Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is a sleepy little town about a two hour drive south of the Albuquerque airport. Formerly known as Hot Springs, New Mexico, the town is famous for the odorless geothermal waters which flow below the ground.
It was after lunch on Memorial Day and the holiday weekend rush had finished by the time Myra, the manager, checked us into our room. The staff was extremely friendly.
The Sierra Grande Lodge was built back in the 1920s and has seventeen rooms that are simple and charming, and one two bedroom stand-alone casita. All have free Wi-Fi.
The main attraction in T&C, Myra explained, is the natural geothermal hot springs that run below the town and hit the earth’s surface at temperatures up to 107 degrees. The hotel’s spa has several private pools in their spa area and each guest of the hotel receives one 30- minute soaking bath per day. Some guests feel they get their fill within 15-20 minutes, while others use the full 30.
Unlike the natural hot springs I have visited in Iceland and Palm Springs, the water in Truth or Consequences is odorless and lacks the telltale sulfur scent.
Blair Wyman, who works as the House Manager at Ladder Ranch (another Ted Turner Expeditions property nearby) took us on a tour of the spa and explained that the healing waters in Truth or Consequences have long been a draw for tourists to Truth or Consequences, which was known as Hot Springs, New Mexico until 1950 when the town voted to change its name in a promotion started by Radio host Ralph Edwards and his “Truth or Consequences” radio show. The name stuck.
For a small hotel, the spa at Sierra Grande Lodge has a rather extensive spa menu which includes several kinds of massage, body scrubs, wraps and facials as well as aromatherapy treatments. There are several private pools to soak in the hot springs, which vary in size. The smallest can handle a single person or couple, while largest can accommodate up to eight people for a group soak.
The Sierra Grande Lodge also has a restaurant, which is currently in the process of getting it’s liquor license. Blair told us where we could purchase liquor at a grocery store in town and gave us the name of a bar in nearby Elephant Butte, where we could get a margarita.
We drove five miles away to check out the Elephant Butte State Park recreation area and the Elephant Butte Reservoir and Dam, which turns 100 this year. It was a nice spot to take in the sunset. Rain clouds moved in and we drove back to Truth or Consequences and got dinner in town at the Los Arcos Steakhouse, which has been a favorite of tourists passing through the area since 1970.
We headed back to the lodge to get a good night’s sleep before exploring the Ladder Ranch with Ted Turner Expeditions in the morning.