Set in the small, workaday city of Española, about a 30-minute drive north of Santa Fe, this handsome adobe compound with 10 huge, well-appointed rooms offers a far better value than you'll find in some of the region's more popular destinations, and the location is very convenient for visiting such nearby attractions as the Puye Cliff Dwellings, O'Keeffe home in Abiquiu, Ojo Caliente spa, Los Alamos and Bandelier, and the High and Low Roads to Taos. This family-owned Spanish Colonial-style retreat is surrounded by gardens and has lovely, art-filled common areas as well.
Although there's no gym on-site, the inn does provide free passes to the local community center, which has an extensive gym and a large pool.
All 10 rooms at the inn are situated in a separate building from the main house, to which its connected by a redbrick path through serene gardens. The rooms are a minimum of 600 square feet and all have kiva fireplaces and distinctive Spanish Colonial furnished hand-carved by artists in the area, plus local Southwestern rugs, beam ceilings, and tile floors.
Colorful tile walls and floors, high-thread-count linens, and deep jetted soaking tubs lend both elegance and Southwestern charm to the bathrooms.
All of the inn's common spaces, including the check-in area, are in the adjacent main house, a handsome Spanish Colonial adobe hacienda with a large living room decked with sofas and comfortable chairs and decorated with a museum-quality collection of Native and Spanish artwork. Warmed by a fireplace and lined with wall windows, the common room leads into a spacious dining room where breakfast is served each morning.
The restaurant and bar adjacent to the property had been converted into an event space as of this writing, so at present, there's nowhere to eat on-site, within the exception of breakfast, an extensive and complimentary spread set out in the gorgeous dining room each morning and featuring green-chile breakfast burritos, plus fresh fruit, juices, oatmeal, and more.
As of this writing, there's no longer a bar adjacent to the property. However, the attractive lobby and dining room in the main house is a relaxing and refined place to sip your own beverages, and you can pick up wine on your way here from Santa Fe at one of the best such stores in the state, Kokoman Fine Wines & Liquor, in Pojoaque.
The inn is located in the heart of Española, a small city midway between Santa Fe and Taos and one that's lacking pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. To stay here, a car is your only practical option.
You'll discover some of the region's best northern New Mexican and Mexican favorites in the nearby town of Española at historic El Paragua (18-minute drive), which doles out hearty portions of carnitas, beer-battered Baja-style shrimp, and rib-eye steak topped with green chile. The historic Artesian Restaurant (30-minute drive) at world-famous Ojo Caliente spa resort serves some of the best food in this part of the state, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect contemporary international fare, from PEI mussels with house-made chorizo to filet mignon with a bacon demi-glace. 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.
Beyond some rowdy local dive bars in town, there's not much in the way of nightlife in these parts. However, at the expansive and upscale Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder (20-minute drive) resort, you'll find several different lounges and restaurants, including Iguana Café, which has an impressive margarita menu. In tiny Chimayó, on the High Road to Taos, the charming and historic Rancho de Chimayó (20-minute drive) is an enchanting spot for a drinks on the patio or in one of the atmospheric dining room.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With rates starting around $110 nightly, and enormous rooms with such standard features are kiva fireplaces and large jetted soaking tubs, this family-run boutique inn offers one of the best values in the Santa Fe–Taos region. Sure, it's in town with few attractions, but this is a terrific base for exploring a number of notable sites in every direction, and the inn itself has beautiful grounds and gardens.