Soak It Up at Blackstone Hotsprings in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Blackstone Hotsprings Lodging and Baths, a restored 1930s motor court, is a fantastic mixture of quirkiness blended with upscale hippie charm in a little town called Truth or Consequences, NM. Located in the downtown historic bathhouse district, its unassuming façade is easy to miss. The first time I visited I drove right by the place.  

If you’re not even sure where Truth or Consequences is—take note: T or C is approximately 2 hours south of Albuquerque. Originally called Hot Springs and famous for its natural and healing thermal waters, the town changed its name in l950 to Truth or Consequences—the title of the popular TV show at the time—for some hoped-for publicity.

Today, Blackstone Hotsprings taps into the town’s old TV connection with each of its seven spacious themed rooms a nod to boob-tube nostalgia: ie The Twilight Zone, The Golden Girls, The Jetsons.

But the most important thing that the Blackstone taps into is the town’s healing thermal waters. It’s also why I’ve been visiting here in the winter whenever I can (three times so far). All of the rooms (except one with a walk-in shower) have a huge custom tub for unlimited private soaking with water from the hot spring piped in. The water temperature runs around 112 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can add fresh cold water if you want it cooled down some. There is also a fresh water shower if you prefer to shower off after your soak.

The rooms all have retro furnishings to match the tasteful memorabilia connected to the show it’s named after. Studio photos and posters (many autographed) plus original artwork are also part of the decor. It’s truly kitsch with class. Most of the rooms have king-sized comfortable beds and lovely bedding (two are queen-sized), and all have AC, free wifi, TVs, kitchenettes with vintage refrigerators (no stove), microwave– and (bonus!) for the coffee lover– a custom blend (dark and rich) in-house coffee for the coffeemaker.

My room on my last two visits was The Golden Girls; but I have also stayed in The Twilight Zone. (Who could resist saying they stayed in the twilight zone in New Mexico?) The Twilight Zone is the only room with a walk-in shower instead of a tub. I prefer the tub, but the shower is good for someone who might prefer having water massaged onto shoulders and neck.

The sitting area in The Golden Girls room

The sitting area in The Golden Girls room

Many of the rooms have small semi-private courtyards out their back doors. (The parking lot is behind these). The “front” doors of the rooms open out onto the motor court’s charmingly whimsical courtyard—complete with flowers, vintage lawn chairs and a huge metal palm tree as focal point.

Restaurants and cafes are within walking distance of Blackstone and staff is welcoming and friendly with suggestions and advice. The best night life in T or C consists of sitting outside admiring a sky full of stars. The entire vibe of Blackstone Hotsprings is laid-back and casual; a perfect place to relax, re-charge and soak away the stresses of the world.

Budget prices help with the de-stressing. Room rates range from $75 to $135 a night. For more information and reservations, check the website.

Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long.

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