Two weeks ago, because we didn’t strike out for Califor-nah-ay this summer as planned, my husband and I opted to take a regional vacation and went to Taos instead. Despite having lived in New Mexico for most of 11 years, I’d never been. I was excited to see the metaphysical mountain town, and experience its fabled vortexes firsthand. The two-hour drive from Albuquerque was quick and pretty, and the road into town took us directly to our accommodations for the evening. Not so long ago I attained a half-price one-night stay at the Historic Taos Inn through Alibi Bucks—not because I’m thrifty, but because boutique and/or historic hotels are one of my great joys in life. The couches of friends are fine, but when given an option, I’ll take Ace, Kimpton or Hotel Congress-type lodging any day.
As soon as we arrived at the Taos Inn we felt free and easy, and distinctly on vacation. The grounds were manicured and easy to navigate, and a friendly Tom cat even greeted us with a mewl. We made our way to the front desk and upon checking in were given real, metal keys to a room in the Sandoval House portion of the Inn. Our room, which was flanked by greenery and an antique water fountain, was well-appointed, and furnished with cozy New Mexican-style decor. A kiva fireplace sat dormant in the corner, coaxing us into return in the winter.
It was already about sunset, and the Adobe Bar beaconed us. The bar’s boozeverages were delicious—the extensive, expensive margarita menu is famous. Sitting on the patio, we also ordered dinner, and while the chips and salsa were a yawn, the pumpkin seed-accented chile relleno (which came from the attached Doc Martin’s Restaurant) was truly one of the best rellenos I’ve ever tasted. During all of this, a singer-songwriter from Denver was performing. The music wasn’t our speed, but the Adobe Bar has different kinds of quieter performers (not black metal bands or anything) every night of the week. With a half-bottle of champagne in tow, we returned to our room for much-needed relax-o time.
At 11:30 a.m., our check-out extended by a half-hour, we vacated the room and went out in search of coffee. Wandering the plaza we found a not only coffee, more delicious chile rellenos and a bunch of zia-emblazoned trinkets, but also Governor Bill Richardson. He was in Taos to speak about some water-related thing. When the“huh?” moment passed, we visited a few local retail shops: Common Thread (where I purchased embroidery scissors, vintage lace and imported fabrics), Taos Sound (where I picked up a Waitresses record) and some thrift store (where I acquired a beautiful, framed landscape oil painting for $20). Before leaving for dinner in Santa Fe, we also dropped by the Rio Grande Gorge, which was smaller than I’d imagined.
In summary, I’m revisiting the Historic Taos Inn, in all of its gourmet relleno-ed, metaphysical margarita-ed and cozy-roomed glory, before the year’s end.