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The circular Warming Room in the spa of Encantado – an Auberge Resort is an immediate statement that you are in the spiritual area of Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2010. The Warming Room is the spa waiting room: it is circular, based on the kiva thinking places that have always been a feature of the Indian tribes of this part of the USA.
Inside the Warming Room, which is about 20 feet in diameter, is a real-log fire with a 200-year old Pueblo rug hanging over. Two of the small tables by relaxation chairs are solid columns of age-old Indonesian petrified wood. Designers Wilson & Associates have instilled so much history in this highly-modern, 65-room resort, which owners Canyon Equity opened September 2008 on the site of an earlier inn made most famous by a former owner, the one-time matriarch of Santa Fe, Colonel Betty Egan, 1919-1998.
The spa reception is another circular kiva, with a boutique leading off it that not only has blue jeans for every occasion but wear-anywhere gear that any shopaholic could not resist. Reiko, originally from Okinawa, Japan, does a mani-pedi as I look out, past orchids in pink pots, at the scrub hillside that I long to climb: she tells me how much she loves working in this serene place - and, indeed, she has come in specially on what should have been her day off.
Mary Gostelow is an industry guru when it come comes to global hospitality and lifestyle.
She is Editor-in-Chief of WOW.travel, the online magazine of . She is International Advisor for Elite Traveler, The Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine. She also has her own global market intelligence, Gostelow Report, for the travel and tourism industry.
Mary spends 300 days a year travelling - plenty of time to explore the world's best hotel and destination spas and to share her tips on the latest and greatest health and beauty treasures.See my profile