When the desert sun causes skin to crack or the honking cars on the Coronado Freeway cause heads to ache, Albuquerque’s residents take solace in the wealth of luxurious spas strewn across their cityscape. The beautiful Sandia Mountains are a fitting backdrop to these spas, each of which offers its own form of respite from the heat of the Chihuahuan Desert.

It would be easy to spend several days soaking in the two outdoor hot tubs and strolling beneath the canopy of vines at Betty's Bath and Day Spa. The spa’s staff specializes in a wide array of massages and natural skin treatments. Chief among the latter is the blue corn body polish, which exfoliates skin with fine corn meal and heated essential oils. Betty’s even concocts its own line of body products, all of which are specially tailored to counteract New Mexico's hot, dry climate.

The staff at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa turn to Albuquerque's native ancestors for guidance. Their ancient treatments make use of natural elements extracted from the land’s plants and soils. Mineral-rich mud masks treat skin to a detoxifying blend of of red chilies and mud from the Jemez Mountains while the therapist drums a relaxing beat on a bag filled with flaxseed. The aestheticians at Green Reed Spa also favor local and natural products, drawing on plants and essential oils native to New Mexico. After a treatment as this luxury resort, you can relax in a quiet cabana or enjoy a snack of melon salad and red-chili candied pecans.

There's something rustic and familiar about The Back Porch Day Spa, whose crackling wooden fireplace and cushy velvet armchairs would seem right at home in a fairytale cottage. The atmosphere is decidedly trendier at Casa Verde, where specialists soothe muscles with reflexology massages and polish skin amidst bright lights and sleek black chairs.

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