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“enjoyed my stay; wished was more than one night”

Bodhi Mandala Zen Center
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Bodhi Mandala Zen Center
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jemez Springs
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“enjoyed my stay; wished was more than one night”
Reviewed 11 June 2013

I loved the setting: Buddhist statuary, hummingbirds; the mountains & river along the hot spring pools as well as one of water lilies. Yes, there was algae in the soaking pools, which I scooped out. But I loved being alone outside, in peace & nature. I chose one of the dorm rooms, which I was able to lock. Contrary to what I had imagined, I had the bedroom to myself. I had new, fluffy towels, including an extra one for after soaking. The showers were at the end of the row of rooms. I felt comfortable & had the space I needed. The food at both dinner & breakfast was delicious. I appreciated everyone who were there, as they made me feel welcomed, considering they are busy with their own schedule. Vice-Abbess Hosen personally extended her welcome, later inviting us to see the interior of the temple- impressive. We visited Valles Caldera National Preserve from there; also found Highway Four, a coffee house/eatery nearby to also be a good find. I wish I could have stayed there longer. One thing which took me by surprise is that they only accept cash or check.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank bettyg223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2013

I decided to take a week long retreat in early February and wanted to be someplace where I could have solitude and at the same time, pamper myself just a bit.

I chose Bodhi Mandala Zen Center because I had heard that they had hot springs and that it was an active Buddhist community. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Hosen, the Abbess of the center, and was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a rigid, formal, austere, cold Zen person, but instead was warmly greeted by a joyous, very welcoming, and friendly hostess.

She showed me to two choices for my week-long stay and both of the rooms were light, warm (heated by an ingenious geothermal system from the hot springs) and comfy. The king bed in the room I chose was firm but not hard and clothed with great cotton sheets.
The room has some older wood paneling, but was clean and supplied with more than I expected with a writing desk, wifi, altar, and tea service (complete with multiple teas and honey).

The morning following my arrival, Hosen gave me a tour of the grounds and welcomed me to use the kitchen to prepare my own food or take breakfst and a simple dinner with the community. The highlite of the property (in addition to the hot pools) is the Sutra Hall, an award-winning, stunning building, built in a very beautiful, clean, contemporary zen style. Hosen invited me to sit and chant in this contemplative sanctuary with the community every morning if I chose to.

I decided later that day to take my retreat time in silence and the community was accomodating to say the least with my choice.

I spent my days on long hikes on both sides of the canyon and soaking in their hot pools next to the Jemez river.

Once, I found the springs almost too hot to enter, told Hosen about it, and was amazed to find later that evening that she or staff had adjusted the temperature! I had never heard of adjustable hot springs!

I enjoyed the daily chanting an meditation with the community and yet never felt pressured to participate, a very comfortable, respectful group.

A very short walk took me to the local bath house where I availed myself of a great massage a couple of times during my week, a wonderful pampering.

I look forward to returning to spend time there and reccomend this experience to all!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
9 Thank Burke D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2013

I stayed at the Bodhi Zen Center last spring. As the review was so bad above, I can't help but feel like a competitor wrote it. The place is very, very clean, and yes the furniture is old and the linens are old but extremely clean. There are 200 year old framed maps on the walls and yes, old paneling, but again, very clean. The hot springs are the best thing about the place, and are open all night long to guests. These are natural hot springs, so no concrete pools, only natural rock bottom, but no "slime" on top. Next to the springs is the Jemez River. This place is situated at the bottom of a deep, beautiful canyon and on a moonless night the best view of the Milky Way that I've ever seen, with contant falling stars. We did not eat at the Center, but there is the Los Ojos and Debs Deli to eat and the food was not bad, nor were the prices. There are other places to eat in the area as well. Yes, the rooms are always unlocked, so leave valuables in the car. Also, no phones or TV, as this is a "zen" center. The staff could not have been friendlier or more helpfull. If one is expecting Hilton Hotel accomodations, this place is not for you. However, if you want to stay at a clean, but old cabin, and want to get away from the phones and computers and TVs, this is the place to get away from it all. I cannot begin to tell you how we felt after a long soak in the springs; sort of like taking a pain pill, total euphoria!
We loved it and will most definately go back.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marcus V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2013

I also am motivated to write this to counter the vituperative review by "worldsprinter18." I attended an all-women's retreat at Bodhi Manda two years in a row, and both times it has been a lovely experience. I am a current, going-on-37-years resident of New York City and I had no problem with leaving my door unlocked. I loved my room, which looked out on the meditation hall. Yes, the furniture may have been a little worn, but I wasn't there for Martha Stewart decor. I remember waking up early one morning because a light was shining on my face, and after investigating I realized it was the moon! The full moon, sinking behind the mountains. I've never had THAT happen in New York City. The scenery is beautiful; the skies are constantly changing. I loved walking around the property, among the trees, listening to the river. I loved sitting on the porch and watching the hummingbirds. The linens were clean and I enjoyed the food--the homemade yogurt was the best yogurt I have ever tasted. The food may be a little more elaborate when there are groups there; I would imagine when they're not feeding a dozen or more people they eat very simply. Hosen, the vice abbess, is a wonderful woman. I hope to be able to return to Bodhi Manda, with my group, and perhaps on my own. I think it would be a wonderful location for a personal writing retreat. To me, Bodhi Manda shows why New Mexico is called "The Land of Enchantment." p.s. Take a flashlight. It will come in handy. The bright lights of the big city are far, far away from Jemez Springs.

Room Tip: I prefer to stay in the building with the four individual rooms, as opposed to the dorm. Each room h...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Carol R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
279 reviews
155 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

I just returned from a six day mens' spiritual retreat at the Bodhi Manda Zen Center. I want to counter the previous reviewer who obviously found great faults with the place. I stayed in one of the dorm rooms, which might qualify as average. Nothing to rave about, but we were not there for luxurious accomodations. The previous reviewer needs to step back and take in the positives in this lovely setting in a canyon, with the hot springs on the riverbank of the Jemez River. The springs do accumulate some slime, but that is a natural process. The bathrooms were fine. Take in the dozens of hummingbirds.and the gorgeous views of the canyon. The village is not Beverly Hills, but this is part of the character of New Mexico. The vice abbess, Hosen, was a most lovely and personable lady. The food served to our group all week was simple and primarily vegetarian, but it was delicious! It is not open to the public at all times. My time spent there is a pleasant memory.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank EAZELIFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sedona, Arizona
Level Contributor
441 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 482 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2012

If you have any ideas of visiting Jemez Springs, NM, PLEASE think again. Unless you are an old 60's hippie still toking weed, criminal seeking a place to escape, wanna-be Buddhist, or a survivalist, you are better off avoiding Jemez Springs altogether! It is an extremely dirty, broken down town (if that's what you want to call it). I would call it a backwoods slum by all definitions with NOTHING to offer except one bar that stays open on the weekdays. If you are looking for nice hot springs, forget it! The springs, both natural and commercial, are filthy and horrible! After driving way back into the hinter lands of NM, we were shocked at the poor condition of the Zen Center. We were required to pay cash ahead of time to make a reservation and they do not give refunds for any reason. We would have left, but it was nightfall and torrential rains made it unwise to travel the back roads. The horrible, broken down building where we stayed at the Zen Center did not appear to have been improved since it was built in the 1970's. The room was dirty with a bare worn wood floor, old wood paneling, old mattress with polyester linens and pitiful bedspread that looked like they were also left over from the 1970's. The bathroom was worse with a filthy shower and shower curtain with bacterial stains and no bathtub, a small sink, and no where to locate your belongings. Everything appeared to be dirty and touching anything was repulsive. The yellow stained ceiling tiles revealed a problem with a leaking roof and sure enough, in the morning we discovered it leaked all over our things due to the monsoon rains throughout the night. We originally booked this reservation looking for hot springs on our trip back from Colorado thinking that a Zen center would provide a clean, minimalist setting. We weren't expecting a 5 star hotel and had reasonable expectations, but this place is NOT fit for commercial purposes! To add insult to injury, we were charged $100 for this dump of a room! The hot springs on the Zen property were scary...slimy, dirty, and the water was much too stagnant for health standards with pond scum floating on the water! God knows (I mean Buddha knows) what microbes were thriving in their waters! These pools had obviously NOT been drained and cleaned, maybe ever! The rocks around and on the bottom of the pools were slimy and disgusting! I was afraid of catching a disease, so we only staying in the waters 5 minutes. I ran back to the room and had no choice but to use the filthy shower to disinfect my body from their filthy pools! The Buddhist woman who greeted us was a very pleasant, lovely person. We had no desire to stir up a conflict at the Buddhist Center, so we kept our distress to ourselves. Since there was no where to eat when we arrived in Jemez Springs at dinner time, we ended up eating with the Buddhists in their on-site dining room. A small bowl of tofu, a small bowl of rice, and a tiny salad cost $5.00. Needless to say, since I hadn't eaten all day because we covered hundreds of miles, I went to bed hungry. No, I'm NOT Buddhist, they take reservations to stay on their property from ANYONE. That brings me to the scary fact that they do not have keys for the rooms or any kind of security, so you must leave your room UNlocked when you go out anywhere! Since reservations are cash only, no credit cards, there wouldn't even be a paper trail to track a criminal down! They are more trusting than this former New York City girl, who is accustomed to a minimum of four locks per door and doesn't trust anyone! Are Buddhists taught to trust all the wackos of this world gone wild? Guess I wouldn't make the cut. In any case, we survived without being robbed or mugged by some wandering weirdo on the loose in Jemez Springs, NM. Needless to say, we will NEVER return to this horrible place a second time!

Room Tip: I wouldn't get within a hundred miles of this place!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank WorldSprinter18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 6 June 2006

I stayed here overnight with a bicycle-touring club and it was ideal for our purposes. That day, we had cycled from Los Alamos across the Jemez Mountains to Jemez Springs, and the idea of a bed and prepared meals--as opposed to camping out--was very welcome. Bodhi Mandala Zen Center reminded me of Brownie Camps from my childhood, with its 4 bunk beds per room and its dining hall, except that Brownie Camp didn't have its own river, hot springs to soak in, and State Monument and quaint town to explore. Staff were delightful and there was no proselytizing. 'Way more interesting place to stay than any motel.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Bodhi Mandala Zen Center

Property: Bodhi Mandala Zen Center
Address: P.O. Box 8, Jemez Springs, NM 87025-0008
Region: United States > New Mexico > Jemez Springs
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Jemez Springs
Number of rooms: 73

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