NM Travel Guide
Sir Richard Branson's recreational space travel company, Virgin Galactic, is real and it's really happening, with flights expected to happen next year. (They were supposed to take off in 2010 and then in 2013 but this is space travel so we expect some delays.)
Yet while we wait for the first guests to pay $200,000 to blast off into space, here is a piece of hotel news we can get excited about right now--Virgin Galactic has selected The Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, a Heritage Hotel, to be the "official preferred Virgin Galactic hotel and resort. Previously, Virgin Galactic had hoped to partner with a luxury brand to build a new resort but this is much easier.
The Encanto hotel is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 60 miles from Spaceport America, where the Virgin Galactic flights will take off. And already, the hotel has begun to undergo some renovations to accommodate the high-flying guests.
Planning a Southwestern getaway this winter? We've got you covered. Fresh from a recent trip out to the country's oldest capital city ourselves, we decided to put together a quick list of the 5 best hotels for first-time visitors to Santa Fe.
First up is La Posada, a charming upscale hotel that's spread over six acres. We've visited this place before, and though the only thing that wowed us was the soap, we think there's still plenty to love. Like: simple but cozy rooms, kiva fireplaces, super-friendly staff, and two seriously happenin' hotel restaurants, called Staab House and Fuego.
Fun fact: every evening, the hotel hosts fun, free events like tequila tastings, wine and cheese tastings, and live music. Don't worry, no one will blame you for showing up to dinner tipsy.
Rooms start at $140/night.
Read on to hear about the rest!
Sweet Suites / Taos Hotels / Autograph Collection / Hotel Sex / Honeymoon Hotels / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Here's a tip for anyone looking to spend their honeymoon in gorgeous, sunny Taos: El Monte Sagrado, New Mexico's sole Autograph Collection property, offers a luxury suite known as the Kama Sutra suite. And boy, will it put you in the mood for love.
We toured the whole property recently, but particularly liked our precious few moments spent exploring the warmly-lit, sensuous space at the far end of the resort. Featuring a king bed with an elaborate hand-carved wooden frame, plus plenty of curved walls and enlarged wooden beams reaching up vertically, the suite is pure sex.
For more photos, click below!
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel Woes / Jennifer Aniston / Four Seasons Hotels / Santa Fe Hotels / Celebrity Hotels / → All Tags
Remind us never to stay at the same hotel as Jennifer Aniston, as we might, in our star-struck, child-of-the-90s Friends nerd-dom accidentally get someone fired.
At least, that's what happened last week in Santa Fe at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, when a hotel employee got the boot for divulging too much about Aniston's presence.
According to TMZ, a few guests had already spotted Aniston basking in the hotel's spa (evidently taking some time away from her usual LA haunt, the Sunset Tower). When shuttle bus driver Terry Siegler was asked about it, he confirmed she was in fact staying at the property, and even went on to talk her up a bit. But a few of Aniston's minions overheard the incident, and flipped out. Hotel management got involved, and before he knew it, Siegler was out of a job.
Hotelchatter Reviews / Taos Hotels / New Mexico Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts / Historic Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re going to northern New Mexico and you have any kind of artistic or cultural sensibilities, you need to stay at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house. As the name would suggest, it’s the former home of Mabel Dodge Luhan – who was not only a writer, but a facilitator and gatherer of art in Taos. This is where pretty much anyone literary or artistic who’s traveled to New Mexico has stayed. DH Lawrence spent loads of time here, and even painted the windows of one of the bathrooms with bright murals (today, some rooms still have access to that bathroom). Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams, Dennis Hopper, Carl Jung – the list of illustrious guests is long and varied. For more details, see the website.
Because it’s more of a museum rather than a swish hotel, we were expecting the worst when it came to rooms. When we had to be towed out of a snowbank, having skidded on ice on the approach, we were even more timorous. But we soldiered on. Here’s what we found.
How's this for romance? The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi is luring couples with a "Sense of Romance" package that would spark even the dullest flame of desire between a pair of nuns. Yes, dinner by candlelight. Yes, a bed of roses. Yes, those Sangre de Cristo mountains in the background.
And, for fun, an hour appointment with the hotel's Romance Expert, a designated concierge who presides over the Front Desk spouting fathomless knowledge about the ins and outs of true amor. Or, in more accessible terms: where to dine, what spa treatment to book, and where to go stargazing.
The kiva fireplace. The best bit of the room
A hotel that has soap in the shape of a rock has to be good, right? That kind of attention to detail is going to make for a spot on stay. Said soap rock was what we found when we checked into our room at La Posada De Santa Fe Resort recently. Did the rest of the experience measure up? Here goes.
Our hopes were high on arrival to the hotel. We’d called in advance, asking whether it’d be possible for a parcel to be sent to us care of the hotel, and spoken to a concierge who sounded charming and efficient. Then our taxi driver told us La Posada was one of the best hotels in Santa Fe. It better had, we thought, since we paid $188 on Jetsetter (our room should have set us back around $300 though).
Check in was quick and easy, with a friendly man assigning us our room. There was free spa handcream at the check in desk – a nice touch in snowy Santa Fe. We walked to our room through cozy wood-panelled corridors, past the restaurant, bar, and a couple of sitting rooms strewn with art. Then outside, through the snowy courtyard and gardens. All atmospheric. Then we hit room 107, a Fireplace King.
Spotted in New Mexico today: one of the raddest hotel rooms, view-wise, that you may ever have the pleasure of staying in.
This is the Solarium room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. It's rad for a couple of reasons - firstly, because it's the only house with three stories in Taos, so you can see for miles, and second, because it's the old sun roof when it was an actual house, so it's glass-walled on all four sides. Which makes for some truly killer views of Taos and the mountains around it - particularly when it's snowing, as it is now.
Bathroom Tuesdays / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Soap / Santa Fe Hotels / Rock Resorts / Hotel Bathrooms / → All Tags
We've seen plenty of weird and wonderful hotel soaps in our time, but nothing quite as cool as this: the rock soap that greeted us as we checked into La Posada De Santa Fe Resort last night.
There was a normal, pebble-shaped soap in the soap dish - so far, so normal - but then on the shelf by the basin we spied this lump of rock. Was it a pumice stone to grate your feet? An ornament? A random piece of rock? No, it was indeed a bar of soap shaped like a rock.
Virgin has said the area around Spaceport America outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico--where they plan on putting their sky rockets in flight--is in need of a luxury hotel. The smaller ones already present just aren't up to snuff. After all, their passengers are folks who have forked over $200,000 for the ride to space and will need some luxury accommodations before and after their journey to the final frontier.
But instead of building their own Virgin Galactic-branded hotel, Virgin is looking to partner with third parties to build the luxury digs. Dear Richard Branson, et. al., Please don't build a Ritz-Carlton or a Four Seasons near the spaceport. Please.
Not much else has been confirmed about the hotel except that it will be located halfway between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences. But hotels in the area, who are frequented by hot springs lovers, needn't get too worried. Virgin Galactic won't be blasting off until sometime in 2013.
Yay, another hotel anniversary that gives us gimmicky discounts! Today it’s the turn of the Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe which is celebrating its 25th birthday next month.
To celebrate – here’s the really gimmicky one – they’re offering anyone who stayed at the hotel during its first ever month (April 1986) to return for a night at the original rate they paid – which ends up at around $30 per night (it’s called the Turn Back The Clocks deal). Sadly, there’s no cheating the system – the onus is on you to provide proof, such as a photo of you there, “dated receipt” (uhh, surely nobody is that anal as to keep a receipt for 25 years?) or “other proof”. And, if you’re thinking that that’s unlikely, think again – the offer has already received several takers (we guess the days of scrapbooking your every photo, food bag and receipt from your holidays has to come in handy at some point).
But never fear, because the hotel also has something up its sleeve for those of us who didn’t have the fortune to stay back in those heady days of 1996: a straightforward 25 percent off rates throughout April, bringing rates down to $169. Tempted? They’re throwing in a free box of chocolates with every room. Now you are, right?
We headed out to Albuquerque and just missed out on the state's biggest festival, the International Balloon Fiesta. Luckily, we found plenty to keep us busy, including checking out the newest hotel in the city, Hotel Parq Central. The hotel will have its official opening in November, but we decided to get a sneak peek. We already told you about the rooftop bar and its delish housemade chips, but we'll give you the scoop on the rest of the hotel.
Check-In: We arrived a little before check-in time, but we were able to get a room. When we inquired about the gym, a staff member offered to give us a tour of the property. She told us that the hotel used to be a hospital and showed us around.