 10-inch-thick adobe walls will keep you warm even on the coldest winter days. Settle beside the fireplace in the cantina bar, which originally served as the inn’s lobby, to eat, drink, and listen to live music. What you’re drinking: The Taos Manhattan, made with a local rye whiskey.
The La Reina bar at El Rey Court greets you like a neon hug. With minimalist adobe decor and a light bar menu perfect for sharing, the upscale Route 66–style motor lodge’s stylish watering hole serves up mezcal- and tequila-centric cocktails for guests and locals alike. Get toasty by the glowing fires in the bar, lobby, and patio. Stop in for Queer Night on Monday, Toasty Tuesday (where you’ll enjoy discounts on hot drinks and s’mores kits), or live music on Wednesday and Sunday. What you’re drinking: A Negroni Rosa, which mixes mezcal with Aperol and rosé vermouth.
The venerable steakhouse, bar, and gift shop on US-70 about halfway between Ruidoso and Roswell creates an elegant atmosphere, well off the beaten path. Originally built in 1873 as a general store, Tinnie Silver Dollar wraps you in nostalgia with stained glass imported from Germany, a carved-wood bar from Chicago (rumored to have once been owned by Al Capone), antique furniture, original works by artists such as Peter Hurd, and two merry fireplaces. Extend your stay at one of the property’s cozy casita suites. What you’re drinking: La Mula Tercada (the Stubborn Mule).