Set on an absolutely magical and pristine 1,200-acre tract of high-desert wilderness about an hour's drive north of Santa Fe, this wonderfully relaxing little compound of comfy and cheerful casitas is about as far off the beaten path as you'd want to stay if you're planning to spend a lot of time exploring local museums, restaurants, and shops. But if you don't mind doing a bit of driving (along beautiful, scenic roads) and you appreciate nature and quiet, you'll feel right at home here. The host is charming and helpful, and there's a lot to see and do both on property (hiking up to dramatic mesas, swimming in a crystal-clear pond) and nearby (spa treatments at Ojo Caliente resort, exploring Georgia O'Keeffe Country).
YOU SHOULD KNOW This rural retreat is far from the nearest large town and not a great choice if you want to be close to attractions or prefer not to do a lot of driving.
Accommodations are in seven rooms set among five charmingly furnished casitas set around a pretty lawn with plenty of areas to sit, relax, and soak up the scenery. The casitas vary a bit in configuration and size, all with plenty of windows and tasteful, contemporary furnishings (including very comfy beds and linens). All of these units have well-equipped full kitchens, and three of them have fireplaces.
This is the perfect property for a group of friends or a family to plan a retreat together, as it's possible to rent out all or some of the casitas together and have the entire property to yourself.
Each casita at Cliff River Springs has a modern and nicely decorated private bathroom.
This inn has no lobby or common interior spaces, but the casitas are all quite sizable and have plenty of room to spread out and relax, and the outdoor spaces—including patios or decks off of each room—are wonderfully inviting.
As this property consists of self-contained casitas that each have extensive full kitchens, guests take care of their own meals. There's no restaurant on the property, nor are any meals included.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There aren't many grocery stores in this part of the state. Your best bet for gourmet groceries are in Santa Fe and Taos, although you'll find some large general grocery stories about a 30-minute drive south in Española.
There's no bar on-site, but each casita has a full kitchen, so there's plenty of room to store beer and wine and prepare cocktails. Be sure to pick up supplies before you arrive, as this location is quite remote.
Cliff River Springs is located along a remote but well-paved state highway about a half-hour's drive from the nearest large community (Española), so a car is a requirement for getting here and exploring the area.
Located in a historic building at enchanting Ojo Caliente spa resort, Artesian Restaurant (10-minute drive) serves outstanding contemporary fare, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The adjoining wine bar is an inviting spot for lighter fare. A meal here is a great way to cap off a day visit to this wonderful spa. In the tiny village of El Rito, you can feast on delicious home-style northern New Mexican fare at tiny, family-run El Farolito (12-minute drive)—the chile rellenos here are superb.
You'll find very few options for nightlife in this part of the world, but the Artesian Wine Bar & Lounge (10-minute drive) at Ojo Caliente spa resort is a warm and inviting spot for drinks and bar food. Nearby in the small town of Ojo Caliente, Taos Trail Inn (10-minute drive) is a fun and lively spot for craft beers, and there's also a nice selection of wines from New Mexico.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The spectacular, remote setting of this beautiful little casita compound will have you feeling completely relaxed from the moment you arrive. The property is laced with trails and is also home to a refreshing swimming hole, and all seven rooms are handsomely decorated and equipped with full kitchens. It's the perfect retreat if you're seeking quiet tranquility but still want to be close enough to Santa Fe and other nearby attractions to spend some time sightseeing.